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Saints OTAs: Things to Watch and Expect

Saints OTAs are here, and here's a few things to know and keep a close eye on as things unfold over the next several weeks.

Thursday kicks off the first of three weekly open sessions to the media to watch the Saints practice at OTAs. This will take us all the way to the team's Mandatory Minicamp from June 14-16. It's undoubtedly an exciting time as we get closer to the season. Here's some things we'll be watching out for and paying close attention to.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: Don't expect training camp vibes here, as contact is not permitted. However, do remember that the team can conduct 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills. We'll get to watch a good bit of each session, so there's going to be plenty of good reactions and observations to record. Be sure to stay tuned for those, as well as interviews from the locker room.

Saints WR Michael Thomas

RETURNING FACES: There's several Saints returning from injury that everyone should look forward to seeing. Among those include: Payton Turner, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, Wil Lutz, Andrus Peat, and Landon Young. Also, don't forget players like Ryan Ramczyk who had offseason knee surgery in February and Taysom Hill (Lisfranc surgery). As far as attendance goes, remember that conclusions shouldn't be drawn from players not being there. These sessions are completely voluntary.

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FREE AGENTS: Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry are obviously the biggest draws right now in terms of new faces that will be around the Saints this season, but don't forget that the team added others like Marcus Maye, Jaleel Johnson, Taco Charlton, Kentavius Street, Andy Dalton, Justin Evans, and Daniel Sorensen. We could see a bit more of players in prominent roles at first like Dalton, as the Saints are likely going to take it easy with Winston early on. In the same breath, Winston is at OTAs and practicing with the team.

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ROOKIE INTEGRATION: There's always interest and intrigue where the rookies line up and how they look, and this class will be no different. We got a good first look at them at rookie minicamp, and now they'll get more opportunities to pick the brains of veterans who have been around. Alontae Taylor had quite the reaction on Wednesday on the DB Room, saying, "Different type of feeling when you walk into the DB room here! Surrounded by greatness!"

THE VOICE: The Saints lost their main guy in Sean Payton in the offseason, and naturally it's Dennis Allen's show to run. However, the interest lies in who ends up being 'that guy' on offense now. When Payton ran things, there was a certain tempo and cadence that was expected, especially when it came to the offense. How that plays out will be something to watch. Is it Allen? Is it Doug Marrone? Or, does Pete Carmichael become the main person?

There's going to be a lot to watch here, so be sure to keep up with us for reactions and observations.

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