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Why The Greenbrier-Saints narrative is ridiculous and needs to stop

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Sports are full of cliches and buzzwords that make fans go crazy, and in football there is no word that makes the many keyboard warriors of the world (of which I am one) foam at the mouth more than 'toughness'. It's that indescribable knack for fighting through pain, and 'just making the play'. Toughness is a real thing, and there is no question about that. However, Saints fans have recently decided that the team's recent struggles are in fact due to the team now having their training camps at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. The reasoning being that having to practice in the 'tough' heat of home will strengthen the team and make them grittier.

Excuse my lack of tact, but this idea is just dumb. Heat taxes your body, reduces practice time, strains muscles, and reduces practice time. It doesn't make you 'tough', the players, the culture, the scheme, the chemistry, and the mentality do that. The Seahawks, the 49ers of recent years, the up-and-coming Minnesota Vikings, and of course the constantly effective Patriots are all 'tough' teams that play hard and have great defenses. Wanna take a guess at what none of them encounter in training camp? You guessed it! Bad weather.

The Saints haven't been a team in decline and lacking in 'toughness' because they practice at a resort, or because it isn't a sauna outside, it's because they have had to pay the price of bad signings and worse drafts. They have had some rotten coaches and a total lack of the talent necessary to make up for it. THAT is why they have struggled, because the pure unadulterated greatness of Drew Brees and Sean Payton can only make up for so much of a deficit.

The Saints practiced harder, hit more, and in general showed more 'toughness' and built more 'grit' at this year's camp than any in recent memory. And they did so while staying at a resort.

Final thought: The Saints have some very nice amenities at The Greenbrier, but if you think that a 'resort' has better recovery and relaxation tools than the home environment of a billion dollar organization designed to facilitate ONLY are just being silly. No, the Saints haven't been 'tough' lately, but it's not because of where they practice, but WHO is practicing. The defense is finally showing some signs of that elusive toughness we all want to see, and they started showing them while practicing at The Greenbrier.