METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints wrapped up their first day of practice in an indoor facility that has a new look and feel.
When the extreme heat forced the team to practice inside, some of the players (and the media) got their first look at a facility that has a more artistic feel to it than before. In each corner of the building is now a huge computer graphic that looks like a painting. One recognizes the Saints as Super Bowl champions. The others represent plays from the past season. The plays aren’t particularly notable ones, but they were chose to recognize each unit -- offense, defense and special teams.
The defensive play is from the Super Bowl with several defenders bringing down an Indianapolis ball carrier. In the offensive play, you can’t really see the opponent, but it’s a play where the offensive line is looking downfield at an apparent big play -- and there were a lot of those last season. The special teams play has the field-goal block team going against the Redskins.
The facility also has new turf that recently was added. The Saints already have decided to move Saturday afternoon’s practice indoors because forecasters are saying the high temperature will exceed 100 degrees and the heat index will be above 110. The morning session is scheduled for outdoors and is open to the public.
The Friday afternoon session wasn’t nearly as eventful as the morning as there was a lot of teaching and installation going on. I did notice several nice plays by rookie tight end Jimmy Graham. A former basketball player, Graham only played one year of college football at Miami. I knew he was athletic, but I expected him to look a little unpolished. Quite the opposite, Graham seemed to be fitting in nicely.
Our Camp Confidential segment on the Saints is scheduled to go up early Saturday afternoon. That’s a pretty major project, so I’m going to dive into that tonight. I’ll also be keeping my ears open to see if anything happens tonight with Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy, who is the only unsigned rookie in the NFC South.
Other than that, I’ll be back Saturday morning from Saints’ camp.