(WVUE) - Take One: Long day of work
With the July sun beaming down, the Saints conducted their longest practice to date. The team grinded for nearly three hours. Sean Payton wasn't happy with some of the effort and made them repeat the final team drill due to multiple mistakes.
Take Two: Things getting chippy
As practice lingered, tempers flared. Late in practice, Coby Fleener and Vonn Bell mixed it up with Bell even taking a swing. On the last play of practice, a scrum erupted after some offensive players felt like some defenders were taking late hits.
Training camp skirmishes are par for the course.
Take Three: Ramczyk shows he belongs
Another day, another reason to feel confident about Ryan Ramczyk. Once again, I focused on him during team drills, and once again he was up for the challenge. On one run play, Ramczyk blocked Alex Okafor outward which allowed Mark Ingram to cut right behind him. On the next play, he got to the next level to seal Alex Anzalone; Ingram cut right behind his block.
It's still entirely too early to make any bold statements about Ramczyk. The best thing I'll say about him right now is that he doesn't look like a rookie on the field. For comparison, I thought back to Terron Armstead's and Andrus Peat's respective rookie camps. Neither player was ever close to starting during that camp. In 2013, Armstead was behind Charles Brown before taking over late in the season. Peat looked completely lost back in 2015.
Ramczyk may not have the ceiling of Armstead but he's further along in his development at this stage of his career than both of those players.
Take Four: Plays of the Day
Ken Crawley capped off the defense's impressive effort during individual drills with an interception off Garrett Grayson. By my count, the offense didn't complete a pass in their first six attempts.
Willie Snead had a nice day. During the routes-on-air period, he reeled in a one-handed grab. During seven-on-sevens, he made an incredible grab between two defenders off a tipped ball.
On the very next play, Brees connected with TommyLee Lewis down the seam.
By the way, Brees is still good. He used a hard count to get the defense to show their hand on one play. When he did, he noticed P.J. Williams flinch indicating a corner blitz. Brees then effortlessly connected with Ted Ginn, Jr. for a big gain.
Brandon Coleman has been impressive to start camp. He got behind the defense once again to catch a deep post for a touchdown. However, Brees would have been sacked by Cam Jordan on the play. In a later drill, Coleman took a quick slant from Chase Daniel and raced 60-plus yards to the house.
Take Five: Other Observations
- Veteran rest days for Zach Strief and Adrian Peterson. Manti Te’o also had the day off as the team continues to monitor his reps stemming from last year’s injury.
- I’m not sure what’s going on with reserve center Jack Allen. He’s really struggled with bad snaps in every single practice of camp.
- Ginn put a ridiculous fake on Williams during individual drills. The problem was Ginn bobbled the pass which allowed Williams to recover and knock the ball away. Ginn has always had inconsistent hands; they’ve shown up through these first few days of camp.
- Damian Swann and DeVante Harris both had sacks off corner blitzes.
- Wil Lutz hit a 53-yard field goal.