WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — An open scrimmage for the New Orleans Saints is scheduled for Saturday in Greenbrier County as training camp for the NFL team continues at The Greenbrier Resort’s Advocare Sports Performance Facility.
As recently as a month ago, though, Dennis Lauscha, president of the New Orleans Saints, admitted he was “concerned” that moving camp more than 900 miles — on a short timeframe — would not be possible.
“I just kept shaking my head, saying, ‘There’s no way it’s going to be ready. We better have a back-up plan,'” Lauscha said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The almost $30 million training facility with three football fields was built in 59 days.
Now a week into camp, Lauscha said he’s happy to see the progress of training in noticeably cooler temperatures. At times, temperatures have been in the 40s in Greenbrier County at the start of the day.
“Our players are able to practice well in the conditions that are here in West Virginia and it’s worked out great,” he said.
Bobby Hebert, a broadcaster and former standout Saints player, said he’s enjoying the weather as well.
“We’re just glad that we’re able to come up here because it’s so dog-hot in Louisiana right now, it’s like the Burma jungle,” Herbert said.
“It’s unbelievable what Mr. (Jim) Justice (Greenbrier Resort owner) and everyone have done in such a short time span. I mean, these fields are in great shape and, basically, it looks like they moved a mountain.”
Saturday’s scheduled scrimmage time is 8:50 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. The team will be off on Sunday. Open practices are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week before the Saints travel to St. Louis for a preseason game against the Rams on Friday, Aug. 8.
The team will return to The Greenbrier for practice from Aug. 10-13 before heading back to New Orleans to complete training camp.
All of the practices are open to the public.
MetroNews “Talkline” was broadcasting from The Greenbrier Resort on Thursday and Friday as part of the Saints camp.