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New Orleans Saints emphasize more situational football in Saturday's training camp practice

'Sometimes, you might go three years before one of them comes up'

The New Orleans Saints take the field on August 21, 2021 for Saints Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

There aren't many situations that can occur in games that the New Orleans Saints haven't seen and addressed in practice, and Saturday's training camp work at the team's indoor facility was another occasion for it to run through scenarios that might be encountered often, or maybe not at all for several seasons.

"We hit third down, we hit red area," Coach Sean Payton said. "We hit a couple of kicking situations that come up periodically. Spontaneous third down, no-brainer freeze, fourth-and-short. We had a number of them, really.

"You don't know what game – sometimes, you might go three years before one of them comes up. And then, there are other situations that come up at least every other week. But overall, we got a lot of good snaps just relative to the practice. It was good work."

Among those working for the second consecutive practice were new additions Aldrick Rosas and Jeff Heath, a kicker and safety.

Rosas has spent time with the Titans, Giants and Jaguars organizations and was added to the roster following injuries to Wil Lutz and Brett Maher. The previous three teams all have outdoor stadiums.

"I think it's a great opportunity," he said. "Being with Jacksonville last year just kind of got me back into the loop of things. Wil being hurt, I thought it'd been good to come in. It's a great organization, a great team. I think it's a great chance to be here.

"I think taking the weather out of it, yeah, you can definitely track the ball a little better, correct your lines a little better when the ball's not going where you want it to. I just started in the Superdome (on Friday) for the first time, it's a beautiful place and I'm excited to play."

Rosas, who's 6 feet 3, 221 pounds, has made 70 of 86 career field goal attempts.

"He's got a live leg," Payton said. "He's got real good leg strength. The ball gets up right away. It was his first exposure and overall, I think he was solid. But he's got a strong leg. You see that."

Heath played seven seasons with the Cowboys, and was with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. This year, he said, was the first in perhaps 20 years that he didn't have a team at the beginning of camp. While the negative was the feeling of falling behind, he said the positive was the extra time he was able to spend at home with his family.

Heath also was subjected Friday to the initiation process for Saints defensive players: 40 up-downs.

"It was rough," he said, smiling. "It was a long day (Friday), too. I mean, we had physicals and workout. It was a long day, started really early and then that was the nightcap, the 40 up-downs. Guys were telling me about that during the day and I thought they were joking, and then I really had to do it. I don't know if I was mentally ready for that, but I got through it.

"I saw everyone kind of huddled up and I didn't know if he was going to introduce me to the guys, 'Hey, we got a new guy.' He just kind of told me, 'Hey, man, we weren't joking, you've got to do 40 up-downs.' (I said) all right, let's do it."

Joining the Saints reunites Heath with secondary coach Kris Richard, who was Dallas' defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator in 2018-19.

"I love Coach Richard," he said. "I played with him for a few years in Dallas. I love his energy. I love him as a person first and foremost. I think he's a great coach, so I've enjoyed being around him. Just excited to be reunited with him, as well as the other coaches and all the players. But it is nice having a familiar face."

QB ROTATION: Payton already has said that Jameis Winston will start Monday's preseason game against Jacksonville, and Taysom Hill will follow in the rotation. From there, Trevor Siemian will take the next phase. Payton said he hopes to have all four quarterbacks play.

"There's a chance we will," he said. "There's a chance we will, but I want to definitely get a chance to see Trevor play, and then we'll see if we're able to get Ian (Book) in at the end."

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