Postcard from camp: Saints
The Saints hold camp at their headquarters in Metairie, La., which is about seven miles northwest of downtown New Orleans. Unsurprisingly, their immediate environs reflect the joie de vie of team and town. Next-door neighbors include the town's minor league baseball team, the Zephyrs, and a Budweiser distribution plant. The convivial confines would seem to give the Saints a built-in excuse to kick back and
1. The Saints offense can improve. Now, you wouldn't think that given how off the charts the unit was in '09, when it led the league in yards (403.8 per game) and points (510). But quarterback
He underscored his commitment to perfection in Monday's practice. After the morning session ended 25 minutes early, Brees stayed on the field to get in some extra work with his receivers -- all of whom were in pads for the first time since the beginning of training camp. Among the returnees was
In his first practice as a Saint, Betts caught a few passes in warm-ups, but was otherwise was a pad-less spectator. He showed no hitch in his surgically repaired left knee, which he blew out 10 games into the '09 season. "I felt pretty good running and cutting out there," said Betts, who's eager to reprise his '06 form, when he also led the Redskins in rushing (with 1,154 yards). "I am not sure when I will play; it's up to the coaches. Once they see what I can do, I am sure they will use me to my strengths."
Last year Hargrove approached career highs in tackles (30), sacks (five) and set a personal best in fumble recoveries (three). Williams thinks Hargrove can post even better numbers now that he understands his assignments in this defense. "He really didn't know how to play [defensive tackle] last year, but he played hard and tough," said Williams, who'll be leaning heavily on Hargrove to help stiffen New Orleans' limp run defense. "Now with a year underneath his belt and the whole offseason to develop, he's already playing much smarter and with better anticipation."
Show me a team with an elite quarterback, and I'll show you backup who would put that team in a world of trouble if the guy ahead of him got hurt. In particular, three of the league's top five offenses -- Indianapolis, Houston and New England -- would be significantly worse off if their young backups (
Say this for newbie corner
If that sounds harsh, you should hear the things Williams says to Robinson, a first rounder pick out of Florida State, out of microphone-shot. "Behind the scenes he gets it every second of every day," said Williams, adding that he partly blasts Robinson to steel his psyche. Since his public polemic, Williams has been pleased with the maturity he's seen out of Robinson, who'd later call the tough love constructive. Robinson showed more unflappability in an 11-on-11 drill Tuesday, returning an interception by third-string quarterback
Speaking of Porter, the third-year corner limited his haircut game to a basic fade for camp. The 'do is a far cry from the grand tonsorial statement he made before the Super Bowl, when he had images of the Lombardi Trophy and the Superdome
Still, he might not have passed for Moses if his barber had done a better job of playing
1. Stillman rookie defensive end
2. Through five camps and too many practices to count, I can easily say that the best catch I've seen all summer was the left-handed grab
3. Sean Payton canceled afternoon practice on Monday to take his team to see
4. Leave it to