After two days off, the Saints returned to work and look to be as healthy as they have at any point in camp.
Several key players were back on the field this afternoon. Wide Receiver Marques Colston, LB Curtis Lofton, OLB Martez Wilson were a few Saints that were back at practice. WR and special teams ace Courtney Roby (toe) also returned to practice today.
Cuts: The Saints waived five and cut three veterans today. Among the veterans released: WR’s Patrick Crayton and Steve Breaston, along with QB Senaca Wallace. The five rookies released include LB Chase Thomas, whom fans had high hopes for. The other four rookies released were DB A.J Davis, WR Jarrod Fayson, DB Dion Turner, and OG Ricky Henry.
I wasn’t surprised by the moves today. The Saints have to trim the roster to 75 players (it currently sits at 81) by next Tuesday and to 53 by September 1st. The release of WR’s Crayton and Breaston clearly point to the development of Kenny Stills and Nick Toon at WR. I think when it’s all said and done the Saint will keep these five wide receivers: Colston, Moore, Stills, Toon, and Roby. Keep in mind Jimmy Graham is used often as a wide receiver, so that affords the Saints the luxury of keeping just five at wide-out.
Surprise play of D-line: Keep an eye on the development of Akiem Hicks on the defensive line. Cameron Jordan is the best player on D, but Hicks and Jordan might prove to be two of the best in the league before the year is over. DE Glenn Foster and DE Tyrunn Walker have also flashed at times. The Saints are really talented up front with the questions remaining at linebacker at this point. Rookie NT John Jenkins has also looked like a solid addition to the line through two preseason games.
Houston, we might have a problem: While the Saints made it look easy against the Raiders last week, it likely will be difficult to repeat that performance against a much better Houston Texans team this Sunday on the road. The Texans are a playoff team from a year ago, and have the talent to contend for an AFC championship. I’m interested in watching how Charles Brown and the rest of the Saints offensive line matches up against the Texan’s D-line and J.J Watt.