Payton: “it’s an important week” for the New Orlean Saints

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NEW ORLEANS, La. – The New Orleans Saints enter their final week of training camp before their regular-season opener Sunday September 13th against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

By the end of the week, the team is expected to finalize its 53-man roster for the 2020 football season.

“I don’t think about I wish we had more time, but you recognize the urgency and you recognize the importance of the decisions coming up. I think one of the challenges always during training camp and in this case without preseason games, you know you’re in a race to prepare and get ready for that first game and it’s a little bit of a blind race because you don’t know how the other teams are doing or where they’re at relative to their progress. You’ve really just got to focus on the things that you can control, which is our progress and our conditioning and where we’re at.”

The COVID-19 outbreak has ultimately impacted the way that the New Orleans Saints have been able to evaluate new faces in Saints training camp.

When asked if the pandemic has altered the way Sean Payton views roster composition ahead of the final round of cuts, Payton says the biggest difference would show on the practice squad.

“It’s going to be 16 different than in years past. the makeup of that practice squad will be a little different with the ability to have veterans on that list. So all-in-all there’s 53 on the active and 69 is the total and you really look at it as a 69-man roster,” says Sean Payton.

As for the players that are without a home after the final round of cuts, the post-cut pickup period is a very active time for NFL teams, to add promising prospects to their roster.

The Saints have had luck during this period, adding notable players like QB Taysom Hill to the roster in 2017.

Payton says this period is normally active throughout the league this time in years past, but probably won’t be heading into the 2020 season.

Payton adds, “Teams I think will rely relative to the young players on their draft grades if they’re looking so acquire a player from another roster. Obviously there’s no pro tape on these guys so I think it will be different this year I think it will probably be maybe a little quieter than in years past.”

The Saints final week of training camp continues with practice Wednesday.

The deadline for teams to finalize their 53-man rosters is Saturday, September 5th.

Here is video from Monday’s practice:

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