The New Orleans Saints kicked off their 2022 offseason with the first week of OTA’s. This is the first step in a long offseason. Offseason training activities are voluntary, but players are encouraged to join the team.
The main headline coming out has been the progress and rehab of Jameis Winston. After tearing up his knee early in the season, he has made great strides to being back to 100%. Winston said he started running two weeks ago and is now 100% on his drop backs. Getting back on the field for OTAs has been “exciting and a blessing” for Jameis and the staff. Winston was the QB1 of the Saints locker room for about 7 weeks last season and being in the locker room taking charge of these guys is very important. Getting Winston back to 100% is important but building the chemistry with the guys in the locker room is much more important because of the amount of time we have till week one. The most exciting video of the week was Jameis Winston building chemistry early with Chris Olave on a deep throw that was perfect, the future connection looks strong.
Another large headline was the fact that Michael Thomas is in the building, a step in the right direction. He is not ready to participate in OTAs according to Dennis Allen but is making steps in his rehab to get back on the field. There wasn’t much buzz from coaches about MT besides the fact they are glad he’s back and doing well in rehab.
One of the most anticipated parts of OTAs has been seeing Tyrann Mathieu in black and gold for the first time. He was one of the few veterans to attend OTAs. Mathieu said it’s important for him to be there and build chemistry with the locker room and coaches. For Tyrann to unleash the Honey Badger, he says he’s got to master the playbook so he can play full speed. Nonetheless, seeing the Honey Badger finally in black and gold is a dream for many, including himself.
A large talking point of the week was who wasn't at OTAs. It's not panic mode if they aren’t there, all absences were known about by Coach Allen. Players who are absent were Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore, Andrus Peat, James Hurst, Bradley Roby, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, DeMario Davis, Jarvis Landry, Marcus Davenport, Payton Turner, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Deonte Harty, Taysom Hill and PJ Williams, among others. There is no concern because each player has an offseason workout that works for them.
There were also players in the building who were focusing on rehabbing from past injuries, those players being Marcus Davenport, Marcus Maye and Payton Turner.
That does it for this week. The Saints will be back on the turf for week two of OTA’s starting May 31st-June 2nd.