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Payton Expects More From Shockey

Jun 14, 2009 11:20 AM EST

Saints coach Sean Payton said that he expects more from tight end Jeremy Shockey this coming season.

"I like the player, and I think he's going to be a key part of what we do this year," Payton said earlier this week. "We'll go from there. I think, in the end, it's always the proof is in the pudding anyway. For me, you just got to go with your gut on a decision like that."

Shockey had 50 catches for 483 yards and no touchdowns in 2008, a season in which he was still recovering from a broken leg.

"Last year, he was really hampered and he still managed (50) catches," Payton said. "I think he's healthy now. I see him after practice today with Drew Brees, after everyone is off the field, and the two of them are just working on routes. He's a very, very hard worker. He's going to be just fine.

"He's in great shape right now. I'm anxious to see him play this year. Certainly, there are a lot of eyes on him because he was traded here, and we gave up something to acquire the player. More than that, he is one of those guys who has had a pretty well-documented career. He came out of the University of Miami; he's had success in New York, and sure he's had his critics."

Via Times-Picayune