Things We've Already Learned From Saints Training Camp

Although it's been a small sample size, here's a look at some things we've learned from the three days of Saints training camp.
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We're just a few days into Saints training camp, but we've already learned a lot. Here's some of the biggest takeaways as we approach a new week. Be sure to check out all of our coverage of practice and get caught up here: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Early Overreactions Are Just That

When Taysom Hill got the nod to start training camp, it was met with a lot of mixed reactions. Sean Payton steered to Jameis Winston on Saturday, something that he pointed out the previous day during his press conference.

Payton said on Friday, "Basically, the first day of install we rotate 1s and 2s, tomorrow we will go back to rotating 1s and 2s and flip the rotation. A lot of it is install driven."

Winston should get more work with the first team on Monday, which kicks off six straight days of practice for the Saints. Some of the things the leaders of the team like Demario Davis, Malcolm Jenkins, and Cam Jordan have stressed is how early everything is in the process.

Pads come on this week, so it should produce a lot more interest. Declaring anyone a winner at any position like the quarterback is extremely premature. Both quarterbacks have had their moments where they've both shined and struggled. The preseason will tell us plenty, but seeing some growth from both quarterbacks are a positive sign.

Cornerback Help Wanted

Patrick Robinson and Ken Crawley have both taken reps with the first team opposite of Marshon Lattimore, and they don't seem to be permanent solutions for this season. Payton has mentioned more than once that the second spot is something the team continues to look heavily at, but is working to develop the players that are on the roster.

Prince Amukamara and KeiVarae Russell were added to the roster Sunday, but neither of them feel like the answer for a 17-game season. Rookie Paulson Adebo is one of those players needing to get more acclimated, but as we get closer to the season, the more pressing the need becomes.

Player Stock Watch

It goes without saying when you're observing practice each day, there's a lot of things going on that you have to pay close attention to. We always want to find the next best gem or undrafted guy who could really push to make the final squad.

While this doesn't encompass everyone on the roster, here's some players to familiarize yourselves with and start putting on the radar after three days. Again, it's been three days, so just take this as who has shown up and flashed more than others on the field, as well as some struggles.

  • Buy: Jalen Dalton, Juwan Johnson, Chris Hogan, Blake Gillikin, Noah Spence, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris
  • Hold: Jalen McCleskey, Cesar Ruiz, Payton Turner, Ty Montgomery, Tanoh Kpassagnon
  • Sell: Nolan Cooney, Nick Vannett, Christian Montano

The Revolving Door

Before things got started in Saints camp, a couple of players got added in veterans Chris Hogan and Brian Poole. Fast forward just a few days, and now Tommylee Lewis, Devonta Freeman, Prince Amukamara, and KeiVarae Russell join the squad. New Orleans tried out five players on Saturday, and there's going to be more throughout the process.

Adding Freeman would get the team up to 90 players. We'll get the corresponding roster moves for the other additions, as they'll have to cut at least two to make room for the cornerbacks. August 17th is the first day of roster trimming around the league, which reduces the size to 85 players. Needless to say, some players are only going to have a small two-week window to make a lasting impressing before another five get cut the following week.

It's Good to Have Football Back

Having fans in attendance was such a great thing to see. Just being around camp and all is refreshing as we make our way back to football. One thing I never got used to last year was empty stadiums and micro attendance at the Superdome. 

Here's to hoping things around the country get better and that we can actually cross the finish line with packed out stadiums, but it feels like there's so much work to be done before September comes. We're just 12 days out from the team's first preseason matchup on the road against the Ravens.

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