He seems to be fine.
Advocate staff photo by Mark Saltz
New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks looks for an open receiver during the teamÕs first practice on Saturday. Brooks had surgery on his throwing shoulder in the offseason.
METAIRIE -- It didn't take long for Aaron Brooks to erase any lingering doubts anyone had about the strength of his throwing shoulder during the New Orleans Saints' first training camp practice Saturday morning.
Brooks, who underwent surgery to reattach a tendon in his right shoulder on Jan. 17 and then spent 18 weeks rehabbing the arm, turned it loose before an estimated 2,500 fans at the Saints Training Facility.
The five-year veteran made all the throws he needed to make and even threw four deep balls without any problems during the 1-hour, 50-minute workout. Brooks, who was booed at the end of the 2002 season after he was injured, wowed the crowd Saturday even though the longer passes didn't find the mark.
"I wish we could have connected on one or two of them,'' Brooks said as he tried to cool down after a steamy practice. "But there's going to be time for that.''
The Saints have six weeks to go before they open the regular season on Sept. 7 against the Seattle Seahawks, plenty of time, Brooks said, to knock off the rust and polish up the offense. But Saturday was a good start, he said.
"There was no discomfort at all, no sharp pains,'' Brooks said. "In fact, the shoulder feels like it has gotten stronger and I had a little more velocity on the ball. It felt great.''
Saints coach Jim Haslett, who has insisted for weeks that Brooks' arm was fine, was certainly impressed by what he saw -- and heard.
"I thought (the velocity) was back,'' Haslett said. "I heard a couple of the balls whistle. When you hear the balls whistle, then you know that he has the velocity.
"I thought he looked good and he had no problems throwing the ball,'' he said. "He took a lot of the repetitions today.''
Even though he showed no ill effects from the surgery, Brooks will be monitored closely during training camp. But Brooks won't be limited initially in anything he does, unless he has problems.
"They're going to monitor me just because of the situation,'' Brooks said. "If I feel like there is a problem, I'm sure they're going to want me to back down. But the more throws I make without discomfort, the better it is for me.''
And naturally, for the Saints' offense.
"I can do everything I did in last year's camp, I just can't let myself get carried away,'' Brooks said. "I can do everything that's expected of me without any hesitancy.''
While Brooks was the biggest story on the first day of training camp, the other big story lines were on the other side of the ball.