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Payton: Practicing in pads and in heat makes a difference
Doug Mouton reports from training camp in Metairie and says the makeup of the team's offensive line - minus Max Unger and Terron Armstead for now - is taking shape.
Leslie Spoon / Eyewitness Sports , WWLTV 1:22 PM. CDT July 28, 2017
The Saints wrapped up their second training camp practice on Friday. It's quite the difference from the comfortable temperatures the Saints have been used to the past three years in West Virginia. According to Meteorologist Carl Arredondo, when today's practice started around 9:00 it was 84 degrees, feeling like 93. When the workout ended it was 90 degrees, feeling like 99.
Sean Payton was asked how the heat affects things:
"The noticeable difference is you have to take a little bit more breaks and they might be longer to hydrate and cool their core body down. It's different and it just forces you to break a little bit more and cool them off... it's part of camp. We're trained to adjust to any condition wherever our environment is, just part of getting acclimated to it and handling it the right way."
So many people are excited about the addition of 7-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson. Payton was asked if he's excited to see him Saturday - which will be the Saints first padded practice of camp. In fact the first time Peterson will be in pads since coming to New Orleans, since preseason workouts were not padded.
"I feel like I've seen a lot of him with the pads, I probably would have him lower on the list than some other guys. I'm really anxious to say 'hey I'm not as familiar with even how they look in pads'. It's always interesting. Tomorrow when they come out you all of the sudden... we know what Snead looks like in pads and Drew and certain players that we've been around. I've been close enough in real life to see what he looks like in pads so I'm comfortable in how he's going to carry his pads. Some of these other players I'll be more interested in."
So what is the difference between today and tomorrow? Padded Practices and non-padded practices? Everything. Payton explains:
"You're doing football skill work but you're not really playing football yet. So you're never really surprised. Let's say you're an outstanding leverage player who can tackle well. Up till now you haven't been able to do what you do well. You've shown you can get to a spot and can be in position but you haven't been able to do anything else yet... those things will begin to reveal themselves."
Yesterday, the NFL announced the Saints had signed former 2011 second round pick Orlando Franklin. The guard has spent time with the Broncos and Chargers. Franklin was released in May, two years after signing a five-year, $36.5 million contract.
Franklin missed six games in 2015 due to injuries and has been inconsistent. But he has started 89 games in the NFL. He's 6'6", 315 pounds. He will help bolster the Saints depleted offensive line. Here's more from Payton:
"We're three down in the offensive line right now. He's a veteran player that we had high grades on when he was a free agent leaving Denver. We're familiar with him we played him last year. he's been on a visit. He's 29, he played I think at least half the season or part of the season with an injury last year. We gave him a physical, we went thru a pretty good workout and we'll see how he looks."
Payton did say on Wednesday that Terron Armstead will return to the field at some point this season. But the plan is to have rookie Ryan Ramczyk, the Saints 32nd overall pick play left tackle in his absence. Veteran Khalif Barnes will also take reps there. Payton wants 2015 first round pick Andrus Peat to have some stability and settle in at left guard. So Franklin's addition does not mean Peat will slide over to left tackle and Franklin will work at left guard.
"He's got flexibility, he's played tackle, he's played guard so Peat's staying where he's at right now," Payton said.
The players were treated with sno balls after practice. Payton ended the press conference by walking over to enjoy one himself.
"My flavor is always cherry lime. This is Drew's operation. I'm going to go get one."
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