Byrd Watching: Saints safety Jairus Byrd is officially off the PUP list! Byrd was in full pads today at practice and participated in individual drills, but did not participate in the team drills. The Saints are easing him into the practice participation: "When you rush yourself, it doesn't do anyone any good," Byrd said after practice. The Saints' prized free agent aquisition met with the media and then went back on the field for more work. "I just want to be an impact player," Byrd said. "Yeah I felt good coming back, but like Coach Payton said it was something that we wanted to be smart about. It’s a long season ahead, and I just wanted to make sure that I went through the steps to come back. I wanted to do the process right, and that’s what I did.” Byrd said.
It was nice seeing him out there, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him work with the entire defensive unit. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan was happy to see Byrd on the field as well: “It’s great to get him out there. He has been great in the meetings. He is a great leader. I think getting him out there with his teammates is always good. We are taking our time doing the right thing. He is working really hard so everything is going really well.”
Crisp work: The Saints probably enjoyed their most efficient and prodcutive practice of camp so far. "I thought this might have been the best practice I've seen from the Saints as long as I have covered the team!" said Saints Color analyst Hokie Gajan. There were a ton of big plays that stood out for both the offense and defense.
Bubbles Screen: I've written a ton about Brandin Cooks, and don't mean to be effusive with my praise of the rookie wide out, but today we caught a sure-fire glimpse of what he can do in the open field. =Cooks caught a bubble screen pass from QB Drew Brees and darted through a hole for the score after nice block from Terron Armstaed for a would-be 70 yard touchdown. "It's like he's shot out of a cannon," said Curtis Lofton when asked how fast Cooks is on the field. "He doesn't go from gear 1 to 2 to 3.. he goes from gear 0 straight to 6."
There is the bubble screen OFF TO the races goes Cooks #Saintscamp
Injuries: The player remaining on the PUP list is NT John Jenkins (pectoral). Jenkins got some work on the sled today during his rehab drills. Rookie OT Tavon Rooks was removed today from NFI (Non-Football Injury). Wide reciever Kenny Stills (quad) and OG Ben Grubbs missed practice again. Stills was moving arond pretty well in some side drills, not at full speed but jogging, so that's a positive sign. WR Robert Meachem returned to the practice field today after missing a couple of sessions with a sore back. The Saints are off tomorrow and are back on the practice field Thursday morning at 7:50 CT.