METAIRIE, LA – The New Orleans Saints concluded their first week of 2010 OTAs today at the club's practice facility. Tuesday's workout marked the first time the club's roster and coaches stepped back on the field together since celebrating the Super Bowl XLIV victory at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Part of Payton's message to his team recently, among several other traditional topics, has been discussing the distractions and pitfalls that surround teams in their attempts to repeat.
Payton and his staff have reviewed the results of recent NFL and other professional sports teams following championship seasons. The last NFL team to win two consecutive Super Bowls was the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots, the most recent back to back champions in any sport.
"That was the first topic we brought up in the offseason program, history as it pertains to winning a championship, what are the challenges and trying to identify them and then as coaches and players and a group collectively of battling that challenge," said Payton. "That's the thing that gets your blood going a little bit and getting you excited about the upcoming year is knowing that it's been difficult. I think we have a smart enough locker room to understand the challenges and it will be another season."
WRs WORK AWAY: With the injury-related absences from on-field work of Devery Henderson (sports hernia) and Robert Meachem (toe), other members of the Saints wide receiver corps have received extended opportunities at the OTAs.
While Marques Colston and Lance Moore take their usual snaps, WR Courtney Roby, who has primarily served as a return specialist during his tenure in New Orleans, came up big in seven-on-seven drills with a 20-yard reception from QB Drew Brees in the corner of the end zone. Another player who has seen an increase in reps is second-year wideout Rod Harper, who saw his regular season in 2009 wiped out by a season-ending foot injury.
GETTING BACK TO WORK: Brees did not have much rust to shake off during passing drills and team drills. In addition to the aforementioned throw to Roby, he completed passes to wideouts, running backs and tight ends at a high percentage. Despite the multitude of award ceremonies and personal engagements befitting a Super Bowl MVP, Brees has clearly put the accolades on the front burner with a new season on the horizon.
"By no means can we relax and think we're entitled to anything," said the signal caller. "What you have to understand is we are building a new team and it is a new year. I look at our team and I think, I don't see any reason why they can't do it again. But that doesn't mean people are going to lie down for us."
GOING CAMPING: While many players will be resting and preparing for the upcoming minicamp on June 4-6, Saints RB Reggie Bush will host his second-annual youth football camp next week from June 1-2 at Tulane University.
The two-day clinic will feature a selection of the top prep and collegiate coaches from the New Orleans area providing pointers, while Bush will be on site to direct the activities of the camp and provide instruction. The camp will be open to boys and girls ages 7 to 14
Limited space is available and registration is due by June 30. More details and the registration form can be accessed at www.reggiebushcamp.com.
Bush, who has enjoyed his healthiest off-season in three years, has been able to take the focus off of rehabilitation, while concentrating on explosion and his skill set said that he is going to travel to South Africa following the conclusion of the offseason program to attend the World Cup. He plans to catch the United States in action at least once.
OTA BITS: For the first time this week, the Saints held their OTA in the indoor practice facility…Payton confirmed that Malcolm Jenkins has been working at the free safety position in workouts … CB Jabari Greer made an impressive deflection of a pass intended for rookie TE Jimmy Graham in one-on-one drills … Graham later rebounded with a touchdown red zone grab from Chase Daniel in seven-on-seven drills … LB Marvin Mitchell also had an interception during seven-on-sevens...The 2010 rookie class along with undrafted free agents attended the annual Touchdown Club of New Orleans Crawfish Boil at Kenner's Ponchatrain Center on Wednesday night. Payton spoke to the crowd of nearly a thousand fans and introduced the newest Saints.