Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: Payton gives thumbs-up to rookie minicamp
by Deke Bellavia,posted May 13 2013 6:34PM
Saints Head Coach Sean Payton joined Bobby Hebert and me for a chat following the team's rookie minicamp on Airline Drive.
Coach Payton told us the session went well.
“You have a short period of time to do that and the three days we had gave us a really good opportunity to look at some young guys," Payton said. "We also had our players from the practice squad last year participate in it. So I think we got that done, there are a handful of guys that made a pretty good impression, and I think it worked out well.”
He also agreed with Bobby about not being too judgmental about players at rookie camp, given that one long-term standout Saints player in particular didn't have that great of a rookie camp.
“I think we have to be very cautious about coming to any conclusions one way or the other. Over the years, there are a number of examples like Marques Colston where a player comes in and maybe he’s not in the best of shape, but there is a reason for that. I think, more than anything, (this) is really teaching them how we practice, how we teach, how we install, and then making sure they understand that they are behind, all these guys, regardless of if they have been drafted or not."
We also asked Coach about a player whom fans might not know about that he's eager to see more of.
“I tell you what, there are a slew of guys, not only that the fans aren’t familiar with, I’m just barely getting familiar with," Payton said. "I think a handful of our practice squad guys that went to this past camp, for me it was the first time in three years that we’ve had this, that I’ve been involved in this camp, last year I wasn’t here and the year before was the lockout. So, I don't know if anyone is going to jump out, I think all of these guys understand the importance of special teams and the first way to get on this team, if you are a backup, is in the kicking game."
Coach also agreed with Bobby's observation that the team has its best success when there is a good balance between the run and pass on offense.
"Each year is a little bit different, but certainly we had balance and our most success when we have had a good run-pass ratio. When it gets tilted heavy to one end, it’s hurting more than just your offensive production; it begins to weigh on the defense and other elements of your team. I think we had that balance in ‘06. We were a different team then. Certainly in ‘09, when we also had the turnovers which were critical and had balance offensively."