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Saints’ passing game finally coming together in training camp

New faces, Thomas turning heads after early struggles against DBs

New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

One of the league’s best receiving corps is finally coming together.

The top three receivers on the New Orleans Saints roster—Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave—form a vastly different, and much improved, facet of the 2022 team compared to last season’s team. This is the first season on the team for Landry and Olave, while it will be the first season for Thomas with Jameis Winston under center.

In the first week of training camp, the Saints’ secondary appeared to have their way with the formidable WR room.

Veterans like Marshon Lattimore and C.J. Gardener-Johnson have not missed a beat from 2021, but several surprising youngster cornerbacks, such as Paulson Adebo and rookie Alontae Taylor, were also besting Winston and Andy Dalton in camp. There were also apparently a considerable number of drops made by WRs in the first couple of days of camp last week.

But this week Saints’ receivers are showing significant improvement—especially during Thursday and Friday practice.

Michael Thomas, who missed the entirety of last season due to injury, looks to be returning to his old self, finally beating some of the better cornerbacks at camp, according to multiple sources.

Olave started camp by blowing past DB’s for multiple deep bomb touchdowns. Recently, he’s also shown off his shifty footwork in tight coverage.

Lastly, Landry has had a fair share of battles against some of the better-performing cornerbacks at camp this week, including Adebo and Bradley Roby. Even in tight coverage, Landry has showcased the elite hands that Louisianians have been familiar with since his freshman year at LSU in 2011.

In sum, Saints’ wideouts are finally showing out against the secondary in training camp. That’s huge, since this defense has been notably dominant since day one of camp, both in the first and second units. There’s no doubt that Dennis Allen’s defense is one of the best in the league.

The recent performance by the Saints’ young receiving corps against the defense shows that they can compete with the best of the best. And it doesn’t stop at Thomas, Landry and Olave. Callaway, Harty, and others can have a notable impact on this team, and have been contributing in camp so far.

“This is a talented team - I’m telling you. I saw Michael Thomas run a bunch of routes today and I thought he looked excellent…. The secondary is really deep. If Jameis is just fine, I think the Saints are going to be a playoff team. And the weapons - Jarvis has been good, Olave sounds like he’s really smart, so he’s picking it up well. The Saints are going to be good.” - NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on The Pat McAfee Show after the Saints’ Friday practice.

All is well with the receivers in New Orleans, something that we haven’t been able to say in quite some time.

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