The New Orleans Saints opened their first post-draft mini-camp of the 2012 season yesterday.
Dave already linked to the roster of players who would be participating, and then I came across what looks like an official media release by Justin Macione about it that appeared on sportsnola.com, with the scant details the team has chosen to share with us.
The Saints don't have any really "high-profile" players participating, but this will be the team's first really close look at the draft choices in practice situations, so that's something, isn't it?
Come with me as I highlight and share what I found with you...
UPDATE (4:30 PM EST): NOW INCLUDES POORLY-CROPPED PLAYER TWITTER-PICS FROM MINI-CAMP THAT DON'T REALLY SHOW ANYTHING
2nd UPDATE (6:14 PM EST): NOW INCLUDES LINK TO MINI-CAMP PHOTO GALLERY ON SAINTS OFFICIAL SITE
I've read of and referred to this first mini-camp as a "rookie camp", but Justin lets us know that it's actually for more than rookies, as it includes...
...a mix of eligible Saints veterans (players that have not amassed an accrued NFL season), rookie draft picks, rookie free agents and veteran and rookie tryout players.
The schedule of and number of practices is thus...
The New Orleans Saints will conduct five practices during Rookie Minicamp starting with two practices on Friday, May 11, two on Saturday, May 12 and concluding on Sunday, May 13 with one practice.
But what exactly do they do at "Rookie Mini-Camp"?
According to Mike Tanier of the New York Times News Service, who filed this enjoyable piece on NFL rookie camps that made the rounds today, it consists of light workouts, non-contact drills, and film sessions, and...
The camps, which began last week for many teams and continue through next week, give draft picks the opportunity to meet their coaches and undrafted free agents a brief chance to make an impression. They are invaluable to the players and the teams. As sources of hard-hitting analysis or insightful criticism, they are somewhat lacking.
Now that you can see where Tanier is going with this, let me share a few representative quotes and his commentary, first from the Manning-less Colts:
Modest accomplishments earn bubbly praise. Accurately calling and executing a play earns a public pat on the back.
"He's unflappable, mature beyond his years," Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said of quarterback Andrew Luck, the top pick in the draft. "If you listen to some of those play calls that our offensive coordinator Bruce Arians gave him, I know why he's an architectural engineer."
Arians' terminology is apparently based on trusses and torsion calculations.
And then from the team that had the No. 2 pick:
Not to be outdone, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan gushed about the second overall pick, Robert Griffin III.
"You can see what an incredible athlete he is," he said. "The first day we didn't have one bust with a formation or a play call. I don't think I've ever had that in any minicamp I've been involved with."
Take that, John Elway!
I highly recommend reading Tanier's full story to get you ready for Monday afternoon's media session with the Saints coaches, since we won't get any news about the Saints camp until then (back to Macione's release on the Saints camp).
All practices are closed to the public and media. However, Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt, Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and Special Teams Coordinator Greg McMahon will be available to the media on Monday, May 14 at 3:00 pm in the Indoor Facility to discuss Rookie Minicamp.
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I wonder what kind of statements we'll get from the Saints' brain trust on Monday...anyone care to speculate?
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Update - Pictures from camp (c/o Official Saints Twitter Account):
Nick Toon (click name for twitter page original photo)
Headless Akiem Hicks (click name for twitter page original photo)
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