Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The New Orleans Saints Invade Oxnard, CA


In the city of Oxnard you will find the River Ridge Golf Course Complex which includes a Residence Inn and two pristine natural grass football fields. Over the last dozen years or so, this complex has been the Summer practice home for first the Oakland Raiders and then the Dallas Cowboys.

This week the New Orleans Saints have opted to use River Ridge for their five practices leading up to next Sunday's preseason game in Oakland after having played at Houston last Saturday night.

At nearby Rio Mesa H.S., the Spartans were working through our first day of two-a-days in pads with the typical ups and downs. Our afternoon practice ended at about 4:50 p.m. Since the Saints practice started at 4:30 p.m., I decided to hustle over to River Ridge, only a five mile drive, and watch a bit of an NFL practice.

Parking cost $10 but admission to the practice was free!

I found the Saints practice to be well organized with no wasted efforts and seemless transitions from drill to drill. Let's go through their last 90 minutes of practice once I arrived.

PUNT

Calling out the Protection Scheme

Gunner releasing off the LOS

KICKOFF COVERAGE DRILL

Two Covering against One Returner

Breakdown and Contain

This was a GREAT drill, you will see it soon at RMHS.

7-on-7 DRILL

Back-up QB Chase Daniels in action

Drew Brees, one of the NFL's BEST!

Pass Defense

Brees slinging it again

PASS BLOCKING DRILL

This might be holding

This one too

This one looks legal

Check out the guns on #63

He's Dexter Lattimore, a rookie out of THE Ohio State University.

TEAM OFFENSE

Darren Sproles with the rock

Sproles with the stiff arm

Sproles turns the corner

This was all part of the same long distance TD run by the former San Diego Charger.

FIELD GOAL

Pressure Off the Edge

Kicker Garrett Hartley

KICKOFF RETURN

Get Position FIRST!

#93 Junior Galette

Gallette makes a block

RED ZONE OFFENSE

Knock It Down!

#23 Pierre Thomas driving for paydirt!

#28 Mark Ingram running wild!

Ingram was the Saints #1 Draft Pick this year out of Alabama. He was also the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and looked very good today.

TD by #13 WR Joseph Morgan

TWO MINUTE GAME

Brees to . . .

. . . Sproles

Hartley finishes the drive with a three

CONDITIONING

Gassers

Practice ended with some spirited Gassers. As you can see, the Saints ran a great practice with lots of variety and a great stress on the kicking game.

It was a fun 90 minutes watching them go through their paces!