You’ve got questions, Saints fans?
We’ve got answers.
Or at least we can go to the source to address your concerns about the Black & Gold as they go through the final week of offseason preparations at the team’s minicamp out at 5800 Airline Drive.
And nobody’s more deserving than the hardy souls who braved the 92-degree heat Wednesday to watch the team go through drills albeit without pads.
None was hardier than Samenthia Camerol of New Orleans who was wearing a Deuce McAllister No. 26 Saints dress, Saints necklace, Saints watch, Saints bracelet, Saints earrings and Saints sunglasses while carrying a Saints purse plus a Saints’ 2010 NFC Championship Game commemorate t-shirt she’d purchased that day. For all we know, she was wearing Saints underwear, too.
So there was no nobody more deserving that Camerol, who on Saints’ game days works as a security guard in one of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome suites.
“I hope the kicker’s good,” Camerol said. “I didn’t think they should have gotten rid of Shayne Graham because everybody misses one every now and then.
“They can be the difference in us going to the Super Bowl. So I’m wondering if whoever wins the job is going to be any good?
Here, from Drew Brees, is your answer, Samenthia:
“We’ve got (former Saints kicker) John Carney in here this week to work with them, and it’s awesome,” Brees said. “We all aspire to be the best at what we’re doing, and, in order to do this, you want to be able to watch the best and gather mentorship and advice. These guys — to be able to receive that wealth of information and advice — that’s invaluable. Hopefully it will have a strong impact on their careers and whichever one of those guys (Zach Holder and Dustin Hopkins) will make a game-winner or two because of it.”
Other questions of the day:
Tiffany Harrell, Ama : I’m a big fan of Terron Armstead. I think he’s a great lineman. But how is the offensive line jelling after bringing in Max Unger?
Armstead: “Everybody’s getting it pretty quickly and I think our chemistry is pretty high right now. Max probably has a longer road, but there’s not a lot to catch on to. But he’s veteran, so it’s not that hard. We’re not in pads yet, but you can get a lot done in technique things, calls and getting the plays. We’re putting these OTAs to good use.”
Malvin Cavalier, New Orleans : Has this team ever gotten over Bountygate? They need to put in the past, but I don’t think they have.
Sean Payton: “I would say those issues have kind of dissipated. I don’t really think about it, until you asked me the question.”
Jeremiah Schexnayder, New Orleans : Is Brandin Cooks going to be just as good as he was last year before he got hurt?
Brees: “He’s beyond it. His focus from the minute he got healthy was phenomenal. We trained together in San Diego and that guy was ready to go back in February. Just watching him out here — his trust and knowledge of the offense now having been in for a year and just how explosive he is.
Christopher Garner, Madisonville : Are they going to get a better performance out the DBs, and what was Brandon Browner think about this team after he’s played at Seattle and New England?
Browner: We’ve still got a long ways to go, but if we come out and compete every day we match up well against any secondary in the league. We’ve got guys that love to compete and guys that love playing together so that’s already one big step. We got a ways to go to be as good as Seattle or New England. But this is just minicamp. You don’t say you’re the best in minicamp.”
Jonathan Barrett, New Orleans : My main concern is the cohesive synergy of the defense. Now that we know Junior Galette is not going to have surgery, that’s a positive sign which helps Rob Ryan bring people from those multiple variable sets. Our draft picks look good, too. The pass rush is the main thing for me, and I’m really excited about the secondary. Is this going to be a top-10 defense and the best one we’ve seen since the Dome Patrol like it should be?
David Hawthorne: “I went to TCU, so I know exactly what he means. He’s talking about coming together as a unit as fast as we need to, and I think we’re on the right path. It’s all about the process, and I’m believing in it right now.”
Ferdinand Troufant, Belle Chasse : Do they have the will to win? It’s a mindset thing when you’re out to beat your opponent at anything. The desire wasn’t there last year, and they had some in-house trash they had to clean up. Have they got that old feeling back?
Brees: I don’t know about the will to win, because we’re all trying hard to win. But you’ve got to learn how to win. There are six or eight games every year when a couple of plays make the difference in winning and losing. The smart teams, the intelligent teams, the team that study the situations know when there’s something that can or can’t happen in that game, those are the teams that wind up as division winners and go on to do great things.
“Unfortunately, we were not one of those teams last year. We were right, having a chance to win, and we made poor decisions that cost us that game. That can’t happen again. That’s bad football. We need to be a smarter team and I think we will be.”