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Payton, Saints coaches prepare training camp schedule as NFL lockout lingers

Sean PaytonSean PaytonNEW ORLEANS – In a normal offseason, the New Orleans Saints would be conducting a minicamp this weekend for its recent draft picks, selected free agents and undrafted rookie free agents.

But these are not normal times in the NFL because of the ongoing lockout and court battles.  

That said, Saints Coach Sean Payton and his coaching staff are going about their business in preparation for training camp and the 2011 regular season.

As of Friday the 13th, it is 118 days and counting until the Saints are scheduled to open the NFL season on national television against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers at storied Lambeau Field.

“We are putting together our offensive, defensive and special teams’ installations and our training camp book and the first 14 practices of training camp,’’ Payton told SportsNOLA.com. “In addition, we’re starting our game preparations for Green Bay (Sept. 8) and Chicago (Sept. 18) and our first few opponents.’’

Payton said he has discussed with Coach Gary Kubiak the possibility of practicing against the Houston Texans prior to their exhibition game on Aug. 20 at Reliant Stadium.  

Obviously, those practice plans are on hold as the NFL lockout enters a third month with no end in sight.  

Meantime, Saints quarterback Drew Brees continues to lead “players-only’’ non-contact workouts for approximately three dozen players at Tulane University.  

Saints beat writer Brian Allee-Walsh can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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