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After Further Review: Five takes from day one of Saints minicamp

New Orleans Saints will conduct three days of minicamp workouts.
New Orleans Saints will conduct three days of minicamp workouts.(WAFB)
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Familiar faces return

Mandatory means mandatory, and everyone that was supposed to be practicing Tuesday for the Saints was there. The team had 100% attendance.

Alvin Kamara, Demario Davis, Marshon Lattimore, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Deonte Harty, Bradley Roby and James Hurst made their first appearances in the practices we were able to see this offseason.

Kamara looked like his usual self, and seemed to be in a good mood being out there with his teammates. Lattimore was back in his familiar spot as starting cornerback.

Davis and Harty both attended despite reported contractual issues. Harty was tendered earlier this offseason; while Davis still has two years left on his current deal. Gardner-Johnson is going into the final year of his rookie contract. Their respective contract situations are something to monitor going forward.

Take Two: More on Kamara

Kamara didn’t speak to the media Tuesday. We’ll see if that changes the rest of the week. Regardless, the Saints know the situation with Kamara and his legal issues. Dennis Allen was asked if the team has any contingency plans in place should Kamara face a suspension. He acknowledged that they did, but right now the focus is really on getting better as a team. There’s really not much the team can do until the NFL makes their decision, and it’s unknown when that will be. Until that time, Kamara and the rest of the offense should focus on improvement.

Take Three: Michael Thomas sighting & other health updates

Near the end of practice, off in the corner where the media generally does their press conferences, Michael Thomas walked out and appeared to observe the last few minutes of work. After practice ended, he headed back in with staff. Thomas is obviously still recovering. Though no media was allowed to photograph, this is the first time he’s been seen out on the field with the media present this offseason.

Quarterback Jameis Winston is still wearing the brace, and once again didn’t do the team period, but Allen said he likes where Winston is in his recovery. Winston spoke to the media and provided even more detail about his recovery.

It’s tough, this is my first experience in this realm. So I’m listening. I’m also still working, because I just can’t sit back and wait too much. I’m doing my best to just listen to them and trust them.”

Winston is overall ahead of schedule, and said he’ll be ready for the preseason. He added that it’ll be up to Allen to decide if Winston plays. Allen said it would be hard to say if Winston would truly be 100% for the start of the season, but believes he’ll be plenty healthy to do his job.

Defensive end Marcus Davenport is still recovering from shoulder and finger injuries. Allen said training camp would be the goal for Davenport’s return to the field.

Take Three: Notable Plays

Winston opened 7-on-7 with a beautiful connection to Kamara on a wheel route for big gain. Kamara beat Pete Werner in coverage.

Carl Granderson opened the team period with a sack on Andy Dalton. Granderson beat Andrus Peat on an inside twist to make the play.

Dalton connected with Jarvis Landry on a slot fade for a touchdown two plays later. Landry beat Bryce Thompson in coverage.

Earlier in practice during routes-on-air, Landry made a juggling one-handed catch on a throw from Ian Book. If it feels like Landry has been mentioned a lot this offseason, that’s because he has. Landry has wasted no time making an impact on his new team.

Take Five: Other Observations

  • Hurst was with the first team at left tackle. In the previous three weeks, rookie Trevor Penning manned that spot. Left tackle could be the biggest position battle of training camp.
  • The Saints had four tryout players at minicamp: running back David Johnson, linebacker Joe Schobert, offensive lineman Senio Kelemete and kicker Alex Quevdeo. Of those, Johnson got the most attention given Kamara’s situation, and the team’s need for a second back. Allen said bringing Johnson in for a tryout wasn’t due to Kamara’s potential suspension. That makes sense. This team needs a second back regardless of what happens with Kamara.
  • Overall, it’s been a pretty light offseason program. Most practices have been limited to one 7-on-7 and one team period. That was the case once again Tuesday.

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