New Orleans Saints training camp: Don’t read into everything you hear
By John Hendrix
New Orleans Saints training camp took a break today, as the team rests after five days of practice. The team uses two sessions daily, with the emphasis being in the mornings when the Saints have pads and contact. The second session in the afternoon is regarded more as a walkthrough.
Many things have come out through five days of training camp, which provides plenty of hysteria and anxiety to many. Fans tend to pass their own judgement after hearing negative things. On the other hand, some are also quick to crown the team champions so to speak after hearing about the positives.
What am I trying to say? Be cautious of what you’ve seen and heard up to this point. Why? It’s been five days. You can’t exactly formulate a solid opinion on someone based off a short time frame.
Yes, it’s extremely encouraging to hear about young players like Brandon Coleman, Bobby Richardson, and Stephone Anthony elevating their game and looking great in practice. It’s even more encouraging to hear someone like Akiem Hicks, who was one of the many players to have a very disappointing season last year, slimming down and getting after the passer early.
On the flip side, making too much out of the struggles of rookies Andrus Peat and Garrett Grayson seem to be a bit farfetched. A rookie often struggles to adapt in the NFL, especially early on. Just look at Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston. Winston threw three interceptions on Monday’s session. Is there concern? Naturally. However, based off of just a few practice sessions, it’s pointless to say that Winston was a wasted pick and will just ‘bust’ this year.
Also, Jairus Byrd missing in action does raise a concern, but I’ve seen so many saying that he’s a free agent bust, and that the team should have never shelled out the money for him. That isn’t exactly fair for a player recovering from a very serious injury that hasn’t even been a year.
As far as the good positive things we’ve heard, remember last year’s debacle? All you heard about during last season’s training camp sessions were how good the Saints defense was looking and that they frustrated Drew Brees a lot. Also, they generated a fair amount of turnovers. That didn’t pan out so well during the regular season, as injuries plagued them and their 31st ranked finish spoke for itself.
On good showings, I’m reminded of a player like Adrian Arrington. Arrington was promising in training camp, and stood out more than a few times during numerous practices and sessions. Each time, it seemed like it was ‘his year’. However, Arrington had a bad case of the injury bug, and bounced around the practice squad a lot. He was good in camp, but it wasn’t enough to make the final squad.
In a nutshell, practicing so well is a great thing for the New Orleans Saints. Continuity and consistency is exactly what you want to see out of a 7-9 club. However, this team must show it on the real field when it counts most.
Training camp picks back up tomorrow at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.