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Payton says Wilson ‘looks good, looks sharp’ in OTAs

It’s very early, but the hard-nosed coach is looking for an upward trajectory from everyone. So far, so good.

Sean Payton would like you to know that “it’s early in the process” for installing the new offense so don’t get too excited.

But the process “is going well” and the quarterback is looking good.

“These guys are doing well, and he’s picking it up—the timing and all of those things that are required,” Payton said, reminding the media that the last five weeks have just been getting back in shape. “Now we’re getting into some football activity. We are ahead of schedule on the practice. He’s picking it up good—he looks good and looks sharp.”

A fitter, trimmer Wilson, who wants to have the best offseason of his life, said his new head coach is putting a lot into teaching.

“He’s intense, he’s focused, he’s such a great teacher of the game,” Wilson said. “All of us are learning every day, more information, learning how to play the game the right way. How to practice at the highest level. That’s what we’re focused on right now.”

After the third voluntary OTA workout last week, the new head coach emphasized more than once that it’s just been three days in to installing a new offense.

“It’s the third day. We’re working through...,” Payton said before changing his thoughts. “Look, we’re installing an entirely new offense. You see glimpses and then you see a lot we have to correct.”

Wilson was complimentary of Thursday’s work by everyone.

“Guys are really working, focused,” he said. “I’m looking forward to putting the pads back on and playing again.”

As for the rookies picking up the scheme and learning their assignments, Payton again emphasized it’s early in the process but added that his evaluation of them is more about recognizing if they know what to do. High-level performance is expected later.

“For the young players, you want to see an upward curve,” he said. “Obviously, the rookies are behind a little. We know that. Our job is to by the time training camp starts, get them up to speed. There’s only one way to evaluate a player, and it’s hard to evaluate him if he’s moving slow because there’s indecision with what he’s doing. Hopefully, they’re picking things up quickly.”

Perhaps the biggest adjustment right now is going to be on the part of the reporters getting used to less access. The coach is not allowing tweets during practice.

“That was our policy at the Saints, and I just carried it here,” he said. “You guys got the rookies for an open locker room and then I just took away your little Twitter posts during practice. We’ll call it even (laughing).”