Saints’ mental testing could have helped identify players who can make successful transition during challenging offseason

Ed Warriner has been around a lot of football players during his three decades as a football coach.

The amount of offensive linemen he's coached during that span, which includes stops at Army, Air Force, Kansas, Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio State and his current post at Michigan, is staggering. So, when he makes statements about a player being among the best or brightest he's been around, his words carry weight.

Warriner was blown away by Cesar Ruiz's ability to learn, process, and apply information during their time together at Michigan. The first-round pick's efficiency in diagnosing plays and checking into the correct calls was the best Warriner has ever seen, a direct result of the new Saint's insatiable desire for knowledge.

That hunger is why the coach thinks Ruiz should have minimal issues learning the Saints offense despite the offseason program getting canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. And for rookies, during a normal year, that would have started this week with rookie minicamp.

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