After Further Review: Five takes from Saints practice #7

Tyrann Mathieu returns to the Saints after dealing with a family matter. (Source: Garland Gillen)
Tyrann Mathieu returns to the Saints after dealing with a family matter. (Source: Garland Gillen)(Garland Gillen)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Tyrann Mathieu returns

What a welcomed sight it was to walk into the Saints indoor facility and see No. 32 on the field. Tyrann Mathieu made his long-awaited training camp debut after missing the first six practices with a personal family matter.

Mathieu didn’t do any team, seven-on-seven, or one-on-ones. Allen said there will be a ramping up period for Mathieu to get his conditioning back up. Allen didn’t seem worried at all about the amount of time Mathieu missed. Frankly, he’s exactly right. Mathieu has played a lot of football, in the grand scheme of things missing six practices in camp isn’t that big of a deal.

Mathieu’s presence only strengthens the secondary, which has been arguably the best position group of camp.

Take Two: Michael Thomas takes part in seven-on-sevens

Michael Thomas did his most extensive work to date since his return from injury. Thomas participated in the team’s seven-on-seven period and had three catches. They were all shorter routes, and two of those were from Jameis Winston.

Thomas looks very fluid running routes, and has shown no real lingering issues from the ankle injury. It’s only a matter of time before he’s doing work in a full-team period.

Take Three: Trevor Penning gets tossed

Another day, another fight for Saints rookie left tackle Trevor Penning. On Wednesday, he and Malcolm Roach went at it after the whistle during the final team period. At some point, it felt like there were at least 15 players involved. This time, though, Allen had seen enough and tossed both Penning and Roach out of practice.

Allen said after practice that the team doesn’t have time for that. This is now the third day in a row Penning has gotten into it with a defender. This will be an interesting balance for Allen to strike. By no means do they want Penning to stop being aggressive, but at some point the constant dust-ups become problematic.

Take Four: Top Plays

Alontae Taylor opened up one-on-ones by nearly mugging Chris Olave at the line of scrimmage. Olave admitted after practice that he has to get better winning at the line. Later in the period, Olave was able to use his hands to separate from Bradley Roby and make a nice catch.

Paulson Adebo had two pass break-ups during that same session. The first came against Olave when he beat the rookie to his spot on a comeback route. The second one was on a nine route by Kirk Merritt where Adebo was able to recover in time to make a play.

The offensive highlight of the period came when Winston hit Tre’Quan Smith on a deep post.

During seven-on-sevens, Roby dropped an interception off a Winston pass on a dig route. Winston was a little late and behind on the throw.

Alvin Kamara had an incredible cut during the first team period for a big gain on a run.

Pete Werner participated in team drills Wednesday, and had his first tackle for loss on Tony Jones, Jr.

During the second team period, Carl Granderson broke loose and sacked Winston. Later in the period, Abram Smith made a nice move on run. Adebo had another PBU when he knocked down Andy Dalton’s pass to Deonte Harty.

During the third team period, Winston had a nice connection with Olave, when he climbed the pocket and connected with him over the middle. On the next play, Harty went high to catch a Winston pass on deep out route. Granderson came free untouched to sack Winston on the next snap. On the play that resulted in that fight between Penning and Roach, it appeared Winston connected with Smith on a crosser. There’s a possibility Winston was sacked on the play. Winston missed high on his final pass of practice.

Dalton opened the final team period with a 20-yard connection to Marquez Callaway on an over route. Callaway had to stretch to come down with it. Dalton then missed on two overthrows deep, before closing out his with a nice completion to Easop Winston on a dig route over the middle.

Take Five: Other Observations

- The Saints worked for two hours and ten minutes Wednesday, their longest practice of camp.

- Justin Evans once again spent some time at nickel with the first team defense.

- Taysom Hill, Payton Turner, Marcus Davenport, Lucas Krull, Dylan Mabin, Rashid Shaheed, and Smoke Monday did not practice. Allen said Monday did suffer a significant knee injury as was reported Tuesday. Jarvis Landry appeared to have a veteran rest day off.

- Landon Young received the majority of team reps at right tackle. Young has gotten a lot of those reps instead of Ryan Ramczyk. Allen said after practice it’s more of a maintenance plan for Ramczyk during camp.

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