Metairie, La. -- Just four days into training camp and the Saints have already shown flashes of what they can be this season, but they have also had their fair share of mistakes.
"There were moments, plays," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "The big thing now is just the consistency. We've got too many snaps on the ground. Defensively, we'll have three or four good plays then all of a sudden there's a big play that we've got to correct. And that was a problem a year ago."
"It's training camp," said Saints linebacker Demario Davis. "It is what it is. We've got a long journey to go where we want to go and we've got to build it brick by brick. The pads are on and now it's real football. It's still alignment, assignment, technique."
And then there's the question of special teams, and who's going to step-up there.
"Our return game is kind of like the Bachelor right now," Payton said. "We've got about 12 contestants all with roses. We don't know who our returner's going to be. And if she doesn't like any of them, we'll bring in more. They've got to do anything they can to become the returners. It's wide open. Limousine, whatever. Paris."
"We've just got a lot of work to do," said Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. "We've got a lot of young guys. I'm like the oldest guy. We've got a lot of young guys that have got to just go back there and get confidence in it."
As camp unfolds, those spots will be filled, as will others. And the competition within the team only serves to make everyone better-- not only within position groups, but also between the offense and defense.
"I feel like we have one of the best receiving corps in the league so going against them every day on practice squad last year and then coming-in this year knowing what to expect," said Saints cornerback Arthur Maulet. "I feel like I'm comfortable and I can make the plays that I need to make."
"You can never really go without having competitions," Ginn, Jr. said. "Usually it's one-on-ones, the outside drills that you do. You just try to get the best out of everybody."
"We're family and we want to push each other," Maulet said. "Whatever we can do to make each other better, we're going to do it. We hold each other accountable. If you're slacking on reps, we're going to tell you about it and we're not going to sugar-coat anything. That's what I love about my teammates in the secondary. We're going to hold each other accountable to the standards that we have."
"The competition is high and we challenge each other every day," Davis said. "That's what you want in the linebacker group. Then you've got a bunch of leaders in the room-- guys who know how to lead by example and not just a bunch of talk but it's a good group."