The Saints head into training camp next week bolstered by a strong session of OTA's earlier this summer, when every single player showed up. It was the first time in Sean Payton's NFL career that he saw 100 participation for optional training.
As helpful as that period was, Payton is ready to see his players in padded action, especially the Black and Gold's new defense.
The Saints "D" ended last season with the dubious distinction of worst in league history in yards allowed. True, the Spagnuolo system wasn't clicking, but the evolution of the professional game was also a factor.
"There's more and more pressure on defenses for a number of reasons. In the last 10 years the rules have changed to make it tougher to defend the pass, plus you're seeing better quarterback play than we have in a long, long time," explains Payton.
College quarterbacks are taking to the air more often, and the extra throwing experience is tangibly surfacing in today's NFL. Rookies are arriving more ready...