The afternoon of day two right from the indoor training facility at the New Orleans Saints' camp was another upbeat and fast-paced practice.
Due to the heat, the Saints were indoors again because it was just literally unbearable outside. Still, Coach Sean Payton stayed on the Super Bowl champs and made sure they weren't lagging.
The practice started right off the bat with kickoff drills with Rod Harper, Pierre Thomas, and Courtney Roby getting most of the returns.
A few injuries continued to keep some players on the sideline. Robert Meachemand Clint Ingram weren't in pads, but did take part in the early practice walk-throughs. Darren Sharper, Heath Evans, and Marques Colston did not practice at all. Payton let us know that due to concerns, DeMario Pressley was also held out practice once again due to back spasms.
Observations from today's afternoon session:
- Due to Sharper's knee problems, Usama Young was running at safety with the first-team defense.
- Devery Henderson came up lame in the morning practice but never sat out. He participated in this afternoon's practice but seemed to be limited. When asked about his status, Coach Payton said that "He’s fine. He’s just making sure that he’s 100 percent. I don’t know that he’s quite 100 percent yet, but he’s doing well. It feels good to have him back out here, because we missed him for a lot of the OTA’s with a sports hernia."
- Fullback Heath Evans' injury also meant that Zak Keasey filled in for him with the first-team offensive unit.
- Jeremy Shockey looks to me as if he is totally healthy for the first time in a long time. He is catching everything that comes his way and he is looking faster than I've ever seen him. It appears to me as if Shockey is finally content and satisfied with the team he is on and happy with his place on the Saints. If he stays healthy then this could be a big year for him.
- Some nice plays were made during the early 11-on-11 drills. Reggie Bush looked to be stopped for about a two-yard loss until a sharp cutback sent him through the middle of the line for about a ten-yard gain. P.J. Hill was running strong behind an offensive line that was providing excellent protection for Drew Brees.
- The defense looked sharp at most times with Jonathan Vilma seemingly always in the backfield for losses or disrupting the play. Second-year player Chip Vaughn did take a shot though when Lynell Hamilton ran up field and delivered a forearm blow that almost sent Vaughn to the ground.
- During field goal drills, Garrett Hartley made all but one of his field goal attempts except one for the second day in a row. Rookie Patrick Robinson came around the corner at least two or three times and got close to blocking the kicks.
- The final 11-on-11 drill some very tight coverage from the defense that would have resulted in a couple sacks. Wide receivers just could not any way to get open.
- Patrick Ramsey ended up playing behind Chase Daniel today in the third quarterback slot. A lot of his throws are still going rather low making them impossible for the receivers to catch. Here's hoping that rust shakes off soon.
- Play of the Day: Rob Harper bobbled a short pass in traffic that then bounced off of Randall Gay and back into Harper's hands for a five-yard gain.
- Play of the Day 2: Brees took the snap and couldn't find anyone open so he bought time by rolling right and motioning down field. Devery Henderson took off down the sideline and got ahead of his defender for a 40-yard touchdown reception in stride.