Metairie, La.-- The New Orleans Saints hit the practice field Saturday for the first time in pads this training camp on the first day open to the fans.
"The last two days have been a nice warm-up but I think training camp just started today," said Saints tight end Coby Fleener.
"Prior to this, there's so many elements to the game that you're not really able to apply," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "Today's the first day you're able to start talking about pad level and really, truly playing the game. So the evaluation process gets a little, I don't want to say easier, but a little bit clearer when you see them in pads and how they carry their pads-- that physical presence they have based on the position they're playing. I'm sure they will be a lot to clean-up after today."
"It's good to get my pads on," said Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro. "I like to get my shoulders all callused-up and ready for the season-- get a crick in my neck so I don't have to get one the first game. All that stuff."
"You know I think there's a heightened sense of urgency you see once the pads come on," said Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. "It's the first time we've had pads on in probably 6 months or so. I think there was an excitement about being back in pads."