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Coach Allen Thursday

On Tyvon Branch's injury: "Yeah, it's a concern; he hasn't practiced in two days. Again, we'll see if he's feeling better tomorrow. If he's able to practice tomorrow, then I would anticipate he'd be able to play. I'd have some real concern if he's not able to practice tomorrow."

On Darrius Heyward-Bey's injury: "Didn't practice today. Again, he's another one that we'll see. When we get in tomorrow, we'll see exactly how he's feeling. Hopefully, he'll be able to go tomorrow, but I don't know that."

On if Branch can't play: "[Mike] Mitchell has been playing and so we'd go with Mitchell."

On if he's aware of fan discontent: "Hey listen, I understand that that's part of the business. My focus is on doing whatever I can to try to make this team better and that's all I can focus on."

On if he has to deal with the fan discontent: "No, listen, you can't please everybody and I understand that and I know that. You have to try to do everything you can to give this team a chance to win and that's the sole purpose and sole thought process of what we're trying to do."

On Jimmy Graham: "He's an exceptional talent. I think the thing he's probably learned more and more as he's gone along is really the instinctive part of the game, how to run routes. He's always been a big guy that can run, that can go up and catch the ball. But just how to run routes and how to get himself open and obviously I think Drew [Brees] had a big part in helping him in how to be that way."

On if Graham is as tough a matchup as there is at tight end: "Yeah, he's one of the toughest matchups that we've seen. Obviously, I think the tight end matchups in this league have become a bigger part of the game. He's obviously a tough matchup for anybody."

On basketball players becoming tight ends in the NFL: "I think that probably, I don't know how long that goes back, but there's been some guys that have been basketball players in college that have come into the league and played. I think guys are just looking for athletic, talented guys that they feel like have an opportunity to progress and get better as a football player."

On the Saints running game: "You can't go into any game and overlook the running game. I think that's one of the reasons why they've really improved as a football team is they've run the ball a lot better over the last few games. They've got a talented group of backs. They're very solid up front in what they do in blocking and so I think that helps them as far as their offense. When they're able to run the ball and throw the ball it makes them that much more formidable."

On when he began to aspire to be a head coach: "I never really thought about it that much; I really didn't. I was fortunate to be in a situation where I got this opportunity and I'm thankful for that. Again, I don't really think about how I got here, I think about how I'm going to continue to work to try to get this team better."

On Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson: "McFadden was out today and ran around on the side with the trainers, which was obviously a good sign. I don't know whether any of those guys will be able to play this weekend or not, but I think that's a good sign that he was out here and able to move around. Those guys are working extremely hard to get back out here."

On if Goodson has been able to run yet: "No, no."

On balancing getting them back with risking further injury: "We're also getting to the point where there's not a whole lot of games left. Here's what we want to do, we want those guys to aggressively rehab as fast as they can, which is exactly what they're doing. When they're healthy enough to play, we want to get them back out here and playing."

On correcting the defensive issues in the middle of the field: "We've focused on trying to protect the middle of the field. I know the Saints do a great job of attacking you down the seam, so we have to do a better job of communicating, making sure we're in the right positions, so we can take some of those things away."

On Mitchell learning to play with more control: "I think that's it. He's a very passionate player. He works extremely hard. He loves the game. Sometimes you have to slow his heart beat down a little bit and get him to calm down a little bit. I've been pleased with some of the things I've seen Mike do. It's important to him and that's what I like about him."

On what Darren Sproles brings: "A lot. I think he's an exceptional talent. He's a good runner and he's outstanding out of the backfield, so he presents a lot of matchup challenges. Obviously that's a huge plus for them to be able to have him back."

On if Richard Seymour has been able to run: "I don't know that. I know he's spending a lot of time in the training room trying to rehab."

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