Metairie, La. -- The Saints now have 13 practices and one preseason game under their belts this training camp and Head Coach Sean Payton was the first to notice, opening-up his comments to the media after with:
"I thought we hit a little bit of a wall for the first time today."
While Payton admittedly saw the effects of 2 weeks of training camp on his guys Sunday, he and his players are taking it as a teachable moment.
"The key is the correction then-- right mid-stride when all of a sudden, whether things are going well for your side of the ball or the other side," Payton said. "Then finding a way to respond and fighting through it. I thought it got better towards the end there."
"He created a stress level today that you had to face and make it through full adversity," said Saints defensive end Cam Jordan. "In training camp there's supposed to be some sort of high level of stress. You go three practices in whatever amount of time we've done-- or two practices and a game-- this is something you want to put on yourself to not only stress your mind but stress your body as well, so you know when you're under duress you have something to rely on."
"Even if you're a little tired, a little sore, it's still fun," said Saints rookie linebacker Kaden Elliss. "It's a blast. It's a blessing to be out here."
For rookies Elliss, that's the right mindset to have-- especially when getting adjusted to the pros really doesn't afford much time to be tired.
"I'd say just overall it's just the knowledge and the recognition of the game," Elliss said. "These guys like A.J. [Klein] , D.D. [Demario Davis], Alex [Anzalone], Sank [Darnell Sankey], Craig [Robertson]. All these guys that have been here, they recognize plays and formations and tendencies so fast and even the depth of the back in the game after the first series they're coming off talking about it. For me that's a jump. We didn't necessarily recognize that stuff. We kind of waited for our coaches to recognize it in college. Just the overall understanding and recognition, it's amazing how good they are at it and I'm so thankful for how much they're helping me in it."