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Saints Ota Start Off Smooth............

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; OTAs Are Underway by Dave Lawrence, NewOrleansSaints.com May 22, 2007 – 5:30 pm The sounds of football were out in force at the Saints' training facility Tuesday as the full team convened for the first day of Offseason Training Activities ...

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Old 05-23-2007, 12:21 AM   #1
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Saints Ota Start Off Smooth............

OTAs Are Underway
by Dave Lawrence, NewOrleansSaints.com
May 22, 2007 – 5:30 pm

The sounds of football were out in force at the Saints' training facility Tuesday as the full team convened for the first day of Offseason Training Activities (OTAs). Head Coach Sean Payton put his players through the paces as the squad hit the practice field for the first time since the conclusion of the 2006 season.

From whistles blowing to coaches barking out instructions to Drew Brees stepping under center and calling out signals, the Louisiana air was filled with noises indicating the team was back to work.

Payton was pleased with the effort put forth by his players in the first of the 12 OTA sessions to take place over the next few weeks.

"It was our first organized team activity and by and large I think it went pretty well," the coach said. "The weather was good, we were a little bit ahead of schedule, and I thought the tempo was good.

"It's always good to get back on the field and get involved in practice and coaching. Starting with all the little things it gives you an opportunity to detail all the things you want to correct from last year and introduce your scheme. It's always good this time of the year to do that."

The pace of the practice was thanks partially in part to the players being in good shape following seven weeks in strength and conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple's conditioning program.

"Dan and his staff have done a great job of working these guys both from the weights standpoint and the conditioning standpoint and it's evident when you watch a practice like this and see where they're at," added Payton.

Running back Deuce McAllister was glad to be back on the field with his teammates, even if it doesn't seem like all that long ago the season was wrapping up in January.

"It seems like there's never enough time off," McAllister said. "That's the way it is with the offseason program after playing in the postseason, but that's a good thing. If we could have that every year with the offseason getting shorter and shorter, that means you're playing in the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl. But it was good to get back out there and be around the guys."

One player who didn't appear to have missed a beat from a standout performance in 2006 was Brees. He zipped passes all over the field and appeared to be in mid-season form with some of the completions he made to Marques Colston and Devery Henderson in seven-on-seven drills.

"It's encouraging because a year ago we were still going through the process of him not being able to throw," said Payton of his Pro Bowl quarterback. "Everything we did with Drew a year ago was more of a walkthrough and it wasn't until training camp that we began to get live throws from him. It's a credit to his timing and the way that he has prepared in the offseason. He's stayed in shape and he came into this OTA today and it obviously wasn't the first time he's thrown. That's a good thing."

The quarterback said it was not by accident that he and his receivers were on the same page at such an early stage of the offseason program.

"We've been doing our throwing sessions twice a week for the last four weeks so we've had some time together," said Brees. "Obviously that has been without any defense but I think you just get to where it's second nature and the guys know the route depths and they know when the ball is coming out of my hand so we can get out there and forget that there's a defense there and just play catch."

After one practice, Brees was already excited about the possibilities for the 2007 Saints offense surpassing some of the gaudy numbers put up last season.

"We have a great group of receivers," the quarterback gushed. "We're already starting to see how it's all going to piece together. I'm excited about our options. Obviously we know what we were able to accomplish last year but I feel like we can still get so much better."

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Old 05-23-2007, 12:40 AM   #2
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well done

Great post bra. I can smell the football already!!!
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