Countdown to Saints camp

METAIRIE, La. -- I’m out at the Saints’ practice facility, where we’ve got a few things going on, even before the team takes the field for its first practice of training camp.

As I was walking to my gate to get into the facility, I saw assistant head coach Joe Vitt as a passenger in car turning into the gate to where players and coaches park. Vitt was wearing a dress shirt and tie. He was arriving precisely 2 hours, 4 minutes before practice was scheduled to start. Vitt earlier on Thursday testified at a hearing for linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who is seeking an injunction to stop his season-long suspension. You can follow live coverage of the Vilma hearing here. Current and former Saints have been testifying this afternoon.

Vitt and the Saints, presumably, are starting to get ready for practice, but there are some variables that could come into play. I’m hearing lots of thunder as I sit in the media room. I’m sure the Saints are monitoring the weather closely. Ideally, they’d like to kick practice off outside where the fans are. But they could be forced to move inside if the weather remains an issue.

Also, I just got a first glimpse at the Saints’ 2012 media guide. It looks pretty cool. It features a nice shot of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on the cover, with a reminder that it is the home of Super Bowl XLVII. That fact is very much on the mind of the Saints as they get ready for the season. Several players previously have mentioned their goal is to become the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium.

I’ll be in the media room monitoring the Vilma hearing and anything else that may be happening in the NFC South for the next hour and change. If there are any developments, I’ll let you know. And I’ll be back this evening after the Saints practice -- whether it's outdoors or inside.