Saints gear-up for joint practices on the West Coast

Metairie, La. -- It's time for the Saints to hit the road for their joint practices part of training camp, going-up against the Chargers Thursday and Friday, ahead of their preseason game against L.A. on Sunday. It'll be a chance for the Saints to go up against someone else and also get a break from the heat.

"I feel like our last two times we've been with them have been real productive," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "Both teams are really wanting to get better. They understand that. It's a good climate change this time of year when you have that opportunity and then you're working against a playoff team-- one of the better teams in the league."

"I'm looking forward to it," said Saints linebacker Demario Davis. "I think our time in L.A. last year was really helpful. It's a good group out there. I really like [Anthony] Lynn. I like what he's doing with the organization-- a lot of great players out there, a lot of cross work that we can do. It's always good when you can practice against somebody other than the same faces just to get another look, different type of tempo and the weather's a little bit different out there too."

And sometimes the joint practices can be even more productive than preseason games, as far as controlling specific things you want to work on.

"You know you might get more reps at something that you might not get in a game," Payton said. "You can essentially script-out what you want to see and then who you want to see do it for your own team. Sometimes it's a little bit more difficult in the course of a game."

And it's all just working to get one step closer to the games that count.

"You kind of work up in phases," Davis said. "First it's work without pads, then it's work with pads, then it's going against somebody else. Everything kind of helps leading-up to that week one, which is where you want to be full stride so I think all of it is helpful."

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