Saints inch closer to mini-camp, Ingram still a holdout

Saints inch closer to mini-camp, Ingram still a holdout
(FOX 8)

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - The Saints ended the first round of Organized Team Activities on Thursday. The other sessions OTAs will continue until next month's mandatory mini-camp, which begins on June 12.

The players have until then to decide if they want to take part in the voluntary part of workouts, which is what OTAs are right now.

The only players of significance to not be on the field Thursday were Andrus Peat, Ben Watson and Mark Ingram. Ingram is yet to participate in OTAs
Cam Jordan, AJ Klein and Alex Okafor were there, but not working out.

All of the younger guys were in action, which Sean Payton said is a must for what comes later.

"I just finished telling the players that the most important thing this time of year is getting the players up to speed with the terminology and what to do," Payton said. "It's hard to evaluate a player if he doesn't know what to do so our jobs as coaches are to bridge that gap quickly with the players that are new and then carry it over into training camp and begin that install process again."

It is no surprise that Ingram has not worked out yet. He is in a contract year.

But also looming over him is the four-game suspension he will be serving to start the season.

Payton has said many times that guys should participate, and spoke about Ingram's holdout.

"I told him at some point, I'm going to be talking to the media and this is what I'm going to say 'I don't necessarily agree with the decision, I certainly respect it.' This is a smart player," Payton said.

The coach added he believes Ingram is staying in shape during his absence.