Saints defense shines in downpour

METAIRIE, La. -- The Saints made it through four days of camp without summer storms, but on day five, the skies opened up and they finished out the last part of practice in the pouring rain.

"It's a lot better practicing in that rainy weather than the heat," said Saints linebacker Manti Te'o. "We got all excited because it cooled down a lot so we definitely enjoyed the rain."

"Obviously you've got to be able to adjust to it," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. "We'll play in a game or two. We've been in a game in Tampa Bay like this. We've played in Carolina like this. It's part of the elements, and ball security becomes more important."

The defense rose to the occasion in the wet weather-- outplaying the offense in full team and 7-on-7 drills. And while the defense may have gotten the better of them Monday, it's still a battle every time they match up.

"We feed off each other," Te'o said. "It's a great opportunity for us to go against our offense every day. It's one of the best-- if not the best offense -- in the NFL and for us to go against the offense and compete, it's only going to make us better. When we have days like today, it's a good building block for us. Now we've just got to keep stacking them up."

Last year, in his first season with the Saints, Manti Te'o led the team with 8 tackles for a loss, and was tied for 4th on the team with 62 total tackles. He's now entering his 6th season in the league, and wants to make sure he's in the best shape of his career to set himself up for another successful season.

"I just kind of focused on my durability," Te'o said. "There are a lot of injuries that you can't avoid, but you can do your best to limit them. I pushed myself to the limit this past summer. I had a great summer in San Diego with my guys back home. I started doing a lot of yoga."