TODAY: The New Orleans Saints will take the practice field at Ochsner Sports Performance Center for a padded workout of Training Camp presented by Verizon that is scheduled to last about one and a half hours, starting at 9:50 a.m. The practice will be open to the public. The team will split the practice in location between the indoor practice facility prior to the 9:50 outdoor start and will then transition to the outdoor fields due to the predicted high heat conditions.
NEW TELEVISION TEAM DEBUT: In addition to the Saints season opener on Friday night, those who cannot view it in person will have the opportunity to watch it both locally on WVUE-Fox 8 and regionally on the Gray Communications family of stations. The new broadcast team for the preseason will make its debut Friday night, featuring Joel Meyers (play-by-play), Jon Stinchcomb and Jonathan Vilma (color analysts) and Meghan Payton (sideline). A half-hour prior to the 7 p.m. kick, a half-hour pregame show will air, featuring pre-game interviews with Sean Fazende and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and linebacker Demario Davis along with analysis from hosts Juan Kincaid and former Saints linebacker Pat Swilling from the Fox-8 studios. A half-hour pregame show will follow with analysis from Kincaid and Swilling, as well as a visit to the booth with Meyers, Stinchcomb and Vilma.
SPECIAL GUESTS: On Wednesday prior to practice, former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, who is a member of the team's Hall of Fame, will be signing for fans from 9 a,m. to 10 a.m. Over seven seasons (2000-06) with New Orleans, Horn appeared in 102 games and started all but two of those contests. He finished his Saints career with 523 receptions, 7,622 yards (14.6 avg.) and 50 touchdowns. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four out of his seven years with the Saints (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004), and set single-season franchise records for receiving yards (1,399), and receiving touchdowns (11-shared with Marques Colston) as well as the career franchise record for receiving touchdowns (50, a record surpassed by Colston in 2012). His career-high 1,399 receiving yards in 2004 were the second-most in the NFL that season.
SHAKES ON SHAKES: While the team is hard at work at practice, Director of Sports Nutrition Jamie Meeks and her staff, are blending vegetables, fruits and protein to provide all 90 players with their own custom smoothie after each practice or workout.
FLOTATIONAL THERAPY: The Saints training staff has adopted floatation therapy, as a means to help players relax and recover faster. The sleep pod is likened as a trip back to the womb and entails spending 45 to 60 minutes in a small, pitch-black, soundproof room floating in a pool of body-temperature water that is so fully saturated with Epsom salts (over 1,000 pounds worth to be exact) that you simply float, completely devoid of any outside stimulus. It is also called a sensory deprivation experience. Your body feels suspended in space. This method has been around since the 1950s when neuropsychiatrist John Lilly developed a sensory deprivation tank to experiment with the psychological impacts of sensory deprivation.
STAT OF THE DAY: The Saints defensive front had a stellar 2018 campaign, ranking second in the league in rush defense, allowing only 80.2 rushing yards per game, second only to the Chicago Bears, who ranked first surrendering 80.0 yards per game.
DID YOU KNOW: Second-year defensive end Marcus Davenport has multiple family members from New Orleans including father, Ronald and grandfather Dr. Artis Davenport II, a member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame and the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame for a legendary career as head coach of Southern University of New Orleans' track and field team. Dr. Davenport is a member of the inaugural SUNO Athletic Hall of Fame class, where his men's outdoor teams won NCAA Division III national championships three times, as well as NAIA Division I women's indoor and outdoor championships in 1995 and 1997. Dr. Davenport also coached at Dillard and Alcorn State and served in the United States Army as an infantry officer. Marcus' father served in the Air Force.
THURSDAY: The Saints will hold their final preparations before they face the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, Aug. 9, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.