(WVUE) - Take One: Best practice of camp
With the pads on and fans in attendance, the Saints put forth their best effort of this young training camp Saturday. The weather was very hot, but the energy was impressive. Both sides had an extra pep in their step and had plenty of explosive plays on both sides of the ball.
Take Two: Tre'Quan and TommyLee show out
TommyLee Lewis isn't giving up that fifth wide receiver spot without a fight. The smallest guy on the field is no stranger to big plays. During one-on-ones, he ran past P.J. Williams on a nine route for a touchdown. During seven-on-seven, he caught a crossing route over the middle then juked J.T. Bray and raced untouched to the end zone.
In Tre'Quan Smith's case, Drew Brees is starting to trust him. He hit him twice on deep routes. The first came on a straight nine route with Marshon Lattimore in coverage. The second came on a back shoulder fade where Smith went high to grab it over Natrell Jamerson. Later in the practice, Brees had to re-adjust his feet on a rush and hit Smith underneath for a decent gain. All in all, it looks like Smith is picking up the system quickly. He had an outstanding day Saturday.
Take Three: Tom Savage returns and plays well
Tom Savage returned after leaving practice early Thursday and looked comfortable. He seems to have picked up the Saints rhythmic offense well. In particular, there was a sequence during team drills when he dropped back and hit Travin Dural on a comeback. The drop was well-timed and the route was well-run; the result was a nice gain. Two plays later, Savage read blitz off the corner and hit Garrett Griffin for a simple curl. Griffin turned it upfield for a big gain.
I've written pretty regularly about Taysom Hill and for good reason. He's a unique player with an intriguing upside. But it was pretty clear to me, that Savage is ahead of him at executing the offense right now. That could change by camp's end, but I think it's worth noting that Savage should be considered the leader for the backup job as of today.
Take Four: Dan Arnold is the 'surprise' of camp so far
Everytime big No. 85 is on the field he seems to make a play. He came up with three catches again on Saturday. His most impressive play came on an out route during team drills where he dove towards the sideline and reeled the Savage pass in.
It's still early in the process. Very early. But, given where the tight end position currently stands, if Arnold can remain consistent he may have a chance to find his way on the roster.
Take Five: Other Observations
- A.J. Klein had a solid day from a coverage standpoint. He had two pass breakups while playing the sam linebacker with the first team.
- Klein was joined by Manti Te’o (mike) and DeMario Davis (will) as the first team linebackers today.
- A so-so day for Marcus Davenport. During one-on-one’s Jermon Bushrod drove him to the ground on a rep. But on the flipside, he was able to turn the corner on Terron Armstead to ‘sack’ Drew Brees during a team period.
- Vonn Bell spent the day as the first team safety and had a good practice. He recorded a sack on a safety blitz and a PBU during seven-on-sevens.
- David Onyemata was once again with the first team alongside Tyeler Davison at defensive tackle.
- For the second straight day, DeVante Harris picked off J.T. Barrett. Today, he stepped in front of a slant route during seven-on-seven. Later during team drills, Nate Stupar deflected Barrett’s pass that landed in the arms of Natrell Jamerson for the interception.
- Boston Scott and Mark Ingram had nice runs during 9-on-7.
- Dural had another nice catch on the day on a slant route for a nice gain. He had his best practice of camp.
- John Fullington was the first team left guard.