Metairie, La. — For the first time this training camp, the Saints moved their practice indoors Wednesday.
“Part of it was just the wet field and it was a good opportunity for us to come in and change it up,” said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. “But it wasn’t a plan all along.”
The last-minute decision to move inside, was certainly a much appreciated break from the heat– especially for the big guys.
“We prepare to practice outside,” said Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead. “That heat adds a different element of toughness and adversity that you’ve got to go through to get through a practice out there. So we prepare to go outside. I’m not exactly sure what made the decision to come inside but you appreciate these elements in a controlled 70 degrees. You can try and fly around as much as possible and over-exert yourself to try and get the same amount of conditioning you’d get outside.”
Armstead is one of the key returners to the Saints offensive line, which is anchored with last year’s starters and filled-out with a few new additions. One of the new– but familiar– faces is Jermon Bushrod, who played for the Saints from 2007 to 2012. After Wednesday’s practice, he weighed-in on the competition up front.
“We’ve got a lot of talent,” Bushrod said. “When I see the guys out here competing at practice– from all positions– offense, defense– the coaches are going to have a tough job on their hands. I look at our room. You’ve got the five starters. You have guys who’ve started in games. You have guys who are very good and have a bright future if they keep going the way that they’re going.”
For returners and new guys on the line alike, they all love getting to pave the way for a talented Saints backfield. For Bushrod, he’s been especially impressed with Alvin Kamara.
“He’s explosive,” Bushrod said. “He plays with great leverage, good bursts, smart. When you have that will to not go down on that first or second person who puts hands on you, you’ve got to be excited– especially as an O-line– to block for him, Mark, some of these other running backs that are here. Like I said, this roster’s tough. This is one of the most impressive camp rosters I’ve seen.”