BY Sheldon mickles
July 02, 2012
METAIRIE — After wrapping up their second week of organized team activities on Thursday, the New Orleans Saints began looking ahead to their full-squad minicamp that begins a three-day run Tuesday.
The Saints have now completed six of their 10 allotted OTAs, but will take a break from them next week to hold a veteran minicamp that consists of two practices each on Tuesday and Wednesday and a single Thursday workout.
Assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who is running the team in the absence of suspended coach Sean Payton, said the Saints have already installed most of their first- and second-down work and have introduced the sub packages that will be used on third down.
“We’ve gotten a lot done in the last six days,” Vitt said. “That being said, we are excited about going into minicamp next week.”
Each minicamp workout at the team’s training facility will be open to the public although practices affected by inclement weather may be moved to the indoor facility and closed to fans.
Practices are scheduled from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday with Thursday’s finale scheduled for 10:15 a.m.-noon. Gates will open 45 minutes before each practice begins.
Vitt said Thursday the Saints will bring in some quarterbacks for a tryout this weekend with an eye on adding at least one of them for the minicamp.
The Saints have gone through their first six OTAs with Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield taking all the snaps in the absence of Drew Brees, who’s not participating while trying to get a new long-term deal from the team.
“I’m comfortable (with Daniel and Canfield), but we’re going to bring a few guys in,” Vitt said.
One possibility could be four-year veteran Brian Brohm, who attended the Saints’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis in early May but was not signed.
While Vitt said Daniel and Canfield aren’t arm-weary, it makes sense to bring in another quarterback or two since the team will hold five minicamp practices in 48 hours and another quarterback will help lighten the load.
Brees has talent?
As he has for the past 11/2 months, Vitt said Thursday he believes Brees will get his contract worked out and be with the team this year even though Brees has said he won’t play for the franchise tender of $16.371 million.
Vitt said he had a conversation with Brees recently about some things he knows Brees wants to do for training camp, which begins July 26.
“I feel confident he’ll be here,” Vitt said.
When asked what made him so confident, Vitt said jokingly, “What else is he going to do? He can’t sing or dance.”
Evans, Bushrod return
Two of the three members of the Saints’ offensive line that earned Pro Bowl spots last season returned to practice.
Right guard Jahri Evans, who is also a two-time All-Pro, and left tackle Jermon Bushrod were back in the lineup. Evans had a clean-out procedure on his left knee in early February, while Bushrod had a shoulder problem.
Running back Mark Ingram and middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who both had arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason, remain sidelined along with linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who is slowed by a back injury.
Hitting the lottery
Evans was one of the Saints who were abuzz over Wednesday night’s NBA lottery drawing in which the New Orleans Hornets won the first pick in this year’s draft.
“That was awesome,” Evans said, who endorsed the selection of Kentucky forward Anthony Davis with the top pick. “I am happy for those guys. I’m looking forward to going to some games, those guys putting some wins on the board and having a good season.”
Hanging it up
Longtime Saints assistant equipment manager Glennon “Silky” Powell is retiring Friday after 38 seasons with the team.
A New Orleans native, the 65-year-old Powell was hired by the Saints in 1974 and has worked since then under equipment manager Dan Simmons, who was hired a year earlier. They have worked side by side for 12 head coaches — including four interim coaches.
“I’ve been 1-15 and been through Hurricane Katrina, so it’s been the good, bad and ugly,” said Powell, who also experienced the team’s win in Super Bowl XLIV. “But it’s been a pleasure coming to work every day.”