The pads came on for the first time Sunday and the intensity cranked up at Saints practice.
It was clear this team was ready to finally suit up and create some genuine contact. It wasn't always crisp but it was full of energy.
For the first time in training camp, the offense clearly outplayed the defense. During the first four plays of team drills, the first-team offense got four consecutive double-digit gains on the first team defense.
Play of the Day
Anyone that thinks Andy Tanner doesn't have a shot to make this roster, just because the team drafted Nick Toon and Kenny Stills needs to think again.
Tanner got first team reps in team drills today and took full advantage. He caught every ball thrown his way and even flashed some quickness and speed. The best of the bunch came in individual drills when he faked out Kenny Vaccaro on and out-and-up route that drew a huge applause.
- Akiem Hicks is getting plenty of first team reps but at two positions. As expected Hicks is playing both defensive end and tackle. I'm curious to see what role he eventually falls into. But I do think his versatility will help the defense's ability to be more multiple.
- One player who really seemed to love the pads was Vaccaro. Vaccaro was not afraid to create contact on just about every play he was in on. Once again, he got a lot of reps at nickel cornerback. On one play, he knocked tight end Michael Higgins off his route. On another he came on a blitz and would've had a sack. A couple of times his aggressiveness went past the whistle. While that can be somewhat of an issue, I think overall if his physicality and versatility are used in the right way, Vaccaro can make an impact sooner rather than later.
- With Marques Colston out, Lance Moore, Courtney Roby, Joe Morgan and Tanner were the receivers working with Brees during team drills.
- For the second straight day, Eric Martin was with the second team at outside linebacker.
- Drew Brees hit Jimmy Graham over the middle of the field for big gains. In other news, the sky is blue.
- I'm going to key in a little closer on the left tackle battle Monday, but from what I watched Sunday, Charles Brown is the favorite for good reason. He is clearly the most comfortable at this point.
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