METAIRIE, La. – New Orleans right guard Jahri Evans, just entering his seventh year in the NFL, feels like an old-timer.
Thanks to the collective bargaining agreement ratified last July, rookies this year won’t know the physical trial that was two-a-days. They’ll never understand mornings and afternoons full of hellish humidity in Jackson, Miss., or physically taxing twice-a-day preseason practices at the franchise’s Airline Drive facility.
“I told these guys that came in that they’re lucky because two-a-days are definitely brutal,” Evans said. “The new schedule I think is going to keep guys healthier and will allow you to do certain things like get your technique down before you get in pads.”
Under the new CBA, teams area allowed only one padded practice a day. A second practice, if used, can only be a short walk-through that isn’t in pads.
Additionally, contact isn’t allowed in the first couple of days.
But acting head coach Joe Vitt doesn’t think any of this will put the Saints behind, regardless of their situation heading into this season.
“The rest of the league has been dealt this hand, too,” Vitt said. “I think whoever handles it the best is going to have the best chance of winning.”