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After Further Review: Five takes from Saints OTA #9

Saints quarterbacks Jameis Winston (2) and Andy Dalton (5) enjoy a moment during workouts on...
Saints quarterbacks Jameis Winston (2) and Andy Dalton (5) enjoy a moment during workouts on June 9, 2022.(WAFB)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 8:45 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Michael Thomas update

Michael Thomas’ recovery was a topic discussed after Saints practice Thursday. Thomas is certainly in New Orleans and at the team facility. He even posted a video of him running on Instagram this week. Head coach Dennis Allen asaid they would obviously love for him to be fully healthy, but that’s not the case. He added that it’s ‘doubtful’ Thomas would participate in next week’s minicamp.

What Allen said makes sense. After missing a season and a half, of course everyone wants Thomas back, but what’s important is that he’s ready when the season starts not in minicamp in June. There’s no need to risk him having a setback, and prolonging his return even more. If Thomas is still struggling to get on the field well into training camp and the preseason, then it may be more concerning. For now, though, patience is the proper approach.

Take Two: Participation Report

The Saints had a few more veterans back to work in Thursday’s OTA. Mark Ingram and P.J. Williams were there for the first time that media was able to see. Tyrann Mathieu was also back to work after missing last Thursday’s practice. Safety Marcus Maye was able to do some early on-field work.

Demario Davis, Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Davenport, Taysom Hill, Deonte Harty, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Bradley Roby, Payton Turner, Alvin Kamara, and James Hurst were not in attendance. Davenport and Turner appear to rehabbing from injury as well.

Allen said he expects every player to be in attendance for next week’s mandatory minicamp.

Take Three: Notable Plays

Linebacker Pete Werner had an impressive PBU on a Jameis Winston throw to Lucas Krull during red zone 7-on-7′s.

Winston connected with Easop Winston on a touchdown on a crossing route.

Kaden Elliss continues to make the most of his expanded reps this offseason. He nearly picked off Winston on a crossing route to Jarvis Landry. Elliss recognized the route, and jumped it to nearly get the INT.

Abram Smith ran an impressive pivot route near the end zone, and beat Zack Baun in coverage. Smith easily caught the pass from Andy Dalton and scored.

On the next play, from the two yard line, Dalton found Winston in the back corner of the end zone.

Dalton’s best pass came two plays later when he rifled one to Landry on a skinny post from the 8-yard line.

Ian Book had a decent day Thursday. During that 7-on-7 red zone period, he found Tony Jones Jr. for a touchdown, then connected with Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a score as well.

The Saints closed out practice with a two-minute drill. Bryce Thompson opened the period with back-to-back PBU’s. Elliss also sacked Dalton on a blitz up the middle.

With the second team, Book connected with Krull down the seam for a big gain. It was an impressive throw and great catch.

Local product Kirk Merritt closed out practice with a 10-yard gain on a slant, then he ran a fade down the left sideline. Book put it up for him, and Merritt went up and got it over the defender for a touchdown.

Take Four: Winston’s progress

Winston is still wearing the knee brace, and still has that slight limp. He did work during the 7-on-7 red zone period, but once again didn’t participate in the team period.

Last week, I wrote how the injury still appears to hamper his second and third level throws. This week, he didn’t attempt many of those passes during the competitive period he worked in. Most of the passes during that red zone period were within the 10-yard line. His overall work during that period was up and down.

Take Five: Other Observations

  • It was a hot one at Thursday’s practice, and a pretty good preview of what’s to come in late July when training camp starts.
  • Trevor Penning continues to get first-team reps at left tackle for the Saints with James Hurst out.
  • Paulson Adebo had a nice PBU to close out the first team’s portion of the two-minute period. Adebo’s name has been brought up a lot as someone that could blossom in year two.
  • Allen had some pretty realistic remarks about young players making ‘jumps’. He said it’s rare that players take a huge leap, but rather small incremental improvements that over time looks like a big jump in production.

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