NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Saints wrapped up their West Virginia portion of training camp with another spirited joint practice against the Patriots, and they will now gear up for preseason game number two Saturday night in New Orleans.
For the second straight day, the Saints and Patriots competed in a work-manlike fashion. New England quarterback Tom Brady got the best of an injury-riddled New Orleans secondary, which was missing all four projected starters. But overall, the joint practices helped the Black-and-Gold take the next step in preparing for the real deal.
"The way it's set almost like it is game-like," quarterback Drew Brees said. "Their offense is on the field and they run plays and then our offense is on the field. We're mixing personnel. It is coming from the sideline. We are having to communicate. Guys are having to go a bunch of consecutive plays and their sucking wind. They have to suck it up because we have to go. It is very reminiscent of a game. This is what gets you ready for game situations is being in game-like situations. We tried to present that."
Head coach Sean Payton added, "I think that the work environment and of those things are good. I'm anxious to see us play Saturday. I'm anxious to see how we play in our second game. I'm anxious to see us clean up some of the mistakes. We talked about the penalties and some of the adjustments we're making out here while we're watching the practice film. We will see how this group is doing but I like the makeup of the group. I think they're working hard. It is time for us to see a little bit of the improvement. Not only that but we get a chance to see some players that we weren't able to see last weekend."
Not only have the past few weeks been productive for the Saints, but the players said they could feel a better vibe around the team and there haven't been any egos becoming a problem. With so many roster changes over the off-season, there remain plenty of question marks, but the overall chemistry so far has been solid.
"It's been tough," left tackle Terron Armstead said. "Last camp was tough too, but it's been tough. A great attention to detail. I see a lot more cohesiveness with the guys too. We've been doing a lot of sitting around, joking and talking, kinda different from last year."
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks added, "I see a team that's actually playing for each other, that's sticking together and you don't have those egos out there going on. You see guys that want each other to do good."