METAIRIE, La. -- With some arriving before dawn, a few Saints fans eager to get their first look at the 2013-2014 New Orleans Saints camped outside of the team's facility ahead of the opening of minicamp practice.
Hours before the practice, Mike Delahoussaye awaited the opening of minicamp with his family, arriving around 5:30 a.m. 'It's just a tradition we have been doing for seven, eight years now. We like to get out here early.'
The open practice allows fans a chance to see some faces of they missed last year and some new ones. Sean Payton is back -- returning from a season long suspension -- and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has taken over for Steve Spagnuolo.
The return of Payton has fans excited.
'Very excited,' Eric Meaux said. 'From what I've seen on TVand what I've heard, it seems like he has got the team back where he wants it. Of course, he is still trying to get used to some of the players that were here last year when he wasn't here.'
Some new players will be at the practice as well.
The team picked up safety Kenney Vaccaro from the University of Texas in the first round of the draft, West Bank native Keenan Lewis is joining the secondary as a cornerback and Victor Butler comes aboard after spending four years playing at outside linebacker and special teams for the Dallas Cowboys.
This morning's practice is free and open to the public, unless rain forces the team to practice indoors. Indoor practices are closed to the public.
Minicamp runs Tuesday through Thursday from 10:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. There is also afternoon practice this week, but those are closed to the public.
The first pre-season game is Aug. 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs.