Hard to believe we are already 8 days into training camp. The regular season will be here before we know it. It will be nice to finally be able to get to see the team play and be inspired to write something of substance instead of taking everyone else's word on it.
Seems the only significant action this morning was special teams. Gramatica and Mehlhaff both practiced kickoffs. While Gramatica seemed to outshine Mehlhaff the other day, putting more of his kicks into the endzone, Mehlhaff looked impressive today and reminded us why the team used a draft pick on him; his leg strength.
The team also worked on punt returns and Reggie yet again muffed one. Payton isn't worried, however, and seems to think Bush will be ready to go in this department by the start of the season.
Fox 40 offense notes from the morning session.
Fox 40 defense notes from the morning session.
The Times-Pic notes from the morning session.
The Times-Pic notes from the afternoon session.
Fox 40 offense notes from the afternoon session.
Fox 40 defense notes from the afternoon session.
New Orleans Saints official website notes on the day's activities.
Transcript of interview with Pierre Thomas from the New Orleans Saints official website.
Transcript of interview with Drew Brees from the New Orleans Saints official website.
Transcript of interview with Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints official website.
An entry from Skyler Green's diary from WWLTV.com
Pictures from today's practices via the Clarion Ledger.
The guys from Sports Talk had Marques Colston and Jim Henderson in the studio. Listen up!
Another video from Cox Sports TV and Mike Nabors. This time the special guest is training camp superstar Adrian Arrington.
Cox Sports TV also has this video with Mike Nabors interviewing Robert Meachem.
Mike Triplett at the Times-Pic did the usual live Saints Chat. Here were some of the highlights.
On the cornerbacks.
Like I said, I think I've been most impressed by Gay so far, even though he's been limited by a hamstring injury. Linebacker Scott Fujita said the other day that he's got a "savvy" about him, an aura that he thinks comes from his days in New England (not to mention a pretty impressive defense at LSU). ... I expect Gay to be a starter this year because I think he'll be the most consistent performer throughout the preseason.
Mike McKenzie is coming along slowly but surely from his knee injury. Jason David has had more highlights than he did last year, and Usama Young looks like he'll compete for some playing time. They still have Jason Craft around, and when Tracy Porter comes back from his hamstring injury, we'll see what he can do. ... The talent certainly isn't overwhelming, but they've got more options, so they'll definitely be a little better than last year. The biggest improvement should come with the pass rush, though, which will keep the secondary from getting toasted so often.
On the wide receivers.
That's the question of the week, with Arrington and Robert Meachem earning some good reviews. Who do they bump off? ... I think Marques Colston, David Patten and Meachem are locks to make the roster. Arrington will certainly have to beat out Devery Henderson if he wants to make this team. Even then, he'll need to prove he's at least serviceable on special teams to earn that fourth receiver spot. ... The numbers aren't in his favor, but if he keeps making plays the way he has been, the Saints will have to keep him.
I think Terrance Copper will make the team because of his special teams prowess. And I think the Saints need to keep either Lance Moore or Skyler Green as a punt returner, with Moore being the favorite right now. So it's looking like the Saints will likely keep 6 at this point.
On Pierre Thomas.
It's so hard to evaluate the running backs when they aren't tackling in practice, but Thomas looks healthy and athletic, and he's definitely confident and excited when you talk to him. ... Confidence is definitely a strong suit for him. He came into camp last year and basically forced this team to keep him on the roster last year, and he only got better throughout the season. I think we'll see a lot more carries and catches for him this year, no doubt.
I will update this post with the afternoon's activities, so check back!