Kate Conerly / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS- Saints fans faced the heat with smiles and screams of support as the Black and Gold took to the field for the start of a three-day mini-camp.

About 800 fans proved their faithfulness to the team that could really use a morale booster right about now.

With signs stating 'Where is Brees?' there was no denying the elephant on the field. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel got the bulk of the snaps, while starter Drew Brees remained out of the action because of his stalled contract negotiations.

Across the board, fans stated the team's need for Brees.

'He's nowhere near Drew Brees,' said New Orleans native Rene Beech Smith. 'We need him. Sign him. Put him on the field. Now! We absolutely need Brees.'

'We've been in a bad situation here the bounty and all of that, so we need everybody to participate,' said Isadore Rose of Dallas, Texas. 'The sooner Brees gets out here, the better we'll be.'

Most fans believe just like the Saints intimidating offense, arriving at a new longterm contract for Brees is a matter of timing.

'It's a little disappointing not seeing Drew out here, but that's not a big deal,' Ray Wushing of Folsom. 'The deal is going to get done. He wants to be here. The team wants him here.'

Even with the missing faces, the Who Dat nation remains hopeful in the midst of a tough offseason.

'There will be black and gold in the Super Bowl in New Orleans,' said Smith, who has followed the Saints since 1967.

The fans still see the Saints as a team of destiny with a good shot at playing in a hometown Super Bowl in the Superdome.

'We're going to be there. We're going to make it right in the Superdome, right at home,' Rose said.

The Saints take the field Wednesday from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is just one practice Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. All mini-camp practices are open to the public.

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