|Saints' top pick joins training camp|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 30 July 2008 15:14|
Ellis gave it right back to them as he practiced for the first time since signing his five-year contract earlier in the day.
``They were giving me a little of tough love there, but some of those other defensive line guys aren't too underpaid themselves,'' Ellis said.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis did not release financial details because of team policies. The Times-Picayune, citing unidentified league sources, said the contract is worth $49 million, with $19.5 million in guarantees.
The newest Saints defensive tackle came into camp weighing about 305 pounds and took plenty of extra repetitions during individual drills. Ellis spent most of his time practicing with the second team, but that should change the more acclimated the No. 7 overall pick in April's draft becomes to the system.
Saints coach Sean Payton and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron both said Ellis showed up in good shape, but they noted he's behind the rest of the team. Ellis missed the first 12 training camp practices because of his extended holdout.
``It's hard to be in the same exact shape everyone else is, because it's impossible to simulate what you're missing,'' Payton said. ``You can try, but it's hard to do that. So until you get pads on and start moving around in this heat, over a long period of time, it'll take a while.''
Ellis said he wished the contract talks wouldn't have lasted so long, preferring to have arrived at camp on the first day. Reporting day was last Wednesday and two-a-day practices began last Thursday.
``That was really tough, especially you know when all your new teammates that you haven't made an impression on yet are out working hard and you want to be a part of that, especially being a new member of the team,'' Ellis said. ``So it definitely weighed on my mind and I kept in really good contact with my agent and with officials on the team and we got it finished.''
Ellis ended his opening session on a positive note as he bowled through guard Andy Alleman to put added pressure on quarterback Mark Brunell. The move allowed defensive end Bobby McCray to jar the ball loose from the left-handed quarterback.
``I think I had a couple of good plays this practice,'' Ellis said. ``I'm definitely a guy that likes to do a lot of line games and a lot of movement at the defensive line. I'm not the biggest of defensive linemen, so I pride myself on my ability to move. I definitely like to play stunt games on the line and things like that. I just like to get in the groove with my teammates and have as much fun as possible.''