METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — As the NFL offseason continues, the New Orleans Saints began organized team activities at the team’s practice facility in Metairie on Tuesday.
Aside from being voluntary training for players, the OTAs are a key time for developing team chemistry, especially for Saints newcomers that include seven draft picks and newly-signed free agent TE Foster Moreau, a Big Easy native coming home from the Las Vegas Raiders. Although undergoing treatment for cancer, Moreau could “absolutely” participate in the team activities, head coach Dennis Allen told media in the weeks prior.
After Tuesday’s activities, Allen said Moreau was receiving “brief exposure” and had been at the practice facility for roughly 10 days.
“He looks good physically, and I think he’s going to be a good addition for us,” Allen told media in the time following.
This season will be the second under Allen after going 7-10 last season — the Saints’ first record below .500 since 2016. One player fans will also be on the lookout for is four-time pro bowler in quarterback Derek Carr, who will also debut with the Saints this season.
Carr comes to New Orleans from Las Vegas, where in his last season he started 15 games and threw for 3,522 yards on 305-of-502 passing (60.8 percent) with 24 touchdown passes and an 86.3 passer rating. Carr’s time with the Raiders included some time under then-head coach Allen, who told reporters shortly after Carr’s signing that their similar team values could make them a dynamic duo for the Black and Gold.
“I’ll be honest with you. I really felt like when we had a chance to sit down with Derek and he told us what was really important to him and that was winning and winning a championship. I felt all along this was going to be the best fit,” said Allen.
With Tuesday’s OTAs under their belt, Allen said Carr performed well on his first day with the team, adding that the QB’s greatest challenge would likely be getting used to the team’s terminology and a new offensive system — an anticipated learning curve.
“I thought he did a pretty good job at getting in and out of the huddle, I thought he was good with his reads, knew where to go with the ball,” Allen said of Carr. “The execution was fairly decent and I think collectively on both sides of the ball, we’ve got to be a little cleaner.”
Tuesday’s attendance included 80 out of 89 players, roughly 90% of the Saints roster. Allen said he had been in contact with those who did not attend.
Allen also spoke on players Lucas Krull, Trevor Penning, and Tyrann Mathieu. Watch his full interview in the player above. Overall, Allen is hopeful for the upcoming weeks.
“A lot of getting better to do, a lot of new pieces, moving parts, we’re going to utilize this opportunity to get better so we’re excited about that,” said Allen.
This week’s OTA’s begin the second phase of voluntary team activities after kicking off the first phase in mid-April. The first phase focused on position group meetings, strength and conditioning training, and physical rehab for players who are coming off injuries.
Phase 2 is the first look at the team on the field, but that will also focus on more small-group coaching for players. According to NFL rules, the offense and defense cannot go head-to-head, and drills and anything involving live contact are prohibited.
The Saints have three weeks of OTAs scheduled, then will return for Phase 3 of team activities at minicamp from June 13-15. That phase will allow for team drills like 7-on-7, 11-on-11, etc., however, live contact will still be prohibited.
New Orleans will kick off the regular season at home on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 12 p.m. against Tennessee.
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