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Saints Final Minicamp Practice Notes and Observations

The Saints held their final minicamp practice on Thursday, and here's our notes and observations from the session.

Minicamp came to a close for the Saints on Thursday, as the team held their final practice indoors. Here's our notes and observations from all the action from the session.

ATTENDANCE/ROSTER NOTES: Among those not spotted practicing included Taysom Hill, Michael Thomas, Dylan Mabin, J.T. Gray, Taco Charlton, Marcus Davenport, and Payton Turner. Gray got hurt yesterday, but did end up returning to the field to do some individual work.

Joe Schobert was also not in attendance, but the other three tryout players (Alex Quevedo, David Johnson, and Senio Kelemete) were. We got eyes on Taysom Hill doing some rehab work as well, and Marcus Maye was not participating in drills.

PRACTICE NOTES/OBSERVATIONS: There wasn't a ton of action going on in the final session, but still a good bit to take in.

  • Offensive line walkthroughs had Landon Young and James Hurst at tackle with Andrus Peat and Cesar Ruiz at guard. Erik McCoy was at center.
  • Calvin Throckmorton is getting second-team reps at right guard. This is something to pay attention to as we get into training camp. It's been a consistent theme so far with Ethan Greenidge being left guard. Trevor Penning and Lewis Kidd were at tackle, and Josh Andrews got center reps. During one period of work, Forrest Lamp was the primary center. Looks like a spot the Saints are really trying to figure out.
  • Defensively, the Saints rolled out their goal line package during walkthroughs to start. This has Cam Jordan, Albert Huggins, Malcolm Roach, Shy Tuttle, David Onyemata, Jaleel Johnson, and Tanoh Kpassagnon on the line. Pete Werner and Demario Davis were at linebacker, with C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Maye, and P.J. Williams in the secondary. 
  • Punt returners included Chris Olave, Deonte Harty, and Easop Winston Jr. Blake Gillikin handled all the boots today.
  • The field goal team consisted of (left to right) Adam Trautman, James Hurst, Ethan Greenidge, Calvin Throckmorton, Zach Wood, Landon Young, Trevor Penning, Forrest Lamp, and Nick Vannett. Gillikin was the holder.
  • It's hard not to notice Juwan Johnson and his bulked up frame. Paulson Adebo is another.
  • Dennis Allen said after practice that he was pleased with the progress made over the past several weeks. 
  • Carl Granderson is one particular player that Allen singled out as someone who took a step forward in camp.
  • Allen also praised Alontae Taylor and his growth. "I think he's probably a little further ahead than what I anticipated when he got in here, and I’m excited about seeing what he can do.”

WIL LUTZ: This was the most we've seen Lutz out there, as he was back to do kicking drills. He did struggle in his field goal session, going 5-of-9. However, Dennis Allen said after practice that he was happy with the velocity he had.

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NICE HANDS: Jarvis Landry sure makes things look easy. During position drills, one of the backshoulder throws from Jameis Winston saw him catch it one-handed. Dai'Jean Dixon also had a nice corner end zone catch, as well as Kahale Warring with Eric Wilson in coverage.

7-ON-7 DRILLS: The Saints worked in the red zone for this period. They started the ball from the 10-yard-line and then moved it up in a couple yard increments. All three quarterbacks went 2-of-4 in the session, with Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton hitting on both of their first passes, and then the exact opposite happened with Ian Book.

Jameis Winston hit Kirk Merritt for a touchdown to start the session on a crosser, then connected with Kevin White on a wheel route in the end zone with Bryce Thompson in coverage. The defense made real good back-to-back plays with Demario Davis providing excellent coverage on Lucas Krull that saw Thompson drop a pick but did breakup the pass, and then Pete Werner was on Chris Olave with good coverage that saw Winston unable to connect in the corner due to a pass breakup.

For Dalton, his second pass connected with Jarvis Landry on a curl route in the end zone with Justin Evans in coverage. The Saints defense had tremendous coverage on the next two plays, with one likely resulting in a sack. Thompson was working against Jarvis Landry on the last play of Dalton's series, having strong coverage to negate a completion.

DaMarcus Fields was tested on the first two plays of Book's series, and came out on top with two pass breakups. The first intended pass was to Easop Winston Jr, while the second was to Abram Smith. On the Smith incompletion, one thing that stood out was the good coverage D'Marco Jackson had on Lucas Krull. Chris Olave and Kawaan Baker both caught touchdowns on Book's final two passes.

PLAY OF THE DAY: We'll have to give this to DaMarcus Fields for his back-to-back work in the red zone against Easop Winston Jr. and Abram Smith.

That's it for Saints minicamp, as we won't be back until training camp. We'll have plenty to talk about until then, so keep it tuned to Saints News Network.

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