With a few thousand Saints fans in attendance, the Saints had a decent good ebb and flow between the offense and defense on their first day of minicamp.
Here are some observations:
Play of the Day I
Ryan Griffin had a nice day. He connected with undrafted rookie R.J. Harris for a big play during team drills. There was a clear-cut busted coverage, once Griffin located Harris he threw one up to him. The throw was actually a little too strong; Harris had to run it down and juggled it before pulling it in.
Play of the Day II
The race for the third wide receiver is completely wide open. On Tuesday, Nick Toon threw his name in to the ring with a beautiful downfield reception on a pass from Luke McCown. McCown put the ball up and let his receiver go make a play. Toon went up and got it over rookie cornerback P.J. Williams.
Play of the Day III
I'm pretty confident in saying the Saints secondary will be much improved this season. They came up with another play today when Kyle Wilson picked off a deflected Drew Brees pass intended for Toon.
Kevin Williams has wasted no time getting adjusted to his new surroundings. He was in New Orleans on Sunday and running with the first team on Tuesday.
It came on a play that likely would've been ruled down but Jairus Byrd flashed his nose for the ball when he stripped Khiry Robinson then recovered the fumble. Byrd at full strength will be HUGE for the Saints this year.
After a great day last week, Delvin Breaux saw first team reps at nickel Tuesday. Payton said he has that ability and a lot of times they are looking to just get their best players on the field. Comments like that certainly bode well for Breaux.
For the first time all camp, Hau'Oli Kikaha jumped out at me for his effort. To be fair, I purposely don't look at lineman during the padless stage. However, I counted two plays that would've resulted in sacks for Kikaha. On one, he made a beautiful move on Andrus Peat where he faked outside then cut inside to get the sack.
Stephone Anthony stands out again. During team drills, Anthony batted down a Griffin pass. After practice Sean Payton even said that Anthony always seems to be around the ball and that he has the traits of a leader. Anthony has been the most impressive rookie to date.
A defensive back made a great play on a deep ball when he recovered after getting beat and swatted the ball away. I had to do a double take, when I looked down at the roster and realized it was Stanley Jean Baptiste. SJB ran mostly with the second team today and looked pretty good. That pass break-up was the highlight of his offseason so far.
After watching both kickers, it's clear that Dustin Hopkins has the stronger leg over Zach Hocker. The ball just jumps off his foot. He had plenty of distance on all of his field goal attempts.