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Saints Camp: Day 8 Practice Notes and Observations

If you were going to put a checkmark in who looked better, then Jameis Winston wins Day 8 of Saints training camp. Here's our notes and observations from the session.

It's hard to believe it, but we're already eight practices in with the Saints. Things are moving along nicely during training camp, as the first preseason game is right around the corner. We've learned a lot, but still haven't drawn too many conclusions based off these practices. Here's a look at how Day 8 went for New Orleans.

Previous Practice Recaps: Day 7Day 6 | Day 5 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1

Attendance

Tre'Quan Smith once again was absent from practice, while Ethan Wolf (ankle) and Nick Vannett were missing. With the tight ends injured, there are several reported workouts the Saints are conducting, which include Josh Pederson, Demetrius Harris, and Gabe Holmes.

Grant Haley was around working on conditioning, while Kwon Alexander was actually with the first team defense during walkthroughs. However, he was not in pads.

Quarterback Teaser

Jameis Winston took starting reps today, and he clearly won out in today's battle based on his work in 11-on-11 drills. He went 9-of-10. Part of that could be working with the first team, but there were just some more comfortable moments we saw from Winston on Friday.

Taysom Hill had a decent day, but had a really rough series at the end of practice in 11-on-11 operating from shotgun. He went 1-of-2 on five reps with the lone completion going to the flats for a minimal gain. He was sacked twice in back-to-back plays, one that resulted in a Zack Baun pick. He was then sacked by Payton Turner and missed Tommylee Lewis deep. 

Starting Rotation and Notes

The starting lineup during walkthroughs produced few surprises. The absence of Tre'Quan Smith has been something the Saints have been able to manage through, but they need him back.

  • QB: Jameis Winston
  • RB: Alvin Kamara
  • FB: Alex Armah
  • WR: Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris
  • TE: Adam Trautman
  • OL: Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk

Sub Notes: Later in 11-on-11 drills, Ethan Greenidge worked with the first team at right tackle, while James Hurst went to left tackle.

The defense went nickel for a good portion of practice, but did rotate in some base 4-3 looks later on.

  • DE: Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport
  • DT: Malcolm Roach, David Onyemata
  • LB: Kwon Alexander, Demario Davis
  • CB: Patrick Robinson (left), Marshon Lattimore (right)
  • Slot: C.J. Gardner-Johnson
  • S: Marcus Williams, Malcolm Jenkins

Sub Notes: Payton Turner and Tanoh Kpassagnon rotated in at defensive end, while Shy Tuttle and Jalen Dalton handled the interior. The Saints rotated from nickel to base with Kaden Elliss, Pete Werner, and Chase Hansen. Elliss and Werner got reps with the first team in nickel. Paulson Adebo got some work with the first team. Christian Ringo rotated and was in with Dalton later. Again, Ringo stood out with a nice tackle for loss on Alvin Kamara.

1-on-1 Charting

The Saints had all quarterbacks partake in 1-on-1 drills on the same side of the field. The secondary definitely won out on Friday. Here's how the charting went.

Taysom Hill (4/5)

  • Marquez Callaway vs. Marshon Lattimore, complete - Intermediate middle
  • Deonte Harris vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, complete - Comeback route left, real good route design by Harris
  • Ty Montgomery vs. Ken Crawley, incomplete - PBU, Crawley remains perfect
  • Lil'Jordan Humphrey vs. Brian Poole, complete - Good battle, but better adjustment made by Humphrey to get the catch
  • Lil'Jordan Humphrey vs. KeiVarae Russell, complete - One of Hill's best hookups of the day came when he got the backshoulder connection

Jameis Winston (1/6)

  • Jalen McCleskey vs. Prince Amukamara, complete - Intermediate middle
  • Deonte Harris vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, incomplete - Slant, PBU
  • Chris Hogan vs. Malcolm Jenkins, incomplete - Deep right, overthrow
  • Ty Montgomery vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, incomplete - Comeback, low
  • Marquez Callaway vs. Marshon Lattimore, incomplete - PBU
  • Kawaan Baker vs. Paulson Adebo, incomplete - PBU, Adebo did a good job recovering after a small stumble 

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Trevor Siemian (1/3)

  • Chris Hogan vs. Malcolm Jenkins, incomplete - First drop by Hogan that we've noticed, intermediate middle
  • Easop Winston Jr. vs. Paulson Adebo, incomplete - PBU middle intermediate
  • Tommylee Lewis vs. KeiVarae Russell, complete - Comeback right

Ian Book (0/3)

  • Kawaan Baker vs. Adonis Alexander, intercepted - Better coverage by Alexander, short left
  • Jake Lampman vs. Brian Poole, complete - Deep left, good adjustment made by Lampman to secure it
  • Easop Winston Jr. vs. Adonis Alexander, incomplete - Low throw, comeback route

Rhythm, Flow, and Observations

New Orleans started out the day with position specific drills again, with the running backs and quarterbacks paired up. Jameis Winston didn't attempt the gauntlet, which he joked about after practice. The offensive line was doing 1-on-1 work, while the receivers were working on over the shoulder catches.

The defense was working together as three separate groups: defensive backs, linebackers, and the defensive line. The quarterbacks worked individually with the wide receivers, and then the running backs and tight ends joined after. The QBs also got work in with the skill position with some basic formations and plays.

The Saints offense was in black jerseys for the second straight day. After group drills, the defensive and offensive line worked against each other in pass rushing drills, while the running backs worked against safeties and linebackers. During pass rush drills, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Payton Turner, and Christian Ringo had some standout rushes. I focused in on the receivers and cornerbacks, who were practicing on run blocking.

For that drill, Marshon Lattimore is someone who shined. He was able to get off blocks pretty easily against Marquez Callaway and Lil'Jordan Humphrey. There was some real loud pad crashing with the contact, which might have been the most physical drill of training camp. Paulson Adebo had a good rep, and it was good to see the corners win most of the battles.

Special Teams: The Saints also worked on some snap work in punts, with the returners, gunners and jammers. They also simulated missed field goals from long range, which had a receiver back deep taking it out of the end zone.

Eric Burrell and Patrick Robinson combined for a textbook play on punt coverage working against Jalen McCleskey. Burrell hasn't flashed a ton, but has been noticeable on special teams. 

We said on Thursday that we could probably call the punter battle, but it was a much better day out of Nolan Cooney. He looked really comfortable out there, and had only two bad punts. They all had hang time and was more of what we were expecting coming in.

11-on-11 Notes: Carl Granderson had at least three sacks on the day (Book, Siemian, Hill). He also had a run stuff. He's been very consistent and flashing. 

Speaking of sacks, add another two for Noah Spence. He's someone that I've seen stand out each day. He looks like he's in great shape, and with the way he's playing, it could get interesting if the Saints keep 5 or 6 pass rushers.

Jameis Winston had a good hookup to Adam Trautman on a deep middle route when 11-on-11 started. He also had a touchdown to Lil'Jordan Humphrey on an intermediate route in which Patrick Robinson slipped.

Zack Baun had another strong day of practice, he was in great positioning for a pass to Devonta Freeman, while he was in excellent position to blow up a Latavius Murray run for a loss. Baun later snuffed out a short route to Trautman to force a minimal gain. His highlight of the day came when he picked off Hill on a pass intended to Juwan Johnson that was bobbled up into his hands.

Shaq Smith had a sure pick that he dropped on Ian Book. It was about as easy as you could get when he was in position and had it. When you're trying to make your mark and case for the roster, you have to get those.

Kaden Elliss and Wynton McManis had sacks during the final set of drills, as well as Payton Turner getting two (Hill and Book). He absolutely annihilated Kyle Murphy on the Book sack. Cam Jordan had a nice one working against Ryan Ramczyk that resulted in a Winston sack. 

Saturday's practice is the last day for fans to attend for quite a while, as they won't have an open session for nearly two weeks (Aug. 20). That one coupled with the Saturday session are the last two open to the public.


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