Camp des Saints: Day 19 Practice Notes and Observations
Saturday was the last training session of the week at the Saints’ training camp, as they took Sunday off before their Monday night game against the Jaguars at the Superdome. Here are all of our notes and observations from Day 19 of practice.
Summary of training camps: Day 18 | Day 17 | Day 16 | Day 15 | Day 13 | Day 12 | Day 11 | Day 10 | Day 9 | Day 8 | Day 7 | Day 6 | Day 5 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1
Presence and transactions
Alex Armah has returned to training after missing consecutive days. Those missing included Wil Lutz, Tre’Quan Smith, Alvin Kamara, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Roach and Payton Turner. What’s most worrying about Smith is that he’s returned to training and missed the last three sessions. It will be something to watch closely when the team plays on Monday night.
Both quarterbacks had a good performance that day, as Jameis Winston posted 8 out of 10 as a starter and Taysom Hill also finished 8 out of 10. It was one of the best practices we’ve seen from each of them. They each made precise throws and good decisions that day.
Start rotation and notes
The Saints had a familiar setup going through walkthroughs, which began with a set of two tight ends. There were a lot of substitutes with the first team, but that’s what they started with.
- QB: Jameis Winston
- RB: Latavius Murray
- WR: Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris
- TE: Juwan Johnson, Adam Tratuman
- OL: Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk
Sub-notes: Garrett Griffin, Kevin White, Kawaan Baker, Ty Montgomery and Nick Vannett all worked with the first team during the walkthrough subperiod.
Defensively, the Saints were in a nickel formation. The squad seem to have a pretty extended look this week with Adebo and Crawley starting at the corner.
- FROM: Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport
- DT: Jalen Dalton, Shy Tuttle
- CEO: Kwon Alexander, Demario Davis
- DC: Paulson Adebo (left), Ken Crawley (right)
- Niche: CJ Gardner-Johnson
- S: Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Williams
Sub-notes: New Orleans ran Zack Baun, Christian Ringo, Albert Huggins, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Carl Granderson, PJ Williams and Kaden Elliss with the first team.
Rhythm, flow and observations
The Saints were inside again, but returned to their training center in Metairie. The officials were present at the session as they were on Friday evening. The offense was in white, and the dress code was towels.
The practice opened up with positional exercises, with the quarterbacks and running backs working together, then the wide receivers came later. The full-backs worked on the one-person sled and used the yoga ball for balance and reaction work. Meanwhile, the defensive backs were working on tackles and receptions, while the offensive line got work 2v2.
The tight ends worked with each other with blocking pads, then shorter in routes involving cones. The defensive line first worked against each other and then parted with the ends and the guys on the inside. Something we keep seeing is David Onyemata working with the Edge group.
We had a short period of 11-on-11 work that focused on the emphasis on playing action, followed by a punt simulation exercise. The next area focused on the end of the game with less than 30 seconds on the clock and no timeouts needing a touchdown. Each quarterback had one turn during all 11-on-11 drills.
The Saints then worked on a quick field placement drill, then moved on to kick return work, a punt after safety training, and then a few clock and situation drills. This was really the main area the team worked on, as Sean Payton said they don’t come often, but wanted to make sure there was some attention to it. We had another 11-on-11 period and then ended practice with another field placement session.
Notes 11 of 11: Several Winston sets have seen him go 2 of 2, 4 of 5 and 2 of 3. His first set saw him throw two passes, the first being an excellent one-handed grab from Marquez Callaway on an intermediate win near the sideline. His next pass came after two runs and a QB keeper who was stuffed by Kwon Alexander after the pocket collapsed and there was nowhere to go. It was for short gain, as Winston found Devonta Freeman on a pass to the right.
In the following series, Winston had his first four assists. Game of the day came on the third, as he hit Deonte Harris on a deep cross road for a 40-yard game. Somehow Harris just lost the defender covering him, and Demario Davis and Marcus Williams were closest to him. He then collided with Adam Trautman on a short crossing, and the only failure was a fall in the middle aimed at Kevin White. This piece could have fit Marcus Davenport like a sack.
The final series started at the 15-yard line for the two quarters, and the opening play saw Winston hitting Adam Trautman below in the middle to start. He missed the next pass two games later as it was a low pitch to Deonte Harris on a short crossover route. He connected to the 3rd Down with Marquez Callaway two games later on a touchdown with Paulson Adebo on cover.
Hill’s serial work rose to 2 of 3, 4 of 4, then 2 of 3. His two incompleteness was the result of Kawaan Baker falling in the middle and failing due to pressure.
Hill’s first set saw him hook up with Tony Jones Jr. in the first play where Zack Baun was finished for a loss tackle. The next pitch went to Kawaan Baker on the short side of right field. Baun was there again to make the save, and David Onyemata seemed to have a sack on the play. This is where Baker’s incompleteness came in as a result of a drop. Also note, Devonta Freeman had a good run on the series dotted with assists.
For his second heat, Hill was a perfect 4 of 4. He hit Freeman short to start, then connected with Baker on a slant road. He then found Marquez Callaway on a loop with Grant Haley on defense, then had his Garrett Griffin on the left sideline for a short win. Griffin had to do a few ups to get the ball back, and it was a good effort on the near end. Hill had a failure on the deep sideline at Kevin White, but defensive pass interference was called on Natrell Jamerson.
In the final series, Hill had two touchdown passes in a row. The first game on this record was a Latavius Murray run blasted by Zack Baun and CJ Gardner-Johnson. Hill then hit Tony Jones Jr. near the 5-yard line, then did the rest to get into the end zone. The next pass went to Nick Vannett on a back endcourt connection for the score. Devonta Freeman was hit hard by PJ Williams on the next play on a short run game, then the last play saw Hill throw the ball out of bounds with Christian Ringo pushing him.
For the other quarters, Trevor Siemian was third in the rotation. He went 1 of 2, 2 of 3 and 0 of 2. One of his assists in the second set was a knockdown from Adam Trautman who was following a stitch route. His last attempt in the final series was overturned by David Onyemata. For Ian Book, he went 1 to 1, 1 to 2 and 1 to 1. Book’s last practice saw Tony Jones Jr. running a fine run into the end zone from 10 yards with Nick Vannett in front.
Rosas Kick Day: New Saints kicker Aldrick Rosas finished 8 of 10 that day in two separate sessions. He went 4 of 4 in the first, while 4 of 6 in the second frame. He missed a shorter trial at 36 meters, then a longer trial at 50 meters. Technically, the final kick didn’t really matter as there was a false start penalty on the kicking team.
Dowell keeps flashing: Andrew Dowell had some truly defining moments in this practice. He made a big loss tackle on a running play from Devonta Freeman, then made a good save in Dwayne Washington’s cover in space. He makes the kind of plays that really get the defense reacting.
LJH responds: Lil’Jordan Humphrey had a better training day, and it was necessary. It hasn’t been a good week for him as he’s had a fair amount of drops. He made the most of today with Chris Hogan’s absence. However, he will have to do a lot more if he is to break the final list.
Receiver depth: It’s hard not to notice someone like Kevin White during training. He certainly gives his all during workouts, going every route as if it were the last. Will that be enough for him to be part of the final team? I think a good performance in the preseason will go a long way, but maybe he could be one of the veterans who ends up on the practice squad in the worst case scenario.