By Cam Huffman
The New Orleans Saints wrapped up three weeks of training camp at The Greenbrier Sports Performance Center with one final practice on Wednesday morning. They’ll head to Houston Texas for joint practices with the Houston Texans on Thursday and Friday, before a pre-season game against the Texans Saturday evening. The Saints will then return to Metairie, Louisiana, to continue preparations for the 2016 season.
Below are comments from Saints players and coaches before leaving The Greenbrier Wednesday afternoon.
Offensive lineman Zach Strief
On his thoughts about Training Camp at The Greenbrier:
“I can’t fathom that anyone is in a better situation. The facilities are incredible. Everything is close. The food is good. The weather is perfect. I can’t imagine being in a better place or a place that’s better for getting a team ready.
On perception that training at a resort makes a team soft:
“We’ve had very hard camps where we went 7-9 – in Jackson, Mississippi. How do you explain that? At the end of the day, we have to play better. We have to run the ball. We have to have a better turnover ratio. In the years we’ve done that, we win. Other years we haven’t. I don’t know if a hot camp makes you hold onto the football, protect it more or run better. I don’t buy that. Everyone wants an easy answer. The reality is we weren’t good enough the last two years to win more than seven games.
Head coach Sean Payton
On the Saints third year of Training Camp at The Greenbrier:
“We had a great environment. The weather was cooperative. We had one day we were delayed 15 minutes (because of rain), but we got a lot of good work done. We had a lot of competitive drills.
“This facility is very conducive to getting your team ready to play. It allows the players to have that focus, and it eliminates a lot of the distractions. Even on their off days, these guys are together getting treatment, watching tape or eating together. I like to see that.
On if he wants to return to The Greenbrier for future Training Camps:
“This has been outstanding. Yes. You guys have seen it now for the third year in a row. I think it gives you a real secluded environment for a period of time. We’ve tried to split it and still have that Training Camp at home for our fans there, but in today’s game it gives you all the things you’re looking for from a teaching standpoint. I still look at camp as getting away and having a chance to put a key around a shoelace. So I like that about it. The people here have been great, starting with (The Greenbrier owner) Jim (Justice) and his staff. They’ve been amazing.
Running back C.J. Spiller
On Training Camp at The Greenbrier:
“I love it here. The people are great. The weather’s great. They treat us first class. I’ve enjoyed the last three years I’ve been here.”