Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Vitt: Saints relying on strong foundation
By Pat Yasinskas
As they’ve done all offseason, the New Orleans Saints have adjusted again.
With Hurricane Isaac headed toward New Orleans, the team gave players some time to get their families safely situated and then flew out of Louisiana on Monday night. Just as they’ve done with coach Sean Payton suspended for the season, the Saints are trying to keep things as close to normal as possible. They landed in Cincinnati on Monday night, had some meetings and then had more meetings and a practice at Paul Brown Stadium on Tuesday.
This is nothing new for the Saints. They evacuated New Orleans and went to Indianapolis when Hurricane Gustav was approaching in 2008. They had to move their headquarters to San Antonio after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
Assistant head coach Joe Vitt had an excellent quote when he addressed the media after the practice in Cincinnati.
“You have to draft a certain kind of player to play for us in New Orleans, because there are certain challenges,’’ Vitt said. “This organization went through a catastrophic thing in ’05 with Katrina and (general manager) Mickey Loomis and (owner Tom) Benson decided that they were going to draft and hire certain types of people that can deal with these storms. This is a strong franchise. It’s not built on two-by-fours and clay. It’s built with cement and cinderblocks from the bottom up. We have the right people meet these challenges and we have the right leadership.”
With the hurricane hitting their homes, the Saints are getting through things as well as possible by relying on the franchise’s foundation. That’s the same thing they’ll be doing as they go through a season without Payton.
The Saints will hold another practice in Cincinnati on Wednesday. After that, they’ll travel to Nashville, where they’ll play the Tennessee Titans in their preseason finale Thursday night.
“This is what it is,’’ Vitt said. “We’re going to play the hand we’re dealt. We have a game Thursday night. We’re going to prepare to play the game Thursday night. The people and our neighbors in New Orleans are in our thoughts and our prayers. The toughness and resiliency that our city shows is the same toughness and resiliency that our football team shows.”