After Further Review: Five takes from Saints minicamp day one
(WVUE) - Take One: Kamara stands out for all the right reasons
Alvin Kamara wins the 'best player on the field' award for Tuesday.
Let's start with his appearance. He looks like he packed on some significant muscle since the season ended. I don't know if that was something he targeted to withstand the rigors of an NFL season but it's definitely noticeable.
Some players don't play as fast or as agile with the added muscle. That's not the case with Kamara; he's still smooth and explosive when he runs.
He once again flashed his very natural hands. During seven on sevens, Kamara caught a wheel route from Drew Brees over Demario Davis for one of the best plays of the practice. Later in the drill, he caught a low throw from Tom Savage.
Speaking of route-running, last season Kamara mostly ran: flat, curl, option and wheel routes. It looks like Sean Payton is adding to his route tree. Today, he also ran deep out and deep in routes. When he was doing individual drills on linebackers, they simply had no chance.
Take Two: Mark Ingram returns; Michael Thomas and Cam Jordan miss practice
For the first time all offseason, we were able to see #22 on the field. He looked like the Ingram we remembered. He received a few carries though the bulk of the work with the first team went to Kamara.
Cam Jordan was in the hospital for the birth of his child and missed practice Tuesday.
No specific reason was given for Michael Thomas' absence. When questioned, Sean Payton acknowledged his absence was excused. Thomas has been the best player on the field for most of the offseason. He's literally taken every rep like it's the last one he'll ever take. So, to not see him out there was a bit of a surprise but shouldn't impact him on the field at all.
Take Three: Defensive Big Plays
During seven on sevens, Crawley made an incredible interception when he wrestled the ball away from Ted Ginn, Jr. on a hitch route. During individual drills, Davis and Craig Robertson both had interceptions.
Marcus Davenport had a sack during red zone drills before leaving practice early. George Johnson had a sack during the final period of practice.
Take Four: Small guys step up big
Some of the biggest offensive plays of practice came from the Saints' two smallest weapons.
Rookie Boston Scott, standing 5'6, scored a touchdown during red zone when he was able to turn the corner. Scott's ability to use his low center of gravity as a strength is impressive to watch.
TommyLee Lewis, standing 5'7, had three nice routes during individual drills. He beat Ken Crawley on a comeback and a dig; then beat P.J. Williams on a shallow route where he faked outside then spun back in.
Take Five: Other Observations
- Josh LeRibeus got the start at left guard in place of Andrus Peat
- A.J. Klein looks to be fully healthy. On Tuesday, he was with the first team at middle linebacker. Davis was the first team weakside linebacker.
- The back half of practice kind of dragged for the Saints. Sean Payton acknowledged as much afterwards when he said he liked the start of practice but the team faded down the stretch a bit.
- Travin Dural made a nice catch on a back shoulder throw from Savage.
- Taysom Hill made a nice back shoulder connection to Keith Kirkwood but then misfired on his next three throws. All three of the receivers were very open. Hill has certainly shown some flashes this offseason but can also be erratic at times.
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