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Saints 2014 Season

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints

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WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WGNO) – Was he serious? Drew Brees said he was dead serious when he talked about playing in the NFL until he was 45 years old.

Brees turns 36 in January.

“I am not delusional,” Brees told reporters Tuesday at Saints training camp in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

“You have to come out and prove yourself every year. But, why not push the envelope a little bit? Crazier things have happened. It is not going to be easy, but I tried to play this game like I was a kid.”

Brees invoked the name of George Blanda, who played in the NFL until age 48 with the Raiders. Blanda played his final nine seasons with Oakland, but he served primarily as a placekicker. He threw only 119 passes as a Raider.

WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WGNO) – Safety Jairus Byrd and rookie offensive tackle Tavon Rooks both practiced for the first time Tuesday. Both were taken off the physically unable to perform list.

Byrd signed a $54 million contract with the club in the the first hours of free agency. But, he did not take part in the team’s off-season workouts after undergoing back surgery.

Byrd would not get into the nature of the surgery. Nor, would he say if the Saints knew of the injury when he signed with the club in March.

“I felt good about coming back,” Byrd told reporters Tuesday. “But, like coach Payton said, I want to be smart about it.”

Byrd did not take part in 11 on 11 team drills, but he did participate in 7 on 7 drills.

“We have a plan for him,” said defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. “Whatever the smart thing to do is what we are going to do. We don’t half ass anything. We make sure he is there. And, when he is up to speed. And, that’s how we do it.”



Meantime, wide receiver Nick Toon has according to head coach Sean Payton, done “very well” at camp. Toon missed all of his rookie season with a foot injury.

In 2013, he caught 4 passes for 68 yards. Toon said it was up to him to earn Drew Brees’ trust.

“Drew, Meach, and Colston they have played together for a long time,” said Toon. “It is important for me to build that trust and be consistent, so Drew can trust me.”

The Saints have an off day Wednesday. They return to practice Thursday.

The team will scrimmage Saturday morning.

The Saints open the preseason at St. Louis against the Rams, Friday night August 8th.

WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WGNO) -  The Saints have their priorities at training camp. And, high on the list is being a better running team, and stopping the run.

The Saints won 11 regular season games, and a playoff game, despite ranking 25th in rushing yards, and 19th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.

In Monday morning’s inside drill, the Saints offensive line won the day over the Saints defensive line.

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was not happy.

“We are not over running *&^*#$,” barked Ryan at his defense.

I asked head coach Sean Payton if being more physical is the key to competing against the best teams in the NFC. Payton was quick to point out that the Saints belong in that group.

“We think we are one of those teams. We played that way in our first playoff game against Philadelphia. And, we really approached the second playoff game the same way. Do we want to improve in those areas? Yes, and we feel like we are one of those teams.”

Payton said at times during the 2013 season, the Saints were unable to run the ball when they wanted.

He said being able to “take that element away is pretty significant.”

In 2009, the year the Saints won the Super Bowl, the Saints were 6th in a 32 team league in rushing.

New Orleans averaged 131.6 yards per game, and 4.5 yards per carry.

In 2013, the Saints averaged 3.8 yards per carry.


At Monday’s practice, it was light jacket weather in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

The low temperature Tuesday night is forecast to be 48 degrees. High temps will be in the 70’s or low 80’s the rest of the week.

Line of the day

Payton had the line of the day. A reporter asked, where the Saints were in the camp timeline?

“We are in the tunnel, and there is no light at the of the tunnel,” said Payton.

New Orleans will break the West Virginia portion of camp Thursday August 14th.

Among those not practicing were safety Jairus Byrd, defensive tackle John Jenkins, and offensive tackle Tavon Rooks.

Also missing practice were Robert Meachem (sore back) and guard Ben Grubbs. When asked the nature of Grubbs’ injury, Payton declined to answer.

Even though the Saints have a three year agreement with the Greenbrier, the relationship could last much longer. One of three practice fields is turfed. That field could be enclosed in time for training camp in 2015.


drew brees 400×225

(WGNO) - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees randomly was selected for a drug test this weekend. This is not generally news but it comes after the 35-year-old told reporters Friday that he would like to play football for 10 more years.

“I’m not getting ahead myself, like it’s a pipe dream, at 45. I understand the challenges that come along with that. But why not? If I can stay healthy, and I’m having fun and playing at a high level, why wouldn’t I wanna do that? The biggest challenge is physically, the maintenance, the recovery, the way you train. You gotta hope that you stay healthy, but why not?” Brees told’s Albert Breer.

Then Brees was selected for a drug test.

Coincidence? You decide.

Saints Training Camp Day 3

Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan wants more turnovers this season.


WHITE SULPHUR SPRING, W.Va. (WGNO) - It was not your typical first Saints training camp practice. Temperature at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia at 9:30 Friday morning was 67 degrees. The players felt it, and it felt good.

“Back in New Orleans I might lose 10 pounds (in a training camp practice),” said linebacker Curtis Lofton. “Here, maybe two pounds.”

Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief was drafted by the club in 2006. He did three summers at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

“This is the best first training camp practice we have ever had,” said Strief.

“As much as we liked the hospitality at Millsaps,” said Strief. “It was 98 degrees. It was brutal.”



On the field, Saints tackle Tavon Rooks, defensive tackle John Jenkins, and safety Jairus Byrd did not practice.

Byrd was the Saints big pick up in unrestricted free agent. But, he had off-season back surgery, raising a few eyebrows.

Head coach Sean Payton said Byrd will begin camp on the physically unable to perform list. But he’s expected to practice soon.

“His progress is ahead of schedule,” said Payton.

Byrd looked anxious to get to work. He worked out with a trainer, wearing his helmet while he did so.

Tight end Jimmy Graham practiced with the Saints for the first time since January. Graham called his off-season contract stalemate with the club “an extended vacation.”

Graham was franchised tag by the team in March. He reached agreement on a four-year contract with the Saints, hours before the July 15th deadline to do so.

“I didn’t get into football to learn litigation,” said Graham.

He was referring to his request to be franchised tag as a wide receiver, not a tight end. An arbitrator ruled against him.

Friday, Graham referred to himself as an All-Pro tight end.  He said much of what the media reported about his contract issues was inaccurate. He said he was frustrated. And, he used former Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma as a sounding board.

Graham also worked out with Vilma in Miami.

“Jonathan Vilma dedicated his summer to me,” said Graham.

Quarterback Drew Brees was in the same situation in the summer of 2012.

He missed an entire off-season of team workouts while being franchised tagged.

“From a time standpoint, he’s got some work to do,” said Brees. “But, I think he will get caught up very quickly.”

Saints first round pick, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, made a great catch on a pass from Brees over the middle. Cooks leaped high in the air to make the catch.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills left practice with what head coach Sean Payton described as a quad injury.

Payton said Stills tweaked his quad two weeks ago. Payton didn’t think the injury was serious.​

Pink and flowers might not be Jimmy Graham’s cup of tea. Running back Pierre Thomas posted this clip to his instagram account Wednesday.

It’s Graham standing in his hotel room in The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, in West Virginia.

In the clip Thomas asks the tight end, “What you think about your room, Jimmy?”

Graham replies, “It’s ridiculous.”

But its not just Graham’s room. All the Saints players will be living in what looks to be a grandmother’s bedroom for the next few weeks.



Bubba watson saints training camp

(credit twitter)


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - In about a month, the New Orleans Saints will hit the field in West Virginia, but two-time Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson checked everything out Wednesday.

Watson tweeted a photo from The Greenbrier.

The historic resort has literally been working night and day to be ready for the Saints, putting finishing touches on three new football fields; two natural grass fields and one synthetic turf, according to FOX Sports.

The Saints will train for 3 weeks at the facility beginning July 24th.