Metairie, La. — NFL running back Rob Kelley spent the past two season battling injuries with the Redskins and found himself this off season, admittedly, a tad out of shape. The Saints called him for a workout but had to pass at the time because he was not where they wanted him to be physically. From that point, the former Tulane and O. Perry Walker stand-out made a huge push to drop some pounds. With a revamped diet and a lot of running, Kelley was ready the second time the Saints came calling this week.
“They gave me two phone calls,” Kelley said. “The first phone call I was a little overweight or whatever it is. They told me to get my weight down and I came back. I just couldn’t miss this opportunity again. I did what I had to do to get my weight down to take advantage of this opportunity.”
“The film we’ve seen on him has been really good,” said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. “We’re familiar with him obviously because of where he played. He was injured last year. We had him in for a workout and he was heavy. I think one of the things he battles is his weight. I feel like he’s in better shape after the workout yesterday. There’s been a limited exposure but it’s been good. So hopefully we’ll get a chance to see more with him at the better weight.”
Kelley is entering his 4th season in the NFL, having spent his first three with the Washington Redskins. He spends his off seasons at home in New Orleans, so he said he just jumped in his car and headed over to the facility when they called. To be playing for his hometown team now is something he’s always wanted to do.
“This is amazing, man,” Kelley said. “Feels like a dream come true. I had the black and gold cleats before I ever even played for the Saints so this is something I’ve been dreaming of. They used to give me a hard time with the Redskins like, ‘Rob, who’s your favorite team?’ and I said the Saints. So the opportunity to come back here and play in front of my hometown is awesome.”
Linking-up with a new team on the 5th day of training camp does present some challenges, even if Kelley has some prior knowledge of the Saints offense.
“Just trying to catch-up to the playbook,” Kelley said. “The good thing for me is everybody knows I played for Coach CJ at Tulane and we kind of take from their playbook also so a lot of stuff is turned-over. You just have to read a few times like OK, this is familiar. Obviously they have things in the playbook that I wasn’t here when they installed so it’s just catching-up on the playbook. I’m going to hit the ground running. I’ve just got to know what I’m doing.”