REPORT DATES: July 18th (rookies), July 25th (veterans)
SITE: Saints Training Facility, Metairie, LA
CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: With Bountygate safely in the rear-view mirror and Sean Payton back, expect the New Orleans offense to be back to its high-powered self with a few tweaks. The Saints really needed to improve the edges entrusted to protect Drew Brees, however. Right tackle Zach Strief wasn't all that impressive in 2012 and needs to improve while Jermon Bushrod left in free agency to Chicago, leaving left tackle to Charles Brown or perhaps talented but raw rookie Terron Armstead. Payton has said that the team's left tackle spot keeps him up at night. New Orleans also failed to add reliable depth at receiver behind Marques Colston and Lance Moore. The Saints defense was a mess in '12, finishing at the bottom of the league in a number of defensive categories so Payton fired coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and hired Rob Ryan to make the switch to 3-4 scheme, meaning the team must find fits for that philosophy whether it means a true nose tackle, a five-technique end or edge pass rushers. The transition wasn't made any easier when promising free agent linebacker Victor Butler tore his ACL during organized team activities.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug 9 - vs. Kansas City, 8:00 PM Aug 16 - vs. Oakland, 8:00 PM Aug 25 - at Houston, 4:00 PM Aug 29 - at Miami, 7:30 PM