Kristian: Saints on summer break
The Saints wrapped their offseason program with a spirited and productive practice in the indoor facility. The Black and Gold have worked their way through organized team activities without sustaining any major injuries. Jarius Byrd had back surgery last month, but is expected to be healthy for training camp on July 24th.
Rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks returned to the Saints this week for the first time since rookie mini-camp in May. “He has an elite gear of speed,” said linebacker Junior Galette. Cooks ran a reverse in practice today that completely fooled the defense in the team portion of practice. “I didn’t even see him, it happened so fast!” Galette said. In shorts and helmets, they’re all fast, but Cooks’ speed is very very noticeable right away.
He was able to stay in the playbook during his time away from the Saints by attending internet sessions with the coaching staff. “I’ve been extremely comfortable due to the fact that I was able to go over plays with Coach Carter in the morning three times a week getting the playbook down, so I was real comfortable getting back,” Cooks explained.
I caught up with linebacker Curtis Lofton on the final day of organized team activities. Lofton says the defense really got some good work in during the off-season. “It was a smooth transition; everyone knew their assignments, where to line up. We took a step in the right direction. If we keep taking these steps, the sky’s the limit on how good we can be as a defense,” Lofton said.
“On paper, this is the best team I’ve ever been on, from offense to defense, and that excites me. Watching the NBA finals, we took notice of that. The Heat had the best players, but the Spurs had the best team” Lofton explained.