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Saints splitting time in training camp between Louisiana and West Virginia

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West Virginia’s unique, sprawling geography results in a strange blend of fan loyalties.  In one area of the state, the Redskins rule.  Elsewhere, it’s the Panthers.  Toward southern Ohio, the Bengals become the preferred franchise.

I grew up in the Northern Panhandle, created when an encounter by Mason and Dixon with Native Americans caused them to stop their push to the Ohio River.  While the sliver of four counties ended up not being Pennsylvania, it’s still an annexation of Steelers Country.

There’s now a new team for West Virginians to follow.  This year, the Saints will conduct a portion of their training camp at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.

Coach Sean Payton spent time there last year during an annual PGA event, caddying for Ryan Palmer.  Payton realized that the climate, with much less heat and far more infrequent rain, is conducive to getting the most out of the limited reps of permitted during preseason practices under the 2011 CBA.

“No different than we do every year, we evaluate all areas of our operations and look for ways to improve,” Payton said in a team-issued release. “By splitting training camp between New Orleans and The Greenbrier, we will have a great opportunity to further enhance our training camp in 2014. We all understand the importance of training camp and ultimately, that’s to get the team ready for the regular season. As far as the time we will spend at The Greenbrier, it offers a tremendous opportunity to our team in a more moderate summer climate.”

G.M. Mickey Loomis echoed the notion that the climate will help the team better prepare for the 17-week grind.

“We feel like this decision will allow our team to best prepare for our 2014 season by practicing at our facility and also taking advantage of a more moderate climate and setting in West Virginia, similar to what we did in 2009 when we went to southern California for a week,” Loomis said. “I have always been a proponent of mixing up training camp every few years which I believe is a good strategy as we prepare for the season. With this plan, we get the best of both and that is important. We get quality practices in both locations and we get the benefits of having our fans support us during our time at home in Metairie and we get the opportunity for our team to unite at a location away from home.”

Regardless of what it means for the Saints, it will be a very welcome development for a state that remains one of the best-kept secrets in the nation.  Some residents would prefer to keep it that way.  Once the world gets a closer look at what West Virginia has to offer, that could change.

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22 Responses to “Saints splitting time in training camp between Louisiana and West Virginia”
  1. weepingjebus says: Mar 13, 2014 1:36 PM

    Also, West Virginia has far fewer prohibitions on teaching someone how to shatter a knee with a chop block.

  2. p4hbiz says: Mar 13, 2014 1:37 PM

    Good luck with that.

  3. sb44champs says: Mar 13, 2014 1:38 PM

    Saints Super Bowl here we come!!

  4. trollhammer20 says: Mar 13, 2014 1:38 PM

    They should have it at the University of Washington. Then they might learn how to play in the cold and rain.

  5. mrlaloosh says: Mar 13, 2014 1:50 PM

    Great moonshine.

  6. brownoholic says: Mar 13, 2014 1:50 PM

    Props to Jim Justice for bringing the Greenbrier back from the dead. One of Dr. James Andrews’ clinics is going to be there too. Maybe already there?

    Proud to be a former resident of Greenbrier County, WV. One of the most beautiful places on Earth. Will retire there for sure.

  7. kneelbeforesod says: Mar 13, 2014 1:51 PM

    Happy DC Who Dat here!

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 13, 2014 1:54 PM

    Does what they have to offer include taxpayers that the NFL can tap into? Just say yes and there can be an influx of new visitors dressed in suits really soon! And what do you guys know about the people over in Virginia, they got any money?

  9. jimmyt says: Mar 13, 2014 1:56 PM

    Splitting up training camp so Payton can play golf.

  10. mattyork1972 says: Mar 13, 2014 2:00 PM

    My god people give the Bounty Gate thing a rest already.

    What ever happened to the If you don’t have anything good to say than say nothing approach. Have we really become such a despicable society that all we do is think of ways to slam someone or something. Does it make You a better person?

  11. wvuandsteelers says: Mar 13, 2014 2:14 PM

    I grew up in the southern part of the state and am a proud Steelers fan.

    They will notice a change in accents and language from Cajun to hillbilly, though. 🙂 For example, I don’t think they have “hollers” in Louisiana.

  12. yb1956 says: Mar 13, 2014 2:23 PM

    Makes sense. The Saints. WV is “almost heaven”.

  13. ghlatty says: Mar 13, 2014 3:18 PM

    OK, how many really got the John Denver reference above?

  14. longsufferingbillsfan says: Mar 13, 2014 3:37 PM

    Don’t drink the water, fellas.

  15. urfinished says: Mar 13, 2014 3:58 PM

    When the whole team is poisoned due to the water debacle in WV…I wonder if they will blame Greg Williams?

  16. joelvis72 says: Mar 13, 2014 4:01 PM

    Good thing Keith Poole is long gone from the Saints…training camp in such close proximity to hundreds of golf clubs….

  17. sb44champs says: Mar 13, 2014 4:20 PM

    Hey, I liked Keith Poole… went undrafted I believe and Ditka found him

  18. joelvis72 says: Mar 13, 2014 4:38 PM

    I like Keith, too. He’s married to the daughter of one of my co-workers. Dude had a wild time up in LaCrosse, though.

  19. cranespy says: Mar 13, 2014 5:14 PM

    What became of the discussion to make the Greenbrier the permanent home of the Browns training camp? That report made it’s rounds when Jim entered the Greenbrier Clinic into its current partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.

  20. jackericsson says: Mar 13, 2014 5:19 PM

    Montani Semper Liberi! And you failed to mention the Mountaineers are bigger than all of them in Almost Heaven!

  21. hoodatnva says: Mar 13, 2014 10:09 PM

    John Denver’s song was about the west side of Virginia — “Blueridge Mountains, Shenandoah river”.

  22. musicman495 says: Mar 13, 2014 10:27 PM

    Just don’t try to drink the water.

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