Metairie, La. - Friday's training camp crowd of 2,613 may have shown up to see Sean Payton and Drew Brees reunited at practice but the defense stole the show.
Defensive lineman Cam Jordan addressed the media afterward. Here is that conversation, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
A lot of attention has been paid to the guys competing for the linebacker positions, but this could be a big year for you. Do you feel like you are prepared for this upcoming season playing a slightly different position and had a really good offseason?
"Without a doubt. OTAs have given me a little taste of what we need to do with our defense. I'm glad that happened. I feel a little bit more comfortable with the defense. Of course there is still a lot to learn, and I am looking forward to it."
How did the first day go?
"The first day, you try and train as hard as you can. Coming from Arizona, we get (to) 105°. I think we even reached up to 118°. We were pretty hot, needless to say. I thought I got some serious work in, but then you come out here and you get a gut check with this humidity. You can't really train for that, but I definitely think that the team is more prepared than they have been these past couple of years, since I have been on the team, and I am really excited about the season to come."
How important is it to get success, even though it is at practice, for this defense?
"Even though it is just practice, we have to translate that to the gametime and game field situations. I think if this is going to show anything about it, I think we have a lot of talent and can make a lot of plays happen."
Did you see Keenan Lewis's nice interception today?
"I saw that. Keenan is a truly a ball hawk, and I am glad he is on our team."
How is it working with Rob Ryan, your new defensive coordinator to go with Joe Vitt, the assistant head coach/linebackers? What kind of critiques are Rob, Joe and the defensive staff making?
"That's interesting. They are full of energy, and passionate about what they do. It is always great to have that collide, and just matriculate down to us."
What is the best thing you have seen in this marriage?
"You are going to get two stories. Rob definitely has a lot of stories to tell, and, of course, Joe Vitt is the storyteller. He has so much history and so much knowledge, and he is able to encompass life, as we know it, and relate it to us."
How comfortable are you in the 3-4 defensive end role?
"I would like to say that I am pretty comfortable. Although, as you have seen, even though (I) play both sides of the ball, I am more comfortable on the left side. I am getting more comfortable on the right side and working on that side."
How was it having Sean Payton back at training camp?
"I could feel that the moment he came back, when we switched up our training (and) conditioning style. I don't know if you guys heard, but it was a monster, and I think that is going to set the tone for this camp."
What did they add this year to the conditioning test?
"Well, they threw away the old conditioning test (laughing). It was a completely new test. That's one for the ages, what we did yesterday (was different). JV (Jonathan Vilma) will probably tell you more about that."
How do you feel about the defensive line, overall?
"There is a lot of weight on the d-line this year. There are a lot of big boys, a lot of big men. What is so great about it is that everybody can move. Everyone is pretty nimble on their feet. That is what I am most excited about."
Can you compare practicing with this defense, as opposed to last year?