NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) -
Coach Sean Payton is hoping that his defensive front line can develop a consistent pass rush. Last week he signed Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Kevin Williams. After Tuesday's minicamp session, Payton talked about why he brought Williams to New Orleans.
“He's a veteran player who is a guy we visited with about a month and a half ago, "stated Payton. "Most of his career was spent with Minnesota and then the last year in Seattle and someone who's real smart. He's someone who understands football. He's played a lot of it obviously. He got in Sunday night. We just have to be smart about how many snaps he's receiving given (he didn't participate in) the offseason program and where he's at.”
Payton added that Williams is versatile and provides good leadership.
After the 2014 season many football experts thought veteran wide receiver Marques Colston had played his last year with the Saints. That was not the case. Payton and Colston got together and worked out an agreement and the veteran returns for what most likely will be his last season with the Black and Gold.
“I think it starts with that we'd like to always return veteran players if you can, but of course you need to have a vision, "said Payton. "So we sat down at the end of the season and visited again in the winter and talked about the vision for him. He's someone who has been a real steady, consistent performer and an important part of that room. I think we'll monitor the snaps he receives as well as some others who are 10-years plus (in tenure). I was just going through the list out there at the end. John Carney was out at practice. He'll be out there for a couple days with the younger kickers. We were going through year 14, year 13, year 12 and Carney was 21 years. Now granted, he said he was a kicker. Now I think you need to have a plan to make sure you're being smart with their reps and their legs.”
The Saints are hoping that running back C.J. Spiller can contribute on offense and on special teams. Some compare Spiller to Reggie Bush who helped the Saints claim the 2010 Super Bowl title.
Payton said, “He is definitely a return guy that we view, whether it is punts or kickoffs. He has experience at that (both). He's explosive. It's the snaps in a game. We think he's a versatile player. We look to get him the ball in a number of different situations. A returner will certainly be one of those ways, but we have a number of guys competing at that spot, more depth than in a while.”
Long-time NFL veteran kicker John Carney who retired a few seasons ago was helping with the kickers at the minicamp.
Payton said, "“Yes. He's spending three days here, just kind of working with these young guys. He's kind of been close to the program and stayed involved. He has a training facility in San Diego, that keeps him busy. He'll be in for those three days.”
Former New Orleans Saints defensive back and special teams member Steve Gleason, who is battling Lou Gehrig's disease courageously, recently won the George Halas Award. Gleason was watching from the sidelines at Tuesday's minicamp.
Payton said, "It is an honor. It is a great achievement and we are proud of him. When you start reading into it, and get past the award, you start reading into the difference that has come up and the changes that have come up based on one individual's fight. I do not want to say it is surprising. But it is truly amazing, the impact he has had, certainly locally here with the ALS house and then on a national basis when they're deciding things on Capitol Hill because of Steve it is pretty impressive.”