Press Conference: Part IV

The final piece of our press conference coverage was focused on players, and what is needed to make this team successful in the future. Also covered was specific positions and the NFL Draft.

On Drew Brees:

Schottenheimer: "Well he hasn't won a championship yet and that is kind of the criteria that I like to use so. I am delighted with him, I think that he is gonna make tremendous strides this year provided we can get him a supporting cast."

"I have no reservations at all about him."

On last season's Meltdown:

Schottenheimer: "We really on offense were compromised significantly by the injuries that we had. You lose 2 starting offensive tackles in this league it makes it difficult and then you lose your top receiver. That's what I think compromised the offensive side.

"Defensively it caught up to us. We played a number of games early in the season, the Patriots for example, got considerable yardage against us and we managed to make a few plays at the end and we didn't do that. We got work to do on the defensive side of the ball as we have already suggested."

Losing control of the line of scrimmage

Schottenheimer: "I think that is a factor certainly. Right now in the league there is such an emphasis on throwing the ball. You need two big guys inside at tackle as far as the run defense is concerned, and then you need to have defensive ends who can get up the field and create pressure. We never really put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, but I attributed that to a couple of things. We seldom put the opponent in a position where everybody knew they had to throw it, and then the other part of it is we play in a division where people get the ball out of their hands quickly.

"In my perfect scenario we would have two corners that could go lineup play man to man, bump and run all over the field, a safety that can go cover the tight end or another guy who can cover the third wide receiver and let's go play ball. That's what I would lie to be able to do."

Jason Ball/Cory Raymer projections

Schottenheimer: "That young man is right now gonna compete, and my discussions with Cory I am going to give him the opportunity to compete there. He will probably end up, if he doesn't win the job, end up being a swing guy, Cory."

He has never played guard

Schottenheimer: "I know, he has been in the trenches long enough to know. I feel he is capable of doing that.

"Jason Ball is…You don't find guys like that very often."

Do you want Ball to get bigger?

Schottenheimer: "He is fine exactly where his is. I want him to get more experience fast."

The FB position?

Schottenheimer: "We still have opportunities in the upcoming weeks, certainly the Draft and possibly free agency to address that.

"Back in Washington we had the guy rush for 1,500 yards; we never had a fullback in the game. Played with 2 Tight ends and 2 wide receivers. We have some people at tight end that we like that I think will give us an opportunity to get better.

"The point is what you ultimately do is go through the process and once you establish exactly where you are as a team personnel wise that's what you go do and there's ways to do it."

The combines and the Draft?

Butler: "Every draft is great. I think that where this team needs some help there is some real good football players there. We all had a chance to sit down and interview them and talk with them and see them. It was really quite good. Some of the secondary people were quite impressive. Defensive tackle, I thought very impressive. Wide receiver I think there was a couple head and shoulders above and then it becomes a good crop."

How about Andre Johnson?

Butler: "Andre Johnson, yes sir, I don't even know if he will be there at 15. I think eh and Charles Rogers are the cream of the crop. There was some talented people there and I like em too. Not only on their ability on the field, but sitting in their interviews were some sharp, good people."

The 15th pick

Butler: "I wish we down there about 32nd (referring to a Super Bowl victory). You can get good football players all the way throughout the Draft. I can tell you this, come Draft time we will be prepared. We will have a plan."

The running backs not working out

Butler: "The one group of running backs, the rest of em did a hell of a good job."

Schottenheimer: "I think we know why, they did not want to run with Justin Fargas. He blew this thing away.

"I thought it was better than past years, but that one group there was a big undercurrent going on cause that was the first group that worked out, whatever day it was. Ultimately when you look at the thing, it was probably a little better than usual."

On Peerless Price

Butler: "I can't speak on Peerless right now, he is under a tag. I don't know what they are going to do with him. I will always listen to anything; I just don't know what their feelings are, or what they are going to do. I am not really sure on the franchise tag how that works nowadays. If they sign, sometimes that makes me think it is a deal time. You got to wonder if he will accept the one year. I had heard all year, and everybody too, that they were not going to do that, now they did it so I don't know what has taken place. I am not allowed to speak about other players. We will always listen."

Trading the first round pick

Butler: "That hasn't even come up in any type of discussion. We're trying to get all our studying and things done on the Draft."

Timetable on free agents

>b>Butler: "You like to (know before the Draft) and then you know what your going into the Draft with."

Close on Adrian Dingle?

Butler: "I hope so. I have always kind of stood back and let Ed…I don't want him to feel like oh no here he comes, like I need him. Just let he and Steve talk it out and they know what's best and what they are doing. Ed keeps us abreast all the time."

Said to the Agent a deal by Friday or we look elsewhere?

Butler: "Not to my knowledge, now. I have never heard that. That's not our style."

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