No Injury Discussion: Veteran defensive back Champ Bailey missed yesterday’s walk through and today’s padded practice. Coach Sean Payton didn't want to talk about Bailey's status following practice when asked: “We don’t talk about injuries during training camp, next question?” Payton said. What I find curious is Payton wasn't actually asked if Bailey was injured, but he responded with that answer. In the past Payton has excused players during camp for “personal reasons” and has been willing to inform the media of those facts. Stay tuned on Bailey, I’m sure Payton will be asked again!
#Saints Coach Sean Payton "we don't discuss injuries during training camp". When asked about Champ Bailey absence from practice.
Intensity Up: For the second consecutive day, you could see the intensity ramped up a bit during practice. Offensive lineman Zach Strief and defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker got into a fight with some sharp jabs being thrown before quickly being broken up. A couple more shoving matches ensued throughout practice, but nothing major.
Defensive Day: The offensive performance wasn't as spectacular as it had been for the first few days of camp. In fact, today was probably their worst outing. The defense had a jump on a lot of passes, and in the running game, the backs couldn’t find much room to work with.
Flanders Opens Some Eyes: Un-drafted rookie free agent running back Timothy Flanders has been impressive at times, but he’s buried on the depth chart and is an extreme long shot to make the final roster. Flanders has good elusiveness, and really solid vision. The Saints will likely keep four running backs (Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Travaris Cadet, and Khiry Robinson). Flanders will have to really make his mark on special teams, and at best is headed for the practice squad.
Punches thrown Zach Strief and Tyrunn Walker #SaintsCamp
Kicking Into It: The kicking position battle isn't the most attractive battle in camp, but still worth keeping an eye on. Shayne Graham is the incumbent with the stronger leg and more experience. Derek Dimke is used to being competition with Graham; last season when the Saints cut Garret Hartley, the two kickers they tried out were Graham and Dimke. Graham ended up signing with New Orleans, but the Saints thought enough of Dimke to invite him to camp. Graham had his first miss of training camp today on a 44-yarder that missed wide left. Dimke drilled all three of his kicks, but Graham still has the edge in this position battle.
Scrimmage: Tomorrow the Saints will hold the "Black and Gold Scrimmage," and while it’s not a full go, all-out football game it’s still fun to watch. I’ll keep an eye on how the secondary is holding up against the passing attack of Drew Brees, and just how much pressure can the Saints defense generate on Brees and company. The scrimmage is usually pretty controlled, and each group will likely get one drive starting from the 20-yard line.