WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The general manager for the New Orleans Saints said he first started talking about The Greenbrier Resort as a possible training camp site for his NFL team three years ago.
“I thought it was time for us to make a change. I think it energizes your coaching staff and your players to do something different. Also, I wanted to get to some cooler weather,” Mickey Loomis said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The show was broadcasting from The Greenbrier Resort as training camp for the New Orleans Saints continued at the Advocare Sports Performance Facility — the almost $30 million site with three football fields that was built for the Saints in 59 days.
Loomis admitted he was worried about the tight timeframe for construction.
“Our main concern was the fields themselves. We could deal with (it) if the building wasn’t ready. We could deal with meeting rooms in the hotel and we’d find space to conduct our business,” he said. “But, man, the fields are so fantastic and they’ve held up so well. That’s probably been a bit of a surprise for me.”
Jim Henderson, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the New Orleans Saints, said he’s been enjoying the weather and so have the players. Temperatures have topped out in the 70s for much of the week in the Greenbrier Valley.
“Now they’re talking about getting into the low to mid-80s every day next week and, believe me, that feels like fall if you’re in New Orleans,” said Henderson. The players can concentrate on their assignments when they’re not distracted by the heat and, he said, there’s a lot of talent on the field.
“The secret to the Saints in my estimation, and I’ve been around them since 1978, the secret to their success since 2006….is their evaluation of talent,” Henderson said. “They’re extremely shrewd at evaluating talent.”
On Saturday, that talent will get an early test when the Saints scrimmage at The Greenbrier from 8:50 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. That scrimmage is open to the public.
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 returns to The Greenbrier for practice from Aug. 10-13 before heading back to New Orleans to complete training camp.
More information about the training camp for the New Orleans Saints is available here.