WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVUE) - Five practices in, we've officially transitioned into a new phase of training camp. The newness has worn off while the end is nowhere near in site. As Sean Payton once said, 'we are in the tunnel and there's no light at the end of it yet'.
Play of the Day
The Play of the Day has a little bit of both offense and defense. The play began when Mark Ingram took an option route from Drew Brees. He ripped through the middle of the defense for what would've been a big gain until Roman Harper chased him down and ripped the ball
out just before he hit the ground. Jairus Byrd recovered the ball.
This play exemplified the importance of creating turnovers. On the stat sheet, that play will hurt the Saints pass defense average. Who cares? The Saints will gladly yield a few yards if it means they get an extra possession for their offense. In today's explosive offensive NFL, that's the best approach for any defense.
That's what the Saints did so well in 2009.
Unofficially, I counted five sacks by the Saints defense on Monday. And they came in a variety of styles. Bobby Richardson recorded one from the inside. Davis Tull got one off the edge. Fifth round pick David Onyemata was basically untouched to get his first one of camp. Un-drafted rookie linebacker Jeff Schoettmer recorded one off a free blitz. Dillon Lee and Michael Mauti combined for one on a blitz as well.
Aside from the sacks, the defense had a lot of pass break-ups again on Monday. Harper, Brian Dixon and Devante Harris all had impressive pass break ups. In Harris' case, he went up and wrestled the ball away from the 6-foot-6 Kyle Prater. The ball could've possibly been intercepted though video evidence could not confirm it. Prater was shaken up on the play.
P.J. Williams closed out practice with an incredible play where he came off his receiver on the sideline to knock down a pass intended for the tight end down the seam. As I mentioned Sunday, the secondary appears much more active. Remember, this is without Keenan Lewis.
-It was good to see Garrett Grayson follow up his best practice as a pro with another solid effort Monday. Grayson threw a strike downfield to Tommy Lee Lewis. He also hit R.J. Harris on a deep out. Grayson's biggest issue has been his consistency. Hopefully, these last two practices will be the jumping off point for him to grow.
- Daniel Lasco fumbled for the second day in a row Monday. I like Lasco's football IQ but he won't stay on the roster if he keeps fumbling.
-Craig Robertson has a real nose for the football. He had an impressive pass break up during seven-on-seven drills.
-Drew Brees and Coby Fleener is going to be a lethal combination in 2016. They connected again on a back shoulder throw for a touchdown.