(WVUE) - The Saints will look to stay perfect overseas on Sunday when they face the Dolphins. The teams took opposite approaches to adjusting to the time change with New Orleans arriving early Monday morning, straight from Charlotte whereas Miami went from New York back home then flew out Friday.
Sean Payton's team wrapped up their third practice in London on Friday and afterward, he spoke with reporters. The following is a copy of that conversation, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
Overall this week how have the facilities been?
"Yes, it's been good. I think the people have been fantastic, there is a lot of work that goes into a week like this. The facilities and the fields have been in great shape, the property and security all have been, I would say outstanding. It's enabled us to really focus on this game and the team we're getting ready to play. I think it's been a real smooth transition."
Do you feel like the team has acclimated to the time change here?
"You try and put a plan together and we came early the last time and liked the schedule. The key is finding the hotels and the fields. The place here is outstanding, we stayed on the one field, but we could have used two others. The hotel location, all of it has been good for us."
Are you ok with the plan for the anthem that Drew Brees tweeted out?
"Drew tweeted it out and those guys met and like with anything it's something that I think they and all of us felt we want to be unified and I think that's good and we have good leadership. I think it's a good thing."
Was there any influence from the ownership on this new method?
"No, the players spent some time on it and this is what they came up with."
What were some of your memories playing over here with the Leicester Panthers in 1987?
"It was 1987, Leicester is in the midlands, so it's about two hours from here, Nottingham, Birmingham, oh there were probably about eight teams. The stadium we played in was Saffron Park, which is no longer there. Everards was the sponsor of our team, Everards Brewery. Barry Wortel was the owner, great guy. A lot of good friendships, there were four Americans being paid and the tourists would be in London, there aren't a lot of tourists in Leicester and we put the gameplan together during the day and when everyone was off work we practiced in the evenings. John Grisham wrote a book, "Playing for Pizza", and if you read that book that would be our experience or my experience here. We had a decent following, but you were playing because you enjoyed it and really made a lot of good friends."
How does it feel to get Willie Snead IV back on the team this week?
"He is an experienced guy so the transition for him, obviously with his intelligence is smooth. It's good to have him back and we'll sort through what we want to do with him, in regards to this game and then moving forward the same way."
Was Willie Snead IV not practicing on Wednesday and Thursday?
"Well you have a roster exemption, we were actually at 54 and by Thursday, 9:00pm local time, 4:00 eastern time he came on to the roster in place of (John) Kuhn, who coincidently had gotten injured earlier, so we had the exemption until Thursday."
Could Willie Snead IV join the team for those practices during that time period?
"Yes he's on the (Friday participation) report, yeah absolutely he was out here. He didn't have to be (on the participation report) yet, he's an exemption."
How is Willie Snead IV physically?
"Good, I thought he moved around well, obviously he is someone who is extremely smart and knows what to do and like I said it's good having him back."
How much do you reflect on your time here?
"This is the second time back since and a handful of times there will be something that comes up and once you get your bearings as to where you are at right now, we are west, but the people were great and the time spent here, shoot I was probably 22-23 years old. It was a good experience, real good."
Do you think some of your tight ends have the flexibility to fill in for John Kuhn?
"Yeah, we've done that, last week John (Kuhn) was inactive and it just depends on what you're wanting to do, in regards to run and pass, but yes."
What kind of difference can Marshon Lattimore be this week?
"Another good corner, I think this is a talented group of receivers and he played well up until missing the game after New England. I think that's important, you get a starter back like him who's been playing well and I think he's had a good week of work."