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Saints Training Camp: Notes and Observations from Day 8

A closer look at all of the happenings at Day 8 of Saints training camp.

Fans were back for Thursday's practice session, which was held outdoors after the team was inside to start. The pads also came back on after the team was in shells on Wednesday. Here's all of our notes and observations from Day 8 of Saints training camp.

CAMP RECAPS: Day 7Day 6 | Day 5 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1

Notes and Observations

ATTENDANCE: Lucas Krull and Payton Turner both returned to practice on Thursday. Among those not spotted at practice included Dylan Mabin, Smoke Monday, and D'Marco Jackson. Monday suffered a significant knee injury at Tuesday's practice, but we don't know the exact extent yet.

Rashid Shaheed joined practiced later and was doing individual work off to the side, and the encouraging thing here was that he was starting to run routes and catch passes in pads. That's a great sign for where he might be in his return.

Taysom Hill was also at practice doing individual work, but did not have pads on. He's been out dealing with a rib injury, and has been missing since last week. Also, it looks like he's bulked up a good bit in anticipation of his new role.

We got a glimpse of Marcus Davenport after practice, as he was doing some rehab work in the indoor facility. Michael Thomas appeared to have a veteran rest day.

OFFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: No changes here from the offensive line. Landon Young was again at right tackle in walkthroughs, but Ryan Ramczyk did end up taking team reps at right tackle. Chris Olave, Devin Ozigbo, Alvin Kamara, Nick Vannett, Michael Thomas, Adam Trautman, Adam Prentice, Tre'Quan Smith, Mark Ingram, Juwan Johnson, Deonte Harty, and Kevin White were all among the first team.

The second team offensive line had Trevor Penning, Ethan Greenidge, Nick Martin, Calvin Throckmorton, and Lewis Kidd.

DEFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: The defense gave another nickel look today, although they later went into a sub-rush package with three defensive linemen. No changes along the defensive line, with Pete Werner and Demario Davis at linebacker. Paulson Adebo and Marshon Lattimore were at corner, with Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye at safety. Subs included Tanoh Kpassagnon, Malcolm Roach, Taco Charlton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Eric Wilson, Kentavius Street, and Kaden Elliss.

1-ON-1 HIGHLIGHTS: Here's a look at some of the best action from 1-on-1's today.

  • Deonte Harty vs. Paulson Adebo - Good coverage by Adebo on this first play to kick things off. Jameis Winston tried him deep down the right sideline.
  • Kirk Merritt vs. Alontae Taylor - Merritt bested Taylor here with a good out and up move to get a pass near the sideline from Andy Dalton.
  • Chris Olave vs. Paulson Adebo - One of the best highlights here came with Olave giving a jab step off the line to get an inside slant. In the easiest terms, he left Adebo on the ground.
  • Tre'Quan Smith vs. Bradley Roby - Good job by Smith on the comeback route to find the ball thrown by Dalton to make the catch. 
  • Jarvis Landry vs. Paulson Adebo - This wasn't one of Winston's better throws, and it was a great job done by Adebo to break up the pass and fall to the ground to make the pick.
  • Easop Winston Jr. vs. Bradley Roby - On the very next play, Roby picked off Ian Book on a fade route that was underthrown. By the time Roby turned his head around he had the awareness to immediately pick it.
  • Deonte Harty vs. Vincent Gray - Harty with the out and up route to get a touchdown on the right side from Winston.
  • Chris Olave vs. Paulson Adebo - Adebo made up for earlier by negating a deep post hookup from Winston. Adebo may have been called for holding during the route, but was able to breakup the pass that looked to be caught by Olave.
  • Jarvis Landry vs. P.J. Williams - Nice pass breakup by Williams on a deep right sideline shot from Winston. Great positioning from the veteran.
  • Easop Winston Jr. vs. Daniel Sorensen - Fade route deep right for the score to end the session.

7-ON-7: Jameis Winston went 3-of-3 in drills, hitting passes to Alvin Kamara, Jarvis Landry, and Tre'Quan Smith. His first rep was a no throw due to pressure. Andy Dalton went 3-of-4, hitting Alvin Kamara on a wheel route for a score with Zack Baun in coverage. He had completions to Tony Jones Jr. and Juwan Johnson. His lone incompletion was a pass to Jarvis Landry, who almost was able to haul in a one-handed catch. 

Ian Book went 3-of-4 as well, hitting on all three of his first passes. He found Chris Olave on a curl route, Kevin White underneath, and a nice crossing route hookup to Dai'Jean Dixon with Paulson Adebo in coverage. Bryce Thompson made a nice play on the final rep by breaking up a curl route to Tre'Quan Smith.

11-ON-11: Three separate sessions of this that produced some interesting results. The first series for each quarterback was all about runs. With Winston under center, Carl Granderson blew past Nick Vannett to stop Mark Ingram for a loss on an inside zone play. Alvin Kamara had a really nice run off the right side on the following play. Kaden Elliss was another player who flashed here with a run stop on Kamara.

With Dalton under center, Nephi Sewell and Carl Granderson had a good run stop on Mark Ingram. Devine Ozigbo rattled off a nice intermediate gain with Taco Charlton and Daniel Sorensen combining for the stop. Book's series saw Tony Jones Jr. run in the middle for a big gain that likely would have went for a touchdown. Andrew Dowell and Justin Evans had good run stops on back-to-back attempts from Abram Smith.

To start the second series in 11-on-11, Ethan Greenidge and Trevor Penning were in at left guard and left tackle. The Saints' three-man rush had Cam Jordan, Shy Tuttle, and Carl Granderson along the defensive line. Kaden Elliss and Pete Werner were at linebacker, and the defensive backs being used were Paulson Adebo, Justin Evans, Marcus Maye, P.J. Williams, and Marshon Lattimore.

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Winston had just one pass, hitting Olave on a comeback route with Tanoh Kpassagnon providing the pressure. He was sacked the play before by Carl Granderson, although the pass was caught later by Tre'Quan Smith. Granderson beat Trevor Penning with ease. Pete Werner and Kaden Elliss had good run stops to start the series.

Andy Dalton went 2-of-2, with his first pass hitting deep down the left sideline to Jarvis Landry after playaction. He'd later find him on a curl route on the final play. Malcolm Brown had a nice run to the second level in the middle, while Jordan Jackson had a run stop on Mark Ingram.

Ian Book completed his lone pass, which was a bootleg to the right off play action that connected with Nick Vannett. His series started with a sack from Payton Turner, working against Sage Doxtater. Tony Jones Jr. had a nice run on the second play.

The final team drills period for Winston saw him go 3-of-4. He hit Juwan Johnson for a deep gain off the right side. He'd hit Marquez Callaway on a curl route on the next play, have an overthrow to Olave on a deep out, and then find Adam Trautman near the sideline. Zack Baun stripped Trautman near the sideline, however, and the defense recovered the fumble.

Andy Dalton's final series saw another big run by Tony Jones Jr. off the right side. He'd finish 3-of-3, although the third play would have been a sack for Zack Baun and Scott Patchan. Jarvis Landry made a heck of a one-handed catch on the play. Kevin White and Kirk Merritt got the other receptions.

Ian Book's final work saw him go 1-of-3. Kevin White dropped a slant on the first play, and Book scrambled on the second with the potential pressure/sack given to Isaiah Pryor. Payton Turner broke up his second pass attempt, and the lone completion went to Easop Winston Jr. on a curl route to close out team drills. 

EARLY EXITS: Jerald Hawkins left practice early and did not return. Marshon Lattimore left later in practice with a trainer and did not return. It's unclear what happened with Lattimore, but he did walk off the field. Landon Young ended up playing some left tackle in his place during the final portion of team drills, and it didn't go so well.

FAMILIAR FACE IN ATTENDANCE: Former Saints defensive line coach Bill Johnson was at practice today as a guest. He just helped the Birmingham Stallions win a USFL Championship.

TYRANN MATHIEU: Was told after practice that Mathieu will be wearing No. 32 for sure this season, so anyone that has been waiting to purchase a jersey should do so now with confidence.

He spoke with us after practice as well, saying that he was thankful to have the support of the team during his time away. He said that he's feeling good, in great spirits, and is really healthy. He mentioned a bunch of guys reached out to him, and called out Demario Davis, Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and Jarvis Landry as some of the big ones.

Mathieu said, "I think a lot of those guys want the best for me. They want me in a great space. They want me healthy. They want my family doing well. Because at the end of the day, all of those things kind of benefit us at the end of the day. So, I'm doing well, the group is doing well."

JAMEIS WINSTON'S KNEE: Dennis Allen and Jameis Winston both spoke to SiriusXM's Bruce Murray and Charles Davis as part of their training camp tour this year. They both talked about his knee and where he was at, which I thought was interesting.

Allen said, "I think we're past the point where we're trying have a maintenance plan on the knee. I think we're in a good spot there. I think it's really just about continuing to get better at the quarterback position."

Winston said, "It's great. I'm able to run around. I'm able move in the pocket. I feel like I got faster, really just because the importance of focusing on different muscles. So, I'm still working on the explosiveness on my left side. Just jumping a little higher." He joked that he didn't really have to do that much, though.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT: Tony Jones Jr. He had his best practice of training camp, rattling off some good runs and reminding us a bit of what we saw in last year's camp when he beat out Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman. The preseason will tell us a bit more about him and his outlook. 

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