The headliner during the first week of Saints OTA’s is without a doubt Adrian Peterson. But looking at the bigger picture, it’s also the first time that the Saints’ rookies practice alongside the veterans.
“They know what’s going on,” says running back Alvin Kamara. “They’ve been seasoned. They know the plays. They know what coach (Sean) Payton wants. Just getting acclimated to running around with them has been smooth so far.”
Even at some of the younger positions on the team, like wide receiver, rookies can still learn from those ahead of them on the depth chart.
“I’m just trying to learn all that I can from those guys,” says LSU product Travin Dural. “I’m learning the ins and outs of how to be a professional and what to do, when to do it and how to do it. That’s something I’m doing on a daily basis.”
But as much as some of the first year players are learning from the veterans and working toward the same goal of making the Saints a better team, it’s still a job competition.
“It’s been that way since the first day,” says Dural. “But you have to learn. You have to crawl before you can walk. It’s all a process. I’m just trying to earn a spot however I can.”
“From a mental standpoint, it’s the repetition of the teaching progression, those guys getting it and hearing it,” says Payton. “They’re going to hear the same thing in training camp. And again, the most important element is still the weight room and their conditioning level.”
The latter of which should be especially emphasized with training camp returning to Metairie and much hotter Louisiana temperatures.
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