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Saints training camp observations: Some missing players return to field

The heat was in full effect for Saturday’s practice session, but still delivered.

NFL: New Orleans Saints-Training Camp Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s Saints training camp practice had a somewhat lethargic feel to it to start the day, but quickly picked up with some good action. Here’s some notes and observations from Day 9 at Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

Attendance: Willie Snead and Trey Hendrickson were not spotted at practice. Marshon Lattimore, Tony McDaniel, and Coby Fleener were all present, but did not participate. Corey Fuller also did not practice, while Zach Strief and Adrian Peterson were given rest days. Delvin Breaux was dressed and participating.

Early Exits: A.J. Klein, Larry Warford, Sheldon Rankins, and P.J. Williams left practice early. Klein went down with cramps, but the status of the others are unknown.

Base defense: Again, make of this what you will, but today’s initial look on defense had a 3-man front of Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, and Alex Okafor. Alex Anzalone, Nate Stupar, and A.J. Klein handled linebacking duties, while De’Vante Harris and Ken Crawley manned the outside. P.J. Williams took slot duties, with Vonn Bell and Kenny Vaccaro handling safety.

One-on-one drills: The receivers got off to a very sluggish start, and ended up catching 11-of-25 balls thrown. Here’s some charting with notes

Drew Brees

  • Ted Ginn Jr. vs. P.J. Williams - Incomplete (One-handed attempt)
  • Brandon Coleman vs. De’Vante Harris - Incomplete (Double move fooled Harris, but recovered to break up the pass on a sure touchdown grab)
  • Tommylee Lewis vs. Sterling Moore - Complete (Curl route)
  • Michael Thomas vs. Damian Swann - Incomplete (Drop, slant route)
  • Rashad Lawrence vs. Ken Crawley - Incomplete (Deep attempt)
  • Jake Lampman vs. Taveze Calhoun - Complete (Slant in route, good coverage)
  • Travin Dural vs. Arthur Maulet - Complete (Deep right, TD)

Chase Daniel

  • Jordan Williams-Lambert vs. Dejaun Butler - Incomplete (Too high)
  • Ginn Jr. vs. Williams - Incomplete (Slipped)
  • Coleman vs. D. Harris - Complete (Slant)
  • Lewis vs. Moore - Complete (Comeback route left)
  • Thomas vs. Swann - Complete (Slant)
  • Lawrence vs. Crawley - Incomplete (Lawrence had him beat on a double move)
  • Lampman vs. Erik Harris - Incomplete (Fade route, PBU)

Garrett Grayson

  • Dural vs. Williams - Complete (Back shoulder)
  • Williams-Lambert vs. Vonn Bell - Incomplete (Deep end zone)
  • Ginn Jr. vs. Moore - Incomplete (PBU, near pick)
  • Coleman vs. Calhoun - Complete (Deep left)
  • Lewis vs. Crawley - Complete (Post route)
  • Thomas vs. D. Harris - Incomplete (PBU)
  • Lawrence vs. Maulet - Incomplete (PBU, near pick)
  • Lampman vs. Butler - Complete (Mid route in)

Ryan Nassib

  • Dural vs. Crawley - Incomplete (PBU, slant route)
  • Williams-Lambert vs. E. Harris - Complete (Deep route, TD)
  • Ginn Jr. vs. Moore - Incomplete (Deep route)

7-on-7: Brees (4-of-5), Daniel (3-of-4), Grayson (1-of-3), Nassib (2-of-3). Brees hit on his first four passes, but P.J. Williams made a good play against Mark Ingram for a pass breakup. Craig Robertson tipped a Grayson pass at the line of scrimmage, and he’d have another in 11-on-11 drills against Daniel.

Punt Returners: Again, Tommylee Lewis, Ted Ginn Jr., and Alvin Kamara were all fielding punts on the day. The Saints were working on punt coverage near the goal line.

Other Observations: Cameron Tom took third-team snaps, while Jack Allen handled some guard duty with the second and third teams. Senio Kelemete was the second-string center, and John Fullington kicked out to right tackle. With Strief given a day of rest, Bryce Harris handled first-team right tackle duty.

Darius Victor had two big moments in which he simply wouldn’t go down. He took big hits from Jonathan Walton, and in one of those he trucked him and kept going. Victor recovered after making his first mistake of fumbling several plays before.

Alvin Kamara had a sweep off the left side that he took in for a touchdown, but there was flag on the play. The very next snap, Kamara took a pass out of the backfield in for a touchdown during red zone drills with A.J. Klein in coverage. Kamara spiked the ball out of excitement, and it was one of the better plays for the offense.

Mitchell Loewen jumped out to me with some good pushes off the defensive line. Al-Quadin Muhammad tangled with recently acquired offensive tackle Jerry Ugowke for a couple of good battles. Rafael Bush put a good hit on Clay Harbor after a catch - the two had a similar meeting several practices ago.

High snaps continued to be an issues from Josh LeRibeus to Brees in the two-minute drill. Within the first several plays, there were at least four I counted. In those drills, Sterling Moore would have had a sack or quarterback hit on Brees for one of the plays. Obum Gwacham, Adam Bighill, Alex Okafor, Hau’oli Kikaha, and Alex Anzalone made some good plays during the stretch.

Camp will be held at Yulman Stadium from 7-9 p.m. on Sunday, which Sean Payton said will cause Monday’s practice to move back and be indoors (closed to public). Admission is free, so if you’re around, come check it out.