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New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Minicamp is a necessary evil. The New Orleans Saints, like every other team in the NFL, can't wear pads or engage in full contact so what transpires on the football field is anything but football. Therefore, it's difficult -- it ...

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Old 06-17-2016, 06:01 AM   #1
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Minicamp is a necessary evil. The New Orleans Saints, like every other team in the NFL, can't wear pads or engage in full contact so what transpires on the football field is anything but football.

Therefore, it's difficult -- it not futile -- to evaluate line play during offseason practice other than to gauge players' physical condition.
And forget pass rush and pass protection drills. They are largely useless during this time of year, and that's a shame because pass rush remains the biggest question mark for these Saints. It certainly will be a focal point for me during training camp workouts.



With that in mind, it's wise to concentrate on the perimeter players during minicamps and offseason practices, and this is where I think the Saints have made some major improvements from last season. They are noticeably deeper and more athletic in the secondary and perimeter receiving corps. These areas look like strengths going into the season.

Here are some observations from the Saints' three-day minicamp:

--Fantasy owners should consider rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas in their fall drafts. The second-round pick from Ohio State already has gained the trust of Drew Brees. That's a huge positive sign for him.

--Second-year cornerback P.J. Williams is playing with more confidence and is starting to look like a former third-round draft pick. Talent has never been the issue with Williams. He has ability and size-speed ratio NFL coaches want in a starting NFL corner. Now he just needs to put it all together on the field. If he can stay healthy and consistent he is a strong candidate to man the nickel or dime spot in sub-packages.

--A player always emerges during this time of year and this is no exception. The buzz around safety Erik Harris has been consistent. At 6-3, 225, he certainly looks the part. The interesting thing about Harris is his position. He played a hybrid linebacker position in the Canadian Football League but is playing safety for the Saints and primarily the free safety spot. You don't see many free safeties with his size in the NFL.

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Old 06-17-2016, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

Erik the Great will be eating a lot of Sunday Dinners on field this season!
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

I like the way this sounds. However I think I'll wait till training camp when they can wear pads & make contact before I allow myself to get excited. I am excited now about Michael Thomas however. Plus a read an article about Garrett Grayson working with a QB coach for the next few weeks. I believe Grayson is taking this seriously and I like it.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

I'm most excited about PJ Williams, Erik Harris, and Vonn Bell...

Even if Lewis doesn't come back near 100%; our secondary is going to surprise
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:10 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

Originally Posted by NOLA54 View Post
I like the way this sounds. However I think I'll wait till training camp when they can wear pads & make contact before I allow myself to get excited. I am excited now about Michael Thomas however. Plus a read an article about Garrett Grayson working with a QB coach for the next few weeks. I believe Grayson is taking this seriously and I like it.
Yep, you can't seriously evaluate many players during OTA' because they can't hit. But I think you can get a good feel for WR's and DB's.

The diff between pads and no pads is less significant at QB, CB and WR than any other group.

We can certainly see which CB's can cover and which can't, as well as which WR's can separate and which can't.

Obviously OTA's don't give you the complete picture, but they do give you a lot to evaluate.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Yep, you can't seriously evaluate many players during OTA' because they can't hit. But I think you can get a good feel for WR's and DB's.

The diff between pads and no pads is less significant at QB, CB and WR than any other group.

We can certainly see which CB's can cover and which can't, as well as which WR's can separate and which can't.

Obviously OTA's don't give you the complete picture, but they do give you a lot to evaluate.
You may be right by telling me not giving up on Harris at S.
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

Originally Posted by NOLA54 View Post
I like the way this sounds. However I think I'll wait till training camp when they can wear pads & make contact before I allow myself to get excited. I am excited now about Michael Thomas however. Plus a read an article about Garrett Grayson working with a QB coach for the next few weeks. I believe Grayson is taking this seriously and I like it.
Grayson probably knows that if ever wants to be a backup in this league he had better show MAJOR improvement. Nothing he has shown to date would imply that he could ever move past McCown (or any other quality backup in the league).
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:15 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

Originally Posted by NOLA54 View Post
Plus a read an article about Garrett Grayson working with a QB coach for the next few weeks. I believe Grayson is taking this seriously and I like it.
Nola 54 - I read that same article and if they are coaching GG hard this early in camp ... he is simply not ready.

I'll wait and see how he handles TC & subsequent pre season games, then coaches can see what progress (if any) Grayson has made.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:52 PM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints look noticeably deeper, more athletic in secondary, receiver corps

I'm excited dammit! Don't try to stop me either!
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