The third and final day of New Orleans Saints minicamp ended about 45 minutes early on Thursday, but there was still plenty of good action worth noting.
Base Defense: The first walkthrough featured the usual suspects on the defensive line (Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, and Alex Okafor). Tony McDaniel, who signed with the team today, also received some first-team reps. The Saints had A.J. Klein and Craig Robertson as the starting linebackers, with Marshon Lattimore and Delvin Breaux lined up on the outside. P.J. Williams, who had been absent with the flu, returned today and was handling slot coverage. Kenny Vaccaro and Vonn Bell were the starting safeties.
Armstead Missing: Terron Armstead left Tuesday early for an undisclosed reason, so rookie Ryan Ramczyk and Bryce Harris split the first-team reps at left tackle.
Kicking: Wil Lutz went a perfect 4-for-4 in field goal drills, connecting from 32, 42, 52, and 46 yards. Unfortunately, tryout kicker Patrick Murray had two misses (52, 46). Murray had two kicks blocked on Wednesday, so it would appear Lutz clearly held his own and boosted some confidence.
Offense bests defense: Ted Ginn Jr. started 11-on-11 drills with a nice touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone, which set the tone for the offense the rest of the way. Coby Fleener did have one drop with A.J. Klein providing some strong coverage. Michael Thomas arguably had the play of the day with Marshon Lattimore providing good coverage. Thomas hauled in a touchdown on a back shoulder throw from Drew Brees, which was one of the Mike doing Mike things. He also had a touchdown grab over the middle from a Garret Grayson pass. Chase Daniel connected with Alvin Kamara on a roll out pass, and missed only one of his six passes.
The defense started to turn things around afterwards, as Grayson had an attempted screen pass broken up by Vonn Bell, and then had a pass broken up in the end zone by Ken Crawley that was intercepted by Chris Banjo, and he essentially closed out practice by getting picked off by linebacker Nathan Stupar. It’s minicamp, but he’s really had some struggles.
Overall, the tone was pretty fun and relaxed for the day. Craig Robertson engaged with some fans during team stretches. The banter was centered around having a dominate defense. Sean Payton didn’t provide any updates on Nick Fairley in his post-practice presser, and the players were getting ready to head out for some time off.