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BillyCarpenter1 08-14-2003 07:39 AM

Saints return to practice
Saints return to practice

The Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints got back to work on Wednesday with a single practice in what will be a very short week at training camp.

The Saints played their preseason opener Monday night and leave Friday for a Saturday night game in New York with the Jets. That gave them a three-practice week. On Thursday they will practice twice, outdoors at 9 a.m., which will be open to the public, and indoors Thursday night.

Wednesday's practice started outside but was moved into the indoor facility after about 45 minutes because of rain.

"I thought practice was good today, you saw a good tempo," coach Jim Haslett said. "We are trying to simulate game situations."

Haslett was not happy with the tempo of the Saints in the first preseason game.

"We need to get lined up and set on both sides of the ball," Haslett said. "We need to come out and make adjustments and not panic."

The Saints also got some injured players back Wednesday.

Cornerback Dale Carter, defensive end Darren Howard, linebacker Cie Grant and offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley all worked out.


TOUGH TACKLING: The Saints missed 12 tackles in the Monday night game. It was a problem for the team last year as well and will probably always be a problem, Haslett said.

"Tacking is probably the poorest thing in the NFL right now," Haslett said. "You have problems because it's hard to practice live tackling against your own guys."

When he played, Haslett said, there were 130 players in training camp so they tackled in practice. Now there are 80 players in camp and he can't afford to risk injuries.

"We also have salary cap problems," Haslett said. "We never had salary caps when I played. If you lost a body then you could replace it. You can't do that now."


HOME BODIES: The Saints veterans were given their choice this week of staying in the team hotel or staying in their homes for the rest of camp. If that offer had been made in the past when the players were housed in college dorms, they would no doubt have rushed home. But this year there was no mass exodus.

Players who live near camp opted to leave, Haslett said. Those who have any commute stayed put.

"I think only about 10 or 11 guys left," Haslett said.

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