The trumpets sounded from the top of the hills at the Greenbrier as Saints quarterback Drew Brees was back in pads for the first time since suffering an oblique strain. Well, there really wasn’t that much fanfare as #9 still sat out of practice, but it’s definitely a good sign he is close to returning!
“He’s progressing well,” coach Sean Payton said. "All those things are good signs, and each day he does a little more, in the training room and then out here. We just keep working on the rehab and making sure, functionally, that we’re not stressing it to where it sets him back.”
How hard is it keeping Brees, who is a fierce competitor, off the field while the rest of the team continues to work?
“Well, he has that nature in him, but I also think he’s smart,” Payton added. “He understands that the type of strain he has is something that can reoccur if you're not careful and don’t let it heal properly.”
Veteran cornerback Champ Bailey was also back in pads but was held out of on-the-field work with the team.
We got a little more rain today during practice, but it was not as cold. Maybe the warmer temperatures made the difference as players responded with a better day of work then yesterday. “I thought it was better, just on both sides,” Payton said, “We will look at it on tape and try and grade each one, but I thought it was more competitive; definitely more lively.”