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Training Camp

New Orleans Saints keeping eye on storms amid preparations

Team could practice at indoor facility, but may be forced to move training camp

With two storms rapidly approaching the Gulf South – Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura – and poised to make landfall in Southeast Louisiana possibly Monday and Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints have had to implement a possible evacuation plan.

The team's first option is to remain in Louisiana and practice at its indoor facility at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. But if weather conditions make that impossible, with power outages and flooded streets, the Saints may have to relocate training camp for several days.

"We're going to meet, get an update relative to both of these storms and then begin to put a plan together, whether it's here or at a satellite location," Coach Sean Payton said Sunday morning, following the team's sixth camp practice.

"Here, we've got to look closely where generators are, how it affects our facility, how it affects the indoor facility, when would the Superdome be ready with their turf surface. So, really two options. One, obviously, being here and how are we impacted here potentially with the power outages. And then, two, in the event that we would want to move or have to move, Plan B."

Plan B reportedly would involve relocating to Indianapolis.

DADDY HILL: Quarterback Taysom Hill was excused from practice Friday and Saturday as his wife, Emily, delivered their first child – a son, named Beau Nixon Hill – on Saturday. Hill returned to practice Sunday, which also was his 30th birthday. Payton offered a playful jab regarding the return. "I'm sure his last 48 hours – probably, he didn't get a lot of sleep," Payton said. "I told him today, I said, 'Listen, you're practicing a little bit like you delivered the baby, but it was your wife.' There'll be some film for him to clean up some things, but it was good to have him back out there."

HAIL CESAR: For everyone who wanted to know when first-round draft pick Cesar Ruiz would get some snaps at center, Sunday became the day – at least, the first day he'd done so in front of assembled media. Ruiz mainly has been playing right guard, with Erik McCoy – last year's top pick and the starter at center all of 2019 – snapping the ball with the starters. Both players are capable of playing center or guard, but Ruiz did not have an offseason program with the team that he could use for preparation. "Our plan was to, every second or third day, make a flip there," Payton said. "There was a couple of snaps today where, relative to the running game, that (Ruiz) can clean up, shotgun snaps. But we'll look at the film and take a peek at it. We wanted to do that with he and Erik, and both of them are smart enough and good enough players where they can handle a switch like that during a couple-day stretch."

GOOD DAY: It doesn't take long to notice Jameis Winston's ability to throw. Sunday, he made several notable passes – including one to the back right corner of the end zone to Lil'Jordan Humphrey, tightly covered, on a two-on-two drill inside the 10-yard line, and a deep completion to Bennie Fowler III (at least 50 yards in the air) in a team drill. The unrestricted free agent hasn't been perfect, but he has made some big-time throws. Payton said he also has been impressed with Winston's mobility. "He made a few plays in the red zone today. He can climb in the pocket, I'd say he's got fairly quick feet. I'm pleased with how he's progressed. He had a good practice today. A very good practice."

OFF DAYS: Quarterback Drew Brees and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk enjoyed rest days Sunday (though Brees' rest day included attending practice). Running back Alvin Kamara was excused due to a stomach virus.

Check out photos from Sunday, Aug. 23 at Saints Training Camp as New Orleans continues their preparations for the 2020 NFL season.

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