Richie Braham and Kelley Washington will be out. Willie Anderson probable; Brian Simmons would be doubtful. Questionable would be Dexter Jackson, Deltha O'Neal and Levi Jones. And T.J. Houshmandzadeh probable, but won't practice today. So, we're somewhat on the mend.
Q: Kevin Kaesviharn? ML:
Q: Does the rainy weather, combined with the dome this week in New Orleans, make you think about moving practice to an indoor facility, like when you went to Mason a couple years ago?ML:
We went indoors because of snow. We didn't go inside because we were playing inside. But we'll be outside today. We'll be a little wet.
Q: You've got several guys from New Orleans and Louisiana. Do you think it will be an emotional homecoming for them?ML:
I imagine it will be. I can't really speak for them. Obviously, with what everybody from that region went through last year, it was devastating. It still is. We'll have a chance to see some of it first hand. I think it's great that the Saints are back in the Superdome and playing. They're playing well. That's a good thing. But from our standpoint, that's where it's got to stop.
Q: Did you consider going early to see some of the devastation?ML:
I don't know what we could have had an effect on. It's not going to aid us in winning the game. Our job is to win football games.
Q: Do you know Saints coach Sean Payton?ML:
Yes. He's done a fine job. He and the quarterback are two guys much like each other, which is good. It's a good match. Drew Brees tends to be very coach-like. He's grown up with that kind of background that fits Sean -- kind of the mad professor-type guy. He's done great.
Q: Drew Brees seems to be playing very well:ML:
They're doing a good job. They're getting some explosive plays. They do a good job of really trying to game-play you, attack your weakness and make some big vertical plays. Their guys do a good job of running with the catch. (Marques) Colston's really made some fine plays, Devery Henderson's come in and done great. They'll check the football down and allow those backs to run with the ball, too. They mix it up a lot. Each and every week a little something different.
Q: Changing teams and coming off an injury hasn't slowed Brees down:ML:
I think it was different because the whole thing was new for everybody. I think right from the start, he was kind of their guy. He didn't throw some of the balls in the spring. But once he was able to throw the football, he was always there. He was always on the field. He was always on the huddle. It was different than coming into a situation where things were established because they all were starting from scratch, and learning anew. In that case, I think it worked out pretty well.
Q: Are you satisfied with how the team responded today coming off the loss?ML:
You've got to have that 24-hour rule. Once the game is over, win or lose, you've got to let it go. We've got to get back at hand, good or bad. We've got to go, move forward. The clock's ticking. So we've got to get after it.
Q: The Saints seem to have rallied around the emotion of the Katrina devastation:ML:
Again, we've got to go play. I think you face it every time you go on the road in the NFL. Whether you go to Cleveland or Baltimore or Pittsburgh, or New Orleans or Kansas City. You seems like you face that. And that's part of the NFL. This is an enclosed stadium. It's going to be a touch louder. But I think we've been in loud places week in and week out. We've got to get ready to play and go.
Q: On the Saints defense:ML:
They do a nice job. They started very simply and have tried to add to their plan, and add to the things they're doing each and every week. Guys are playing hard. They're making some plays. They're getting some sacks. Guys are really doing a good job of rushing that way. Mike McKenzie's one of the best corners in the NFL. So they're doing a nice job. They're feeding off each other and they're playing good football.
Q: Will T.J. Houshmandzadeh be limited this week?ML:
T.J. will be probable, but he won't practice today. He'll get the clearance test Friday morning. He's a little sore still, but otherwise he's fine. Because of the concussion thing, that has to come on Friday.
Q: Why is McKenzie one of the underrated backs in football?ML:
He got sideways with some people with how he left Green Bay. I can remember watching this guy when he was at Memphis prior to the draft, and he's been every bit of the player we thought he would. He's had an outstanding career. And it doesn't surprise me. He showed these skills coming out. I think sometimes guys have to play on teams that have some success in order to get noticed. He plays square, uses his hands well, and can run. He is athletic, and supports the run. He's a good football player.
Q: Thoughts on Bengals cornerbacks:ML:
They haven't played well enough. Our guys in the secondary haven't played well enough this year ... consistently enough. We've got to play better. We've got better players than that.
Q: Thoughts on Reggie Bush as a punt returner:ML:
They have two fine returners. They do a good job in the return game. Reggie's returned, like you said, a punt for a touchdown. We've got to do a good job. We've got to do a better job than we did last week covering kickoffs, covering punts and stay consistent with it. We've got to put the ball where we want it. We've got to cover the field. We've got to keep getting better at the return game, and eliminate any fouls, particularly careless ones. That's going to be important that we can try to gain some field position in the kicking game, and help ourselves that way.
Q: What has Andrew Whitworth given you?ML:
He's shown the maturity, which is why we felt this game wouldn't be too big for him. He's done it and he's done it well. Obviously when we picked him, we didn't know how we would be for the future, as far as having our veterans still around. We thought he would be a good guy for the future. We still do. We just don't know what position. He's going to be a good player. He is a good player. He's mature. He's everything we wanted.
Q: Has Whitworth proven he can play left tackle?ML:
We really felt like he could. Paul Alexander was very confident in that. I was confident in that. And I don't think he's disappointed us. This is a new week, a new challenge, and he's got a good player over there in Will Smith. He's playing well. A couple weeks ago, when we were getting ready to play somebody, I was watching and remember him standing out in the game. I'm not sure which opponent it was. I know I made the statement to our guys that, you know, down the road, they just keep coming.
Q: Is it a nice problem when Levi Jones comes back?ML:
We'll worry about that when Levi comes back.
Q: What is the status of Richie Braham?ML:
Richie's doing well. The field work went well last week. He'll do the same again this week. We're getting closer. As far as the time frame, we're maybe a couple weeks ahead of where they thought he would be when he originally got hurt. He seems to be progressing.