After Further Review: Five takes from Saints practice #1

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Taysom runs with the first team

In what is sure to be a daily rotation, Taysom Hill got first crack with the first team Thursday. (A breakdown of every Hill & Winston throw is here.) Hill looked leaner than a year ago. The team spent the entire day in their base personnel with a heavy emphasis on the run and play action.

Hill’s best play came on a well-executed screen to Alvin Kamara, who followed Erik McCoy and Andrus Peat downfield for a huge gain. The play may seem simple, but was significant. Last season, those two players struggled to connect in the passing game.

Take Two: Winston closes practice strong

The best period of the day belonged to Jameis Winston. He closed out the final team period by going 5-of-5 passing. The biggest connection came on a deep pass to Deonte Harris on what looked like a double move.

Overall, Winston looked crisp and decisive. When Winston is on, these are the types of days he has. For him, it’s simply a matter of consistency and carrying that play over into games.

He had a good start Thursday.

Take Three: Plays of the Day

In addition to the plays described above, Kamara took an outside zone handoff to the right, turned the corner and gained about 15 yards.

In the second team period, Latavius Murray ran the same play, but cut it up quickly and raced in the open field for another big gain.

Given how the team is currently constructed with their offensive line and backs, the run game will be a huge part of the Saints approach.

Take Four: Notable lineups

Patrick Robinson started at the outside cornerback, opposite Marshon Lattimore. DeMario Davis (mike), Zack Baun (will) and Kaden Elliss (sam) were the first team linebackers for the first two team periods. Rookie Pete Werner came was with the first team at will during the final team period.

Veteran Sutton Smith has switched from linebacker to fullback and was wearing No. 47.

Take Five: Other Observations

- I thought both quarterbacks had good energy and body language Thursday. They looked to be constantly talking to each other, and walked with confidence.

- It was an interesting afternoon for punter Blake Gilikin. By my count, 11 of his 12 punts went off the ceiling of the Saints indoor facility.

- Trevor Siemian was the third team quarterback; Ian Book was with the fourth team. Siemian had a nice throw on a drag route to tight end Ethan Wolf.

- By my count, Jalen McCleskey and Kawaan Baker led the team with two receptions apiece.

- The Saints went indoors for their first practice. Sean Payton said afterward they decided to go inside during the ramp up period. They’ll have plenty of time to go outdoors as camp continues.

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