Sean Payton previews Texans game - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Sean Payton previews Texans game

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The Saints conducted a final walk-through Saturday morning before departing for Houston.

New Orleans will be without fullback Jed Collins, who is nursing a minor injury. Wide Receiver Marques Colston remains questionable, while cornerback Patrick Robinson and running back Pierre Thomas will both play.

The following is a transcript of Payton's Q&A session with the media.

What are you looking to improve on or see out of your defense this week?

"I think, number one, we are playing a better team overall. Offensively, defensively, we are playing one of the better teams from a season ago. That'll be a good test for us. They do a real good job with their play action passing game. They do a good job of getting the ball down the field off of some of those run looks. Back to the most important thing, there's still a handful of players that are going to have a lot of snaps not only on defense, but in the kicking game. I think that's going to be important, and it will be our first time going out on the road too."

Have you finalized your pattern of starters yet?

"Not yet. The one thing that's a little different is that this week three game is happening on a Sunday at 3, rather than a Friday. That has some relevance if a player were to have a muscle injury in this game, you could have the potential of a player being ready to play week one in a Friday game, and potentially not ready to play if that injury happened on a Sunday. Our goal would be to play a half at least with the first group. There will be some guys that may not go the full half with the first group, but nonetheless, phase one, second half with the second group, and then really we will look at those snaps at halftime."

Would this be a good practice for the regular season, where you have a Sunday game followed by a Thursday game?

"We handle those schedules pretty well. I think the good test for us is that we're playing a good team. We played two games already in two teams that are trying to build something. We're playing a team (now) that we've known pretty well just because we played them every year in the preseason, practiced against them, and really watched them get better during the last seven years. I think that's the number one thing that we have an opportunity to gain from this, is the team we're playing."

What did you expect to get out of Chris Carr when the team signed him?

"Well, you know you're getting a smart player. He's demonstrated that. He knows what to do, he's instinctive, (and) he has good ball skills. Those are a lot of the traits that you kind of knew before because of his playing experience, and then you have a chance to see firsthand that he's remained healthy. He's been a good addition for us and right there in a position to compete. He'll be a guy that plays a lot in the second half or at least gets a number of snaps. He's experienced and he's smart."

Can you talk about Rod Sweeting a little bit?

"(He is the) Complete opposite (of Chris Carr) in regards to us acquiring him. (He is an) Undrafted free agent who has played better in this camp than he did in the rookie camp. But, for so many of those young players, that first few weeks is always a challenge just mentally getting everything down."

Jed Collins hasn't been out here the last couple of days. Any update on his injury?

"I've held him right now. I probably won't bring him on this trip. We're just resting him. He's got a small injury that is not significant."

How is Patrick Robinson progressing?

"He's doing well. This has been a good week for him in regards to his first week back getting snaps. He'll play in this game. A guy like him or a guy like (Marques) Colston may play a bit more in week four than we would normally (play) him."

Do you want to see guys like Robinson, Colston, and Pierre Thomas, who you've used sparingly in the preseason, get some snaps in a game situation before the regular season?

"Yes. In a meeting we had yesterday, it would be 'This is the goal first half. This is the goal second half. Let's talk now specifically about a few players.' It might be a Marques Colston, it might be a guy like Darren Sproles. With Pierre getting snaps, how many snaps do we need to see of Darren again on Sunday? It's just looking specifically within the framework of the whole group and then, let's have a pitch count for a handful of guys. We'll do that on offense, we'll do that on defense (with) a guy like Will Smith. There's still a good group, not only in the kicking game but in other areas, that are pushing for jobs. This will be an important game for them, just as the last two have been but this is the next one."

Will Marques Colston play in this game?

"(I'm) Not sure. He's going to make the trip. I really want to see how he feels after today's practice and see how tomorrow morning he is after he moved around. He practiced pretty well today. He did more today than he has to date. We'll kind of play it by ear, but he's planning on going."

Can you tell us who definitely will not play Sunday?

"(Chris) Chamberlain I excused and he'll be back Monday and Tuesday. We talked about Jed (Collins), Martez (Wilson), Jonathan Vilma, I'm going to wait on. (Will) Herring, I'm going to wait and see; he's like Marques (Colston), he's going to go. That would be it, those guys we just mentioned."

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