TODAY: The New Orleans Saints will take the practice field at Ochsner Sports Performance Center for an unpadded workout that is scheduled to last nearly three hours, starting at 8:50 a.m.
LAUNDRY LIST: Saints Head Equipment Manager John Baumgartner and his staff help the players and coaches looking sharp from head to toe each day in officially sanctioned team gear. A big part of the job entails constantly cleaning and washing clothing and towels. On average, the equipment department washes, dries and folds over 12,000 pounds of laundry each day. The team has four 130-pound capacity laundry machines and the machines are virtually running from very early in the morning to well into the evenings.
WEATHER MAN: Anybody that has spent time in the Gulf South knows that the temperatures in the summer are hot and, with the heat and humidity, thunderstorms and rain can pop up in a moment's notice. Technology, such as weather apps, greatly aide in monitoring the volatile weather but the Saints take it one step further in monitoring things. Head Athletic Trainer Scottie Patton always carries a handheld electronic monitor that measures wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity and barometric pressure. The monitor also allows him to monitor lightning in the area and its proximity. Upon imminent threat, the Saints will quickly head to their indoor facility and if fans see the team beat a hasty exit, they too should immediately take shelter out of the elements.
THE EYES IN THE SKY: Saints Video Director Dave Desposito and his staff are responsible for videotaping all of the team's practices and the games. Not too long ago, they filmed the outdoor practices using scissor lifts (aka Boom lifts) that elevated them roughly 60 feet in the air for an optimal filming locations. The Saints football operations now keep their personnel on the ground with the help of 8K Solutions "MastrCam." These devices, which look like the cockpit of a recreational boat, allows the Saints' video men to send a tower up 55 feet and shoot, record, log and replay from the integrated console. Upon the conclusion of practices, the videos are loaded onto the team's network for the players and coaches to review within minutes.
WHERE ARE THE PADS?: Every training camp is governed by the rules of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. Here are the rules pertaining to practices:
The first day of training camp (Thursday for the Saints) is limited to physical exams, meetings and classroom instruction. Running and conditioning are the only on-field activities permitted. No contact is allowed and no pads can be worn on the second and third days of training camp. After the third day of training camp two-a-days are permitted with the following restrictions: Players may be on the field for a total of no more than four hours per day. Players may participate in no more than one padded practice per day, which shall be no longer than three hours of on-field activities. There must be at least a three-hour break after the first practice. The second practice on the same day may only be for a maximum of the remaining available on-field time and has to be limited to only walk-through instruction (no helmets, full-speed pre-snap and walking pace after the snap). The three-hour limit on padded practices begins as soon as position coaches start to coach players on the field.
INDIVIDUAL PERIOD: During each practice, the Saints players work through a period simply known as "Individual." This period focuses on fundamentals and techniques for each position group. Today the wide receivers, for instance, will be under the watchful eyes of Senior Offensive Assistant Curtis Johnson and Wide Receivers Coach Ronald Curry and the focus will be on polishing curl routes. Look for this segment around 9:30 a.m.
STAT OF THE DAY: Defensive end Cameron Jordan enters 2019 with 71.5 career sacks, ranked fourth in club record books. With six takedowns this season, he would surpass linebacker Pat Swilling to move into third place in club record books.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Quarterback Drew Brees on if he still gets excited for training camp at age 40: "This is where it all truly begins. You obviously worked very hard during the offseason on certain things, whether that be on your own and then as that transitions into OTAs and minicamp, but here we are in training camp where you really start stacking those bricks so to speak to build the foundation by which we're going to be able to do great things this year."
TOMORROW: On Sunday, the Saints will again take to the Ochsner Sports Performance Center fields at 8:50 a.m. for their first padded workout of 2019 Training Camp presented by Verizon.