Posted: May 22, 2012 8:38 AM
Updated: May 22, 2012 8:38 AM
METAIRIE, La. - While Drew Brees holds out for a new contract, the Saints say they have the experience and leadership to have productive offseason practices even without their star quarterback.
Right tackle Zach Strief says Brees is important to the Saints "in a million different ways, but it doesn't mean that when he disappears the wheels are going to fall off."
New Orleans is holding its first three offseason practices, called organized team activities, Tuesday through Thursday. Those will also be the Saints' first practices under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Defensive end Will Smith says the Saints might be more focused this offseason than he has ever seen them because they want to do what it takes to overcome Brees' absence as well as the club's bounty scandal.