The Saints signed two veteran linebackers, Ramon Humber and Kawika Mitchell, over the past two weeks.
Humber signed with the team on Dec. 1. He played the previous two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and led the team in special teams tackles last season with 17. The North Dakota State alum was placed on injured reserve after a hand injury.
"They have a great group of guys here that pick each other up and make sure we are doing things the right way," said Humber. "They have made me feel welcome and part of the team here."
Mitchell is in his eighth year in the league and signed with the team this past week. He has played for the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs. The South Florida prospect last played for the Bills in 2009 and won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2007.
"It's good to be around the year after a team wins a championship," said Mitchell. "I didn't get to experience that in New York. I could tell right away these guys are serious about their business and they are serious about trying to get another one."
Coach Payton said both newly acquired linebackers will provide depth to the team.
"Humber will help us as a special teams player and Kawika is a player that has a lot of experience and will number one give us depth," said Payton. "We'll look to see as we move forward how we can work him into our various packages. But he's someone with a lot of experience and we felt like his workout was very good."
Huber's locker is right next defensive captain Jonathan Vilma. Huber said No. 51 was been a "good voice" to have nearby.
"He has helped with Gregg (Williams') scheme and letting me know to stay patient," said Humber. "he tells me when my number is called to be ready because you never know when it is going to get called."
Humber said having such a veteran linebacker core led by Vilma and Scott Shanle motivates him on the field.
"This group we have here makes me hungrier to perform," said Humber. "It provides more motivation knowing that they have such an elite set of guys here already."
Both Humber and Mitchell were greeted in their first practice with the team by having to do 40 up-downs with the squad watching and celebrating with them after they complete the "New Saint" task.
Mitchell said he enjoyed the "New Saint" ritual and said he is just ready to contribute.
"We talked about a few things that I could help with but whatever is needed I want to do," said the eight-year veteran. "I worked hard to get here and take advantage of this opportunity."
Even though both linebackers have been with the team for a short time. The duo says they have enjoyed the city of New Orleans as much as they have enjoyed playing for the Saints. Humber said the Crescent City has a great atmosphere, but he has yet to find his favorite place to eat.
"I love everything about it here so far," said Humber. "I haven't found my favorite restaurant yet but I am going to figure that out soon."
Mitchell said just in the week he has been with the Saints, he has learned and preached the team's No. 1 goal.
"I am fortunate to be given this opportunity," said Mitchell. "It was clear cut my first day here of what this team wants and I am looking to do whatever I can to help defend the title."