The Saints went 7-9 every season they held training camp in West Virginia at the Greenbrier. Are those sub par finishes a direct result of training camp in a cooler climate? Probably not. And while it's not necessarily fair or correct to blame a lack of success on location, where you hold camp and the conditions in which you practice make a big difference. Just ask the players.
"I always thought that we should come back," says safety Kenny Vaccaro. "My rookie year was the last year we had a good year. We were in New Orleans just roasting in the heat, and our mentality was different."
The Louisiana heat instilled a certain brand of toughness in the black and gold that translated directly to the field.
"I just remember being in the fourth quarter of every home game, because it's cold in the dome, and being like, 'I'm not tired,'" says Vaccaro. "Because I roasted in 100 degrees everyday during training camp. So it's really good for us."
Still, it doesn't mean you can rush right in to the tougher aspects of camp. Day one on Thursday saw several players cramping.
"That's why you don't put the pads on right away," says Drew Brees. "You give guys a chance to adjust, and once you get the pads on, then you're really able to fine tune."
The goal, as Vaccaro alluded to, is to repeat the success of their last training camp in Metairie back in 2013. That's the last time the Saints made the playoffs, and doing so again this year would go a long way in re-signing players like Vaccaro and Brees.
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