NFL Training Camp Tour: Laurinaitis on 1st year with Saints: ‘Like being a rookie again’

James Laurinaitis sits down with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan For James Laurinaitis, his first training camp with the New Orleans Saints after spending seven seasons with the Rams has been about more than Xs and Os. He’s working on … Continued

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SiriusXM Editor
August 7, 2016

AAAA James Lauranitis

James Laurinaitis sits down with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan

For James Laurinaitis, his first training camp with the New Orleans Saints after spending seven seasons with the Rams has been about more than Xs and Os.

He’s working on getting to know his teammates, on building relationships, on proving he has something to bring to the table with his talent and experience.

“When you’re the new guy, I try to treat it like kind of like being a rookie again,” Laurinaitis told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan at Saints camp in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. “They don’t really know who you are as a person. Your reputation might precede you about what they think of you. Man, (the approach is) just trying to basically keep your mouth shut early and just go to work and try to gain their trust and respect by the way you work, day in, day out.”

Even though the Rams were his only other employer, Laurinaitis understands what it means to start anew each day and feel the constant need to make a good impression.

“Luckily, coming from (Rams defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams, he used to always put that pressure on you as a player that every day’s an interview. And you’re interviewing very well or you’re interviewing poorly, but there’s no just kind of staying still,” Laurinaitis said. “Once I heard that, I’ve kind of taken that motto day in and day out.”

It helps that there are similarities between that scheme that Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen run and the one in which Williams used with the Rams.

Still, Laurinaitis feels greater urgency than ever to practice at a high level each day.

“There’s more pressure, I think, when you’re the new guy to perform well on a daily basis where, when you’re with an organization for a long time and you have an off day, a lot of those guys already know you,” he said. “They know, ‘OK, he had an off day, he’s going to correct it.’ But here, you don’t have that luxury right off the bat. You want to make sure that every day’s a good day.”


NFL Training Camp Tour: Brees: Saints should score ‘every time we touch the ball’

AAAA Drew Brees

Drew Brees sits down with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller

Drew Brees makes no attempt to pretend that the formula has suddenly changed for the New Orleans Saints.

They must be prolific scorers, or they probably don’t stand a great chance of winning. How else can you look at a team that finished next-to-last in the NFL in defense last season?

“I think our mentality is, obviously, every time we touch the ball, we should be getting points,” Brees told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan Sunday at the Saints’ training camp in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. “That’s kind of mentality, that’s our swagger. I think we’ve always been pretty aggressive-minded. But, yeah, you’re always paying attention to the flow of the game and then kind of reacting accordingly.”

The Saints’ hope is that this year, the flow won’t always dictate that the offense needs to generate a tidal wave of points because the defense is allowing the opponent to do so. And, based on what he has seen during the offseason and training-camp practices,Brees sees reason to believe the tide could be turning.

“Listen, I think our guys on the defensive side of the ball are playing with a ton of energy, a ton of physicality right now. They’re doing a lot of things, too. I think (new defensive coordinator) Dennis Allen has done a tremendous job with the scheme and, also, I think our scouting department, everybody, has done a great job of getting the free agents they got and drafted some of these young guys that I think are going to play a big role.”

Brees sees confidence growing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. He is pleased with the high level of competitiveness in drills.

“We’re going at it,” he said. “It’s the old adage, iron sharpens iron. Listen, I feel like we’re pretty good offensively, but I feel like we can get a lot better. And, listen, our defense has handed it to us a time or two our here. That’s good for us and it’s good that we throw the kitchen sick at them just like they do at us, so by the time you get to game day, I want our defense to be able to say, ‘Man, we’ve seen just about everything you could see based upon going against our offense,’ and I’d love for us, as an offense, to be able to say, ‘Well, we’re not going to be able to see as much or as complex as we’ve seen throughout camp.'”