As the city of New Orleans recovers from Hurricane Ida, the New Orleans Saints will hold practices and strength and conditioning sessions at TCU.
“We have a good number of student-athletes and TCU students in general who are from Louisiana,” TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeremiah Donati said. “The New Orleans Saints are an important part of their communities and the entire state. Thanks to our campus leadership and especially the support of Head Football Coach Gary Patterson, which includes his relationship with Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, we are proud to welcome the Saints to TCU and Fort Worth. We look forward to hosting them on campus as a practice site and being of assistance during this most difficult time. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Ida.”
TCU and SMU both offered up use of their facilities earlier this week, and the Frogs have a special tie to the Saints, as Sean Payton’s son Connor is a student assistant for the football team. During his Tuesday press conference, Patterson spoke about why TCU was so quick to open their doors and the logistics of making an arrangement like this work. “We’ve talked to them about it. I hope they come over here. They do most of their practicing in the morning. They’re done by usually 2 p.m. We don’t start until 2 p.m. It’s really an easy fit as far as weight room, practice facilities, all of those kinds of things.”
The Saints will be the third NFL team in recent years to practice at TCU. The Dallas Cowboys have utilized the Horned Frogs’ Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility, while TCU was the host practice site for the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV in Arlington.
“The state of Louisiana, just like Texas, means a lot to us,” Patterson said. “Many of our past and present players are from there, and we recruit the entire state. The New Orleans Saints are very important to the people in Louisiana, and that’s why they’re important to us. My relationship with Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is also very important to me. Coach Payton has always given our players a good look and this year spent time personally visiting with them at our Pro Day. The entire Saints organization, under Mrs. Gayle Benson, is first class and has always treated TCU and our NFL players great.” The Boot is a pipeline state for TCU, and notable former and current players such as Garret Wallow, Ar’Darious Washington, Kellton Hollins, Artayvious Lynn, Khari Coleman, Earl Barquet, C.J. Ceasar, Patrick Jenkins and Derius Davis and Bud Clark hail from various parts of the state. Many of those current players have been active on social media calling for prayers for their home state.
The Saints will utilize the Sheridan and Clif Morris Football Practice Fields, the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility, the Bob Lilly Performance Center and locker room facilities in Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“Our organization is tremendously appreciative and grateful to TCU for their hospitality,” Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis said. “I would personally like to thank Chancellor Dr. Victor J. Boschini Jr., Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeremiah Donati and Head Football Coach Gary Patterson for the sacrifices they are making in order for us to prepare on the field and in their strength and conditioning facilities. We are truly grateful for the many offers we were presented with in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and have been overwhelmed with the support of this community in our time of need. We are cognizant of fact that TCU and their student-athletes and staff are hard at work in their preparations for their season and understand the stress and strains an NFL team will place on their facilities. They have our organization’s most sincere appreciation for their sacrifices.”