Byrd on PUP: At his Friday morning presser, Saints head coach Sean Payton announced that safety Jairus Byrd has been placed on the PUP list. Payton expects Byrd to come off the list soon and is not at risk of further injuring his back. Byrd had offseason back surgery after signing a 6 year $54 million dollar deal with New Orleans as a free agent from the Buffalo Bills. During the team's practice this morning Byrd was working with a trainer in a helmet and shorts tracking down passes going through individual drills. This is clearly a precautionary move from the Saints. They’re not paying him to practice, they’re paying him to be ready for week one against Atlanta. He’ll be ready in time.
Stills leaves practice early: Wide receiver Kenny Stills injured his leg running a pass route in team portion of practice on a deep ball thrown by Drew Brees. Stills limped off the field and straight into the locker room. Payton said after practice that Stills had been bothered by a quad injury during the offseason.
Bailey and Butler: Cornerback Champ Bailey worked with the first team defensive unit today during the team portion of practice, as did OLB Victor Butler. Butler is coming off an ACL injury that caused him to miss all of last season. Patrick Robinson rotated in at the number one CB spot with Bailey. The Saints will be smart, and not ask Bailey to do to much during camp. Sean Payton said it best yesterday: “We don’t need to see it everyday, we just need to see it once and a while.” "It" being the flashes of great play that have made Bailey a sure-fire Hall of Fame candidate when he hangs up the cleats.
Play of the day: We got a good taste of the speed WR Brandin Cooks brings to the Saints offense. QB Drew Brees hooked up with Cooks on a nice deep ball for a score. Cooks made a nice adjustment on the throw from Brees and out jumped a defender for the reception. Another rookie wide out raised some eyebrows with a leaping grab - undrafted rookie free agent Brandon Coleman climbed the ladder for nice reception, making it look easy by going over the top of the defender without touching him to make the catch. Man, it pays to be 6’6" - it’s hard to compete with that size.