In a little over a week, the New Orleans Saints will be packing their bags and moving west for a week.
Saints Head Coach Sean Payton announced today that the team would be practicing in Oxnard, Calif. during the week of Aug. 21-28 to keep the training camp going for an additional period of time during the shortened offseason.
Citing camaraderie building and getting more time in with the playbook were some of Payton’s reasons for moving the team to a new venue and adding training camp time. Payton knows the area well, as the Cowboys spent training camp in that same locale while he was their offensive coordinator.
The trip to California will coincide with the Saints third preseason game against the Raiders, and will give the black and gold players a week-long reprieve from the brutal heat and humidity that the team experiences daily in Metarie. Onxard is located in northern California and features weather in the 60s and 70s during this time of year, compared to the weather in the 90s and 100s in Louisiana.
While it is an unorthodox move that hasn’t been done by Payton in the past, the Saints coach has had a good feel for the team’s mood in the past, and the additional time the team spends together, and the more practices they get in before the season starts will be great for the team in the long haul.