WATCH: Sean Payton on minicamp, Michael Thomas’ ankle: “So far, so good”

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NEW ORLEANSWhat have you guys been able to get done this week?

“Yeah, we have kind of continued with this schedule we have been on. We’re getting (in)
of course, a lot of weight room work, conditioning, but a ton of individual specific
technique work. And I think sometimes when you get started in training camp and in the
season, you’re always trying to have enough time where you’re working the proper
technique with your players. And I think this time frame for us has really been good. The
rookie class, they have done a really good job. They are in shape and I am encouraged
with the conditioning level of those guys, as well as the veteran players.”
I know Dan Roushar and Brendan Nugent used to both lead meetings and
Brendan said he’s going to take the same approach for Zach Strief and him.

What’s the advantage to this having two different voices in there and being able
to switch that up?

“Well, look, it’s a position group that’s deeper than most and so I think it’s fairly common
in our league to see two coaches in that room. Both of those guys bring completely
different skill sets. And yet, they’re passionate about teaching and about coaching. And I
think that relationship is going well and I think it’s going to benefit our players. So at
times, I’m sure whether it’s the tackles specifically, or the interior part of the line, or the
tackles and tight ends with Roushar working at the tight ends. There’s a lot of carryover
coaching that’s necessary and I think that I think Zach brings an added dimension to our
staff as someone who played not too long ago and is someone who’s very smart. And
then with Brendan, he’s someone that is kind of come up in that front, if you will or Oline background. Both of those guys are doing a really good job. And I think you’re
always looking to change up the message sometimes or how it’s delivered. And I think
those two will do a good job of that.”

How is Michael Thomas doing from a health perspective, has he had ample time
to recover from the ankle issues last year?

“Yeah, look, he’s here and been participating. He looks good. You still monitor it, pay
attention to it and scan it and all those things. He’s receiving treatment and doing the
things necessary. So, so far, so good.”

Have you noticed anything different about Marcus Davenport mentally or physically this offseason?

“Yeah, I kind of see more of a veteran player. I know he’s had a good offseason. He has
been healthy, for the most part and he’s doing well right now. That position group, in
general is really doing well. I think that experience is going to serve him well, his disruption, the end numbers will come. And it’s just learning to play in and play out. Those results that sometimes you feel like you’re being judged by specifically a hurry can be just as effective as a sack. We’re excited that he’s having the type of offseason he’s having.”

Are you guys seeing the growth that you want to see out of Cesar Ruiz from last
year to where he is now?

“Yeah, absolutely. He’s had a really good offseason. He’s been here and getting a lot of
work done. But to answer your question, yes.”

How much more production and impact do you think Tre’Quan Smith can make
this year?

“Yeah, look, he’s got a lot of versatility. He does a lot of things well. I see a confident
player when we talk about him, he’s physical. You can point to games where you see
growth and last year with some of the injuries we had, you know, he had a real good
important game for us at Detroit. He’s one of those players that I think details every
aspect of playing that position. He’s not afraid to do some of the noisy work, but yet he’s
someone that can stretch the field and he’s in good shape. He’s moving around. He is
smart, he’s versatile and all of those things you don’t take for granted.”

{Transcript provided courtesy of the New Orleans Saints}

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