NEW ORLEANS SAINTS RB REGGIE BUSH
Q: Can you talk about the week of work?
RB: They're a really good team. I think we got a lot out of it. It was very productive for us. Hopefully it will carry over to tomorrow and we'll see what happens.
Q: What do you make of the Patriots saying that they're trying to measure up to the Saints?
RB: I guess that's a compliment seeing that an organization that we kind of want to be like with everything they've done in their careers is where we're trying to get to. We have a long way to go, but we're just taking it one game at a time. We're just trying to finish our final practice before the game tomorrow and we'll see what happens tomorrow. Like I said, we're just trying to take it one game at a time.
Q: People were alarmed yesterday when you didn't take part in the afternoon practice. Was there any reason for that?
RB: No, just a little dehydration and cramps in my legs. Other than that it was nothing serious. Practicing today everything was fine. It was just a little bit more precautionary than anything to make sure I was 100 percent for this preseason game tomorrow. I'll be full go tomorrow in the preseason game.
Q: How productive have these practices been as opposed to just butting heads with people on your own team?
RB: I think it's been very beneficial, because it gives us the chance to look at a different defense and offense and go up against a different team entirely, giving us a chance to compete. Some of the guys that are draft picks and undrafted free agents, it gives them an opportunity to compete and earn their spot. It was really productive at the end of the day.
Q: Has the approach changed since the 2007 season following a successful 2006 where then you started off 0-4?
RB: Our whole mentality has changed having won the Super Bowl last year. We have a lot of experienced guys on our team now. We've been through a lot. I think that's prepared us hopefully for years to come we can keep this group and organization together for a couple years and go on a pretty solid run here and be a contender year in and year out.
Q: Did you talk to Lynell Hamilton on that play after he came off the field?
RB: I was talking to him and asking him how he felt. Obviously it has something to do with his knee. I don't know exactly because I'm not a doctor and I wasn't back there, but I'm hoping for the best and praying for him. Obviously I'm going to go back there and check up on him as soon as I'm done with you guys.
Q: Did the playoffs help build up your confidence?
RB: I think it is a little bit of confidence. Coming off of a microfracture surgery that takes a huge blow to an athlete's confidence and I think the biggest thing we have as athletes is your self-confidence. I think when you chip away at that; it's tough for us to be who we are. I think once I became healthy as the games progressed throughout the season, I think we started to see a healthy me and more explosive me and then I was back to myself. I was confident and felt great. I think it definitely has a lot to do with the confidence factor.
Q: How much do you expect to play tomorrow night and how much do you have to play in the preseason to be effective?
RB: It's up to coach Payton. I'm not exactly sure, so I can't speculate on how much I will and won't play. I'm just ready to go tomorrow and we'll see what happens. I'm looking forward to this preseason game against the Patriots though.
Q: Can you talk about some of the rookies on your team?
RB: Jimmy Graham has done a great job this training camp. He's really impressed me with his knowledge of the game and his speed with his size. He's a really good athlete. I'm looking forward to a lot of productivity out of him. Some of the other guys like Chris Ivory, Sean (Canfield) the quarterback and the rookie cornerback (Patrick Robinson). We're looking forward to getting a lot of production out of those guys.
Q: Can you talk about guys on the Patriots talking about using you guys as a measuring stick?
RB: I think that's probably based on what you did last year. I think when you look at it from an organization standpoint and what they've been able to do, we look up to them more, because we're trying to get to where they have and what (Bill) Belichick has done with this team, the amount of championships he's won and them just being a contender year in and year out, I think that's where we want to get to. We had our first taste of success really last year and in my rookie year. There hasn't been that much. That's where we want to get to. We want to be a constant contender year in and year out, just constantly winning games.
Q: Do you see the Patriots defense communicating better than on the Monday night game when you played them last year?
RB: I think maybe last year we caught them off guard a little bit. When you practice against a team, they get to look at you a little more, so I don't think we'll be hanging 38 on them tomorrow, but I think it will be a tough test tomorrow. That's what we're here for. That's what the preseason's for. It's all about competing and getting better and progressing into that first game of the season. We look forward to this game tomorrow and I think it will be a tough contest.
Q: Did that Malcolm Jenkins dance routine during stretch catch you by surprise?
RB: No because we have quite a few guys with us that were in fraternities in college and we joke around with them about the little dances, the fraternity dance. I don't know what it's called. I play football. I didn't do the fraternity thing in college. They do it every now and then and they brag about it. When the song came on that's the song they do the dance to.
Q: Did you guys encourage him?
RB: We did encourage him. When you're a rookie you have to do what your told. It was his time.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS TE JEREMY SHOCKEY
Q: How are you guys able to focus on this year when you are coming off the franchise's first Super Bowl victory?
JS: Playing in this league, you have to look at it as this is this year and that was last year. This is today, not yesterday. I think everybody on our team has done that. I know a lot of people have speculated 'do we have the Super Bowl hangover?' There have only been seven teams who have won it back to back so history tells you it is very hard to do. We are just focused on practice and getting better every single time. That is one thing our team has been very good at and concentrating on. Coming out here and practicing against the Patriots has been good for us. I think we definitely got something out of it.
Q: What is your mindset heading into this season?
JS:It is a month away so we still have some work to do. Obviously it is early in the preseason. We just have to get better everyday and grind it out.
Q: You have had some soreness in your knee during camp. How are feeling right now?
JS: I am fine. It's football. You are going to get sore, nicks and bruises and stuff. I am not really concerned about that. I am just concerned about getting better everyday and I think our football team has gotten better.
Q: Do you still find yourself looking back and celebrating on the great run you guys had last year?
JS: We have celebrated and did all that but it is time to put some stock into this season coming up not last year. Someone asked me that earlier and if I had to worry about all the teams I have played on through high school, college and every other team I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the team I am on now. I look at it day by day and feel fortunate I am here with a guy that drafted me in Sean (Payton) and great teammates.
Q: What are your thoughts on Jets head coach Rex Ryan's style?
JS: I just worry about my team - that's it.
Q: How did the practices go with the Patriots?
JS: We have definitely gotten better here. I know coach (Sean Payton) always wanted to emulate this team as much as possible. I think this team does a great job on and off the field. I think our team has proven to everyone that we can be as notable as the Patriots.
Q: Is it hard to think that the Patriots have been talking about looking up to you guys and your success?
JS: It's not hard. I think both teams worked hard this week and we have one more day of work here tomorrow. We definitely got something out of it. The goal was to make each other better and I think we have done that.
Q: Is your short hair here to stay?
JS: Till it grows (laughter).