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WhoDat!656 05-09-2013 05:46 PM

Payton takes unique approach at Saints' rookie camp
 
METAIRIE - When was the last time you heard an NFL coach say he didn't want to partake in practice evaluations?

Meet Sean Payton.

The Saints start a three-day rookie mini-camp Friday at team headquarters, giving Payton and his staff their first opportunity to pick and poke with the fundamentals of No. 1 pick Kenny Vaccaro and his draft brethren As daunting as it will be, Payton has learned not to judge these five practices as much more than a chance to see if the rookies are in shape.

Thanks to veteran receiver Marques Colston. He's one of top receivers in Saints history. In 2006, however, he was just a tall kid drafted 252nd overall out of Hofstra who struggled during his initial practices in black and gold - unlike Mike Hass, a former Oregon State standout and Biletnikoff Award winner as college football's best receiver.

"If you just watch that first rookie camp, you would've had the other player making the team and Marques not," Payton said. "You have to be careful to be patient."

Patient. This weekend might be one of the last times you hear Payton utilize that word.

When it comes to re-shaping a slumping NFL franchise after a year away, Payton has little patience. He waited all last season, separated from the franchise he led to a Super Bowl XLIV victory transform into one of the league's biggest disappointments, its defense one of the worst in NFL history.

Like it or not, the early transition from the NCAA to the NFL takes time, and some need more time than others. This early mini-camp, away from the veterans, allows the Saints to get a true gauge for where they stand. What their strengths and weaknesses are while there's time to improve them without a waiver form and plane ticket home at stake.

They were drafted on potential. Now, let's see if the potential is also a reality of talent.

Now if only the anxiousness of the new setting doesn't affect their plan.

"Man, I was so nervous, so nervous," Saints receiver Lance Moore said, recalling his first rookie mini-camp with the Saints in 2005. "(But) once you get back on the field, it's right back to football. I had a great time."

Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus made the Saints roster during the strike-shortened offseason of 2011.

"It was exhilarating " he said of his first Saints practices. "I was nervous, even though it was just practice. I was like excited."

"It was a challenge, but if you take the challenge of getting better every day, you'll have the best shot of making the team."

Don't forget about the New Orleans weather in May and beyond.

"I couldn't breathe out here," remembered Saints running back Pierre Thomas, a Chicago native who played college football at Illinois. "That's a good memory right there! Took me awhile to get used to this humidity."

Moore, Thomas and Abdul-Quddus serve as examples that should motivate this rookie crop. All three were undrafted rookie free agents that proved to be too good to cut.

Who will make the cut this summer?

Read more here: Payton takes unique approach at Saints' rookie camp | New Orleans Saints | The Sun Herald

Rugby Saint II 05-09-2013 07:24 PM

Re: Payton takes unique approach at Saints' rookie camp
 
They talked about everything Saints except Payton not evaluating players. :roll:

SaintsBro 05-09-2013 08:23 PM

Re: Payton takes unique approach at Saints' rookie camp
 
"If you just watch that first rookie camp, you would've had the other player making the team and Marques not," Payton said. "You have to be careful to be patient."

"watch that first rookie camp" = sure sounds like evaluating players to me.

homerj07 05-09-2013 09:36 PM

Re: Payton takes unique approach at Saints' rookie camp
 
I think they are looking for intangibles in players. General character, intelligence, personality, athletic ability. Etc. if they have all,of these I bet the coaches feel they can work on football skills

FinSaint 05-09-2013 11:21 PM

Re: Payton takes unique approach at Saints' rookie camp
 
The title is a bit misleading for sure, but it's good to hear that they won't be making too drastic decisions based on the first impressions - maybe that's the reason why they've been successful in finding good UDFAs in the past.


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