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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Head Coach Mike SmithUpdate on Injury report:

"We had one addition to our injury report from yesterday.  Joe Hawley was added, he was a full participant.  He had an illness but he was able to fully participate.  Then there were no changes from yesterday."

On Junior Galette playing a role in their defense:

"He is going to play one of their outside linebackers.  We are not very sure if he has played both on the right and left, played strong and weak.  That is one of the unique things about the first game, you don't know where is going to line up.  I think we will have a pretty good idea after the first series or two. I think he is a very athletic guy, big, strong outside linebacker, what you are looking for on a 3-4 defense."

On Roman Harper and Malcom Jenkins:

"Roman Harper is very experienced; he can play a lot of roles moving him around.  Jenkins is a very experienced guy, and I think they added Kenny Vaccaro in the first round, top 15 pick.  He is a very athletic guy.  They have got some players that they can utilize in their sub package, in terms of trying to match up against the different personnel groupings that teams are going to show them."

On Keenan Lewis:

"I think he will add experience.  He is an experienced corner that has played a lot of games.  Jabari Greer, on the other side, has been their most productive player, in terms of making plays on the ball.  It's a good tandem.  They've got the makings of being a good defense.  I know they weren't statistically where they wanted to be last year, that is why there is a new coordinator in there and I know Rob will have them ready to go."

On Roddy White's consecutive game streak in perspective:

"Eight years, it says a lot about the type of player Roddy White is.  Since we've been here, he has been undoubtedly the toughest player on our team.  There have been times that he has had to fight through things to get out there on the field, and I don't know that there is anyone quite like him on our roster."* *

On gauging his injury status based on his history:

"I think we have said from the very beginning after the Baltimore game, that we had no doubt Roddy was going to be prepared and ready to go for our opener.  Barring any setbacks, that is what is going to happen on Sunday. "

On padded practices during the season:

"Last year we had seven.  We will probably go somewhere between the seven and nine is my projection.  Some of those padded practices will be half practices.  We will take the pads off after we've done the work after we feel like we've done what we've needed to do, in terms of our run game.  The first 11 weeks of the season, you are allowed to have one a week.  The last six weeks of the season, you are only allowed to have three, you pick when you have them.  The most you can have by the collective bargain agreement is 14.  That was half of what you are allowed to have last year.  We've pretty much done that all the years that we have been here.  The only difference is, before the CBA dictated only one a week, we would come and have a quarter of a practice in pads, three quarters of the practice in pads and take them off.  Now we have to come out and can only have pads one day a week." 

On New Orleans having a large offensive line:

"They are very big and very physical upfront.  I think one of the things Coach Payton talked about in the beginning of camp, is that they want to run the ball better than they did last year.  We anticipate, even though they have a great quarterback and great skill players, they've got three very good running backs and we think we are going to see them try to run the football on us as well."

On Steven Jackson's ability to press the hole:

"It means he gets to the line of scrimmage quickly and presses the hole and presses the line of scrimmage. This in turn gives him more options once you get in the hole to cut to the right, cut to the left.  He is not one of the guys that is going to bounce and look to take it way outside.  He is going to press the hole and be more of a north-south runner than an east-west runner."

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