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Saints Training Camp: Notes and Observations from Day 13

Wednesday's Saints training camp saw the team being able to practice outdoors for the first time in a bit, and there were plenty of good takeaways from Day 13.

The Saints nearly made it through the whole day of practice outdoors before the lightning hit in the final portion. Regardless, Day 13 of training camp gave us plenty to talk about. Here's a look at our notes and observations from Wednesday.

TRAINING CAMP RECAPS: Day 12 | Day 11 | Day 10 | Day 9 | Day 8 | Day 7 | Day 6 | Day 5 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1

Notes and Observations

ATTENDANCE: The Saints were missing Jameis Winston, Pete Werner, Marshon Lattimore, Alontae Taylor, Bryce Thompson, Malcolm Brown, and Jaleel Johnson on Wednesday. Taylor was spotted around the facility, and Dennis Allen said that Werner was dealing with a groin issue, something that kept him off the field early in camp.

Winston was expected to be out of practice due to the foot sprain, and Bryce Thompson was carted off early on Tuesday with an apparent lower leg injury. 

QUARTERBACK HELP: According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, the Saints are adding quarterback K.J. Costello, who was at rookie camp. Andy Dalton and Ian Book were both taking a bit more reps in practice, and you need to have at least three quarterbacks out here with Winston out.

ANOTHER SCRUM: This didn't involve Trevor Penning, but Taco Charlton and tight end J.P. Holtz. It was some after the whistle stuff that led to some punches being thrown, and both were thrown out of practice.

Allen said afterwards, "Look, it was intense. Guys are getting after it. They're competing, which I like. Just like we said the other day, the line's got to be drawn somewhere, and you can't do it in a game, so we're not going to do it out here. And when you do, there's consequences to it. So, we did what we needed to do and then we kept getting our work done."

OFFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: We saw no changes here, with the offensive line having James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, and Landon Young. Dennis Allen touched on that Ryan Ramczyk had a veteran day, and they're going light with him for reps. Andy Dalton took first team reps with no Winston in the mix.

Subs and rotational players included Dwayne Washington, Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway, Adam Prentice, Ryan Ramczyk, Adam Trautman, Chris Olave, Juwan Johnson, Taysom Hill, Mark Ingram, Deonte Harty, Jarvis Landry, and Kevin White.

DEFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: The Saints rolled out a five-man rush today, with a line of Cam Jordan, Malcolm Roach, Shy Tuttle, David Onyemata, and Carl Granderson. Kaden Elliss, Demario Davis, and Eric Wilson were at linebacker, while the secondary had Paulson Adebo, Marcus Maye, and Tyrann Mathieu. Subs included Bradley Roby, P.J. Williams, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Kentavius Street, David Onyemata, Chase Hansen, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Payton Turner.

1-ON-1 HIGHLIGHTS: There were 13 reps today, with the wide receivers going 8-5 here. Here's some of the best reps. 

  • Chris Olave vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson - Olave ended up shedding off coverage to catch a beauty down the left sideline. Gardner-Johnson contests that it was incomplete, but the officials said otherwise.
  • Kevin White vs. Jordan Brown - Nice pass breakup on a deep right sideline shot from Ian Book.
  • Kirk Merritt vs. Jordan Brown - Slant route inside from right to left for a touchdown. Merritt continues to impress in training camp, and we'll see if he can keep it going in the preseason.
  • Kawaan Baker vs. Vincent Gray - Good pass breakup by Gray on the fade route to the left.
  • Marquez Callaway vs. Quenton Meeks - Pass breakup on another fade route, this time off the right side.
  • Deonte Harty vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson - Touchdown on the curl route in the end zone, was a nice job by Harty to get free and make the grab.
  • Michael Thomas vs. Paulson Adebo - Great backshoulder hookup from Dalton on the right side for the score.
  • Jarvis Landry vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson - Gardner-Johnson was called for defensive pass interference on the first rep, and the second saw Landry score on a fade route to the left.
  • Chris Olave vs. Vincent Gray - Inside post route for a touchdown after Olave put a nice move on Gray to get free.

7-ON-7: Give this win to the offense today, as they shined doing work inside the 15-yard-line. Andy Dalton finished 6-of-6, while Ian Book went 4-of-5. Dalton ended up throwing five touchdowns in the work as the team moved up in increments after each rep. Three went to Michael Thomas (inside slant, curl, fade). The others went to Adam Trautman (post) and Taysom Hill (fade). Dalton looked sharp today.

Ian Book also found some success, hitting J.P. Holtz in the flats for a score to start things off. Kaden Elliss had a pass breakup on Lucas Krull on a curl route on the ensuing play, but the offense responded with a fade route hookup in the end zone to Dai'Jean Dixon. Book found Kawaan Baker on a curl route the play after, and then Kirk Merritt made an incredible jumping catch in the back of the end zone and secured his feet for the score. The last play saw Dixon get called for offensive pass interference.

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11-ON-11: We had three separate sessions of team drills on Wednesday. It was mainly run heavy. Ethan Greenidge played at left guard in place of Andrus Peat and Landon Young was at right tackle. 

Dalton completed both of his passes, while Book connected on his one. Dalton's first pass sure did draw a good bit of eyes on it (more on that shortly), as he connected to Michael Thomas. The other was a swing pass to Jarvis Landry. Demario Davis had a nice run stop on Mark Ingram, and the other runs by Dwayne Washington, Alvin Kamara, and Adam Prentice were all short ones.

Book's first series started with three runs with Washington, Tony Jones Jr., and Abram Smith. Right before Smith's run, there was a false start on the offense. His lone pass was a swing one to Devine Ozigbo. Nephi Sewell would have a good stop on the play.

The second series for Dalton after special teams work saw him struggle, finishing 1-of-4. Paulson Adebo had a pass breakup on the first play to Michael Thomas on a rollout right, and it was nearly intercepted by Eric Wilson. The ball hung up there a bit much and was late coming out. Kaden Elliss had two good run stops on Alvin Kamara on the separate plays, and the lone completion was to Juwan Johnson on a curl route. Carl Granderson beat James Hurst on the play. Dalton had an overthrow on a deep sideline shot to Jarvis Landry, and had a hurried throw trying to find Kamara out of the backfield.

Book's second series saw him go 1-of-1. Defensively, the Saints rolled out a line of Josh Black, Jordan Jackson, Albert Huggins, and Scott Patchan. Chase Hansen and Nephi Sewell were at linebacker, with Vincent Gray, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DaMarcus Fields, P.J. Williams, and J.T. Gray in the secondary. Book's first play was a pass to Jarvis Landry off a bootleg right for an intermediate gain.

Mark Ingram was stuffed inside on the next play by Patchan and Hansen, and then Gardner-Johnson and Patchan combined for a sack on the next one. Jordan Brown had a tackle for loss on an Ingram run to the outside, and Albert Huggins had a good stop on the following play. Carl Granderson beat Trevor Penning on the final play of the period for a sack.

Book got a third series, this time having a lot more success to go 3-of-3. He hit Adam Prentice in the flats to start, and found Tony Jones Jr. on a great screen play on the third play (more on that shortly). The play after saw a bobbled snap exchange, as Isaiah Pryor had the sack. Dai'Jean Dixon got the last pass, a slant against Jordan Brown.

We saw two more reps in team drills later for red zone work before the lightning ended practice, with Dalton going 1-of-1 off play action to Tony Jones Jr. and then a run inside with him.

MICHAEL THOMAS: It seems like we're being redundant each day by saying how good he looks. He put on a show today, catching three touchdowns in 7-on-7 and having one heck of a catch in team drills going up against Bradley Roby. He went up in the air to catch it near the left sideline and ended up getting his toes down before being pushed out of bounds. The officials called it a catch, and it's exactly what you wanted to see. Fans are happy to see Thomas back on the field too, having some 'Can't Guard Mike' chants going throughout practice.

PLAY OF THE DAY: There were so many to choose from, especially involving Michael Thomas, but this has to go to Tony Jones Jr. He's really coming on big lately in camp, and he had a 60-yard score off a screen that was perfectly executed. Khalique Washington and Josh Andrews were out in front, and there was no one that was going to get to him. 

DEFENSIVE LINE DOMINANCE: Cam Jordan continues to look strong in training camp, as he won two reps in 1-on-1s against Landon Young today. Kentavius Street put a nasty swim move on Cesar Ruiz to beat him, and David Onyemata won both of his reps. Onyemata is having a pretty strong camp. Trevor Penning and Payton Turner split their reps, and Erik McCoy ended up stonewalling Malcolm Roach.

KICK RETURN WORK: Taysom Hill was doing some return work in walkthroughs today, which was a little bit interesting. However, during drills we saw Tony Jones Jr., Easop Winston Jr., Deonte Harty, Rashid Shaheed, and Chris Olave all back there. Jones Jr. looked really good and comfortable out there.

QUIET CAMP: Marquez Callaway has had one of the quieter camps of anyone right now. He's someone who needs to bring it big time in the preseason like he did last year. As of now, the No. 4 and 5 spots would go to Deonte Harty and Tre'Quan Smith if you were putting together a final roster. Kirk Merritt is someone who is rising, as well as Dai'Jean Dixon. The next few weeks will be huge for him.

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