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Williams, Hornets Coaching Staff Makes Annual Trip to Saints Training Camp
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
August 22, 2011



During the NBA season, one of the most familiar New Orleans faces you often see seated courtside at Hornets games is Sean Payton, head coach for the Super Bowl XLIV champion Saints. On Thursday, Aug. 18, it was time for the Hornets sideline leader, Monty Williams, to return the favor and pay a visit to Paytons workplace.

Williams, along with his entire coaching staff, spent three hours at the Saints training camp in suburban Metairie. Hornets coaches and basketball operations personnel intently watched the NFC South team practice and were greeted afterward by Payton, superstar quarterback Drew Brees and various other players and members of the Saints organization.

It marked the second consecutive year that Williams has visited the Saints during the lead-up to the NFLs regular season.

Its important for us to continue to learn and get better as coaches, explained Williams of the trip. I want to come over and learn as much as I can from guys who do it well.

After meeting with Payton, Williams chatted with New Orleans superstar quarterback, a man whose status is so lofty in this region that he is sometimes referred to as Brees-us. Williams said he is always impressed by the Pro Bowl players work ethic and dedication.

I spent most of my time watching Drew, Williams said. Im amazed that he doesnt slack off in any drills. He takes everything they do very seriously. I watched all of his passes today. They were all spirals and everything was on point. It was amazing. I wanted to see if he would take a play off or a drill off, but he didnt do it one time. Thats the stuff that the public doesnt know about.

Payton joked that he knew the Hornets had arrived at practice when he looked over and saw a pair of 6-foot-7 men standing on the sideline, including Williams. The two coaches of New Orleans major-league professional sports franchises had a brief conversation, before it was time for Payton to return to the task of getting the Saints prepared for their Sept. 8 prime-time regular season opener at Green Bays Lambeau Field. As Payton later spoke to a large media contingent, he wore a brand-new, white and Creole blue Hornets hat.

You can just tell he wants to make this city proud once again, Williams assessed of his football counterpart. Hes not complacent. Hes still grinding, trying to make this team the best it can be. We talked about family, but he had to get back to work and I didnt want to keep him. I was just thankful that he would take time out to talk to our staff.

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