It’s Friday, and nine days of Saints training camp are in the books. After tomorrow’s session, the team will have a day of rest after concluding a six-day week of work. Practice started indoors for a brief period, but then shifted outside and gave us tons of good stuff to check out. Here’s all of our notes and observations from Day 9.
RECAPS CAMP: Day 8 | Day 7 | Day 6 | Day 5 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1
Notes and Comments
WAITING: CJ Gardner-Johnson, Marshon Lattimore, Dylan Mabin, Smoke Monday (knee), D’Marco Jackson, Jerald Hawkins, and Jaleel Johnson were among those not spotted at practice today. Smoke Monday was placed on injured reserve. Lattimore is reportedly dealing with a slight muscle pull, and these things happen. It should be viewed as minor.
Taysom Hill and Rashid Shaheed were spotted outside doing individual work with a trainer. Hill wasn’t fully padded, but Shaheed was for the second day. Marcus Davenport was spotted inside doing individual rehab work.
Kiko Alonso joined the team yesterday, and was out there for practice wearing No. 47.
OFFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: There were no changes here. As we’ve seen for a while now, Landon Young gets reps during walkthroughs as the right tackle. However, today he got work extensively as the starting right tackle during team drills. James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, and Cesar Ruiz were the other linemen. Subs, starters, and rotational players included Abram Smith, Adam Trautman, Ryan Ramczyk, Adam Prentice, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Tre’Quan Smith, Jarvis Landry, Chris Olave, Nick Vannett, Juwan Johnson, Kevin White, and Deonte Harty.
DEFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: The Saints operated out of their base defense today, with no changes along the defensive line with Cam Jordan, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, and Carl Granderson. Kaden Elliss, Demario Davis, and Pete Werner were at linebacker, with Paulson Adebo and Bradley Roby at corner. Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu were at safety. Subs included Kiko Alonso, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Taco Charlton, Kentavius Street, Albert Huggins, and Eric Wilson.
MICHAEL THOMAS: It seems like we keep talking about him every day, but that’s only because of how good he’s looking out there. Thomas did 7-on-7 work for the first time today, and did not disappoint. He won both of his routes against Paulson Adebo, as he was very physical and looking like himself. His second win was a touchdown over the middle after an impressive display. Thomas is Thomas, and that’s all you need to know.
1-ON-1 HIGHLIGHTS: Tons of great action today, as we saw the wide receivers go up against the corners for this drill.
- Jarvis Landry vs. Bradley Roby – A nice pick on Andy Dalton to start things off for Roby. Excellent coverage by the veteran.
- Michael Thomas vs. Paulson Adebo – Thomas went 2-0 today, winning both of his routes against Adebo. The first was an out to the sideline after beating him off the line physically to get free from Adebo.
- Mark Callaway vs. Vincent Gray – Callaway caught a fade route for a score on the right side.
- Kirk Merritt vs. Paulson Adebo – He had an outstanding one-handed catch on a post route to score.
- Dai’Jean Dixon vs. Vincent Gray – He had a touchdown on the right side after a good route.
- Michael Thomas vs. Paulson Adebo – Thomas got into the end zone on a post route. Again, he was physical off of the line more than Adebo, and it led to a positive result.
7-ON-7: The Saints put in red zone work today. Defensively, the first look here included Tyrann Mathieu, which was huge news in the ramp up period for him. Joining him in drills was Justin Evans, PJ Williams, Demario Davis, Bradley Roby, Pete Werner, and Paulson Adebo.
Jameis Winston went 2-of-3, hitting Michael Thomas underneath working against Justin Evans to open. The second play saw the play getting blown dead after stellar coverage from the defense. The third play was an overthrow to Adam Trautman in the end zone, but Winston responded by finding Malcom Brown on an option route for a touchdown.
Second defense looks had Kaden Elliss, Eric Wilson, Bryce Thompson, Pete Werner, JT Gray, Vincent Gray, and Alontae Taylor. Andy Dalton went 3-of-3, with the big play coming last on a route near the sideline to Michael Thomas that resulted in a touchdown.
Ian Book finished 1-of-3, overthrowing Kawaan Baker in the back of the end zone to start. His next play resulted in a touchdown, finding Devine Ozigbo on an angle route with Kiko Alonso in coverage. The final rep saw really good coverage from the defense, with Book’s pass thrown at the feet of Dwayne Washington with Alonso in coverage, and Tyrann Mathieu made a good attempt at trying to pick it off after the ball deflected up.
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11-ON-11: There were three separate periods of this again, but there were some more passes than normal to open the first drill. Jameis Winston went 3-of-3, hitting Kirk Merritt, Mark Ingram, and Tre’Quan Smith on his passes.
Andy Dalton went 1-of-2, finding Lucas Krull near the sideline and missing Juwan Johnson on the next play on a pretty tough throw. ian Book completed his lone pass, a comeback route to Deonte Harty. He did a nice job of stepping up in the pocket to find him. Nephi Sewell and Albert Huggins had run stops on the following two plays.
The second set of drills came after some special teams work, which saw Winston go 1-of-3 here. He overthrew Tre’Quan Smith to start, but connected with Jarvis Landry on a deep sideline play near the end zone. Winston did a nice job of stepping up out of pressure, as Carl Granderson absolutely blew up James Hurst. Winston’s final throw was a post route from Juwan Johnson, but he couldn’t haul in a one-handed effort.
Andy Dalton completed both of his passes, finding Tony Jones Jr. on a wheel route for a touchdown to open with Eric Wilson in coverage. It was a great throw by Dalton. His second completion came on play action, as he rolled right to find Jarvis Landry for a short hookup. Deonte Harty got a jet sweep on the final play.
Ian Book went 3-of-3 here, connecting on mostly short routes. He hit Malcolm Brown first, then Devine Ozigbo off play action, and then a wide receiver screen to Kawaan Baker.
The final period focused on red zone work. Winston finished 1-of-2, hitting Alvin Kamara in the flats off the left side for a score. His second pass just missed Easop Winston Jr. Winston did a great job of navigating the pocket, and he had Winston Jr. open for a score. He just missed up high on a throw he’d love to have back. We saw good run stops by David Onyemata and Tanoh Kpassagnon.
Andy Dalton finished 3-of-3 here, getting the offense into the end zone twice from the 10-yard-line and 4-yard-line. They started at the 18-yard-line. Two plays later, Dalton hit Tony Jones Jr. on a screen play that he took in, and then followed that up by finding Devine Ozigbo inside with Kiko Alonso and Eric Wilson in coverage.
Ian Book went 1-of-2 here, with Scott Patchan breaking up his first pass at the line of scrimmage after the series started with a run. He blew up Sage Doxtater and affected the play. The third play saw Book keep it on a designed option play to the right, which Payton Turner stopped. Book closed team drills out finding Jarvis Landry on a quick out from the 4-yard-line.
ALONTAE TAYLOR: The correct way to pronounce his name is ALON-TEE, for those interested parties. He’s said on Twitter to just refer to him as “Tae” going forward, which is what teammates call him.
On a different note, it’s good to see how well he’s coming along. He’s very self-aware, saying that he didn’t have the practice he wanted to on Friday. He mentioned that he took a dip in his technique, but that it’s something easy to fix. He’s working a lot with Paulson Adebo.
Taylor also had a heck of a special teams rep working at jammer with JT Gray. Dai’Jean Dixon looked to have the early leverage after getting off the initial block, but Gray and Taylor recovered nicely to negate anything else. Taylor ended up blocking him to the ground.
CARL GRANDERSON: He’s been a lot more in the spotlight with Marcus Davenport being out, taking first-team reps opposite of Cam Jordan. He’s had a nice camp so far, only building upon the momentum from OTAs and minicamp. It’s his run defense that is sticking out more. He said after practice that his playing weight is going to be at 285 pounds this year. That’s a considerable jump for him, but he’s looking solid out there.
PLAYING IN THE RAIN: We had a decent period of showers, with rain falling steadily at one point. However, practice ran on. Wil Lutz got some work in and made all three of his field goals despite the wet conditions, and he later went 3-of-3. He’s missed only one kick during camp, and that came indoors.
KIRK MERRITT: He’s consistently flashing, and between him and maybe Scott Patchan, they’re the camp standouts that aren’t some of the obvious guys. Merritt has a tough uphill climb with the other receivers on the team, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with him in the preseason and such. An honorable mention as an up-and-comer would go to Tony Jones Jr., who had another great day of practice.
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