NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take 1: Andrus Peat moves inside
So the speculation was justified. Andrus Peat is getting reps with the first team at right guard.
It's impossible to get a legitimate look at how an offensive lineman performed with no pads on, but Sean Payton boldly insisted afterwards that they see Peat as a starter at either tackle or guard. Clearly, they view him as one of their five best offensive linemen, which is welcomed news.
Take 2: Byrd Watching
I praised the Vonn Bell pick when it happened, given the need at free safety, but I didn't think I would see Bell with the first team on the very first day we were able to view OTA's. Bell hasn't risen up the depth chart through merit just yet, but by injury. Jairus Byrd once again spent the afternoon working off to the side with trainer Scottie Patton.
Payton said his rehab is on schedule. Still, it has to be frustrating to constantly be dealing with Byrd's health issues.
Take 3: Vaccaro's Versatility
Dennis Allen has clearly identified Kenny Vaccaro's versatile skill set and will use it. Vaccaro lined up at strong safety, free safety, sam linebacker and nickel corner on Thursday. He blitzed, played man coverage, zone coverage and run support.
In my opinion, he was the most impressive player on the field Thursday.
Take 4: Play of the Day
This one goes to the defense and the player I just mentioned. It came when Vaccaro was playing strong safety. Drew Brees threw a post route but Vaccaro rose up to deflect the pass. The ball then bounced off Delvin Breaux's hands, who was in coverage on the play.
Take 5: Other Observations
- Kaleb Eulls’ transition to guard was unexpected. This is certainly a storyline to watch throughout the offseason.
- Garrett Grayson threaded the needle nicely on a nice seam route to Josh Hill just past Trae Elston. Grayson may not play this year, but his growth his crucial. If he can truly be the number two quarterback , it would allow the Saints to have an additional roster spot at a different position.
- Rookie Michael Thomas is not afraid to catch the ball in traffic. He made a few catches Thursday in very tight windows.
- Sean Payton talked about how much faster C.J. Spiller looked. It was evident on one play when Grayson checked down to Spiller and he turned on the jets to turn the corner on linebacker Jeff Schoettmer.
- Schoettmer did make a nice pass break up on a high Grayson pass to Travaris Cadet.
- Brandin Cooks did not participate in practice. He was running routes and cutting off to the side. There were no specifics on his injury.
- The first team offensive line Thursday: Terron Armstead, Senio Kelemete, Max Unger, Andrus Peat and Zach Strief.
- Breaux and Brian Dixon spent most of the day as first team cornerbacks. Both had nice PBU’s on the day.