Chesney Participates in Saints Training Camp

posted August 11th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

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by Josh Martn

Kenny Chesney has always been a fan of football. And today, he got to suit up and catch punts and passes at the New Orleans Saints practice in Jackson, Mississipp:

There may have been a time when country music star Kenny Chesney never thought – in his wildest dreams – that he’d be catching passes and punts at an NFL training camp.

With a concert coming up in New Orleans on Thursday, Chesney traveled to Jackson today to take part in Saints practice, much like he did for one day during the 2007 preseason when the Saints practiced in Cincinnati the day before a game there.

“Not every coach in the NFL would let something like this happen and it kind of goes to show you how great of a coach Coach Payton would be to play for,” Chesney said. “He and I have been friends a long time and for him to let me come out and do this, it gives me a chance to get away from the bus and get away from the tour and get away from the generators and the catering and everything.”

While the Saints did not announce Chesney’s appearance before he showed up on the field wearing a white game jersey with his name sewn on the back, the practice was open to the public, putting Chesney under added pressure not to disappoint fans while running plays during non-contact drills.

He had his good moments, catching a long pass from quarterback Drew Brees, but also struggled to cleanly handle booming punts from Steve Weatherford.

Payton told players they would get this Sunday off if Chesney caught a punt within two chances. He needed three, but players still got the day off.

“On the first one, I totally blew it,” said Chesney, who played receiver in high school in Tennessee. “On the second one, not only were they offside, but they interfered with me.”

So Chesney was given a third chance, which he bobbled, but did not drop, sending players into celebration, most noticeably Reggie Bush, who hurled a water bottle across the field.

“Reggie told me I better not drop the third one because he didn’t want to practice,” Chesney said.

Read the entire article here. There is more here and here.

View more photos of Kenny at the Saints practice in our Photo Gallery.

Tagged in In The News, Personal, Photos


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