Kristian's Quick Hits: Un-wavered Saints start training camp
Confident: The Saints have every reason to pout and moan and groan. It’s been an off-season filled with controversy” bounties, Drew’s drawn-out contract, and suspensions of Payton and others. However, as Training Camp cranks up, they're taking the opposite approach.
Assistant Coach Joe Vitt himself is also facing a 6-game suspension, but says the Saints remain unfazed by what has happened this off-season. “This is all I’ve ever done. If someone asks me to go fly an airplane, I’m going to be nervous. If someone asks me to do open heart surgery, I’m going to be nervous. But this is all I’ve ever done. And when you have (the) group of players we have, and you have the group of coaches that we have, and you have the support staff and organization that we have, I think it has been great. It hasn’t been a one man effort. It’s been a team effort.”
90 man roster: The Saints training camp roster stands at 90 as they prepare for their first practice on Thursday. Vitt talked about plans for the squad: “We placed Jonathan Vilma on the reserved/suspended list today. We signed a tight end, Derek Schouman, who had played for the Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams, out of Boise State today. We made a roster move and signed Marques Clark, out of Henderson State and we released Kevin Hardy today,” Vitt informed the media of the team’s latest transactions. Vilma has another hearing Thursday in Federal court and Vitt said he would testify on his behalf if need be.
Lofty praise: Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton drew high praise from Vitt during his 27 minute press conference on the eve of camp. “You see Curtis play on film, I probably say this more when he was at Oklahoma coming out than with Atlanta because I’m not on that side of the ball. You say a tackle to tackle thumper. And now when Curtis gets here, he has really reshaped his body. He has lost 15 pounds, he probably has a 34 inch waist. You see now his range, communication skills and leadership at practice. He and David Hawthorne have been here for the last 15 days working out in the heat here. There are a lot of things that are unknown about players until you actually get them in the building and get around them. What a great pleasant surprise this player has been.” Vitt was quick to point out that Lofton cannot replace Vilma, but he’s very impressed with what he’s seen so far.
Speaking at the “presser,” as we call it, Brees sounded the same tune: He’s $100 million richer, but his focus and determination is still the same. The future hall of fame quarterback says he’s still the same after inking the record-breaking contract less than two weeks ago. He told us that when he found out the deal was done, he simply went about his daddy duties and changed a diaper, and did some laundry. Brees said “My approach never changed throughout.” He didn’t jump up and down, he didn’t scream with excitement. He exuded the same confidence and humility that he had prior to becoming the richest man in the NFL.