Saints Rolling With The Punches

When Saints were asked about having to adjust their plans to deal with the weather and practice, they made no excuses. Actually, Drew Brees invoked his best Bill Belichick line saying "It is what it is."

Once again, the Saints showed that they could adapt in a moment's notice when they arrived in south Florida on Monday for Super Bowl XLIV.

After being forced to make changes to their routine in 2005 and 2008 because of hurricanes and an extended toad trip to London, the Saints had to get on a bus to escape some heavy south Florida rain to get a light practice in at the Miami Dolphins' indoor facility in Davie.

The Saints didn't seem to mind, however, shrugging off a slight inconvenience that might have set off other coaches or players with only six days to go before the biggest game of the their lives.

"It is what it is," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "'Weather the storm.' We know how to do that. This (walkthrough practice) is something we wanted to do today. We got here early (in the day) for a reason.

"Our team jumped right on the buses to the practice field. We got a good sweat in, got a good workout in. I think it has just really set the tone for us and our mindset for this week. It's all business."

That's what coach Sean Payton has come to expect of his team. They've had to adjust their schedules several times since he took over in 2006, but doing something other than the norm doesn't seem to bother his players.

"We wanted to get a workout in today. We felt that was important," said Payton, whose team was supposed to practice at the University of Miami's facility. "Overall, it went pretty good.

"Actually, it was pretty smooth. When you get the itinerary down and the players are adaptable, it just involved us busing up to practice. We knew this would be the rain plan."

"We handled it well," agreed All-Pro guard Jahri Evans. "The weather played a key factor in that and the time delays, but we weren't too far off schedule. We pushed a couple of things back but still got our work in, which was the most important thing."


--QB Drew Brees has hit on 40 of 63 passes, completing 63.5 percent of his throws for 444 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions so far in the postseason. He has been sacked just once and has compiled a passer rating of 116.1.

--RB Reggie Bush has come up big in the Saints' two playoff wins, rushing for 92 yards and a 7.7 average and catching six passes for 57 yards. He has scored on a 46-yard run, a 5-yard reception and an 87-yard punt return.

--TE Jeremy Shockey has been hampered by a knee injury, but has caught four passes for 45 yards and one touchdown.

--WR Marques Colston has eight receptions for 105 yards with one touchdown reception in the Saints' two playoff games.

--WR Devery Henderson leads the Saints in the postseason with 119 yards on eight catches with two TDs -- including a 44-yard scoring grab.

--LCB Jabari Greer, who missed most of the second half of the season with a sports hernia injury, is rounding back into form in the playoffs with 14 total tackles and a team-high five passes defensed.

--MLB Jonathan Vilma has only six tackles in the Saints' two playoff games, but he's had an interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

--RCB Tracy Porter had the interception that might have saved the Saints late in the NFC Championship Game and also forced a fumble that his team recovered to go along with 12 total tackles.

--RB Pierre Thomas is the Saints' rushing leader in the postseason with 113 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. He also has six receptions for 56 yards with a 38-yard TD and a 40-yard kickoff return.

--P Thomas Morstead, a rookie, has been solid with a gross average of 48.2 yards on 11 punts with a net average of 45.0. He has a long of 66 yards and has put five punts inside the 20. He's also kicked off 13 times with 10 reaching the end zone and six of them going for touchbacks.

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