"From an injury standpoint, Sedrick Ellis (knee) was limited. Darnell Dinkins (foot), limited, Jabari Greer (groin) limited, Jason Kyle (back) was limited, (Jeremy) Shockey (toe) was limited, (Scott) Shanle (concussion) limited, Lynell Hamilton (shoulder), limited, Jahri (Evans) foot, limited, Jermon Bushrod (wrist), limited, Randall Gay (concussion) was limited and the following players did not practice; Darren Sharper (knee), did not, Jon VIlma (knee), did not, Bobby McCray (back), did not, Lance Moore (ankle), did not, Usama Young (abdomen) did not, Pierre Thomas (rib) did not and David Thomas (calf) did not. Mostly we worked on third down and two minute today in regards to our practice. Tomorrow will be our last heavy day with a red zone package."
"Yes, no question. Certainly with that type of injury, time is important."
With Vilma is that something new?
"It's the same and it's just soreness in the knee and we've just backed off. We were outside on the grass today and we rested him again."
Are you just taking a precaution with him?
"Yes, right now with practice. There weren't any setbacks. There was soreness from the game. There wasn't anything new other than soreness from the last game."
Is that normal for his position?
"I think to some degree, that's accurate."
How do you eventually acclimate a guy like Jabari Greer to game speed?
"I don't think you change your defensive calls. I think you play your defense. If you go back to Tracy's (Porter) injury, he had a full week of practice limited, nonetheless, but a full week. He didn't play that next week and the following week we got another full week in and he was able to play. In Jabari's case, he got work last week on a limited basis and he's done well this week. I'm hopeful he can play."
Are you able to evaluate at practice if he can turn and do some other things?
"Yes, I think he's past all that. It's the game speed, back when everything that's different about practice and a game."
How disruptive can a guy like Julius Peppers be for what your offense is trying to do?
"He can be extremely, just on the breakdown tapes we have, look at the last four weeks. He lines up to our left, lines up to our right and all the nice pass patterns you can have drawn up, mean nothing if you can't at least neutralize him. It's hard to limit it, because he has both the power and the speed. That's the one thing I think with him that you really notice on tape. His ability to overpower the tackles is very impressive. I had the chance to coach him in the Pro Bowl a few years ago and you get a chance to coach these players e and see how they work. He's a guy that against New York and the last week against Minnesota was very disruptive and a big part of why it's hard not only on third down but why it's hard on first and second down to protect. He also plays the run extremely well. He's a game-changer and you have to think about each play call in regards to where he's lined up and how it affects your protection."
Is there any statistical evidence out there to see how you should treat a week 17 game like this without any implications besides record when you are looking at a bye the next week?
"I think in 2006 when we had this very similar situation and it was a home game and we were the two seed, I know we spent a lot of time that year in looking at how we wanted to handle it, because we had a bye and we played a divisional game against Philadelphia. I thought we handled that pretty well that first year and so, I guess if you didn't feel like you played as well, no different in how we changed our bye week for instance, because we had not played so well the last few years coming off the bye and this year we looked at that schedule hard. I think that how we handled it in '06 for our team at that time
One thing that can vary is depending on your team and where you're at, there are a lot of things that go into that. Injuries and I think you try to factor all those things in and make the best decisions you can as you approach this game and just as importantly, the schedule and the bye week leading up to the first round (divisional playoff)."
Some Super Bowl teams like Indianapolis and Arizona have struggled near an end of a season, are there different school of thought?
"The one thing we do know is a factor is injuries. We know that that is something that you have to be mindful of. I think we've seen teams in recent history get red hot, point to the New York Giants a few years ago on their run. You see teams go the other way. I think what's most important, I think the team's in the postseason, all of them, confidence, because they've gotten to that point with x number of wins, so I think that as we prepare for that game which is getting ahead of myself here, I think we'll have a good plan in place. Our focus right now because it's the next game and because this is a team that obviously is playing well
When you watch this team right now, they're playing playoff football and you see that and just based on the wins of late, they're playing very well in defense. We're going to have to have a good plan in place and go out and execute. It's a tough place to play. That's kind of really our focus right now. I think it's a mixed bag a little bit in regards to your question."
12/31/09: Coach Sean Payton Media Transcript
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.