When Ryan Griffin pulled off his pads on Friday night to talk to the media, he revealed his old Tulane workout shirt underneath.
Perfect for the setting.
New Orleans practiced in front of 3,507 fans at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium, a field that looked quite a bit different when Griffin was at the controls of the Green Wave offense.
“Saw some old teammates in the stands, that’s kind of weird,” Griffin said. “And then coming out here — this is where we practiced — I’ve come out to Tulane practices, but being out here myself, being able to throw the ball around, it was pretty nice.”
New Orleans went through some preparation for the Houston Texans, who will be in town for the third preseason game on Sunday, and got some work in front of a different kind of atmosphere than the sun-drenched practices that dotted most of camp.
“It’s like high school football again,” Saints linebacker David Hawthorne said. “Felt like Friday night lights out here.”
New Orleans made the final decision to play at Yulman Stadium within the last week, setting up an opportunity to connect with the fans.
The practice might not have matched the 6,617 fans that came to Mandeville High School last year, but the atmosphere matched what the Saints were hoping to get.
“This is the first time for me being in the stadium,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “It’s a great setup, a good feel, especially on a Friday night.”