Training Camp Report - 7/27
By Keith Hill - SaintsReport.com Staff Writer - 8:49 pm CST
Camp report 7/27
What a difference a day makes! Some good (defense) some bad (Brooks) and some ugly (Jones and Mitchell fight). Regardless of what direction you were looking, there was a lot more action and a crisp feeling of football in the air. The pads were on today, so there was little loafing to be seen. To quote Boomer from NFL Primetime......."And away we go!"
Brooks - Regressed from yesterday's fine performance. Deep balls were short as they were yesterday, but he had some trouble with short passes as well today. When he made mistakes, they were low. The deep balls just floated too long and ran out of steam. One such pass was intercepted by Mel Mitchell. He did have a couple of nice laser shots to Donte.
Bouman - Outperformed Brooks today. Showed his arm strength by hitting Michael Lewis for a 50+ yard score (Fakhir Brown on the "coverage") and also on another frozen rope to Lewis across the middle. Also connected with Donte on an out route about 15 yards downfield that had some real mustard.
O'Sullivan - Took very few snaps today. Made a nice read beating the blitz to Joe Horn across the middle, but struggled to find an open reciever a few times and had to run.
McAllister - Had one particularly nice run today on a stretch play to the left. Everything else was pretty moderate. I have to say, I love the way this guy plays, but I really hate the way he practices. He just plods around as if he's half asleep and only runs to the cones when he has to. Once again, I'm not worried at all about how he'll play this year, but I do have my doubts about him being a leader given his quiet demeanor and his lack of intensity in practice. I know this isn't what people want to hear, but that's just the way I've seen it the last two days.
Keaton - To me, he's the most improved player so far. He has been running hard and displaying tremendous cutting ability. His vision wasn't as good as it was yesterday, but twice he took the wrong hole and made a play anyway with his quickness. I would still be in favor of bringing in a veteran just in case, but this guy is showing me something.
The rest - Fenderson and Banks didn't get many reps. Fenderson showed a little speed on a nice pitch play and Banks made a nice grab coming out of the backfield, leaving Hodge grasping for air. Smith made a grab on a jet route and then got popped and dropped by Jones almost immediately.
Horn - Wasn't as impressive as yesterday but wasn't terrible either. He did drop a few balls which drew the wrath of coach Haslett. Jim twice yelled out to the recievers to "catch the damn ball" after subsequent drops by Horn and Derrick Lewis. Joe did look as though he was having fun today.
Pathon - Somewhat of a quiet practice for Jerome today. I don't recall him dropping any passes but he made less than ten grabs on the day in my estimation. His speed looks good however.
Stallworth - Easily the best reciever over the two days combined so far. Very tough to jam at the line, almost impossible to cover and loses his own shadow when he cuts after the catch. Took a well-designed screen pass today from Brooks that looked almost exactly like his score against Green Bay last year, and at the end of the run, he held out his hand just like he did to John Lynch in Tampa.
M. Lewis - Dropped the first punt today causing chuckles in the stands. After that, he treated the crowd with his recieving abilities. See Bouman's summary in case you don't remember.
D. Lewis - Dropped the most passes today of anyone there. Probably just an off day for him. Still needs to improve on his concentration and route running.
Gardner - Dropped three balls today and was outplayed by Kareem Kelly. The battle for the last roster spot for these two will be fun to watch.
Conwell - Just a big boy with good speed and solid hands to go along with it. He was being shifted all over the field and lined up again at H-back several times. I feel really good about our TE situation.
Sloan - Did what was asked of him today, caught a few passes and blocked very well. He caught a very low pass from Brooks that I didn't expect him to make.
Williams - Boo looked like he had a bit of a limp to him today. He could have just been sore but he looked sluggish and didn't do much after the catch today like he did yesterday.
Hilton - Didn't get many snaps but made a great grab from Bouman right in the zone between the corner and safety (Smith and Hall I believe)
Just going to talk about the guys that stood out. Montrae Holland got a lot of push and also got downfield very well. For some reason, he was in the starting line at RG, while Bentley didn't play in the second team session. I have no idea why. Gandy was beaten twice by Howard today and both could have resulted in sacks, but was solid otherwise. Folau is starting at right tackle. Jacox jumped twice today. Stinchcomb played well and will be a permanent RT when he builds up his legs a little.
Charles Grant is going to be a player, mark it down now. He is almost always in good position and just has all the physical tools in the world. Two years from now, he may be playing at RDE for us. Grady Jackson got some reps today in the team session and looked good. Whether or not he could keep it up a whole game or not is a good question. Kenny Smith got stood up more than I'd like to see. Henry Ford was out there wearing #73 but wasn't wearing practice pants and didn't see any live action. Kendrick Allen looked good today.
Ruff - Looked very good today. He was singled up with a running back a few times on passing plays and did an admirable job. He was much quicker towards the line of scrimmage today.
Smith - Still starting, but IMO, will be overtaken by Ruff before the season starts.
Grant - He still looks small compared to the other guys out there, but he did a great job today of getting his hands on recievers and knocking them off their routes.
Hodge - Played very physical at the line of scrimmage but was just average in coverage. Not bad, just average.
Allen - Once again, I didn't see him out there much today. He didn't do anything that grabbed my attention but wasn't a liability.
Rodgers - Ranks right up there with Conwell as best addition in the offseason. He will definitely be a starter on the weakside. I love his intensity and quickness.
Holden, Knight, Carroll - Not much to write about. I suspect the Saints will carry seven backers and I think Holden will be the last one.
Carter - He's having a terrific camp so far. He's flat-out shutting people down, being physical and really giving the crowd something to cheer about.
Thomas - It's amazing how underrated this guy is. He shuts his mouth and plays good football day in and day out and people just want to talk about how short he is. Just like yesterday, he was burned on the first man-to-man encounter, then made the far side of the field a quiet zone.
Ambrose - He's going to do a good job in the slot for us this year. He's a step slower than his previous stint here, but he plays with savvy and knows what his responsibilities are.
Brown - Toast
Smith - He's a longshot to make the team, but he is very competitive and broke up more than one pass in the one-on-one drills.
Jones - Blitzed a lot today and was very physical in general, knocking Terelle on his backside once and giving recievers shoulder shots as they ran downfield. Also had a nice takedown of Mel Mitchell.
Mitchell - Had a nice interception of Brooks and again flashed the speed that made it easy to let Sammy go.
Hawthorne - The enforcer today! He leveled Jerome Pathon after a short catch in the flats and knocked another reciever silly on the far side of the field (D. Lewis?) He definitely brought an attitude to practice today that was fun for the crowd.
Overall today's practice was a blast and I am happy to report that the defense looks much improved. The coverage out there was excellent as the quarterbacks had a tough time finding an open man to throw the ball to. Also, there was little running room for the running backs as the linebackers were much more effective running to the line of scrimmage than they were yesterday.
[Edited on 28/7/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]
Lot of info, but thanks. I love keeping up to date with what\'s going on at camp, since I can\'t be there myself.
Not to upset you but please, as we have asked before, give the original writer credit for his or her work. Thanks.
[Edited on 28/7/2003 by JOESAM2002]
Oops....Sorry.........It\'s fixed now.
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