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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


On how the defense has prepared with the new players:

"We've given them some reps. Most of the reps are reps where we've worked against ourselves this week but we're going to try to get them up to speed as quick as possible. Ray Edwards has been running with the first unit all week. Kelvin and James will be active for the game. They'll be on the 46-man roster and prepared to play."

On Corey Peters' injury:

"Corey did not practice today and unless he comes out here and can practice tomorrow, it looks like he probably will not be ready to go for the game this week. As we mentioned yesterday on our injury report, Todd McClure is definitely out for this week and of course, we didn't get the ability for Corey to practice today."

On the Saints-Packers matchup tonight:

"I'll get to probably catch the second half of the ball game. I'll probably fall asleep in the middle of it but I'll watch some of it."

On the play of Jay Cutler:

"He's a very strong-armed quarterback; a guy who can move around with his feet. I've been impressed with the way he runs. He averaged 4.6 per rush attempt and had 50 rush attempts. He's very impressive. He's got a strong arm and he can keep a play going. He's got a number of receivers that can stretch the field. I really like their back, (Matt) Forte, not only running the ball but he catches the ball. He was tied for the team-lead last year with 50 receptions. He's a very good player."

On how to handle Devin Hester in the return game:

"You've got to run. That's the key anytime you're covering punts or kickoffs. You've got to be able to run and not give him a whole lot of head start. That's the biggest thing. Then again, when you get down there, you have to put your pads on him and that's not an easy thing. He's a very elusive player. He's gone to the Pro Bowl and I believe he had three punts returned for touchdowns last year. It's going to be a challenge for us. He's a guy that when he gets the ball in his hands, he has a chance to take it the distance every time. I think he's a premier punt returner in the game but I think we've got a good, solid game plan in terms of our preparation this week with (Special Teams Coordinator) Keith Armstrong and the special teams and I know their up for the challenge."

On Hester as a receiver:

"He's really becoming a refined route runner. He's not just a guy that is running to take the top off of the defense. He's not just a guy that they're going to get the ball in his hands with gadget plays. He's really developed into an every-down receiver. He can play inside, he can play outside. I've been very impressed with his route-running ability."

On Matt Bosher:

"Matt is approaching this like we tell all of our guys; just do what you've been doing your whole career. That's what's gotten you here and that's what we want you to continue to do. Matt's an outstanding kicker and punter and we're not going to change anything for him. It's his first game and it's the first game of the season. Everybody should be excited and jacked up. We're looking forward to it."

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