Whelp Saints training camp 2014 is in the books, I have to give a shout to all the wonderful people who I met out there, it was a pleasure. Yesterday was my lazy shutter bug day were I just soaked up the environment and snapped away, today with KTDL rejoining me out there it was time to get back to work. One thing I took away from this camp (and all the others that I’ve attended) is that there is very little wasted time, they are moving from drill to drill like a well oiled machine. Today was no different so let’s get to it, here is my report.
I walk through the gates and immediately notice a much larger crowd than yesterday, I make my way down to the far side of the field and get a good seat for the offensive and defensive line drills.
Special team walk throughs start, kick return and punt formation drills.
The offense starts walking through their offensive sets and after about 15 minutes the defense joins them with the walk through, they finish up at 11:34
Team stretching begins and last close to ten minutes.
Offensive sets start-up at about half speed, memory muscle stuff. Down near the goal line the offensive linemen start-up their drills, again at about half speed.
Individual running back drills start on one side of the field and wide receiver route running exercising start on the other. Sean Payton gets in on the action helping out with the passing, I have to say I’m a little impressed, he throws a perfect spiral and has a lot of zip on the ball. These drills end at noon.
Run drills start on one side of the field and one on one wide receivers against defensive backs on the other side. Mark Ingram continues to impress as he’s showing good burst to the hole with good vision cuts. I didn’t see who did it but Pierre Thomas got clocked pretty good in the backfield. About this time I notice Khairi Fortt by the indoors facility riding a bike and I’m pretty sure I spotted Marcus Ball doing the same earlier.
Special teams kick up again, this time it’s the kick return game with Charles Hawkins, Brandin Cooks, Derrick Strozier and Khiry Robinson catching the kicks. The field goal unit gets in a little work also, the drill ends at 12:19 PM.
7 on 7 start on one side of the field while offensive linemen go against defensive linemen near the goal line, this is always fun to watch, the bigs just battling it out. In the pass drills Brees is a little off (understandably) he just misses Marques Colston right off his finger tip in what would have been a nice gain and then he overthrows Josh Hill who had gotten behind Champ Bailey deep down the left sidelines. Overall the defensive backs did a nice job because all three quarterback had to dump it off a lot after their first and second reads were covered.
Team drills start. Drew Brees finds Jimmy Graham open down the seam with Curtis Lofton lagging in coverage. Next up in what looked like a blown assignment Brees finds Benjamin Watson on a little flair out with nobody around him, he turns it up field for a long gain. Brees tries to find Joseph Morgan on a deep route but Morgan stumbled, he was well covered by Keenan Lewis. Pierre Thomas drops a hand off in the backfield that is scooped up by Kasim Edibali, he would have been off to the races with that fumble recovery. Jimmy Graham once again beat Curtis Lofton for a long gain. Drew Brees has to dump it off to Austin Johnson and then is very vocal, I don’t know what he said but he didn’t seem pleased, it may have been towards himself. Ryan Griffin tries to connect deep with Seantavious Jones but the ball is way under thrown, Brian Dixon on the coverage. Derrick Strozier showing some quickness and cut backs in the run game. Ryan Griffin with the pass of the day, he puts it in perfectly to Brandin Cooks who had a step down the left sidelines.
Special team punt drills start-up with Joseph Morgan and Brandin Cooks back deep. Thomas Morstead is absolutely crushing his punts in this drill.
11 on 11 walk throughs start and after about 3 or 4 minutes they start the team red zone drills. Drew Brees tries to find Nick Toon in the back of the end zone but Patrick Robinson comes up with a nice pass break up. Brees has to scramble to his left and buys enough time to find Travaris Cadet for the score. I didn’t have the best view but Joseph Morgan with a really nice catch in the back of the end zone, not sure if he was in bounds. Brees had Jimmy Graham open with David Hawthorne on the coverage but over threw him. Brees finds Brandin Cooks short of the goal line, Keenan Lewis was ready to pounce but let up at the end. Travaris Cadet tries a sweep to the right but the defense strings it out good, probably would have went for no gain.
After a team huddle and coach speak at midfield the team kicks into team drills again. Drew Brees waste no time going deep to Joseph Morgan in what was the catch of the day but also the scariest. Morgan went up to get the ball with Keenan Lewis in coverage and landed awkwardly, it took him a bit to get up and limp off with a trainer. After awhile Morgan is standing around and walking okay, he’s fine. Brandon Coleman with quick out route catch, Junior Galette on the coverage. In a play that gets the crowd going Mark Ingram gets behind David Hawthorne over the middle in a pass play that would have a huge gain or even a touchdown. Ingram then catches a screen pass that would have had decent yardage.
Field goal drills start again with both Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke missing their share. They then do the hurry up kick drill where the unit runs on the field as if they had no timeouts and hurry up and kick. Dimke missed his and Graham made his attempt.
Practice ends and so does training camp 2014.
I hope you enjoyed the camp coverage that we at Who Dat Warriors were able to bring to you over the last week and a half, it was definitely fun bringing it to you. Next year like always we will be grinding at it again but right now it is time to focus squarely on the up coming season, it’s getting close my friends, real close so with that being said, as always…..WHO DAT!