Thursday, 06 January 2011 20:29

New Orleans Saints v. Seahawks: Reggie Bush, Gregg Williams, Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas

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Ed Staton, Louisiana SportsSummary:  With Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas on injured reserve, Reggie Bush said he is ready and looking forward to handling most of the running for the Saints in the wild-card playoff game on Saturday against the Seahawks at Seattle.

"I'm ready to play physically, but I haven't been 100 per cent since I was eight years old," said Bush, laughing.

"I'm going to have to step up, not just me, but Julius Jones and DeShawn Wynn, said Bush. "Some of the guys on this team are going to have to step up. We'll be all right. We're working hard this week at practice and we feel like we're more than prepared. We have the guys who can step up and make up for some of the missing links. We'll be all right.

I always expect a lot out of myself no matter what. I definitely have high expectations for myself in this postseason."

Following is a question-and-answer session with Bush after Wednesday 's practice:

Q: Are you looking forward to this game and the extra pressure on you?
A: It's about a team effort. It's not just about one person. We have some mistakes that we made as a team that we had to clean up. The running back position is just one small piece to the puzzle.

Q: You're coming off your best performance of the season. Is this something you can you can build off of?
A: It definitely is, going into the postseaon, getting into rhythm and getting ready to take on the bulk of the workload at running back.

Q: Do you have a sense that you have been improving physically and that the injury is further behind you?
A: I feel better physically. I tell everybody that at this stage in your career, you're never 100 per cent and that's just the way it goes. It's a physical sport. We all have nicks, bumps and bruises here, especially in week 16 or 17 of the season and definitely the postseason. Nevertheless, I feel good as possible and I'll be more than ready to go this weekend.

Q: How does losing Thomas and Ivory change the dynamic of defending your championship?

I'm not so sure it does. The one thing we've done a good job this year is managing what we've had, the injuries that we've had.  There's been a number of them this year. We've done a good job of managing that, still winning games, keeping our rhythm and making up for injured guys. This is just another thing we're to have to do this weekend. We'll be ready.

Q: Are you ready to carry the ball more? Can you handle it physically?
A:  Yes I can.

Q: Is this something you've talked to Coach Sean Payton about or have an understanding about?
A: You know what the role is. You know I'm going to have to step up and take more of the bulk of the ruining load. It's unspoken. It is what it is.

Q: Do you want that?
A: Of course. Definitely. Anytime my number's called. I'm excited and looking forward to it.

Q' Do you think your former coach (Pete Carroll) knows how to defend you?
A: I don't know. We'll see.

The Saints have placed running backs Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory on injured reserve and they will the preseason games.

On Wednesday they signed DeShawn Wynn and Joique Bell as replacements. Wynn was with the Saints earlier this season and knows the offense and Bell was signed from the Eagles practice squad.

Wide receiver Marques Colston, who sat out last week, practiced on Wednesday and will be available for Saturday's game at Seattle.

Coach Sean Payton reported the following injuries and how the players practiced: Anthony Hargrove (knee) did not practice; Anthony Waters (ankle) was full; Alex Brown (shoulder) was full; David Thomas  (knee) was limited; Danny Clark (hamstring) did not practice; Jeremy Shockey (groin) was limited; Jimmy Graham (ankle) did not practice.

Payton discussed the running back situation: "With Pierre, he had a setback in practice last week, and we got to the point in discussing it with him where he was at. He came back and was very effective for a couple of games -- particularly the Atlanta game -- and yet the setback he had was substantial and we're at the point in the season where you want to do what's best and yet be mindful of the injury  the player has. So on all fronts --  doctors, trainers, the player and ourselves -- we felt that was the best move.

"With Ivory, we know for certain it's a Lisfranc and so he will have surgery."

Will the Saints be able to make up for the loss of Thomas and Ivory?

"Like anything else, the roles changes for the other players," said Payton. "Wynn and Bell practiced well for two days, with yesterday's walkthrough and then today, and we'll continue to get those guys up to speed.

"DeShawn has been here, Joique is new, but there's a lot pf carryover to what Joique knows in regards to terminology and what we do here."

There are reports that the Broncos' John Elway wants to interview Saints defensive coordinator for their head-coaching job.

"Wanted would infer that we didn't give him permission," said Payton. "I haven't read the report. I've heard about it and so you would wait until the season is completed and then go through that process."

Payton said Elway has not contacted him to get permission to talk to Williams.

Payton said 'Hawks coach Pete Carroll is a good teacher.

"Not knowing him, I think that his track record and the success he has had it shows that he's a good teacher," said Payton. "His enthusiasm and very quickly turned the fortunes of team like Seattle around, you take note of that and those are things that from afar you see right away,"

 Seahawks receiver Mikes Williams on Saints' pass defense: "It comes down to confidence. They are confident. When you know that you are a good team and when you believe in what you are doing there is really no end to what you can accomplish. The fly around the football, the first guy that gets there is wrapping up and the second guy there is trying to get the ball out. Roman Harper, how many plays has he had this year of extra effort or getting a hand in there and getting the ball out? He had one or two against us. You know those guys are going to play hard. You just have to take advantage of the few opportunities that they might present."...

'Hawks coach Pete Carroll on his quarterbacks splitting time in practice this week: "If it was going to lessen one guy's ability to play, we wouldn't be doing it. Matt (Hasselbeck) can handle it this way, and it  gives Charlie (Whitehurst) a chance to be prepared for the game as well -- not as he would be like last week where he had every rep. Charlie needs the turns more -- he's the first-time starter -- without question so it doesn't help him as much. But Matt can handle this."


Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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