Saints starters Shockey, Sharper, Vilma well enough to practice

The New Orleans Saints looked healthy and active during their practice Wednesday in Coral Gables, Fla., as tight end Jeremy Shockey, safety Darren Sharper and linebacker Jonathan Vilma all participated.

Each of the starters has been bothered by knee problems, but they all played in the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago. Shockey, Sharper and Vilma worked in all the key drills as the Saints prepared to face the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday's Super Bowl.

Cornerback Randall Gay, who has been bothered by a foot injury, intercepted two passes against the scout team. Only backup running back Lynell Hamilton, who watched the practice session with a walking boot protecting his left ankle, was idle for New Orleans.

Saints coach Sean Payton wore a Hurricanes visor and coaching shirt as his team practiced for nearly 2½ hours at the University of Miami. Afterward, quarterback Drew Brees and four of his receivers stayed on the field for 10 minutes to work on passing routes.

"I think we're ahead of schedule with just about everything we're trying to get done," Payton said. "Even the buses and everything are running on time or ahead of schedule."

The Saints mostly worked on base first-down and second-down situations. Payton said two-thirds of the Saints' offense was installed last week in New Orleans.

Payton conducted a 30-minute walkthrough with every unit, from special teams to specialized offensive formations. The Saints spent several minutes on turnover drills, something usually seen in training camp.

"Well, we do that a lot during the season, too," Payton said. "But I'd like us to have a little of that training-camp mentality here."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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