Saints meshing new pieces with key returners

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Metairie, La. --  The Saints got their new guys out on the field two weeks ago with rookie minicamp, but this week was the first time the whole team was back in action for OTAs-- getting everyone up-to-speed and fitting new pieces in with the core of returners.

"Knowing what to do is the starting point," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "It's almost a prerequisite. They're not going to learn it right away but it's the process of learning what we're doing and then how we're coaching it."

"You're building from scratch every year," said Saints linebacker Demario Davis. "Of course you get to build on some things but you've got to tear-down the good, the bad and start from scratch pretty much mentally. It's a long process. It's a journey. It's a marathon every year and so you've got to run it as such. But it definitely helps when you've got brothers that you've been into battle with."

With Max Unger retiring, one position that they addressed this off-season was at center, drafting Erik McCoy with their second round pick and also signing Nick Easton from the Vikings.

"Offensive line is a premium position," Easton said. "There's not that many great players out there and the more you can get the better and I think it'll help our team."

"My mindset is, no matter who's in there, I've got to be able to get the snap from them, right?" said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "I've got to be able to find that rhythm with them and we have to be able to execute. So regardless of who it is at the end, we'll have time on task together."

Mark Ingram may be gone, but Alvin Kamara is back to do the heavy lifting at running back, and will get some help in the backfield from veteran Latavius Murray, who the Saints got in free agency from the Vikings. That duo could even be the new Boom and Zoom.

"Thunder and lightning," Brees said. "Look around the league. Every team, you have that running back room that typically brings different skill sets and you're able to mix and match. I think our offense has proven that we do a lot of things with two backs in the game so it just gives us a lot of flexibility. It gives a lot for the defense to have to worry about and game plan for."

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