After Further Review: Five takes from Saints practice #4

After Further Review: Five takes from Saints practice #4
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks away from New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) during a one on one drill during an NFL football training camp practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, La., Friday, July 21, 2020. ( Photo/David Grunfeld, Pool) (Source: David Grunfeld)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Take One: Scrappy secondary

What a week it has been for the Saints secondary. They’re scrappy, tough, and fearless. Friday was their most active day yet.

Let’s start with P.J. Williams, who made the play of the day when he undercut a shallow cross to intercept a Jameis Winston pass for a pick-six. This is the second interception by Williams in camp. He also chipped in with a half-sack.

Janoris Jenkins has really settled in at cornerback, and had three pass breakups, and a near interception off Drew Brees Friday. One of those breakups seemed to frustrate Brees.

Marshon Lattimore has been one of the most consistent performers all camp, regardless of position. He and Janoris Jenkins should make a dynamic duo at cornerback.

Patrick Robinson has flown under the radar, but has consistently made plays. He chipped in with a PBU, and a sack off a corner blitz Friday. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, aka Ceedy Duce, knocked away a pass to Adam Trautman. Justin Hardee also had a couple of PBU’s.

Through four practices, no position group has done better than the secondary.

Take Two: Winston inaccurate during team periods

For the second day in a row, Winston struggled with accuracy during the team periods. His first pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, then he overthrew Marquez Callaway on a fade route. In his final period, he was a little behind Juwan Johnson on a shallow cross, then was late on a short throw to Callaway, that was broken up by Robinson. On the next play, he overthrew Jared Cook on a deep out. Later, he was late on a throw that led to the interception to Williams described in take one. Winston tried to finesse the throw, and drop the ball in over the top to Tommy Stevens. He put a little too much air under it, which Williams took advantage of. He was able to close out the period on a positive note with a nice throw on a deep out to Bennie Fowler.

Some of this is to be expected, which is probably why Sean Payton said he’s been pleased with his progress. He has access to Winston in the meeting and film rooms, and knows he’s doing the right things in learning the system that is very comprehensive. Still, at this stage on the field, it’s fair to call Winston a work in progress.

Take Three: Other Top Plays

Drew Brees and the first-team offense had their best stretch of camp in the first four plays of the second team period. Brees hit Michael Thomas (slant), Emmanuel Sanders (shallow cross, great YAC), Thomas again (out), and Jared Cook (out) for four straight completions.

In the first team period, Kaden Elliss stuffed Dwayne Washington for a tackle for loss.

In the same period, Cam Jordan had back-to-back stops on Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.

Ty Montgomery, once again, had a nice run where he was able to start left then cutback right for a good gain.

Tre’Quan Smith had one of the catches of camp when he reeled in a dig route from Brees with one hand to make the grab.

Carl Granderson had two sacks on the day. One against Brees, the other against Winston. Granderson has really flashed the last few practices.

Take Four: Attendance report

Taysom Hill wasn’t present at practice Friday. He was not injured, instead he and his wife are expecting their first child. Anthony Chickillo, Andrus Peat, Shy Tuttle and Johnson Bademosi were also not present.

Josh Hill was in full pads Friday, though he was limited in his participation.

Take Five: Other observations

- Alvin Kamara looked very smooth in the running back vs. linebacker drills. He made a nice move on Craig Roberston on a route.

- DeMario Davis returned for some of the team periods Friday and recorded a sack.

- Winston did have a nice ball to Trautman during 1-on-1′s. Trautman was able to beat Alex Anzalone in coverage, Winston hit him in-stride.

- Ethan Greenidge received some first-team reps at left tackle during team drills. Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead are rotating their snaps with other players during those periods.

- Stevens got some work as the up-back in punt formation.

- Andrew Dowell had a nice PBU in the RB vs LB pass period.

- Elliss also had a sack during a team period, where he blitzed untouched and got to Winston before he could throw it.

- This will be my last five takes from Saints training camp. Due to COVID-19 protocol, FOX 8 rotates off, and another TV station picks up the coverage.

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