Kristian: Saints get physical, offense has the edge
by Kristian Garic,posted Jul 28 2014 12:19PM
9 on 7: The Saints offensive line set the tone early in practice with a physical "inside running game” drill. Defensive coaches Joe Vitt and Rob Ryan expressed their displeasure through a number of choice words that not suitable for print or the air, but let’s just say the running backs (all of them) were ripping off 5 or more yard runs routinely. Coach Sean Payton looked on with approval after practice. “I thought the pads were much lower today than yesterday,” Payton said.
Keenan can: When you think of shutdown cornerbacks, you think of Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks and Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals. The Saints have their version of a shutdown corner in Keenan Lewis. Twice today during team drills, Saints quarterbacks targeted receivers on his side of the football, and were twice denied. Lewis batted away a comeback pass from Drew Brees to Andy Tanner, and got his hands on another, just missing an interception off Luke McCown. Lewis is also a steady voice in the secondary, mentoring young rookie CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste during timeouts and breaks.
Cooks-ing with gas: Sure, the obvious feature rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks brings to the Saints is speed, but he also runs precise routes. Today in one-on-one CB vs WR drills, Cooks won every match up against various defensive backs. “You can see how smooth he is! He runs great routes and catches the ball effortlessly,” said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert. After one rep, you could hear Drew Brees say “Nice job, nice adjustment,” to Cooks after hooking up on intermediate pass route.
Brandin Cooks having a Hell of day 1 on 1 vs DB WON every match up
Music: The Saints decided to add some music to the practice mix today and you could tell it energized the players. The staff had the speaker system going in the team portion of practice today not only to act as crowd noise, but to test the players focus.
Offensive line vs Defensive line: The one-on-one pass rushing drills are always interesting to watch in camp. Offensive tackle Terron Armstead was matched up against OLB Junior Galette on a few snaps today, and cleary won the battle. Cameron Jordan and Zach Strief had some heated battles on the other side, with Jordan winning a few and Strief winning a few.
Injuries: The PUP players remain the same (OT Tavon Rooks, S Jairus Byrd, and DT John Jenkins). Wide receivers Kenny Stills (quad) and Robert Meachem (back) missed practice and guard Ben Grubbs sat out of practice today as well. Coach Sean Payton didn’t elaborate on Grubb’s injury but said “Both of those players will be back in the next couple of days.” #65 Senio Kelemte (2nd year out of Washington) worked with the 1st team unit in place of Grubbs.