Now that some of the clutter has been removed, quarterback Derek Carr can get down to the real business at hand during New Orleans Saints training camp.
Namely, he can let loose after having arrived at a level of comfort with his command of the offense.
"I just want to compete now," Carr said Wednesday, following New Orleans' first camp practice. "I feel, it's not a new language now. It's my language, it's our language. So I'm just trying to be that leader, be that quarterback position that they can look to me when they're tired, they can look to me when it's hard – even if I screw it up, they can still look to me.
"Just build that comradery and that leadership within our team, to know that trust and respect is mutual with everybody. And compete.
"That's what we're here to do – we're here to compete, we're here to beat the defense every day, until we get to play somebody else. And hopefully they don't get us, but if they do, we come back the next day (and) we get them again. Just that mentality to not stop, is really probably the main goal for all of us as an offense. And reps together. The more reps that we can get with everybody in that huddle, the better I think that we can be."
Coach Dennis Allen said the team's retention from offseason workouts to training camp was satisfactory.
"I think the first thing you want to do is, you want to get out here and see how much retention there is from what we were able to get accomplished in the spring," he said. "And I thought overall, it was solid in that area.
"A lot of this is kind of the ramp-up period, making sure that guys are in really good shape for the time that we put the pads on and we really start practicing. It's not until next week that we really get into the grind of training camp.
"The biggest thing in training camp really is, there's no light at the end of the tunnel right now. It's pitch black. Guys just need to put their head down, come to work every single day, focus on what they need to get better at and if you do that and trust in that process, the results come."
Carr's grasp of the offense has been a bright spot. The 10-year veteran, who signed with the Saints as an unrestricted free agent, played in a similar offense for the Raiders.
"I think it's just really taking command of the offense," Allen said. "Being able to get in the huddle, get the play called, get the guys out of the huddle, get them lined up, execute the proper play, make the right reads, make the right checks, all those kinds of things. And he's been outstanding thus far in that regard."
That process began in the spring and for Carr, it rolled right into the beginning of training camp. Now, it's all about competing.
"Good start," Carr said. "Meetings were great last night, everybody was out there so that was fun. OTAs and minicamp, we didn't have the full arsenal of everybody but having everybody out there today, seeing them in the huddle, getting reps with them, throwing them the ball, calling plays with the O-line, felt good to have that group and hopefully we can just build on it."
The New Orleans Saints took the field for workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Wednesday, July 26.