The New Orleans Saints got an unscheduled surprise Tuesday when they returned to the practice fields for the first time since a 20-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.The Saints were scheduled to have a morning walkthrough emphasizing special teams before a full practice in the afternoon. But coach Sean Payton changed the plans and had them work twice under a blazing sun with the morning practice in full pads and afternoon in helmets and shorts.
“I mentioned to the team after (morning) practice that our job is to put them in situations that are game-like,” said Payton, whose team plays its second exhibition game on Friday night against Buffalo in the Superdome.
“I think we felt as a whole and the players felt that we need a good week of practice with a short week,” he said. “I’m going to have to back off because of the game on Friday. If it was going to happen, it was going to be today. It was a tough practice with goal-line installation. That’s one thing about it that is hard with a walkthrough.”
In the afternoon practice, it felt much hotter than the official temperature of 95 degrees with a heat index of 104. But Payton said he was pleased with how his team bounced back from the sluggish performance against the Steelers.
“It was hot today and this morning’s practice was pretty tough,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s a time where guys kind of have to switch modes and get their minds right in preparation for this week’s game,” quarterback Drew Brees said. “We want to come out and play well. Obviously, we want to redeem ourselves a little bit after our game against Pittsburgh.”