METAIRIE – New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke with the media on Thursday at the conclusion of the Saints mini-camp presented by Verizon.
"I cut practice one period short today so we were a little earlier than what was on the schedule," Payton said. "It's really a progression of teaching and then leaving here on a good note.
"We're finished with this minicamp. We're pretty healthy, which is encouraging. The most important thing is, with so many new guys, how are they practicing. You have to learn to practice with each other when you're not in pads. It's a little more challenging than just doing it."
Payton said you must be careful about individual evaluations.
"You begin to formulate who learns quicker than others and that's part of it, but I think the evaluations have to come in training camp and there are a ton of different references for that."
Payton also commented about new faces.
"I don't know if it's been more challenging. We really are going to try to find the best 53. As a coach, I'm selfish and want to win and I think the locker room knows that. The guys that have been here understand that. I've been around these guys long enough now to see the certain things that they do and start to recognize them a little bit easier."
One of the new faces is Kenny Vaccaro, a safety the Saints drafted in the first round out of Texas.
"I think he is someone who is a quick study," Payton said. "He is a smart, instinctive player so he's picked things up pretty quick. He's handled the learning curve extremely well."
In the past the Saints have been known to go on the road for training camp.
"I think right now the plan is to be here and not traveling," Payton said. "I see this camp being here and us focusing just with our team."