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Saints OTAs Observations and Notes

Thursday's session of Saints OTAs open to the media brought us plenty of things to see and observe.

The Saints held their first open OTA session to the media on Thursday. Here's all the notes and observations from their practice.

ATTENDANCE: Remember that these are voluntary, but it's worth pointing out who was and wasn't there. Among those not spotted from Thursday's session included: Taysom Hill, Deonte Harty, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, Bradley Roby, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Marshon Lattimore, P.J. Williams, Demario Davis, Landon Young, Kentavius Street, James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Jarvis Landry, Adam Trautman, Marcus Davenport, and Payton Turner.

Wil Lutz, Marcus Maye, Erik McCoy, and Rashid Shaheed were in attendance, but among those not participating.

Dennis Allen said after practice that Michael Thomas 'isn't ready yet', but was optimistic on his outlook for training camp. The same goes with Payton Turner, who Allen said was rehabbing currently.

PRACTICE NOTES/OBSERVATIONS: There's obviously things you can see from these OTA sessions, and here's some of the things that stood out to me.

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  • Forrest Lamp was taking the top reps as the team's center today, and was also being used at guard.
  • Thursday's starting offensive line rotation (left to right) consisted of Trevor Penning, Ethan Greenidge, Forrest Lamp, Cesar Ruiz, and Ryan Ramczyk. Jerald Hawkins also saw work in place of Ramczyk later on.
  • Defensively, the Saints had a look that consisted of Cam Jordan, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, and Tanoh Kpassagnon on the defensive line, Eric Wilson and Pete Werner at linebacker, Paulson Adebo and Jordan Miller at corner, Alontae Taylor in the slot, and Tyrann Mathieu and J.T. Gray at safety.
  • Daniel Whelan handled punt duties for Blake Gillikin, and he has a really pretty spiral kick. He was working on some angle punts during drills, and he'll be someone to keep an eye on as things progress.
  • Taco Charlton would have likely been credited with a sack on Ian Book on one play. At worst, a good pressure from the rusher.
  • Pete Werner looks pretty energized at linebacker. He was around the ball a good bit and moving well.
  • Andy Dalton looks really comfortable, and he's the type of veteran you'd expect him to be. Naturally, there won't be any quarterback controversy this season, but it's good to see someone like him do well.
  • As we said previously, Wil Lutz was present but not participating. John Parker Romo handled field goal duties, and missed his final attempt that hit the left goalpost. He should get plenty of work as Lutz gets back to full strength.
  • We did get some 11-on-11 drills, but that put more emphasis on hurry-up and clock situations. 

JAMEIS WINSTON: Having Jameis Winston on the field is a big sign of encouragement. He does have a brace on his leg from the ACL injury, and he's out there moving around pretty well. You can still see that he might not be stepping into his throws like he wants to or is accustomed to doing. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY: There were a couple of plays that stood out on Thursday, with the first being a pass breakup by Kaden Elliss on Juwan Johnson from Jameis Winston. The second involved a beautifully thrown sideline ball to Lucas Krull from Andy Dalton with Alontae Taylor in coverage. Krull was pretty impressive on the day. The final one that got a big reaction from the defense included a big pass breakup from Dylan Mabin on Kevin White.

7-ON-7 DRILLS: Andy Dalton and Ian Book got two reps each, while Jameis Winston got eight of them. Winston finished 5-of-8 in the session, with one of the passes dropped by Tre'Quan Smith on a short curl route. The other incompletion was the pass breakup by Kaden Elliss, and the final one was the first pass intended for Marquez Callaway with Paulson Adebo in coverage.

Stay tuned for some exclusive videos on Saints News Network, and we'll definitely be back for the other two sessions open the media before we get to mandatory minicamp.

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