The Saints practiced in the Louisiana Superdome for two hours Tuesday morning. Saints head coach Sean Paytonsaid he wanted to get a practice in at their home stadium to get accustomed to the dome's new turf.
NEXT UP:The Saints will hold joint practices with the Houston Texans over the next two days in preparation for their game on Saturday night at the Superdome. The squads will practice from 8:50 to 11 a.m. and 4:20 to 6 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. The morning sessions are outside and open to the public (weather permitting). The afternoon practices will be indoors and closed to the public.
NEW RB:Payton announced the team has signed RB Ladell Bettsand waived WR Larry Beavers. Betts will wear No. 40 for the Saints. Payton said the former Iowa tailback's experience was something they valued.
"He is someone that we feel has pretty good balance and understands protections well," said Payton. "He worked out well for us. He is coming off an injury so we have to monitor and be smart about how we practice him especially in these next couple of weeks back."
Betts was limited in practice Tuesday and did not wear pads as he is still rehabbing form a knee injury. He will not play against the Texans on Saturday night.
Betts said he was honored to get the call from the Saints and looks forward to playing for the defending Super Bowl champions.
"I felt pretty good running and cutting out there," said Betts. "I am not sure when I will play, it's up the coaches. Once they see what I can do, I am sure they will use me to my strengths."
CASILLAS SITS:LB Jonathan Casillaswas not in pads at the Tuesday's practice. LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar took Casillas spot at the first-team weakside spot during practice. Payton said Casillas only sat out as a precaution.
RETURN OPTIONS:WR Montez Billings,RB Reggie Bush, WR Lance Moore and DB Tracy Porterall*caught punts during special teams drills. In kickoff drills, WRs Billings,Rod Harper, WRCourtney Roby *and Robinson took turns returning kicks.
HEATH'S GROUNDHOG DAY:Early in Tuesday's practice, FB Heath Evanscaught a pass along the left sideline in front of the media contingent that was covering practice.
"Have you ever seen the movie 'Groundhog Day'? That is what my life is like," Evans joked to the media, referring to the rhythmic grind of training camp.
*QB Drew Breesand TE Jeremy Shockeyconnected on a number of impressive completions on Tuesday, including a 25-yard diving reception by the ninth-year tight end during two-minute drills.
*RB Chris Ivoryhad an impressive 20-plus yards run along the right sideline during team drills.
*Brees hit WR Marques Colstonon a perfectly thrown ball 40-yards down the middle of the field during the two-minute drill.
*WR Rod Harpermade a bobbling catch along the right sideline for a 15-yard gain on a pass from Brees in team drills.
*Two days after snatching a pair of interceptions in practice, first-round pick DB Patrick Robinsonrobbed the Saints offense again when he read a QB Chase Danielpass and stepped in front for a interception on the left sideline.