Sean Payton encouraged by Drew Brees-Jared Cook connection so far

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Before training camp opened, Saints coach Sean Payton said he’s expanding the package of plays at tight end, specifically for free-agent arrival Jared Cook. Payton now says he encouraged by what he has seen from Cook in camp, while working with quarterback Drew Brees.

“I think one thing you see with Cook is his stature,” Payton told reporters on Monday. A lot of times you’ll talk about a big target and there is a confidence level when you throw it to someone who’s that tall and who’s got really good hands, so they’ve been able to make some good plays. He is smart and he picked things up to his credit in the spring and now you’re starting to see some of the plays that take place. That’s encouraging.”

The Saints haven’t really had a top-flight weapon at tight end since trading Jimmy Graham. Coby Fleener showed promise, but concussion issues ended his career. Cook could be exactly what the Saints need at that position.