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Saints return to 2006 approach

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Payton addresses media Wednesday at Greenbriar. (Source: Juan Kincaid) Payton addresses media Wednesday at Greenbriar. (Source: Juan Kincaid)

When Sean Payton became the Saints head coach in 2006, he quickly set a foundation for future success through free agency and the team's overall approach. The franchise also drafted one of its most productive rookie classes ever with standouts Reggie Bush, Roman Harper, Jahri Evans, Zach Strief and Marques Colston. Today Payton said the Saints are trying to recapture some of that 2006 mentality.

"The '06 draft class...there's a lot of guys playing in year 10, and they're smart and tough," Payton said. "They've got to be good football players, don't get me wrong...but we've got to be able to recognize these traits and value them accordingly."

General Manager Mickey Loomis added that the team's brass has been examining all aspects of the organization ever since last season ended and that they have even turned a critical eye on themselves.

"I think right after the season when we are evaluating our team and what happened last season and talking about going forward, that was a theme that we talked about early on, getting back to some of those values and some of the processes we had in 2006, treating ourselves like we are starting fresh and new," Loomis said.  "We have to go back and do some things that maybe we assumed were happening in more recent years."

The Saints went 7-9 last fall, their second losing season in the past three years. Training camp practices officially kick off Thursday morning.

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