NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As Drew Brees continues to work back from a shoulder injury, Sean Payton talked to reporters about his quarterback's health and restructured contract.
The following is the text from Payton's teleconference with reporters Wednesday, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
What is the update on Drew Brees today amid reports that he is throwing?
"Well, it's going to be safe to say he's going to throw everyday now. Continue to rehab and strengthen, that area the shoulder and I would say based on the way he's feeling. We haven't practiced yet, but he's done well he's improved the strength. I think all that has been positive and will be able to gage now we when get into a full practice today, tomorrow and Friday and have a better idea to what degree."
If and when Keenan Lewis comes back is that a good problem to have in the secondary with younger players like Damian Swann and Delvin Breaux playing well? How will that work with a rotational standpoint for the cornerbacks?
"That is a great question. I think number one, I see Keenan having a real good chance to play this week. We have to be smart with his first week back. Just with a total pitch count, but it is a good problem to have. We spent about 20 minutes discussing this last night for half an hour in our staff meeting and we have to look, obviously, we will have more than one defensive package and we have to find a way to put our best guys out there and then depending on whether it is first or second down or possibly third down that could change."
On Monday on your radio show you said that Jairus Byrd had a shot to play. Do you have an update on him?
"Well we haven't practiced yet, so will know more here in the next couple days."
Are you guys still looking at ways to improve this roster?
"Yes, I think you're still constantly paying attention to the areas, you know were still short at tight end and that's an area that concerns me. With regards to typically, we've always had three with one fullback, but there have been weeks where we may dress an extra fullback, but we're right there that's an area we've looked at and will continue to do so, but yeah I think that process doesn't stop."
Along those lines you guys just created some cap space today. Is that for in-season transactions or to fit a player or two under the cap?
"Well, it's number one not to fit a specific player. When you have some injuries, you have some IR guys, you know it's just creating some wiggle room to do business and operate and obviously, if a player comes up you have that space."
You said deciding whether a player plays because of injury is completely based on recovery and when he is ready? Does how Luke McCown's performance and your confidence in him change your threshold with when you bring Drew back into the lineup
"Back to the question does it change how healthy Drew needs to be? He needs to be healthy and will play him and if not we won't. Another words the bar of if he's healthy we play him and so it doesn't, especially at his position, oh he's going play if he 80 percent, that's something we would never do. And regardless of how the two, three or four are playing. So Luke's job is to be able to come in and function and he did a real good job of it the other day."
Is C.J. Spiller getting to a point where he can have a larger role?
"I think so. I think he is fully healthy and I probably didn't get him enough touches last week."
Does it sometimes take time to get everything installed for him that you would want to get installed for him, in terms of packages?
"It is the first game back, call it two weeks ago, and how much are you going to put in? There are packages, that first game, for instance, there are a handful of things that we know that he is going to do, and then last week, the same way. I think it is just expanded more to where he is going to have more opportunities on the football, whether it is catching it or running it."
Is there anything about Spiller that has surprised you or that you're pleasantly surprised with now that you are able to see more of him on the field?
"I think he is competitive. It is a competitive room. All three of those guys take pride in their touches, whether it is running or receiving the football, or protecting. Marcus Murphy even, I think has come into that room (and been a solid addition to the group). Those guys, each week, are looking to see how they are being utilized. C.J. is clearly a different style of runner than maybe you would describe Mark (Ingram) or Khiry (Robinson)."
How is C.J. different from Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson?
"I think he is an edge player. I think he can take the ball inside but he is an edge spill player. Just his body type is different. You want to get him opportunities in space. I think he is a player that can square up the defense and bounce in either direction, and kind of circle a defense. His speed, his stature even, is much different than the way Mark or Khiry are built."
Regardless of who is playing quarterback, did you see any evolution in the rhythm of the offense between week two and week three that you were either happy about or otherwise?
"A couple things stood out. Our third down numbers were real good. I felt like, in the first half, our balance (of) run and pass was real good. Those two things stood out. I think the margin for error, offensively, if we receive a penalty, I would be willing to say that not one time have we overcome a first-and-15 or a second-and-15 because of a penalty. We have to do one of two things – we have to eliminate the penalty or be able to respond and still find a way to get the next first down to keep the drive going. I would say that, in this past game, the third down numbers were high. We had two rushing touchdowns. Like any game, you put the film on, there are some things that you are going to build off of, and then there are some other things that you need to clean up."
What kind of quarterback is Brandon Weeden and what type of challenges does he present?
"Number one, I think he is bright. He has a strong arm so he is big. You'll see him step in real early when (Tony) Romo gets hurt in the Eagles game; he gets blitzed and hits a slant for a touchdown. I know he has got a lot of confidence in making all of the throws. You know you are going to see someone that has got real good pocket awareness and arm strength. I also think he is smart. He is someone that will understand their formula and someone that will understand their ability to run the football, and how that is going to set up the play-action or the down-the-field throws. Those are some of the things that I see on tape."