Saints Camp: Day 7 Practice Notes and Observations

A look at all of the notes and observations from Saints training camp on Thursday. It was the team's seventh practice, which was open to fans.
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The Saints welcomed fans back for practice No. 7, which was held outdoors on Thursday. As it's been the case with every session, there's a lot of fun things to unpack. Here's a look at our notes and observations from the day.Saints Camp: Day 6 Notes and Observations

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

Attendance and Transactions

Tre'Quan Smith, Kendall Donnerson, Nick Vannett, and Ethan Wolf were all missing from practice. Deonte Harris returned, while Kwon Alexander and Grant Haley were at Thursday's session.

Both Haley and Alexander were working on conditioning drills throughout the duration of practice. Alexander moved particularly well for someone who is just several months removed from an Achilles surgery. 

We learned that Ethan Wolf is dealing with an ankle injury and that Kendall Donnerson was released to make room for Alexander. Alexander is back to No. 58, and Shaq Smith moved to No. 46.

Marshon Lattimore, Alvin Kamara, Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, and Marshon Lattimore all had veteran rest days, but were at the start of practice.

The Saints offense were in dark jerseys for the second day in a row.

Quarterback Teaser

Through the first seven days of training camp, no quarterback has looked better than the other. Taysom Hill was back in the starting role, and we got our first Jameis Winston interception. It came on an excellent pass breakup by Patrick Robinson that was intended for Marquez Callaway. The ball hung up in the air some after and was secured by Demario Davis.

You definitely have to credit the Saints defense for having another outstanding day of practice.

Starting Rotation and Notes

The starting lineup was very familiar today, but did some shifting after initial looks with some of the veterans who had rest days.

  • QB: Taysom Hill
  • RB: Alvin Kamara (rotated Latavius Murray in)
  • WR: Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Chris Hogan
  • TE: Adam Trautman
  • OL: Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk

Sub Notes: Armstead was replaced by James Hurst, while Calvin Throckmorton was in for Peat. Devonta Freeman and Tony Jones Jr. got plenty of work today.  

The defense went nickel almost all practice. 

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

Sub Notes: Ken Crawley saw a bit more work with the first team with Lattimore on his rest day. Paulson Adebo also got some reps in there. Tanoh Kpassagnon went in for Jordan. Something to note is that Christian Ringo has been getting some looks with the first team, and he had a monster day today.

7-on-7 Charting

This include the target, result, route, and who is in coverage along with any notes.

Taysom Hill (2/4)

  • Devonta Freeman, incomplete flats left (Werner) - overthrow
  • Adam Trautman, complete short middle (Werner)
  • Chris Hogan, complete short left (Adebo) - good catch by Hogan
  • Devonta Freeman, incomplete (Werner) - PBU

Jameis Winston (3/4)

  • Devonta Freeman, complete short right (Zack Baun) - took a little long to develop
  • Latavis Murray, incomplete (Chase Hansen) - PBU
  • Easop Winston Jr., complete slant (Brian Poole) - J.T. Gray nearly picked it off
  • Stevie Scott III, complete (Hansen/Quinten Poling) - Checkdown

Trevor Siemian (2/3)

  • Devonta Freeman, incomplete (Bryce Thompson) - Nearly a pick six
  • Tommylee Lewis, complete deep middle (Adonis Alexander) - Longest throw of any QB on the day and perhaps your play of the day on offense
  • Kawaan Baker, complete deep left (Adonis Alexander)

Ian Book (0/1)

  • Tommylee Lewis, incomplete (KeiVarae Russell) - PBU

Rhythm, Flow, and Observations

The Saints opened practicing focusing on position specific drills. Running backs were working on ball security, while the quarterbacks and wide receivers were working on some basic routes. The skill positions all came together later, and after a short 11-on-11 session, we got some punt work in.

The Saints then worked on some 7-on-7 drills, followed up by some extensive 11-on-11 action. Practice closed out with some simulated kick return work and some more position specific drills.

11-on-11 Notes: Lots of action from the session. The quarterbacks just didn't have a good day, however. For instance, one of the passes Winston threw to Deonte Harris was just way too high. 

One of the throws Winston made is one he shouldn't have attempted. He was on a bootleg going left and tried throw back across his body to Adam Trautman. Zack Baun, who had a strong day of practice, nearly picked it off. He also would have had a sack on Winston today.

Winston had one throw to Trautman that connected for a deep gain near the left sideline. It looked like the coverage was busted, as P.J. Williams was the closest player to him.

Hill's best throw of the day was one he connected on with Marquez Callaway working against Patrick Robinson. It was a textbook backshoulder play that we'd normally see Drew Brees and Michael Thomas make.

Callaway also had an outstanding grab where he essentially took the ball away from a C.J. Gardner-Johnson interception near the right sideline.

Like Winston, Hill had some misfires. He likely would have been sacked by Kaden Elliss on a play, but the throw he did attempt to Ty Mongomery was a misfire and didn't give the receiver a chance to make a play.

Noah Spence had one sack for sure on Siemian, and would have likely had another if he were not held on a play. He also had some hurries and pressures today. Also had Tanoh Kpassagnon notching a sack on Hill.

Prince Amukamara got some work in with the second team, and had a couple of good moments. His best was when he stripped the ball from Jake Lampman on a slant route.

Punter Update: It's early still, but this is one area where we could call this 'battle'. Blake Gillikin is impressive, and he has easily been the better punter. He had some killer boots today to go along with stellar hangtime. Like we observed the other day, he has done a good job pinning a lot of the returners deeper than they anticipate.

Stock Up: Christian Ringo had an outstanding day of practice. He had a tackle for loss when he blew up a screen play to Devonta Freeman, for starters. He later sacked Ian Book. He and Jalen Dalton have been very impressive on the interior.

Marcus Davenport ended up having four sacks today. All of them came working against James Hurst. He got Hill all four times. 

Andrew Dowell stands out every single practice doing something good. He rolled some with the second team today, and could be an interesting player to keep an eye on as a backup MIKE linebacker. He had a couple of run stops and a stuff.

Friday and Saturday's practice are once again open to fans. Expect more attendance tomorrow, with the weekend bringing a lot of eyeballs on the black and gold.

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