After Further Review: Defense controls day 3

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WEST VIRGINIA (WVUE)- - For practice three of Saints training camp, the pads came on and the intensity cranked up.

Through the first two practices, the offense had their way. That was not the case on Sunday.

For the first time all camp, Rob Ryan's unit looked fast, aggressive and most of all opportunistic.

A high emphasis was placed on creating takeaways all offseason, on Sunday they had three.

Play of the Day I

The best takeaway of the three came from Champ Bailey.

On the play, fullback Erik Lorig caught a pass and attempted to stiff arm Bailey. Bailey went low and cut Lorig down and stripped the ball. As the ball rolled out of bounds safety Rafael Bush dove, caught the ball and threw it back in bounds. The ball landed back in Bailey's hands.

Play of the Day II

The first interception of training camp came courtesy of linebacker Ramon Humber. During seven-on-seven drills, Humber trailed tight end Josh Hill then jumped up and picked off an under thrown Luke McCown pass.

Injury Report

Along with Kenny Stills, wide receiver Robert Meachem also sat out practice with a back flare-up, according to Coach Payton.

John Jenkins and Jairus Byrd both did extensive work off to the side today and from what I can tell, looked like they are getting close to being fully healthy.

Other Observations

- If I had a vote for most improved player very early in training camp, it would be wide receiver Nick Toon. Physically, Toon just looks the part and now is finally starting to play the part. He had a tremendous day Saturday and followed it up with another solid day today. More than anything else, Toon looks confident and his chemistry with Brees is growing. The two connected on another big play Sunday.

- The kicker competition is going to be fun to watch. Neither Shayne Graham nor Derek Dimke missed a field goal during Sunday's workout.

- Two undrafted rookies who had good days are safety Pierre Warren and defensive end/ outside linebacker Marcus Thompson. Warren had two nice pass break-ups today and a fumble recovery on Friday. Thompson had a nice pass rush and had a big hit on running back Tim Flanders during team drills.

- For the first time since camp began, Jonathan Goodwin was with the first team at center during team drills.

- Drew Brees had his first misfire today when Joe Morgan got behind Bailey on a deep route but Brees slightly overthrew him.

- The catch of the day goes to old faithful, Marques Colston. Brees threw Colston their signature back shoulder seem route. But usually Brees puts the ball high for Colston to readjust his body and grab the ball. This time, Brees underthrew Colston which forced him to go low. It's not an easy task for a 6'5 receiver, but Colston was able to bend down and snatch the ball off his shoestrings.

- The third takeaway of the day came on a botched snap between McCown and Tim Lelito. The ball laid on the turf for about two seconds before Kyle Knox scooped it up and ran it in.

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