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Archive for August, 2008

Aug

24

Fan Code of Conduct !

FAN CODE OF CONDUCT

“The National Football League and its teams are committed to creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for all fans, both in the stadium and in the parking lot. We want all fans attending our games to enjoy the experience in a responsible fashion. When attending a game, you are required to refrain from the following behaviors:

· Behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal in nature

· Intoxication or other signs of alcohol impairment that results in irresponsible behavior

· Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures

· Interference with the progress of the game (including throwing objects onto the field)

· Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel

· Verbal or physical harassment of opposing team fans

“Event patrons are responsible for their conduct as well as the conduct of their guests and/or persons occupying their seats. Stadium staff will promptly intervene to support an environment where event patrons, their guests, and other fans can enjoy the event free from the above behavior. Event patrons and guests who violate these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and loss of ticket privileges for future games.”

Aug

23

Season 2 weeks away !

It’s time to get your NFL stuff for the season if you have not just check out this site, its easy and you don’t have to leave your house to get what you want !

NFLShop.com

Go Saints Go !

Aug

16

Houston Texans beat Saints 31-27

Posted by The Times-Picayune August 16, 2008 8:54PM

Categories: Saints

D
Deuce McAllister returned to action for the Saints tonight against the Houston Texans.

The good news for the Saints: it’s preseason.OK, maybe that’s not the only good thing to come out of the 31-27 loss to the Houston Texans, but there really wasn’t much else for the team to feel good about.

Oh, there were a couple decent scoring drives, a highlight reel touchdown by Reggie Bush and a spectacular catch by Marques Colston.

And, running back Deuce McAllister returned from his knee injury. While his numbers good – four carries for 16 yards, two receptions for 10 yards – the fact that he was back on the field was good enough.
“I felt like I played average at best,” McAllister said. “But it’s a start and you have to start somewhere.”

But one start the Saints definitely don’t want to experience again was the one they had defensively. The only highlight on that side of the ball was the starters didn’t have to play the whole game.

“When a team punts twice in a game, and we can say it’s preseason, but I thought our defense played poor,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. “This is a game where you want to see growth from Week 1 to Week 2, but in some ways I think we took a step backwards.”

The Saints defense did little to slow down the Texans, especially when it counted. Houston was 4-of-5 on third downs in the first half. Saints cornerback Jason David was picked on by Texans quarterback Matt Schaub for three third-down completions on a scoring drive in the first quarter.

Schaub was 14-of-16 for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Kevin Walter caught six passes for 100 yards and a score, a 26-yarder that beat David to the end zone.

Even with the shoddy defensive play, the Saints had a couple scoring opportunities they didn’t cash in on early.

After going three and out on their first drive, the Saints got a break when Houston’s Jacoby Jones fumbled a punt at the 10-yard line. But they again went three and out, moving the ball three yards. They settled for a Martin Gramatica field goal.

The Texans immediately marched 80 yards in 11 plays to go up 7-3 on a 26 yard pass from Schaub to Walter. Three times, twice on third down, the Texans burned David on passes on the left side.

The Saints drove to the 15 on their next possession before stalling and settling for another Gramatica field goal. Houston came right back and scored another touchdown on a 1-yard pass from Schaub to fullback Vonta Leach.

After that Texans touchdown, New Orleans’ offense came alive enough to move the ball 70 yards – the key play being a 38-yard pass from Drew Brees to Mark Campbell – and was punctuated by Bush leaping over cornerback Jacques Reeves for a touchdown.

Then, after holding the Texans to a field goal, the Saints put together their best drive of the night, a 72-yarder in 10 plays that ended with one-handed catch by Colston.

“They’re great athletes and it’s great to get them into position to make those kind of plays,” Brees said.

Brees was 5-of-7 on that touchdown drive and Deuce McAllister, who was getting his first action of the preseason since knee surgery last year, kept the drive alive with a short catch over the middle.

Back-up quarterback Mark Brunell directed the Saints on an 82-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes of the third quarter, hitting fullback Kevin Dudley on a 1-yard pass. The highlight of the drive was a 42-yard pass from Brunell to Lance Moore, who made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch.

But, alas, Saints back-up cornerback Tracy Porter was torched in the second half about as bad as David in the first. On the first drive of the second half, Texans back-up quarterback Sage Rosenfelds burned Porter for 13 and 20 yards, and for 43 on the next drive.

Aug

15

Hollis out for 2 months !

Tricep Injury Bogs Down The Tank

by Doug Miller, NewOrleansSaints.com
Thursday, August 14, 2008 – 11:23 AM

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton announced today following the team’s joint practice with the Houston Texans that defensive tackle Hollis Thomas suffered a torn triceps injury yesterday morning during one-on-one pass rush drills.

Payton said that the injury could sideline the veteran up to two months. Thomas had an MRI yesterday afternoon and underwent surgery this morning to repair the muscle.

“It’s tough news to hear,” said defensive tackle Brian Young. “These things happen, though, and while it’s always hard to see a teammate and someone as likeable as Hollis get hurt, we know that we have the talent to keep going. We have some really good depth at the position and a good mix of older players and younger players and I think that we’ll be okay.”

Aug

10

August 9 Q and A with Coach Payton

NewOrleansSaints.com, NewOrleansSaints.com

Saturday, August 09, 2008 – 4:01 PM

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: Most of the guys except for Adrian Arrington will be back this afternoon. Adrian Arrington has the turf toe. He might be a couple of days (out) or even longer. Josh Bullocks will practice this afternoon after not practicing in the morning. Bobby McCray has a bruised ankle. He’ll practice we think in the afternoon. Mike McKenzie will practice in the afternoon. David Patten will practice in the afternoon. Josh Savage probably won’t. He has a shoulder problem suffered prior to the game and it’s still aggravating him. Jonathan Vilma will practice in the afternoon. Brian Young will practice in the afternoon. We signed wide receiver Joe West and waived Wale Dada. Our numbers are still at 80. It will be good to get a group of these guys together at practice this afternoon when we put the pads on.

Q: What is your overview of the game after viewing the game film?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: I was pleased with our effort. I thought our guys played hard and there was a lot of hustle. You could see that not only with the offense and defense, but when you watch the special teams tape, I felt we did a good job. I was encouraged with how we played in the kicking game. We had one big return and we did a pretty good job in coverage. I think that there are some things from alignment and assignments that we have to clean up, mistakes that will haunt you in a regular season game and we spent some of the morning practice working on those now. By and large after the first week, the good news is that we still have three more preseason games and we’re going to need those practices and those games to make the changes and improvements as we move forward. I was pleased with the effort.

Q: Did you finally see what Robert Meachem can do?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: It was real encouraging. For a young player, you receive more confidence when you play like that. He came up big with the post route that he dove and caught and later on he turned that crossing route into a touchdown. Those are all positive signs. He played very well, that was encouraging.

Q: Did anybody stand out on the offensive and defensive line?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: I thought Jonathan Goodwin played well out front. He was a guy that graded out well when Doug (Marrone) went through the grades offensively. Defensively, I thought early on we did a good job of stopping the run. The guys on the defensive front got behind the quarterback a couple of times. He stepped up and made a pas. I thought we played with good energy on both fronts. The encouraging thing was that it didn’t appear to be too sloppy. We had one substitution problem, but by and large, guys were on the field that needed to be on the field. We had two quarterback-center exchange issues that bothered me that we have to get cleaned up, that can really hurt you in a regular season game, but both fronts played with good energy and that was good.

Q: Can you identify whey Tyler Palko has that problem so often?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: I don’t know that we specifically know why but we need it corrected, because it happened with two centers. We have to a better job of seating the ball probably and not pulling out too soon. That’s something we’ll work on with him.

Q: What do you need for Robert Meachem to do to attain the third receiver slot?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: I think continued improvement on all the details such as route running, the exactness of the positions. The plays he made the other night were encouraging.

Q: Will Deuce McAllister and Marques Colston practice this afternoon?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: They’ll also go this afternoon.

Q: Is there another dimension on this team that hasn’t been shown yet, because of the lost or hurt players?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: I think it’s like most teams right now. You play your first preseason game and your list of guys not playing is probably fairly long. You hope it’s not too big and the key is getting these guys back and getting them healthy and starting the season healthy. That’s the biggest thing. We’re not holding anything back. Other players are getting a chance to see reps though. I was glad to see (David) Patten, (Terrance) Copper and Lance Moore go in with the first group, function with (Drew) Brees, as well as to see (Robert) Meachem play. It just gives other guys a chance to get more reps and that’s a good thing in the preseason. It’s important for us to have all our guys ready for the season.

Q: What does Devery Henderson have to do to retain his spot in the rotation at wide receiver?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: I think he’s competing like the rest of these guys, not just for playing time, but he’s competing for touches. There are only so many passes and only so many plays in a game. I think with him, it’s getting healthy and getting back into the swing of practice. I think all of these guys want to play their best and for the guys that are injured, the challenge is the time they missed, catching up and not becoming too rusty. His hamstring is doing better. He’ll go this afternoon and I think he’s doing better.

Q: Would you like to see these players that have been hurt step up and be more active?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: Of course.

Q: Is there a mandate that they pick it up?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: There’s no mandate; these guys are injured players. You want your injured players to get healthy, and then when they’re healthy you want to be able to practice with them. What you don’t want is to put an injured player on the field too early and then have him out for a month. The key is to go through the correct rehab and go through the correct treatment, get them healthy and have them start practicing again. That’s where we are. The encouraging thing is that for a lot of these guys, we’ll have them back this afternoon and we’ll see where we are.

Q: Will Jeremy Shockey be full-go as of now?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: He’s probably going to be on a one-a-day schedule. He’s getting there. He’s certainly a lot better off today than he was a week ago.

Q: Were the two failed fourth downs in the game a result of missed assignments?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: The run was a missed assignment. We let a linebacker come through a gap and he made the tackle for a loss. On the fourth-and-one pass, we just have to do a little bit better job with execution and exactness within the route. Those are easy calls to make in the preseason; more difficult in the regular season.

Q: Will Shockey do team work this afternoon?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: Yes.

Q: Is the plan for him to do more of that this week?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: He should with a number of these other guys practicing once-a-day. That’s the plan right now.

Q: Are you concerned with the amount of time that Brian Young has missed in the last year?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: He’s going to obviously need to get reps. He’s a quick study but he’s just fighting the knee right now. We’ll see where he is. Again, we have a lot of time here. We have four weeks before we play a regular season game. With a guy like Brian Young, the key is making sure that we’re keeping him up to speed with what we’re doing – and that comes fairly easy for him – and then just getting him the reps he needs. I quite certain that he’s going to be ready by the time we start.

Q: Were you pleased to see the Cardinals defer after the coin toss?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: Barring any weather, I think the easiest thing to do is to just take the ball and that hasn’t changed. If we win the toss, we’ll probably end up taking the ball. If the weather is an issue, we could defer, but we were playing inside.

Q: How did the defensive helmet communication work in the game?

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton: It was pretty smooth. Everything seemed to go pretty well. Mark Simoneau had it for the first part of the game and then Marvin Mitchell after that. I thought Mitchell played pretty well the other night and he had it for the latter part of the game.

Aug

10

Saints Down Cardinals, 24-10

by Doug Miller, NewOrleansSaints.com

Thursday, August 07, 2008 – 10:45 PM

Glendale, Ariz.– The New Orleans Saints opened their 2008 pre-season in impressive fashion, as they traveled on the road and defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 24-10.

The Saints commenced their 2008 season in impressive fashion, taking the opening kickoff and then proceeding on a flawless eight-play drive that gave them a 7-0 lead.

David Patten pulls in a TD catch

David Patten pulls in a TD catch

The Cardinals tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter after RB Tim Hightower scored on a one-yard run and added a 30-yard field goal midway through the second quarter by Neil Rackers to stake a 10-7 lead but the Saints responded with a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half to regain the lead at 14-10, and then added a late third quarter field goal by rookie Taylor Mehlhaff to widen the margin to 17-10. WR Robert Meachem then caught a pass across the middle of the field and broke three tackles en route to a 60-yard TD that gave the Saints a 24-10 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Saints began their 2008 pre-season by accepting the opening kickoff and starting at their own 20 were crisp on their initial drive, as Drew Brees went a perfect six-for-seven passing on the drive for 35 yards, including a perfectly thrown pass on third-and-goal from the Cardinals’ 7 yard-line to David Patten.

The drive covered 80 yards in 13 plays and wiped off 6:45 in time of possession. The Saints were beneficiaries of three Cardinals penalties, including a 15-yard facemask call on Darnell Dockett when he tackled Lance Moore by the facemask on the Saints’ first play from scrimmage. On the drive the Saints passed seven times and ran it six times and were only confronted with two third down opportunities, both of which they converted.

“We were efficient, and we took what they gave us. Our guys made plays when they were there, and we handled their pressure. There were no big plays, we just ground it out, but it felt sharp, a 12-play drive. That’s what you look for on the first drive of the preseason. You want to be sharp, move the ball, make completions and score points. We accomplished those things.”

“You can’t ask for more than how the offense did the first time we had the ball considering it was the first drive of the preseason,” said Reggie Bush. “The Cardinals were doing a good job stopping the run early, but we moved the ball, and later I felt like things were starting to open up. We were starting to get better looks for the run, it felt like if we had kept going the whole game we would have gotten the running game going. That first drive gives us something to build on.”

Brees keeps his eye on the ball

Brees keeps his eye on the ball

The Cardinals converted their third down, as well, as Matt Leinart connected with WR Jamaica Rector for a 23-yard gain on a third-and-eight on the Cardinals’ opening series. Two plays later, LB Mark Simoneau sacked Leinart for a four-yard loss on a second down and the Saints’ held the home team to a short completion on third down and forced the Cardinals to punt. The third down pass was completed to TE Jerheme Urban, but Simoneau and S Roman Harper stopped him three-yards shy of the first down.

“The good news, I thought that came out of tonight’s game was that we were able to get everyone in the game and work against someone other than ourselves,” said Head Coach Sean Payton.  “There are some things that bothered me and that we need to get corrected, but we still have a lot of training camp left to get them polished up and continue to improve. It was a good first step and I was pleased with the effort from our players.”

QB Mark Brunell then came on and started the Saints’ second drive at the Saints’ 25. After a one-yard gain by Reggie Bush, the third-year back made a spinning run to the outside for a gain of 11 yards, but the Saints suffered their first infraction of the game when Billy Miller was called for holding. On third down, Bush ripped off a 19-yard gain and appeared to pick up the first down, but Lance Moore was flagged for holding, as well, and Brunell threw the ball away on third down and Steve Weatherford came in and punted the Saints out of danger with a 51-yard punt.

Arizona began their second drive at their own 37 yard-line with 1:08 left in the first quarter. J.J. Arrington dropped Leinart’s first down pass before the two picked up five yards on a short dump pass on the next play. Leinart then hit a crossing Steve Breaston for 34 yards and a first down after catching a crossing route and finding running room in the secondary before Harper dragged him down at the Saints’ 24. RB Tim Hightower then picked up six yards on a handoff and Leinart then hit Larry Fitzgerald for a six-yard gain and a first down. Hightower then was stopped by Scott Shanle after a one-yard gain. After a false start penalty, Leinart hit FB Terrelle Smith for a 15-yard gain to the Saints’ one yard-line and on the next play, Hightower ran in over the right side for a touchdown.

RB Pierre Thomas ripped off a 58-yard kickoff return to the Cardinals’ 41 and the Saints’ second-team offense took to the field with the team’s best starting field position of the night.

Brunell hit Mark Campbell with a quick pass but the play lost a yard and then Aaron Stecker tried the left side of the line for a two-yard gain. On third down Brunell gunned a pass into the midsection for a gain of 8 and the Saints went for it on 4th down, but DE Kenny Iwebema dropped Brunell for an eight-yard loss.

The Cardinals then took over at their own 41 yard-line and marched 47 yards in 13 plays and settled for 30-yard field goal by veteran Neil Rackers with 6:38 remaining in the first half, which gave the Cardinals a 10-7 lead.

Brunell then started his third drive and opened it up with a 15-yard completion to Campbell. Brunell then hit rookie WR Adrian Arrington for 13-yards and another first down before Thomas tied the left side of the offensive line for no gain. Another short run brought up a third-and-10 and Brunell fired a 49-yard pass to a diving Robert Meachem at the Cardinals’ 3 yard-line. On the longest play of the game thus far, Meachem got behind the safety and fully extended and made a finger tip grab. Thomas then picked up 2 yards on an inside handoff, Brunell and Terrance Copper couldn’t connect on a second down pass and FB Kevin Dudley was called for an illegal procedure penalty that pushed the ball backwards five yards. On third-and-goal from the six, Brunell hit Thomas for a five yard gain.

Head Coach Sean Payton challenged the spot on the field, contending that Thomas was able to get the ball across the goal line. After the officials’ review, the ball was spotted at inside the one-yard line and the Saints were confronted with their second fourth down of the game in Cardinals’ territory. On fourth down Thomas was hit in the backfield by LB Ali Highsmith and S Aaron Francisco for no gain.

The Cardinals then used short passes to work their way towards midfield with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. The Cardinals used their last timeout with :07 left with the ball at the 50, but DT Orien Harris sacked QB Brian St. Pierre for a six yard loss on the final play of the half.

Arizona began the second half at their own 33 and picked up six yards on a J.J. Arrington run. The Saints then stopped the Cardinals from picking up any additional yards, as Orien Harris made a key stop from his defensive tackle position by getting out and tracking down a short pass in the flat on third down.

Brunell started the Saints at their own 24 and Aaron Stecker bolted up the middle for 19-yard gain to the 43. Stecker then ran off the left side for six more yards before Brunell hit Meachem for 12 yards and a first down as the Saints moved in Cardinals’ territory. Billy Miller then hauled in a Brunell short pass for three yards and Stecker picked up six yards behind a big block from G Andy Alleman. On third down and one, Thomas ran behind fight guard for a gain of three yards. Brunell then threaded a pass into traffic to Mark Campbell, who hung on despite taking a big hit from rookie Dominique Rodgers-Crommartie at the Cardinals’ 13 for a gain of 14 yards. Stecker then pounded up the middle for nine yards to the Arizona 3. Then picked up another yard on second and one for the first down. Two more one-yard gains put the Saints inside the one on third-and-goal before Stecker leaped into the end zone for the go-ahead score. K Taylor Mehlhaff kicked the extra point to conclude the 12-play, 76-yard drive in 6:37.

CB Aaron Glenn, who had a big day a week ago in the Saints’ scrimmage, thwarted the Cardinals’ next drive with a pass defensed on a third-and-two on a pass intended for Jamaica Rector that resulted in a Cardinals’ punt that Skyler Green returned for 15 yards to the Saints’ 30.

Tyler Palko came in to handle the reigns of the Saints’ offense with just over 5 minutes left in the third stanza. Palko hit Thomas out of the backfield for a gain of 15 yards on second down and on the ensuing play Palko was the victim of a personal foul hit to the head. Palko then fired a 33-yard pass to Adrian Arrington to the Cardinals’ 7. Thomas then picked up one-yard but Palko was sacked during an all-out blitz for 10 yards. One play later Mehlhaff smacked a 33-yard field goal, his first attempt at a field goal as a professional, through the uprights that gave the Saints a 17-10 lead with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter. The Saints had driven the football 55 yards in seven plays in 3:18.

The Saints once again stopped the Cardinals with key coverage turned in by Jason Craft and a nice third-down tackle by Glenn that forced a punt that went into the end zone for a touchback.

Palko’s first three passes were incomplete and the Saints were forced to punt for just their second time, this time as rookie free agent Waylon Prather, who hammered a high and booming 50-yard punt that S Chris Reis took advantage of his a hard hit on return man Antrel Rolle after a seven-yard return to the Cardinals’ 27.

The Saints’ defense once again pitched a three-and-out and the Cardinals’ were forced to punt and veteran Dirk Johnson hit a twisting 32-yard punt that bounded out of bounds at the Saints’ 36.

The Saints turned in a highlight play of the night when Palko fired a third-and-six pass to Robert Meachem for a 60-yard TD. On the play, Meachem broke at least three tackles and showed great open field vision and used his blockers, including RB Lynell Hamilton, effectively. The 60-yard reception sent Meachem over the 100-yard mark on the night (4-129).

“I have waited an entire year for a night like this,” said Meachem.  “My coaches told me to just keep working hard and not be satisfied with this and to use it as a building block.”

Meachem was greeted with a hug by Payton on the sideline after his long touchdown, and, according to Meachem, the reception by his coach felt as good as the actual touchdown play and big night.  “When your head coach does that, it is special. The support means a lot to me, it really does.  This was a great night for me, but again, it’s just the start for me.”

The Saints halted the Cardinals again and started at the Cardinals’ 40 after a personal foul penalty on the Cardinals’ punt coverage team.

One of the few gaffes the Saints committed in the second half came when Palko and reserve center Rob Hunt muffed the quarterback-center exchange that was recovered by the Cardinals at the Arizona 38. The Cardinals, though, were unable to capitalize on the lone turnover of the game and were forced by the Saints’ defense to punt.

The Saints limited the Cardinals to only 57 yards of total offense in the second half, while the Saints racked up 230 yards of offense in the second session of the game.

Aug

01

Sedrick Ellis Meets The Press

NewOrleansSaints.com,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 – 8:36 PM

New Orleans Saints DT Sedrick Ellis

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What did Coach Payton say to you as you walked on to the field?

“He just kind of took me aside and congratulated me on finishing the contract and everything – welcoming me and pretty much told me to have a good day at the start of camp.”

Did Coach Orgeron get on you for going the wrong direction in some drills?

“Coach O, he’s a little bit of screamer, so either way that I went he was going to scream – that’s just his style of coaching. I’ve had it before so I’m used to it.”

Were you able to prepare for the weather conditions you’ll be facing here?

“You can’t really prepare for the weather down here in the south, you just kind of have to come and get into it. I was training in Los Angeles, but it’s a totally different heat down there. It’ll take me a few days to get acclimated but I think I had a pretty good day.”

Was it hard to make it through practice?

“It definitely gets hard toward the end of practice. All those other guys have been in about a week now – a little more than a week – so they’re already football-ready and I have to catch up physically and mentally to the rest of the team, and that’s my goal right now.”

How tough was it to be at home when everybody else was in camp?

“That was really tough especially when you know when all your new teammates that you haven’t made an impression on yet are out working hard and you want to be a part of that, especially being a new member of the team. It definitely weighed on my mind and I kept in really good contact with my agent and with officials on the team and we got it finished.”

How much did you get involved in pushing along the process or did you remain patient?

“I think it was a little bit of both. I had to make sure my agent was doing everything possible to get me into camp and also I had to stay patient because that’s what he gets paid for – to make good deals and to deal with the team – that’s his job. So it was a mixture, a little bit of both.”

When you got out in the heat did you wish you had taken a couple days longer to get here?

“No, I’m happy to be here. I wish I could have gotten here on the first day, to be totally honest with you. You never want to miss any part of camp being a football player. I wish I could have gotten here sooner, so it was that day today.”

How far behind are you?

“I definitely feel behind. You can’t help but feel behind when everybody else has already learned plays and you’re trying to catch up. One thing I noticed about this team and the older guys, they don’t try to big-time you, they try to help you and pull you along to make this a better defense and a better team so I really am thankful to those other guys who have helped me along.”

Was Coach O giving you a lot of extra reps in individual drills?

“That’s the kind of guy Coach O is. If he feels like you need some work, he’s not going to be shy about it at all. He’s going to pull you aside when it’s supposed to be your break time, so you always want to make sure you’re in the game.”

Are you surprised it took as long as it did to finish the contract?

“I was a little surprised. I think we were a little behind from the start because we had Tracy Porter’s deal, our second round pick. There were a lot of different factors; the guys who signed before me and we just waited on those guys and they were a little late. There are a lot of different factors that factored into this whole thing. That’s just the way it goes. I regret that it took that long. I wish I could have been here on the first day, but that’s how it happened and I’m here now. I just want to take advantage of my opportunity.”

Were your teammates heckling you about money?

“They were giving me a little of tough love there, but some of those other defensive line guys aren’t too underpaid themselves.”

Have you had a meal with your teammates and have you had to sing yet?

“Oh, that’s coming. I might have to sing the fight song or something, but being a Trojan I’ve got no problem singing the fight song for those guys. I’ll sing it over and over again.”

Will you have to buy some of those meals?

“I’m going to have to buy some of those team meals. It’s part of being a rookie. I’m not one of those guys who are going to act too big. I’m a rookie and that’s my place right now. When rookies come in later on, I’ll be the guy theyll have to buy dinner for. It’s just my role right now and I’ll play along with it.”

How long were you training in Tampa?

“About a week and a half.”

Did you go there to work in humidity?

“I tried to go to a similar climate. Tampa was pretty humid and pretty hot. I think that little week helped me a lot. I definitely had to get away from California because that weather was a little too good. They just had an earthquake in California. I missed it by a couple of days.”

Did you weigh in at your target weight?

“I haven’t weighed in yet. Just about when I finished my contract it was time to suit up. When I finished signing the papers I pretty much came down and got suited up and came out to practice.”

Was the play you made with Bobby McCray at the end of practice a highlight for you?

“I think I had a couple of good plays this practice. I’m definitely a guy that likes to do a lot of line games and a lot of movement at the defensive line. I’m not the biggest of defensive linemen so I pride myself on my ability to move. I definitely like to play stunt games on the line and things like that. I just like to get in the groove with my teammates and have as much fun as possible.”

What was your relationship with Coach Orgeron before here?

“I played under him. I wasn’t one of his top players when he left. I played my freshman and sophomore year and then he went to Ole Miss.”

Has he changed since you last played for him?

“Has he changed? Not one bit.”

When did you get to Jackson? Did you do a physical today?

“I flew in this morning. I did a physical during rookie camp and things like that. So I didn’t have to do it when I got here. Just signed the papers and made everything official. I had a six o’clock in the morning flight this morning from Tampa. I’m in dire need of a nap here. But besides that, I’m pretty good.”

What is your ideal playing weight?

“I think it depends on what the team wants from me. If the team wants me to be more of a slashing, up-the-field defensive lineman, I have to be lighter maybe around 299, 300, 303 area. If they want me to be more of a nose tackle, a hole-plugger, I can get up to about 310; 315 might be pushing it.”

What do you weigh right now?

“I’m probably about 305 right now. After practice I’m about 299.”

What is the highest weight you’ve played at?

“I was around 315 or 317 one year during spring ball. It was really good for the run. I was pretty much unmovable on the run, but it took away from my quicks and I wasn’t satisfied with that.”

Do you have some family from the Jackson area?

“My mom is actually from Jackson so I do have family around here. The problem is that I don’t really know them. I’m from California and I really hadn’t been outside of California all that much before coming down here. I’ve been here for a family reunion or two, but I was really young.”