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Saints Training Camp: Notes and Observations from Day 4

Saturday's Saints training camp practice had fans in attendance and gave us some real gems from the session.

Day 4 is in the books for Saints training camp, and the players will have the day off on Sunday. Fans were welcomed back in the stands, as the team had a lot of things planned and in play for 'Back Together Saturday'. Here's a closer look at our notes and observations from practice.

Camp Recaps: Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1

Notes and Observations

ATTENDANCE: Among those not spotted at Saturday's practice included Taysom Hill, Bryce Thompson, Tyrann Mathieu (excused), and Rashid Shaheed. Thompson left early yesterday due to the heat. Dennis Allen said there's no updates on when Mathieu will return.

Pete Werner, Juwan Johnson, and Marcus Davenport showed up during portions to do rehab work with a trainer. Tanoh Kpassagnon (NFI) and Sage Doxtater both returned to practice.

Michael Thomas had an off day as part of the normal veteran rotation as Dennis Allen pointed out afterward.

WALKTHROUGH DEFENSE: The Saints had a base look during walkthroughs that consisted of Cam Jordan, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, and Carl Granderson along the defensive line. Linebackers were Kaden Elliss, Demario Davis, and Eric Wilson. Paulson Adebo and Marshon Lattimore were at corner, with Marcus Maye and P.J. Williams at safety. Subs for the first team included C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Zack Baun, Kentavius Street, Malcolm Roach, Payton Turner, and Taco Charlton.

WALKTHROUGH OFFENSE: Landon Young once again handled reps at right tackle. James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, and Cesar Ruiz made up the rest of the line. Young also stayed in with the second team offensive line, which had Trevor Penning, Ethan Greenidge, Nick Martin, and Calvin Throckmorton.

Players that were among the first team included Nick Vannett, Dwayne Washington, Kevin White, Adam Trautman, Adam Prentice, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harty, Jarvis Landry, Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, and Mark Ingram.

7-ON-7: This started horrible for Jameis Winston, as he was picked off in back-to-back reps to start. C.J. Gardner-Johnson got the first on a curl route for Deonte Harty, and Bradley Roby got the second on another curl route intended for Chris Olave. One of the things Dennis Allen said after practice was that he thought Winston bounced back well, and that this is a game where you have to forget your mistakes quickly. He finished the series with two completions.

Andy Dalton went 2-of-4, and one of his passes was caught and dropped on a crossing route from Marquez Callaway. The other was a drop. Ian Book was a perfect 4-of-4 in drills here, hitting passes in the flats, a slant, a sideline shot to Adam Trautman, and an in route to Kirk Merritt.

11-ON-11: The first period of these team drills focused on runs. Mark Ingram and Tony Jones Jr. rattled off some good rushes during this period. We also saw some good run stops from players like Demario Davis, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, Eric Wilson, D'Marco Jackson, and Jordan Jackson.

The second portion of team drills saw the arguable play of the day, as Jameis Winston connected with Chris Olave for a deep bomb due to some busted coverage. That was followed up by a real nice run by Alvin Kamara. Winston went 1-of-2 here. It's also worth noting that Ryan Ramczyk was at right tackle during this portion.

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Andy Dalton went 2-of-2 in the second portion, connecting with Chris Olave and Deonte Harty. Ian Book finished 2-of-2 in his three reps, connecting with Kawaan Baker on both passes.. His first play saw him get sacked by Andrew Dowell. 

The final period of 11-on-11 had an interesting wrinkle in it with Ryan Ramczyk taking the first two Jameis Winston reps and Landon Young taking the other two. Winston went 2-of-3 officially during the final team drill, but you might could have credited Payton Turner with a sack on his second pass. He tried Jarvis Landry deep right on the final rep, but the two couldn't connect.

Andy Dalton went 2-of-3 here, but the first pass to Nick Vannett was a tackle for loss. The next pass was tipped by Zack Baun. Abram Smith had a nice run to follow that up, with a connected pass to Adam Trautman after that. On that play, I watched Trevor Penning a good bit here, who held up well in pass protection.

Ian Book's final series was pretty tough. He finished 2-of-4, but two of those completions may never have happened. Jerald Hawkins was at left tackle and the pressure got to Book on the first play that would have resulted in a Scott Patchan sack. The second one would have given Taco Charlton one. The last two plays saw Alontae Taylor with a pass breakup and a dropped pass.

COLD TRAILER: Today we saw almost all of the players going into this to help combat the heat. It was certainly a blistering day to be outside, but it's nothing new for some. 

SPECIAL TEAMS: Wil Lutz and Blake Gillikin are looking strong as ever right now. Gillikin was booming punts as usual, and Lutz was perfect on his seven kicks. Lutz's return is one of the most important things that happened to the Saints this season.

OLAVE'S BIG DAY: Chris Olave showed up in a big way today, and it's something we've been waiting to see. The bomb play he caught from Winston was great to see, and he's someone who keeps putting in the work. Aside the pick-6, Olave caught all of his targets.

STOCK DOWN: Kevin White is really struggling this training camp. He had a couple more drops today, at least two by my count. White may not be a person that would even crack the final roster, but just being a practice squad guy is a question mark. Jerald Hawkins is another one who had a tough week. 

STOCK UP: Abram Smith is starting to make more noticeable impacts in the run game, which is a good sign for the undrafted rookie. Adam Trautman is looking comfortable out there as well.

PADS INCOMING: Monday we'll see the team in pads, and that is certainly going to produce a lot more interest. It's been really difficult to assess some of the offensive line play, but as Landon Young and James Hurst had both pointed out today, this is where they can truly get a gauge on where they're at. 

MATT RHEA IMPACT: Young also talked a bit about the difference with Matt Rhea being over the strength and conditioning program. The team struggled heavily with soft tissue injuries last season, and one of the things Rhea is specifically working on with the players is to isolate any off-balanced deficiencies (i.e. left and right hamstring). This is a huge boost for New Orleans.

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