METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Everything changed on Airline Drive Saturday. That's because the pads finally came on for the Saints.
"The last two days have been a nice warmup, I think training camp officially started today," said a smiling Coby Fleener.
If you look at Fleener's numbers from 2016, this camp will be essential for the embattled tight end. Big plays were few and far between for the second-year Saint. The Black and Gold paid big money for the former Colt to replace Jimmy Graham in the stat book, and that hasn't happened yet, but another year in system should no doubt help Fleener.
"Going through the offense a second time, feel a lot more comfortable, a lot better understanding of it," said Fleener.
Plus, it never hurts to have Drew Brees running your offense. If you need to ramp up those stats in your second stanza, a future Hall of Famer is a great starting point.
"Ability to make guys better is key. That's what's made Drew special a player as anyone who's played the game. His ability to throw the ball makes his receivers so much better. His ability to check the plays that are advantageous to our offense to make the team better," said Fleener.
NFL players always looking for that extra edge, and Fleener is no different. After practice Saturday, the tight end had a long conversation with linebackers coach Mike Nolan, on alignment and blocking schemes.