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Emmitt Smith Believes Saints Veterans 'Extremely Important'

Emmitt Smith believes that continuity with the Saints' veteran players is "extremely important" for new head coach Dennis Allen.

The New Orleans Saints are in a transition phase after Sean Payton's sudden departure as head coach. Emmitt Smith, three-time Super Bowl champion and NFL all-time leading rusher, believes that continuity with the Saints' veteran players is "extremely important" for new head coach Dennis Allen.

"With the new coach coming in, players got to now buy into this new system. With the system come new changes and new changes create anxiety, stress, and uncertainty," Smith said.

After Smith and the Dallas Cowboys won their second-consecutive Super Bowl ring (1993,1994), Jerry Jones' and Jimmie Johnson's egos seemingly fractured a dynasty in Big D. However, veterans like Aikman, Smith, Irvin, Charles Haley, Deion Sanders, and Nate Newton stabilized the team and recaptured a Super Bowl ring in 1996.

Smith pointed out, "It's more important to have a veteran cohesive offense, defense, and special teams staff. Because if the philosophy doesn't change, then the players have less things to adjust to; if the philosophy changes. Now players got to make different types of adjustments. If the systems are changing, players got to make different types of adjustments. And it's those adjustments."

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General manager Mickey Loomis wisely brokered deals during the offseason and revised contracts to keep several vital veterans with the team. Plus, the return of injured veterans, QB Jameis Winston, WR Michael Thomas, and K Wil Lutz, will help provide the continuity Smith referred to in our conversation.

Another smart move was to retain offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. No one - other than perhaps Drew Brees - had a more intimate knowledge of Sean Payton's offensive scheme and philosophy than Carmichael. Thus, the transition won't be completely brand new in New Orleans for the players and staff.

Smith understands how the new adjustments can affect the "timing, confidence, and chemistry" of a team, but with the Saints veterans, "professionalism is going to be there."

"When preseason begins, that's when continuity starts. The general makeup of what the team is going to look like. New guys coming in, some older guys going out. Who's working as hard as the veteran? Who the veteran can trust? That's what you start to look for once you get into training camp. Because all this hard work and training is over, it's time to put this stuff into action now," Smith exclaimed.

SNN's John Hendrix wrote that Dennis Allen confirmed "100 percent attendance" from Saints players at the mandatory minicamp. Expect additional player tryouts and signings to happen before New Orleans gets hot and rolling at training camp in August.

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