Football fans take in Saints, Patriots practices at The Greenbri - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Football fans take in Saints, Patriots practices at The Greenbrier this week

Posted: Updated:
Saints and Patriots fans enjoy training camp at The Greenbrier. Saints and Patriots fans enjoy training camp at The Greenbrier.
Fans get up close with players during training camp at The Greenbrier. Fans get up close with players during training camp at The Greenbrier.
Hundreds of fans flock to training camp at The Sports Performance Center fields at The Greenbrier Hundreds of fans flock to training camp at The Sports Performance Center fields at The Greenbrier
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a popular player during training camp at The Greenbrier Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a popular player during training camp at The Greenbrier
Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a fan favorite during training camp at The Greenbrier. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a fan favorite during training camp at The Greenbrier.

Don’t look for any New England Patriots players to be hanging out by the pool or playing a round of golf on The Old White while at The Greenbrier this week.

Head coach Bill Belichick said the trip to West Virginia is all about business.

“We’re here for one reason – to improve our football team,” he said. “It’s training camp. The players are coming out and competing hard on the field."

The Patriots joined with the New Orleans Saints Aug. 19 for the first of two days of a combined training camp at the Sports Performance Center in White Sulphur Springs.

“An important part of training camp is meetings and preparation, rest and recovery. We don’t want those things to take a backseat to anything else. That’s what we’re here for – this is our job and our living. We’re a very competitive team so we want to get the most out of it.”

NFL football is big business. Annual revenue for the league is estimated $9 billion.

Hundreds of fans showed up on the first day of drills, with as many fans wearing Patriots gear as Saints gear, although the Saints have had a year to build its fan base in the Mountain State. They may take some time to play golf or take a dip at the resort.

Some families sported both squads’ colors. One family, lifelong Patriots fans originally from the Boston area, made the trip to The Greenbrier from their new home in Florida.

Fans munched on concession-style foods and drinks and sought autographs after practice. Several players from both teams accommodated fans carrying photos, football and other memorabilia.

The football facilities at The Greenbrier received high praise from the reigning Super Bowl champion head coach.

“It’s great to be down here and a great opportunity for our football team,” said Belichick. "It’s a beautiful facility. (New Orleans head coach) Sean (Payton) and the Saints showed us around (Tuesday night). I think it’s a great layout, the fields are beautiful. All of the facilities have been great and the Saints have been hospitable and accommodating. The Greenbrier setting is pretty unique.

 “It’s a great opportunity as individuals to improve and for our team as a whole to improve,” Belichick added. “The Saints are a quality team. I have all of the respect in the world for the Saints, the entire organization and how they do things. It will be a great three days.”

Payton continued to sing the praises of The Greenbrier football facilities and his team’s annual three-week stay in West Virginia.

“Plus, we get to train in better temperatures here than in New Orleans,” he said. “The setup here is perfect. We can train with no distractions. It’s a really good relationship.”

Two of the most popular players at camp were the signal callers – future hall of fame quarterbacks Drew Brees of the Saints and Tom Brady of the Patriots. Brady has been in the national spotlight for the past several months due to an investigation into alleged deflated football during the AFC championship game in January.

In fact, Brady’s attendance for camp in West Virginia was in jeopardy as of late Tuesday night because of a hearing in New York City earlier that day. But the next day, he stood on the field in West Virginia, drawing supportive fans holding “Free Brady” signs and a gaggle of national reporters, including at least two from ESPN.

The Saints and Patriots will meet in a preseason game in New Orleans Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Monday, September 18 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-09-18 17:34:43 GMT
    WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

  • Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Sunday, September 17 2017 10:32 AM EDT2017-09-17 14:32:13 GMT
    The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

  • No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    Sunday, September 10 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-09-10 21:18:38 GMT
    Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

  • Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    Game Preview: WVU Starts Big 12 Play at KU

    WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.WVU quarterback Will Grier talks with receiver David Sills during Saturday's game against Delaware St. game.
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
    By Ryan Decker  With a pair of relatively easy victories under their belts, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks (1-2) as conference play begins. WVU is one of three one-loss teams in the Big 12, whereas Kansas is one of only three teams in the conference with a losing record.  Despite not facing one of the premier programs, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday you can’t overlook Kansas.  “This w...
  • Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:33:57 GMT
    Photojournalist Randy McKinneyPhotojournalist Randy McKinney

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

  • WVU Receivers Competitive on Field, in Room

    WVU Receivers Competitive on Field, in Room

    Gary Jennings (12), Marcus Simms (8) and Justin Crawford celebrate a WVU touchdown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Gary Jennings (12), Marcus Simms (8) and Justin Crawford celebrate a WVU touchdown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineers push each other while positioning themselves to come away as Will Grier's favorite target on game day. 

    Mountaineers push each other while positioning themselves to come away as Will Grier's favorite target on game day. 

  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!    

  • Quotes from Coach: Crawford's Consistency, Big 12 Familiarity, Injury Update

    Quotes from Coach: Crawford's Consistency, Big 12 Familiarity, Injury Update

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 12:40 PM EDT2017-09-20 16:40:58 GMT

    In the latest Quotes from Coach, Holgorsen discusses Kansas challenges, Crawford's consistency and gives an injury update.

    In the latest Quotes from Coach, Holgorsen discusses Kansas challenges, Crawford's consistency and gives an injury update.

  • 2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.