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TallySaint 08-15-2005 06:29 AM

Saints Running Backs Respect New RB Coach (
Updated: Aug. 14, 2005, 3:18 PM ET

Saints running backs respect new RB coach

National Football League News Wire - AP

NEW ORLEANS -- Running back Aaron Stecker didn't know who Johnny Roland was when the Saints hired him from the Green Bay Packers to coach his position. So he got on the Internet, and was wowed.

"I couldn't wait for him to come, because I knew I could learn a lot from a guy who's been around some of the greatest running backs who have ever played," Stecker said. "I was just going to be a sponge and take in all the knowledge and criticism that he had."

Now he and the other running backs are worked to exhaustion with drills focusing on foot movement and hip flexibility. After practice, they're sweat-soaked and noticeably drained.

"Everything is so rapid-fire that you don't get the chance to have a break," Stecker said. "I think that simulates being on the field for a long drive, 12 plays in a row or something."

Roland said, "I told them if they can get through my individual drills, practice is easy."

He spent eight years playing in the NFL, and has coached for 27 years, most of it in the NFL. In addition to the Packers, he has coached the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and Notre Dame.

Perhaps his most notable pupil is Walter Payton.

Story continues...


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