8:50 am. - Practice 1
The Saints officially opened their training camp at 8:50 a.m. on Friday when they headed out to the practice field at their facility in Metairie. More than 2,000 fans and 50 media members battled the intense 98 heat index and 86 degree weather to observe the defending Super Bowl Champions* *
- No one excited the fans more on the first day than WR Lance Moore.The fifth-year veteran made a plethora of highlight catches throughout the practice.
- Moore made easily the play of the day with about 20 minutes left in practice. Brees fired a bullet high above the five-foot-nine Moore's head. Moore leaped and snatched the ball at the same time S Malcolm Jenkinsundercut Moore causing him to flip. Moore fell on his front side but still maintained possession sending the fans in an uproar."I'm just glad I caught the ball," said Moore. "We're just competing and things like that are going to happen. Guys are going to fall and get hit but we look out for each other."
- The day was extra special for Moore after he sat nine games of the 2009 regular season due to hamstring and ankle injuries. "I don't want to be forgotten and I don't want to be the lost guy in the rotation," said Moore. "I have to show up every single day – no off days."
Ramsey embraces his role
Sporting a No. 11 jersey, newly acquired quarterback Patrick Ramseyparticipated in his first practice with the Saints and took snaps with the second-team offense.
"Drew can set the bar so high here," said Ramsey. "Right now, I am really focused on getting the offense and playing the position well. He sets the bar so high you have to try to compete with him. Certainly, he is the Super Bowl champion and the Super Bowl MVP. I am here to help him out. I am here to run this offense effectively when I get the opportunities but no doubt if I am in there, I am driving his boat."
Thomas and Bush Make Presence
- The Saints' top two running backs, Pierre Thomasand Reggie Bush,showed little rust from the long offseason.
- On the first play of the team's run drills, Thomas ran over*SRoman Harper causing a loud roar from the crowd and a few "DEUCCCE!" chants acknowledging the bulldozing run style of former saints greatDeuce McAllister.*
- Bush showcased his famous quickness and outside speed throughout the run drills and took on a number of defenders fighting for extra yardage.
- Saints first round draft pick Patrick Robinson, who agreed to terms with the Saints late Wednesday night, arrived at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility at 8:45 a.m., made it to the first practice and did participate.
- The veterans didn't cut Robinson any slack as the newcomer from Florida State carried S Usama Young'sand CB Jabari Greer's shoulder pads. "(Robinson) is a good guy but we did it to him because we got it done to us," said Young. "I remember coming in and holding on to Mike McKenzieand Jason Craft's stuff. You got to take it and understand everyone else did it."
Rookies Get Their First Taste
- With DB Patrick Robinson agreeing to terms on the eve of camp, all seven rookies participated in Friday morning's practice.
- Rookie TE Jimmy Grahamsaid he was excited to be at his first training camp and that the intense heat made the University of Miami (Fla.) graduate feel right at home.
- Graham went out of his way to compliment fellow former Hurricanes TE Jeremy Shockeyfor the support he has offered through camp, calling him a "great mentor" and "someone who always has my back.
- Fourth-round pick DT Al Woodssaid he welcomed the heat as well after growing up in Jennings, La. and attending LSU. "It has been great and I am having a blast," said Woods. "I am trying to help them to another championship. I want to help the best way I can. I am just carrying other people's pads and paying my dues. I am just doing what a rookie is supposed to do."
High Praise for Vilma
- Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williamsis considered one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. So Williams caught the ear of large media gathering when he spoke at length about his respect for LB Jonathan Vilma."(Vilma) is unbelievable, excellent," said Williams. "To date, I have not had a middle linebacker be a better quarterback of our defense than London Fletcher –Jonathan Vilma is breathing down London's neck and London is phenomenal."
Jenkins' Safe Move
- Malcolm Jenkinsexperienced his first training camp practice as a safety and said he is enjoying the new role. "Yesterday was about knocking the cobwebs out a little bit and getting your mind right," said Jenkins. "Today was all about practicing and competing."
Fans Arrive Early and in Full Force
- Hundreds of Saints fans arrived early at the New Orleans Saints training Facility for the first day of training camp.
- The first fan in line said he arrived at the complex at 2 a.m. He was rewarded for his dedication as an unknown player who drove by and saw the fan, tossed him an official NFL football and gave him thumbs up.
Benson Praises Fans
- Saints Owner/President Tom Bensoncircled and waved to the fans prior to the start of practice. "This is great. (Fans) are not just excited, they are really into it," said Benson.
"Chucky" in the house
- ESPN analyst and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden was on hand to shoot a piece for ESPN that will air in the near future.
- Saints head coach Sean Paytonand Gruden are close friends and New Orleans' lead man said in his book "HOME TEAM" that Gruden, then the Eagles offensive coordinator, was instrumental in getting him his first NFL job as the Eagles quarterbacks coach.
- Although they are not able to participate in team drills, the four Saints players listed on the Active Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list - S Darren Sharper, WR Robert Meachem, WR Marques Colston, LB Clint Ingram – were on the practice field and in uniform minus their helmet. The four Saints observed practice and ran some routes but did not participate in the team drills.
Quotes of the Day
- Saints head coach Sean Paytonon when he knows it is too hot to practice outside. "When the gum starts melting in your pocket."
- A funny fan interaction occurred at the start of the team's first stretch when a fan tried to get the attention of LB Jonathan Vilma. "Hey Vilma! It wasn't Drew Breesor (Tracy) Porter's interception that won the Super Bowl – it was your hustle! All you baby!" The always-focused Brees was within earshot and couldn't help but crack a smile.
- Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williamson Jonathan Vilma. "Make no bones about it - Jonathan Vilma is our Drew Brees. Jonathan Vilma runs our defense."