Tuesday's Saints practice was closed to the public, as the team worked inside in shells. New Orleans got a big defensive piece back in the fold, but were without Jameis Winston. Here's all of our notes and observations from Day 12 of training camp.
Notes and Observations
ATTENDANCE: Among those not spotted at practice on Tuesday included Jameis Winston, Marshon Lattimore, D'Marco Jackson, Zack Baun, and Jaleel Johnson. Marcus Davenport returned to practice, and will be in a ramp up period. Taysom Hill did not participate in team drills.
Bryce Thompson left practice early due to an apparent lower leg injury and had to be carted off the field after a 1-on-1 rep against Kirk Merritt. Alontae Taylor also left early, but walked off under his own power.
The newly acquired T.J. Carter was wearing No. 61 and out there for his first practice. James Hurst, Cam Jordan, and Jarvis Landry were among the veterans to have the day off, but were at practice for walkthroughs.
JAMEIS WINSTON UPDATE: Dennis Allen said after practice that Winston is day-to-day with a sprained right foot. It's nothing major. We should expect him to be out of practice for a little bit and won't see him in the first preseason game.
OFFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: The Saints had the same offensive line look as normal, with James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, and Landon Young anchoring it. Rotational players and subs included Ryan Ramczyk, Kevin White, Jarvis Landry, Malcolm Brown, Adam Prentice, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, Juwan Johnson, Chris Olave, Deonte Harty, Mark Ingram, and Marquez Callaway. Trevor Penning took all first-team reps at left tackle with Hurst having the day off.
DEFENSIVE WALKTHROUGH NOTES: New Orleans rolled out a nickel look, having Cam Jordan, Shy Tuttle, David Onyemata, and Carl Granderson along the defensive line. Demario Davis and Pete Werner were at linebacker, with Paulson Adebo and Alontae Taylor at corner. Bradley Roby was in the slot, while Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu were at safety.
Subs include Kaden Elliss, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Chase Hansen, Marcus Davenport, Malcolm Roach, Kentavius Street, and Tanoh Kpassagnon.
1-ON-1 HIGHLIGHTS: There were 17 total reps here, and 4 plays drew flags. Based on the final results, the wide receivers went 11-6 today. All passes were thrown by Ian Book. Flags were thrown on Paulson Adebo, Quenton Meeks, Alontae Taylor, and DaMarcus Fields.
- Marquez Callaway vs. Bradley Roby - Things kicked off with Roby getting a pass breakup on Callaway near the left sideline.
- Kevin White vs. Alontae Taylor - Nice job by Taylor keeping up with White step for step to have a pass breakup off the deep left sideline.
- Easop Winston Jr. vs. Vincent Gray - Easily the highlight of the day. Winston Jr. grabbed a deep right sideline pass from Book in which he made a one-handed catch. The best way to describe it was that it was both and pretty and nasty. He made it look effortless.
- Kawaan Baker vs. Quenton Meeks - Good job by Baker to win the post route for a score. It was a really good throw from Book too.
- Kevin White vs. C.J. Gardner-Johnson - Nice pass breakup by Ceedy Duce on a comeback route.
- Tre'Quan Smith vs. Paulson Adebo - Adebo had a pass breakup, getting a hand on the deep right shot.
7-ON-7: Each quarterback got six reps today with no Winston in the mix, so an additional two than normal. Both finished 5-of-6 in their series. Defensively, the Saints rolled out Paulson Adebo, Marcus Maye, Tyrann Mathieu, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Demario Davis, Pete Werner, and Bradley Roby.
Paulson Adebo had a pass breakup on a curl route to Tre'Quan Smith to start, and Andy Dalton responded by hitting a deep slant to Michael Thomas on the next play. He'd go right back to Thomas on a short out with Pete Werner in coverage on him. That was followed up by a nice route and catch by Juwan Johnson working against Demario for a big gain. The other two passes went to Smith and Thomas.
Ian Book had passes completed to Malcolm Brown, Dai'Jean Dixon, Devine Oigbo, and Kevin White twice. The lone miss was an overthrown fade route intended to Kawaan Baker with Bradley Roby in coverage.
11-ON-11: The first set of team reps saw each quarterback take five reps. Each one attempted a pass and completed it to go 1-of-1.
Dalton's lone pass was a completion to Michael Thomas on a comeback route working against Paulson Adebo. All the runs were fairly short ones, as the offense tried both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram twice. Tyrann Mathieu stood out with a couple of good run defense plays.
Book's completion was a deep sideline hookup to Dai'Jean Dixon working against Jordan Brown. No flag was thrown by the side judge, but the defense was asking for offensive pass interference due to a push off. It wasn't called and resulted in a big hookup. Dwayne Washington, Malcolm Brown, Tony Jones Jr., and Devine Ozigbo all had runs here.
Tony Jones Jr. had the best run with a play reminiscent of the Drew Brees one-handed flip toss to the outside. Andrew Dowell, Albert Huggins, and Jordan Jackson all had nice run stops.
The second portion of team drills saw just one pass from Dalton, which was a throwaway due to the pressure. Had it been realtime, that may have went down as a coverage sack. Alvin Kamara rattled off a nice run on the third play, once again getting two carries on the series. Mark Ingram's attempts came on back-to-back plays, both going inside.
Book finished 1-of-2, with his first pass connecting to Michael Thomas on a dig route working against Vincent Gray. The second play was an incompletion off play action, which likely would have went down as a sack with pressure there. Jordan Brown had the pass breakup. Once again, Tony Jones Jr. had a good run on a sweep to the right. His second carry didn't produce much, and Daniel Sorensen would make a good stop on Devine Ozigbo on the final play of the drill.
The last portion of team drills focused on the 2-minute offense. Each series saw the offense start from their own 30-yard-line with 1:15 on the clock and some timeouts to work with. The offense won the first drive, but the defense got them back.
Dalton finished 4-of-6 on his series, starting things off by trying Kirk Merritt on a slant play, but it didn't work. Dalton had an incredible throw on the next play to hit Tre'Quan Smith on a seam route, but it was wiped out due to a false start. They tried the same play again, but it was broken up by Paulson Adebo with Chris Olave and Tre'Quan Smith being the closest receivers.
The ensuing play had a false start from Juwan Johnson, and the offense ended up getting new life after Adebo was called for pass interference working against Olave. The result was the offense moving up to the 45-yard-line. With 51 seconds left, Dalton hit Tony Jones Jr. on a swing route, but it didn't get him out of bounds. The next play saw Dalton hit Adam Trautman down the seam for what looked to be a touchdown. We're not entirely sure if Marcus Maye would have tackled Trautman, but he was the last line there and the play was blown dead.
Dalton would hit Tony Jones Jr. on a nicely executed screen play with 26 seconds left. He had a convoy in front of him with C.J. Gardner-Johnson being the closest defender out there to get to the 12-yard-line. Dalton scrambled on the next play to pick up an additional 6 yards with Taco Charlton providing the pressure. With just 10 seconds to play, Dalton connected with Kirk Merritt for the touchdown on a curl route.
Book's series saw him finish 4-of-6, although one of the plays to Easop Winston Jr. came back after a hold on Sage Doxtater. Kawaan Baker was the first target, as they hooked up on the sideline for a nice gain. Baker was the target again on a crossing route for the second play. Book's next rep saw him throw it into the ground after pressure from Jordan Jackson.
The next play was the hookup to Winston Jr. that came back, and then Devine Ozigbo had a drop on a screen attempt. It looked like Book could have led him a little better. The final play came with 35 seconds left when he hooked up with Nick Vannett off the right sideline. Book did a nice job evading the pocket, but that was it for the day.
ROMO'S KICKING DAY: John Parker Romo went 7-of-8, missing wide left from 57. He had the leg for it, but it just didn't connect like he wanted it to.
SEEN ENOUGH: Michael Thomas continues to look excellent, and honestly there's not much else to see from him. It'll be interesting to see if Thomas gets any reps in the preseason game against the Texans. Perhaps we see him during next week's joint practices with the Packers, but honestly he's done enough to convince that he's ready for the season.
OFFENSIVE LINE WORK: One of the things that stood out today was during the portion where the offensive line was split. Zach Strief was exclusively with the tackles, while Doug Marrone worked with the interior. Marrone had the guards and centers working on handle placement with large weights out in front of them while doing shuffling side to side.
WELCOMED PRESENCE AT PRACTICE: Steve Gleason and his family were in attendance at practice today. It's a great reminder on how much impact he still has after
TRE'QUAN SMITH: He's someone that has been quietly putting together some good practices. Most of the attention centers around the big three, but remember that Smith is an excellent run blocker, something that's needed in the offense. Smith's work in preseason will be pretty big, but he certainly is doing plenty to make his case on the depth chart as No. 4 or No. 5.
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