Daye says Saint camp will be festive

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 15, 2000

Ferriday, La., native Daryl Daye has been to three pro football camps as a collegiate coach. &uot;But I have never seen anything like this,&uot; Daye said in anticipation of the New Orleans Saints camp, which begnis today at Nicholls State University.

Daye is beginning his second year at Nicholls State.

After several years of holding camp in Wisconsin, Saint officials opted to use Nicholls State as a training camp this year.

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&uot;Everything is really festive,&uot; Daye said of the campus. &uot;I’m not sure anybody will be watching the practices for everything that’s going to be going on around them.&uot;

Daye, who will be in Ferriday next week for the Colonel Classic Golf Tournament to be held at Panola Woods July 21, said about 100 tents dotted the practice field Friday, as well as an amusement park with a portable jumping room.

&uot;Each day a kid will carry the players’ helmets to practice,&uot; Daye said. &uot;It does look like a south Louisiana pro camp. It looks like good times.&uot;

Daye is more than estactic to have the camp on campus. He has attended camps with the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins.

&uot;Those were more of clinics where we kind of sat off from what was going on,&uot; he said.

The Saints have worked on the football fields and other athletic areas in preparation of the camp.

&uot;Our practice and game fields were substandard, but they are plush now,&uot; Daye said. &uot;They have given a facelift to our facilities, bringing them up to their standards. They have re-carpeted and painted the lockerooms and meeting rooms and brought in new equipment for the weight room, which we can keep.&uot;

Daye is hosting recruits this weekend, which is an unofficial recruiting weekend meaning high school players pay their own way.

&uot;We’re anxious for them to see our new facilities,&uot; he said.

The camp should be an interesting one to watch for those who can watch, considering 50 percent of the Saints’ roster this year is made up of new players.

Saints fan can get an early start on checking out guys such as Jeff Blake and Jake Reed, as well as Ricky Williams.

After his embarrassing article in Sports Illustrated, is Ricky ready to prove he wants to be in New Orleans.

My brother Freddie talked with New Orleans quarterback Jake Delhomme recently and Jake told him that Ricky was looking good, &uot;running 50 extra yards after the whistle blew.&uot;

Ricky seems determined to have a banner season and I’m expecting just that.

Delhomme also had high praise for Blake and Reed.

The former Ragin’ Cajun quarterback said Blake has a strong arm and shows great leadership, while Reed does a great job of shielding his body in going for the football and makes the tough catches.

The Saints will also be looking for a big-play kick returner. Joe Horn and rookie Chad Morton will try to do what Eddie Kennison and Andre Hastings have not been able to do in the past.

And finally, there is the heat. This is not Wisconsin anymore. The dog days will have players dragging at times.

The Saints have scheduled their second practice after 7 p.m.

Then again there’s those irritating mosquitoes.

Anyone who survives this training camp, will certainly earn their wares.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at