Brees Likes What He Sees In Saints' Newcomers

NFL: JAN 01 Saints at Falcons

The New Orleans Saints' offseason plan was pretty simple: at least maintain the productivity of the second-highest scoring offense in the NFL and significantly improve a defense that allowed the second-most points last season.

After two weeks of Organized Team Activities, which concluded Thursday, the team has started acclimating the newcomers on both sides of the ball as it tries to become a more balanced team.

"I like what I'm seeing, but we don't have pads on yet so you have to temper your enthusiasm sometimes," quarterback Drew Brees said. "I think we went out and got the right guys in terms of character, toughness, intelligence. These guys want to learn, they want to compete."

The competitiveness was evident as the defense was enthusiastic in trying to match the offense big play for big play Thursday in the second workout that was open to the media.

Not surprisingly, most of the newcomers are on defense.

New Orleans signed wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. to replace Brandin Cooks, who was traded to New England, and added running back Adrian Peterson and offensive lineman Larry Warford.

Peterson, who has led the NFL in rushing three times, is 32 years old and is coming off knee surgery last season, but he is healthy now. He is expected to share time with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara.

"He is a stud," Brees said. "He looks the part. It has been impressive. Obviously, you admired the guy from afar. I have played in a few Pro Bowls with him, so I do have a little bit of that experience.

"There is something about handing the ball off to that guy and watching him run through the hole and take on anybody who tries to tackle him. Obviously, we are not in pads right now, but you are just imagining what it is going to be like. So, I am excited for that time to come."

On defense the Saints signed defensive end Alex Okafor and linebackers A.J. Klein and Manti Te'o and drafted five players, most notably cornerback Marshon Lattimore (first round) and safety Marcus Williams (second round).

"We know what Brees and the offense can do so we've got to improve," said Okafor, who was brought in from Arizona to upgrade the pass rush. "That's been the emphasis throughout OTAs. I don't think we're as far off as people think we are."

The Saints are scheduled to conduct their finals four OTAs next week.

Copyright © 2017 TTWN Media Networks Inc. Photo: Getty Images

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