WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WEST VIRGINIA (WVUE)- - Two practices are now in the books at Saints training camp and Saturday the day belonged to the offense.
Drew Brees and company looked smooth and efficient and had their way all practice long against the Saints defense.
And if there were any concerns about the chemistry after an offseason apart, they were quickly put to rest today.
All day long, #9 found #80. On the first seven-on-seven drills, Brees hooked up with Graham on three of his five passes. The best came when he fit one into Graham on a seem route they love to run. Graham reached back and snatched the ball off his back shoulder with Curtis Lofton draped all over him.
Third-year pro Nick Toon also had a nice day. Toon scored two touchdowns when he got behind the Saints defense on two separate occasions.
In a battle for a precious few roster spots, Toon looks ready for the challenge.
While the offense made some nice plays, a few of their big plays were aided by busted coverages in the secondary.
On the second Toon touchdown, Brees looked to one side of the field, didn't find anyone then looked back to his left to find Toon wide open down the sideline.
A similar play happened later in the practice when Brees looked to right then went back to his left to find Andy Tanner wide open for a touchdown.
Rob Ryan acknowledged that Saturday was not his unit's best day, "I tell you today wasn't our best."
Play of the Day
The Brees-Graham connection was big today, but Graham's best play came with Ryan Griffin at quarterback. It was another seem route where Griffin put the ball up in the air and Graham went up and grabbed it with one hand. Much to the enjoyment of the fans, he finished the play with his classic goal post dunk.
Wide receiver Kenny Stills is still aggravated by his quad injury. He didn't practice today and spent most of the morning on the exercise bike.
- Cornerback Patrick Robinson had a good day today. Robinson spent the day with the first and second team at cornerback and had back-to-back pass break-ups. On the first one, Robinson went high to bat the ball away from the 6'5 Brandon Coleman. On the second, Robinson read the slant route by Charles Hawkins and showed nice quickness to accelerate up and break up the pass.
- Saturday was Griffin's day with the second team at quarterback. He had one rough sequence in team drills when Robinson broke up two of his passes (described above) and had a pass batted down by Brandon Deaderick. However, he recovered to have a decent day. One thing I really like about Griffin is how decisive he is with his reads. He seems to make his read and deliver the ball quickly and accurately.
- The Saints are auditioning a lot of players at kickoff returner. Today, Travaris Cadet, Brandin Cooks, Andy Tanner, Pierre Thomas and Derrick Strozier all got reps.
- Practices thus far have been crisp and clean, but I'll be interested to see how that changes Sunday when the pads come on for the first time.