NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-5) OPEN CAMP: July 24, White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia
LAST YEAR: Coach Sean Payton returned from one-year bounty ban and Saints went to playoffs for fourth time in five seasons, also won first road playoff game in franchise history in Philadelphia. Drew Brees eclipsed 5,000 yards passing and passed for at least 39 TDs for third straight season. Rob Ryan joined as defensive coordinator and improved New Orleans' ranking from last to fourth. Saints' season ended in divisional round at eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: S Jairus Byrd; CBs Champ Bailey and Stanley Jean-Baptiste; FB Erik Lorig; C Jonathan Goodwin; WR Brandin Cooks.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: RB Darren Sproles; WR Lance Moore; FB Jed Collins; C Brian De La Puente; DE Will Smith; CB Jabari Greer; Ss Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper.
CAMP NEEDS: There appears competition for at least two receiver spots, possibly three if veteran Marques Colston fades. Cooks and Kenny Stills appear favorites for those spots. Payton also will be looking for players with speed and versatility to fill kick-returning and scatback roles handled by Sproles in past three seasons.
EXPECTATIONS: With additions of Byrd and Bailey and return of nearly all productive players from 2013 on both sides of ball, Saints expect to look like legitimate title contender by end of training camp.