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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; METAIRIE, La. --The voice of New Orleans Saints rookie wide receiver Robert Meachem resonated much differently from almost two weeks ago when he discussed how his on-the-field workouts went. The No. 27 overall pick in April's NFL draft dropped some ...

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Old 05-23-2007, 08:03 AM   #1
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More OTA information...

METAIRIE, La. --The voice of New Orleans Saints rookie wide receiver Robert Meachem resonated much differently from almost two weeks ago when he discussed how his on-the-field workouts went.

The No. 27 overall pick in April's NFL draft dropped some pounds and made it through the first of the Saints' 12 organized team activities virtually pain-free Tuesday morning.

He still received some typical rookie criticism from coach, but also displayed his 4.3 speed during some of the drills he participated in. Meachem said he weighed in Tuesday at 218 pounds and would like to trim 10 pounds more.

Meachem tweaked his left ankle midway through rookie minicamp, but it didn't appear to hamper his movement.

"I've been having to ride the bike for... 30 minutes a day (also exercising in the pool)," Meachem said. "I've dropped a lot of weight. I dropped almost 11 pounds the first day."

Saints coach Sean Payton said he already noticed a difference in the way the rookies acclimated to the experienced players following the rookie minicamp nearly two weeks ago.

Shop talk with some of the veterans during practice was difficult to come by on the practice field. It wasn't because the veterans wanted no part of the rookies. In his typical fashion, animated wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson didn't let up on the newbie receivers long enough for them to possibly think about conversing with others.

"When I don't understand something, sometimes coach will be yelling at somebody else, so I ask one of the veterans, 'what should you do on this certain route?'

" Meachem said.

Meachem said that's the first progression for the former Tennessee receiver and the rest of the rookie class.

"It was a big step because you were out there with the veterans," Meachem said. "The most thing you really want to do is you want to get that respect and once you get that respect the sky's the limit for you."

Nearly full house - Organized team activities for the Saints are supposed to be a voluntary thing. It didn't appear that way as the team began the first of its 12 OTA sessions on Tuesday.

With the exception of a rookie here or there, just about everyone took part; 83 of the 90 players on the roster went through the workout.

Safety Steve Gleason (knee) and linebacker Alfred Fincher (thigh) watched from the sidelines. New middle linebacker Brian Simmons saw limited action as he attempts to return from a knee injury he suffered last season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

"(Simmons) is progressing," Payton said. "I just think this is the time of year, even in the case of Gleason and Fincher, that these guys are 100 percent before they get out there too early. A year ago at this time, we had a number of guys who weren't able to participate because of injury.

"I'm pleased with where we're at from a rehab standpoint. Every season you go through a bunch of postseason procedures and our guys have done a good job of coming back from that. Scottie (Patton, Saints trainer) and his crew and the doctors are getting these guys ready."

Fourth-round draft picks running back Antonio Pittman and tackle Jermon Bushrod were both excused for school obligations. Free-agent rookie kicker Bret Bergstrom and linebacker Desmond Sims were also excused.

Injury front looking up - Safety Roman Harper and defensive end Rob Ninkovich were near full speed as both work their way back from ACL injuries. Neither player wore anything on their surgically repaired knees and both participated in every drill.

"It's all mental," Harper said. "I never rehabbed with one on so I'm just used to not wearing one. So this is just how I've been doing it."

Harper didn't want to put a percentage on his health; Ninkovich said he's about 90-95 percent back to speed.

"I had a goal to be back with the team for offseason training once I got hurt," Ninkovich said. "When they all came back, I started working and I was pretty much finished with my rehab. It's a great thing to be back."

No worries about possible changes - A possible 17th game on the league schedule and shortening the time between draft picks during the first two rounds of the draft are two of the numerous things on the spring owners' meeting agenda in Nashville, Tenn., this week.

Payton didn't have any major problem with either proposition.

"I think the powers that be have done a real good job with our sport," Payton said. "We've kind of thrived off those decisions. So whether or not there's a 17th game, they'll make the right decision. ... (Shortening the time in the draft) might alter the amount of trades that would take place. But one way or the other I think it will be fine."

http://www.sunherald.com/sports/story/60222.html

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Old 05-23-2007, 04:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by biloxi-indian View Post
Injury front looking up - Safety Roman Harper and defensive end Rob Ninkovich were near full speed as both work their way back from ACL injuries. Neither player wore anything on their surgically repaired knees and both participated in every drill.

"It's all mental," Harper said. "I never rehabbed with one on so I'm just used to not wearing one. So this is just how I've been doing it."

Harper didn't want to put a percentage on his health; Ninkovich said he's about 90-95 percent back to speed.
That sounds great to me. Looks like both of them will be back well in time for the trainingcamp.
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