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Minicamp Reports

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Maybe we can all add any first hand accounts we find. I haven't seen this one on a thread- Outside linebacker Anthony Simmons looked extremely impressive and might prove to be the steal of this free agent class. Seeing action ...

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Old 04-11-2006, 12:00 AM   #1
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Minicamp Reports

Maybe we can all add any first hand accounts we find. I haven't seen this one on a thread-

Outside linebacker Anthony Simmons looked extremely impressive and might prove to be the steal of this free agent class. Seeing action at strongside linebacker, Simmons was out of football last year while recovering from wrist surgery. Both he and another free agency prize, LB Scott Fujita, are big hitters with fast, skinny legs. Fujita looked a little too mechanical in his first practices but still clearly looks like starting material.

Veteran strong safety Jay Bellamy is back and looks like he's lost weight. He was in good shape. CB Mike McKenzie, a solid football player, appeared to be very businesslike on the field but maybe not so much on the locker room. It remains to be seen whether or not his playfulness off the field, especially in the locker room, will be an issue in Payton's all-business, all-the-time atmosphere. On the field, there is no question that Payton will work the life out of his players, with zero tolerance for fooling around. McKenzie, known for his loud, loquacious locker room personality will need to tread carefully.

DT Johnathan Sullivan looked out of shape, as usual. Given that this coaching staff has little care for what potential he might have showed last year, Sullivan has a lot of growing up to do. That goes for most players... this coaching staff has a clean slate for all of them, and it is a new day for guys who may have struggled under the previous coaching staff.

Newly-signed RB Michael Bennett? Coaches only saw a couple blurs of him on the field. Bennett is very fast and if he can stay healthy will be an asset to the offense. Payton said that the backup quarterbacks are battling... not necessarily for the #2 job, but battling to pick up the playbook and the system. Neither was impressive in the new system. In all positions, especially the quarterback position, Payton and quarterbacks coach Pete Carmichael will be demanding football intelligence from his players, and its not clear that Bouman or McPherson have what it will take.
The offensive starting lineup for most of minicamp was, from left to right, rising second year star Jammal Brown, veteran Jamar Nesbit, free agent arrival Jonathan Goodwin, journeyman Dwayne Ledford and fourth-year Jonathan Stinchcomb. It was clear that the guys in the starting lineup were also the guys in the best shape. Nesbit is emerging as a leader in the locker room, and one of the few veteran voices on the line. The coaching staff made a point to say that Brown's move to left tackle is permanent. While it is certainly possible that the rhetoric is a smokescreen on the Saints' interest in Virginia T D'Brickashaw Ferguson, ultra-athletic Jammal Brown is destined to get a shot at the premier line position, left tackle. Entrusting that ever-important job to a rookie, even one that projects so well to LT as Ferguson, would take a lot of courage.

At wide receiver, second-year pro Chase Lyman was impressive. Last year's fourth round pick was healthy, in shape and running without a brace on his surgically repaired knee. Donte Stallworth had a shoulder scope, as did DE Will Smith, but it is not something to worry about. Devery Henderson caught a couple long balls, but dropped some. He has some growing up and toughening up to do before making an impact on this of all teams. Who knows what will happen at tight end, its hard to say without pads on.

Getting rid of Aaron Brooks and Wayne Gandy will have a tremendous impact on the locker room. Haslett's pets, Brooks and Gandy were sold as leadership under the previous coaching staff. But Brooks showed little passion and Gandy was a bad influence on the locker room because he lacked football focus. As opposed to what appears to be Payton's strength, Haslett lacked discipline and created separation in the locker room by picking favorites.

As far as coaches go, Joe Vitt expects his linebackers to 'chew glass and spit nails' and is a very aggressive coach. Seems like just the ideal recipe for a classically underachieving Saints linebacking corp. Special teams coach John Bonamego carries around a portable PA system, strung from his neck.

QB Drew Brees stayed after practice throughout minicamp and worked with teammates in the indoor facility, going over plays and getting some valuable mental reps. Brees was on site more than two hours after Friday's practice, and appears to be doing everything he can, short of throwing. He was executing running plays and formations on the field, and lightly tossing the ball.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:42 AM   #2
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RE: Minicamp Reports

holy hell...postive things coming out of camp???? this all cant be true.........
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:44 AM   #3
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more-

The fullback will be a bigger part of our offense this year. There seemed to quite a few passes go Mike Karney's way. Either that, they really wanted to see what Karney could do.


For the first time in about five years at a Saints practice, I heard the head coach say "Run it again!" on several occasions.


Sean Payton seems to have completed delegated the defensive duties to Gary Gibbs. Whenever they were not in full team drills, Payton was always with the offense and was very vocal with them in an instructional way.


There were less dropped balls than in past practices. I only observed one slight false start by Jammal Brown.


Johnathan Sullivan way, way out of shape. Sloppy fat.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:59 AM   #4
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Wow, great article.

1. Very good to hear about Simmons. I know it's early but I've been saying that if he stays healthy he'll be one of the best in the league.
2. I'm glad Nesbit is getting a chance and taking advantage of it. I hope he steps it up.
3. Chase Lyman as our #3 receiver this year? Apparently he's pretty good, but I've yet to see him in Black and Gold.

Payton said that the backup quarterbacks are battling... not necessarily for the #2 job, but battling to pick up the playbook and the system.
FA vet QB anyone?

So many positives in this article, it's good to hear it!
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:22 PM   #5
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yeah lots of positives, good to hear, I wish we had more on the TE situation why arent they in pads? we have 5 of them, like what I was reading about the linebackers
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:07 PM   #6
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Lyman if he can stay healthy is not a shock. He is a tall fast reciever with good hands in college.
Maybe Sully plays better heavier??? Or maybe not at all.
Like what I hear on the linebackers.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:33 PM   #7
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Ha... how views on Lyman has changed! 8) Like I said when he was drafted... if the man is healthy watch out. He made Aaron Rodgers look much better than he really was in college.

Good post... good read Kelly.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by papz
Ha... how views on Lyman has changed! 8) Like I said when he was drafted... if the man is healthy watch out. He made Aaron Rodgers look much better than he really was in college.

Good post... good read Kelly.
hey man, i backed you all the way on lyman....now, somebody get some dam pictures or videos on here from that practice or the next...........smitty
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by papz
Ha... how views on Lyman has changed! 8) Like I said when he was drafted... if the man is healthy watch out. He made Aaron Rodgers look much better than he really was in college.

Good post... good read Kelly.
Countdown to injury for MR. Glass. 3....2..... :P
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:05 PM   #10
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we should set up a poll what will happen first, lyman hurt or sullivan reached 400 pounds lol
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