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Behind the Black and Gold for Monday, Aug. 12

Get the most updated information about the team plus behind-the-scenes happenings

TODAY: The New Orleans Saints will take to the outdoor practice fields at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center at 9:50 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12 for the second consecutive day.

SPECIAL DRILL: An interesting drill to watch at practice Sunday, taking place right in front of fans, was a special teams competition drill, which matched up the club's punt return and punt coverage units, minus the actual collision. Jobs are up for grabs in both of these areas of special teams. In addition to being under the supervision of special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, assistant special teams coach Phil Galiano and special teams assistant Michael Wilhoite. secondary coach Aaron Glenn, who was a standout punt returner as a member of the New York Jets, also counsels the returners during the drill.

PLAY OF THE DAY: On Sunday, during team drills, safety Marcus Williams recorded an interception off of a Drew Brees pass that went off the hands of wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.  It was part of what appeared to be a banner day for Williams, who is looking for a breakthrough campaign in his third season as the club's starting free safety

CONSISTENT ROUTINE: With the Saints flying out west Wednesday for two days of joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday and Friday, followed by a Week Two preseason matchup Sunday, routine is emphasized in all facets. That also speaks for what players put in their body with the advice of Director of Sports Nutrition Jamie Meeks. Meeks likes to keep the fueling regimen of players when they make a long trip as consistent as possible.

"I like for our team to feel at home even though we may not be at home," Meeks said. "We make sure all nutrition products that we use at home are available on the road."

Menus on the road consist of familiar and player favorite foods that are high in lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and heart healthy fats such as: chicken, salmon, shrimp, sweet potatoes, quinoa, avocados, and a variety of freshly cooked, colorful vegetables. At the hotel, where players, coaches and staff are fed, Meeks has the catering staff incorporate themes such as Taco Tuesday, Sushi, Mediterranean cuisine, Italian cuisine and BBQ as well.

Emphasis on hydration is always important, but it is pushed a tad bit more for a long road trip by Meeks. She recommends eight ounces of water or fluids of choice for every hour of travel. So for a four-hour flight, a player should drink at least two 16-ounce bottles of water.

Even though the weather may not be as hot and humid in California as it is in New Orleans, players still lose a significant amount of weight from sweat loss. Players are highly encouraged to properly hydrate before and during practice as well to replenish their sweat losses after practice is over.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Tight end A.J. Derby's uncle, Glenn Derby, was an eighth-round pick (218th overall) by New Orleans in the 1988 NFL draft and played seven games as an offensive lineman from 1989-90.

STAT OF THE DAY: Under the supervision of coordinator Dennis Allen, the defense has picked up its pass rush. After New Orleans recorded 30 sacks in Allen's first season, the Saints have improved their sack figures to 42 in 2017 and to 49 in 2018, which was tied for fifth in the NFL.

TUESDAY: The Saints will be off Tuesday and Wednesday will travel to Southern California in preparations for joint practices with the Chargers.

The New Orleans Saints had their 17th day of training camp presented by Verizon at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

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