After Further Review: Five takes from Saints practice #4

Updated: Jul. 29, 2018 at 4:39 PM CDT
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(WVUE) - Take One: Tre'Quan takes over

Rookie Tre'Quan Smith has become the early training camp leader in 'wow' moments. The youngster was at it again today. First, during individual drills he put a double move on Justin Hardee to catch a touchdown from Tom Savage. Later, he beat Vonn Bell on a deep cross and shook being held to make the catch. On the final play of practice, J.T. Barrett lofted a deep ball to Smith who elevated high to make the catch. He likely would have been out of bounds but still he impressed the crowd.

Smith has been very impressive through four practices. His biggest asset may not only be his ability to get vertical but also to leap up to high-point catches in tight coverage.

Take Two: 'The Bachelor' at returner

Sean Payton had the line of camp when compared his returner situation to an episode of The Bachelor.

Our return game is kind of like The Bachelor right now. We have about 12 contestants all with roses. We don't know who our returner is going to be. And if she doesn’t like any of them we will bring in more.”

TommyLee Lewis, Boston Scott, Ted Ginn, Jr., Alvin Kamara and Josh Huff back there. With no one separating themselves, more candidates could be coming.

Take Three: Off days for guys battling injuries

Cam Jordan, Cam Meredith and Alex Okafor all had the day off Sunday. As expected, the reason was simply Saints coaches monitoring their reps. There's no sense in over-working those players when all three appear ahead of schedule in their recoveries.

Speaking of injuries though, former LSU product Travin Dural left practice after blocking on a run play. He reportedly has suffered a broken humerus. Center Cameron Tom left practice early as well. No reason was given for his departure.

Take Four: More Linebacker rotation

The linebacker rotation had another tweak Sunday. Craig Robertson (middle), Alex Anzalone (weakside) and Hau'Oli Kikaha (strongside) ran with the first team. This was the first time we've seen this combination though it shouldn't come as a total surprise. The team has mixed and matched this group all camp.

Day 1: Manti Te'o (mike), DeMario Davis (will) and A.J. Klein (sam)

Day 2: Te'o (mike) and Anzalone (will) ** team worked mostly in nickel

Day 3: Te'o (mike), Davis (will), Klein (sam)

Day 4: Robertson (mike), Anzalone (will) and Kikaha (sam)

Take Five: Other Observations

  • David Onyemata was once again the starter alongside Tyeler Davison at defensive tackle. Running with the second team, Sheldon Rankins appeared to record a sack.
  • Brees was dialed in during the first team period. He connected with Josh Hill on a corner route. Then, he hit Ted Ginn, Jr on a back shoulder throw on the goal line.
  • During seven-on-seven, Brees found Boston Scott on a nine route for a huge gain. There appeared to be a coverage bust as Scott popped wide open behind the defense.
  • I thought Deon Yelder had one of his better practices. He went down the seam and caught a pass from Taysom Hill. He took a shot from Marcus Williams but still held on.
  • Speaking of tight ends, Dan Arnold made another impressive catch today.
  • Justin Hardee recorded three pass breakups today. That’s five in the last two practices. He’s doing his best to get noticed.
  • Marcus Williams continues to be a ball hawk. When Hill’s pass deflected off Eldridge Massington, he was there to catch it for the interception. Two plays later, he had a pass breakup.
  • Wil Lutz was just short on his 56-yard field goal attempt today.
  • Michael Thomas put a juke on Ken Crawley that sent Crawley one way and Thomas another to make the catch. When I watched the play over, it appeared Thomas was very forceful with his hands and may have committed offensive pass interference.
  • Alex Anzalone surprised Drew Brees when he blitzed off the edge. It was rare to see Brees miss a pre-snap read like that. Had it been full contact, it would have been ugly as Anzalone ran in full speed untouched.
  • Vonn Bell and Kurt Coleman were the first team safeties Sunday.
  • P.J. Williams ran with the first team at nickel.
  • Arthur Maulet had two pass breakups during individual drills.
  • For the second straight day, Trey Edmonds got some work at fullback.
  • Tom Savage went 4-4 during seven-on-sevens.

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