Saints ready to practice with Payton again
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Saints players say they expect their return to the practice field this week to be intense, given the tone Sean Payton has set at club headquarters since his return from his bounty ban.
Defensive captain Will Smith says changes Payton has made to the coaching staff, the defensive scheme, and even the weight and conditioning program have given players the impression they're moving on a to a new chapter far removed from the club's distraction-filled and disappointing 2012 season.
The Saints begin their first on-the-field training of the 2013 Tuesday with the beginning of what are known as OTAs, which are essentially offseason voluntary practices without pads.
The new defense also means a change for Smith, who's moving from defensive end to outside linebacker.
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