New Orleans Saints adjust to changes as they return to the field for padded practice
NEW ORLEANS - Amid a season of uncertainty and major changes, the New Orleans Saints returned to the field for their first padded practice, Monday.
Instead of jumping right into practice, the players had to exercise patience and submit to various COVID-related precautions.
For example, before taking to the field, they had to complete a COVID-19 questionnaire, take a series of daily COVID tests, and have a tracking device placed on their wrist, which is designed to let them know when they're getting too close to someone.
But instead of viewing these changes as hindrances, some players see them as opportunities to enhance team unity.
Drew Brees, for example, emphasized how much this season's many changes allowed him and his colleagues to find solidarity as a team.
Brees said, "I thought it was a good opportunity for us to take what is this year's team, with the addition of the rookies and the free agents, and spend a lot of time together. Just doing a lot of fundamental things that otherwise you would just jump right in to pads and get going. This has given us an opportunity to focus on some of the details, watch a little bit more film. And so, we've tried to make the most of it."
Wednesday marks Day 2 of padded practice for the Saint's and already, Coach Sean Peyton has good things to say about what he's seeing.
Peyton said of new quarterback Jameis Winston, "Look, he's doing well. I've been pleased. He's in great shape. He has a real live arm. Man, I love his attitude, his work ethic. He's doing very well."
In just one practice, the new quarterback was a powerhouse, showing what he has to offer.
Another stand-out player is safety Malcolm Jenkins. Linebacker Nigel Bradham said of Jenkins, "He's a tremendous player. He's everything you want in a safety. His ability, his instincts for one, is undeniable. Being able to read routes and get recognition just by formations and his communication on the field is another key part. He's very quick on all his keys and reads. He's very quickly to recognize run/pass situations and things of that nature. So he's definitely an upper hand for us. His knowledge is unbelievable, his IQ man. He is pretty much another coordinator out there and I think that's where you have the advantage playing with Malcolm."
Clearly, the New Orleans Saints are finding their stride despite the challenging season.
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