There has been a storm cloud over the New Orleans Saints since early in the offseason when the bounty scandal crashed down on the club.
But despite all the distractions, including the ongoing eavesdropping investigation and protracted contract situation for quarterback Drew Brees, there has been a calm within the team. That is what new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the man who replaced bounty architect Gregg Williams, said in an interview on WIP in Philadelphia, according to sportsradiointerviews.com.
“You guys may not believe me when I say this, but (traning camp has been) very, very smooth,” Sapgnuolo said. “And I think it’s a testament not only to the leadership at the top … but really the players and the coaches that have been there. If you go back to last season, there was a little bit of a dry run with this when Sean Payton injured his knee on the sidelines.
“Now, nobody ever wants to go into a season or an offseason without their head coach. There’s a great deal of love and respect for Sean. … I look forward to being with him next year, but I really feel like this organization, more than anyone I’ve ever been with, just really has a way with being able to adjust.”
It remains to be seen what level of motivation the sanctions against the club will generate and Spagnuolo does not discount that real possibility.
“It’s not a talked about every day thing. My guess is, underneath, I would think that we’re all prideful men, that maybe there is a little bit of that,” he said. “If it’s used as a rallying cry and it helps us win, I’m all for it. But I think that we’re all, right now, just focused on training camp, what training camp’s all about, building a foundation.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune