A lot of you know that I'm from SoCal (hence the name...), and when I get a chance to take a look at other teams in the area I jump at it. This is my third training camp after the Chargers and Cowboys. The Saints play Oakland this week in preseason, and for some reason they decided to hold part of their training camp in Oxnard, the same place where the Cowboys usually practice.
I know this isn't Chiefs related but I thought some of you might enjoy the read either way, so without further adieu...
-Let me start off by saying that I'm glad Sproles is out of the division, and out of the conference. He just looked flat out scary with Brees in that offense. He made cut the defense up left and right on runs, screens out of the backfield, even up the field.
-Ingram wasn't practicing due to a swollen knee, but man does he look big in real life. Definitely looks like a bruiser. The Saints running game didn't look like they missed him though, every runningback popped off a good amount of yards.
-Colston....WOW. I'd be happy as hell if Baldwin ended up playing like him. At almost the exact same build (6'4", between 225-230 lbs.), he looked great. Made a great one handed catch from Brees that was thrown a lil bit behind him. Was jumping over defenders to snag balls....If this guy stays healthy, he can seriously be a top ten receiver next season.
-Brees threw 2 picks in the drills, one went off the hands of a receiver and was snagged by Jenkins, the other was just poorly thrown.
-Franklin wasn't practicing, he was hurt. Shaun Rogers didn't look very impressive to me either. Maybe we lucked out and got a steal with Gregg? Guess we'll find out.
-Their tight end, Graham, looked really good. Was making catches all over the field, a big security blanket for Brees. Take note of it Fantasy players. He was targeted quite often.
-Sedrick Ellis looked good also. I remember the Saints had wanted Dorsey but we didn't budge. Either way he still looks like a good fit for them.
-Their defense focused a lot on blitzing, many different packages. The Saints haven't had the greatest defense over the last few years and it seems as if they're trying to outscore the opponent by constantly forcing turnovers. Pretty aggressive.
-The Saints are also pretty stacked at runningback. Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram all will rotate with the first team. They've also got Chris Ivory who led the team in rushing last year. He's been running with the twos.
-Compared to the Chargers camp last season, Peyton had these guys hustling. There wasn't any walking in between segments. It was a lot of hustle.
-Willie Roaf was in attendence. Apparently he lives in Anahiem, which I had no idea. He was too far away for me to try and flag down sadly.
-A lot of players stuck around for autographs. Brees signed for all of the children and about half of the people in line. Jabari Greer, Kory Hall, Sean Canfield, Chase Daniels, Courtney Roby, Jimmy Graham, and Tory Humprey all stuck around for autographs too.
-Chase Daniels came over and talked to us. Told him he was more than willing to come to KC and compete there. Laughed and said he missed Missouri. Really cool guy.
-The thing that amazed me most, was that Head Coach Sean Payton signed EVERY SINGLE AUTOGRAPH. He went down the entire line, and even took a picture with us. Extremely down to earth, was telling us that he was going in to call his kids before they went to sleep. Very humble guy. Also had a 5 minute talk with Kory Hall (former FB for the Packers). A good friend of mine played at Boise with him, and we were catching up about that. Extremely down to earth, really good guy.
Overall, the judging by the Saints practice, they look to be a contender again this year. The offense may sputter here and there but with the addition of Sproles and Graham breaking out, they're going to put a lot of points up on the board. Like I previously mentioned, if Colston stays healthy I think he's in for a big year. Very big frame with very long arms. Defensively the corners looked a bit rusty, though they were playing against Drew Brees. When Canfield had the offense they looked like All-Pros. A lot of blitz packages. Payton was everywhere, coaching everyone and everything. You have to appreciate that. The receivers coach was also intense, screaming at anyone who stepped out of bounds.
Again, I know this isn't Chiefs news, but it's something to read. I might also be heading to the Chargers training camp next week if anyone is interested in a write up? I did one last year and had some pretty positive reviews. Here's a few photos:
Me, Payton and my buddy Jr. Really awesome guy.
John Chiles, converted QB to Receiver from Texas. Made some good catches.
Notice Colstons frame? Look familiar?
The one and only CHASE 6'0" DANIELS!
Payton coaching everyone, from defense to offense to coaches.