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Return game drawing the watchful eye of Sean Payton during Day 8 of Saints Training Camp

Don’t think Payton is serious about fixing this issue? Think again.

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Is the kick return game causing you more anxiety than usual? “No, we just want to be better in that area.” - Sean Payton

Patrick Robinson was recently quoted as saying Sean Payton is a bit nicer, but that doesn’t mean less intense.

After being questioned about the return game during yesterday’s media availability Payton was seen keeping a close eye on every return man in the rotation. Brandon Tate (seen below) can be viewed making an impressive over the shoulder grab during punt return drills with Payton standing nearby - No Pressure right?

Don’t let Payton’s flighty response fool you.

Special Teams improvement (especially the return game) is something he’s been harping on for the last few years. It started with the drafting of Marcus Murphy in 2015, followed by the addition of Tommylee Lewis via a Bill Parcells suggestion. The latest move to draft Boston Scott and the recent signing of Brandon Tate show that Sean Payton is indeed starting to get a little anxious about improvement in that area.

Football is a game of hidden yardage and a ton of that starts on special teams!

Practice Observations

  • 1st round pick Marcus Davenport did not practice but was seen in attendance. That’s good news people as New Orleans will likely err on the side of caution.
  • Michael Thomas did what Michael Thomas does beating Marshon Lattimore on a fade route from the slot position.
  • Offense rebounded nicely today vs the Saints defense at one point scoring 3 TD’s on 4 attempts during the first portion red-zone drills.
  • Mitchell Loewen sighting with a sack during team period.
  • Defense made plays of it’s own with an A.J. Klein INT among that number.

If we don’t know anything we know that things have been competitive between the Saints offense and defense so far through TC and that type of energy has been known to breed winning teams during the Sean Payton era.