Saints 7/28 Morning Practice Notes

Brees throws

These notes were taken by James Blake and Jean-Paul Bergeaux while personally attending the Saints Training Camp practices. They are raw scribbles and are not meant to be grammatically correct. They may not be perfectly correct and sometimes may not even make sense to the “casual Saints fan”. With that disclaimer, here we go!

Some notes as the practice started. Henderson, McKenzie, Porter, Bullocks and Blythe were all in shorts on the sidelines as the players warmed up. Deuce did what I think is his normal trainer stretching on the sidelines to warm up.

*First drill was punt returns with Coach O working the DL on one side and OL and QBs doing snap practice on the other end. Brees was practicing with Goodwin, Brunell with Lehr and Palko with Rob Hunt.

Punt returners were Moore, Green, and Bush with Devery hanging out with them but not dressed, so just listening.

As the players were jogging around, you could hear a coach yelling “Come on David Roach! You ready to be a gunner today?!?!”

No real action on the punts. No lines, just punts with all making a catch.

*Next was a red zone walk through at half speed. 1st team was Brees throwing to Cambell and Shockey on screen passes. Then a dump off to Reggie. Not a lot of real action, seem to be just getting the play moves right. Of note was that Meachem, Patten and Colston were lining up in the first team for three wide receiver sets with Colston being the slot receiver. Billy Miller was on the 1st team as the TE as well.

Shockey seemed to be talking to the coaches around him a lot. Asking a lot of questions.

1st team defense was lead by Brian Young (returning) and Hollis Thomas at DT and Mitchell at MLB. Vilma was running with the second team.

One thing that I thought was interesting was that you could see Drew going through his progressions. There were no misses or dropped passes except a lazy effort on a low pass by Patten.

*Team stretching directed by coaches. Porter and Henderson did not stretch, Bullocks, Blythe and MM did stretch.

*Sleds for O and pick drills for D.

*O was running gauntlet (for RB/FB) while D was doing pass catching for CBs and angle practice for S.

*Next was “jamming off the line” practice for WR and CBs.

Meachem couldn’t beat Gay off the line. A coach started yelling at him as he passed him and Meachem said something to him. Coach responded with “Don’t slip then!” Meachem got lined up against Gay again and beat him the second time to the praise of the same coach.

Arrington Juked Jason David on the line.

*WR Pivot catches. In this drill, they had 3 orange spots for the WR to run up to, stop, turn and catch as they came out of the break. All caught the passes well, but Colston who had two drops in a row and was pretty mad about it. Kicking the final ball off the field slightly. The coach kept yelling “Run THROUGH it! Accelerate!” The only WR that seemed to do it right was Patten.

*QBs throwing shoulder catches with another WR trailing behind for distractions.

*Normal passing route throw from QBs while D-line and O-line were practicing at the end zones. All of the DL were running through four dummies lined up and then charging a coach who threw the ball over their heads. The D-lineman were extending to tip or intercept the ball. All seemed to do well, but seemed to be very much an easy drill, setup in the DL favor to look good.

Only thing of note on the QB/WR was Carlos Robinson getting reamed for catching a ball into his body. “Catch with your hands!” was heard.

*Next was some pass drills w/ QBs. Four different passers (coach as 4th) throw passes to four different patterns.

Shibby and I were a little concerned for a minute while Colston seemed to be paying attention to his calf in between drills. Then a trainer came up and cut a sleeve off of his leg (longer knee sleeve?) and then he seemed fine with no concerns to worry about.

Also right as the drill was starting, David Patten wandered away from the group with a very mad look on his face, and limping with his left leg. He walked around for a while and returned to the group with no ill effects that we could tell.

*Next was one of the BEST drills we saw! One on one WR against CBs with QBs throwing to them. This is a very difficult drill for CBs where time is not an issue and they have no help from anyone over the top. It made for some interesting competitions.

Wale Dada was covering Colston on the first one and made a NICE play on the ball preventing the pass.

Usama Young was on David Patten, who won by catching a good ball.

Greg Fassitt was beat by Lance Moore.

Adrian Arrington BURNED Aaron Glenn on a double move and the ball was over thrown. Arrington laid out for the ball and caught it, maintaining control as he hit the ground. It was probably the highlight catch for a WR all day. Cheers erupted and people were encouraging both Glenn and Arrington after the play.

Jason Craft couldn’t prevent a good pass to Robert Meachem.

Skyler Green juked Jason David on a comeback pass.

Reggie turned and blazed to a good catch over Usama Young.

Fassitt was beat on a comeback by Copper similar to Green’s over David.

Colston did the same comeback over Aaron Glenn.

Shockey had a nice slant catch to beat Jason Craft.

Patten beat Wale Dada.

Jason David had BLANKET coverage on Lance Moore, but a pinpoint pass by Drew got in anyway.

Arrington tried to blaze past Young, but Young stuck with him well, tipped the ball and then grabbed an INT. The INT might have been reviewable in a game, as the ball did hit the ground while in Young’s hand, but he seemed to have control of it. It was a BEAUTIFUL play by Young and drew a ton of cheers and sounds from the crowd.

Shockey beat Dada.

Meachem had a nice cut inside to beat Jason David.

Carlos Robinson couldn’t shake Young, Young was in his face and at the last minute, tipped the ball away with a hand in Robinson’s face.

Reggie beat Jason David.

Colston beat Dada only because of his size domination over Dada.

Shockey caught a back shoulder pass that was perfect from Drew over Jason Craft.

*Punt Return drills were next. They started from short yardage (2 yard line) where it would be difficult for the punt team to defend.

Reggie miss judged the first punt, but recovered and caught it. Reggie couldn’t escape Copper and Young (no blockers at all) and they said something and laughed together.

Moore also miss judged the punt next, but recovered and caught it.

Skyler Green was perfect on his punt return, but again no one was able to run very far because the gunners were usually right there when they caught the punt. (Again, no one had any blockers.)

Interestingly Tuff Harris returned a punt next, which I had not heard or seen earlier. We were thinking that it was just because Devery Henderson was sitting out.

Reggie was perfect on next punt and then Moore did something entertaining on the next one, he tried to use the coaches as interference, running through a group standing together. He didn’t escape completely, but it was funny.

Skyler Green fielded the next punt perfectly, but it was a VERY good angled punt by I believe Weatherford. Green caught it with one foot barely out of bounds.

Reggie finally broke one even without blockers as he out ran Copper and a defensive player that I didn’t catch and broke up the sidelines.

*Goal line punts were next. Mostly the returner had to get out of the way as the ball was landing at the 2 to 5 yard line and the gunners were trying to down it before it went over the goal line.

Weatherford kicked a perfect kick, but Meachem missed the ball as it rolled into the end zone. Coaches started screaming at Meachem.

Prather had a perfect backward spinning punt that died at the 1 yard line and was caught by Arrington to down it inside the 2 yard line.

Weatherford then topped that with a PERFECT sideline punt that would have gone out of bounds and been spotted at about the 2 yard line.

Prather kicked a tough one to get and Jason David made a half hearted effort, but might have been able to get it if he had put more effort in it. Tuff Harris ran full speed from the other side gunner spot and almost got to the ball to down it before it bounded into the end zone.

Weatherford then kicked a nice punt inside the 5 and Aaron Glenn miss-judged the ball and it got by him to roll into the end zone instead of getting downed.

Reggie fielded a ball at the 5 yard line, I think because he was tired of letting the ball go by him. J

They then flipped around and did a new punt drill. This one was a “max protect” line for the punter where there were no gunners, a full rush and the outside protectors became gunners for the punt return, with blockers trying to stop them.

This produced more chances for the PR to get into the open field, as there were only 2 tacklers against 4 blockers and a punt returner. The line didn’t really make an effort.

Moore, Green, and Reggie all had good returns with Reggie out running them sometimes, but mostly blockers allowing the PR to get out.


Tuff Harris seemed to be wincing in pain as he limped, but then kept playing and remained in the practice at full speed.

*They did a Red Zone walk through again, not at full speed and little contact. Several plays practiced, but nothing noteworthy except a dropped pass by Meachem from Brunell (2nd team).

*Full speed Red Zone practice for all three groups.

-Brees started the first team. off by hitting Colston for a twisting “Colston-like” body contorting pass. The DB came up (didn’t see who it was) to try to make a play, which is why Colston did the twisting. The DB missed and fell down as Colston caught the ball, kept upright and took off open and free. GREAT catch (of course).

NOTE: This is not the play at this link. That play was from the beginning of the second 1st string run (I note it later)

Something of note was that Mark Simoneau was running the 1st team D as MLB.

Brees hit Billy Miller.

Gay made a NICE play on the ball to knock it away from Colston. Colston had done his normal goal line catch domination because of his size, but Gay had none of it as he knocked the ball out before Colston came down with both feet.

Run up the middle by Deuce.

Brees was getting a lot of pressure from Charles Grant. Brees threw a side arm AROUND Grant as he came in right to Shockey for a short gain. Good instincts by Brees and good short route and catch by Shockey.

With pressure on Brees, Copper wasn’t able to pull in a bad throw over the middle. There was some debate over whether the pass was to Shockey or Copper, but the majority voted it was Copper. J

It’s worth noting that the D-line was getting good pressure on all three QBs with all three D-lines and O-lines playing.

-2nd team came on with Brunell throwing a bad pass to Lance Moore in the right flats area. The ball went almost right to Usama Young, who made the INT. Again the D-line had a lot of pressure on Brunell.

(For some reason I missed who was running MLB with the second team. Since Mitchell was running 3rd team, I assume it was Vilma? Anyone see this?)

Yet again the D-line is dominating. Brunell couldn’t find a receiver and got flushed out to the left side for what would have been a short rushing gain.

Arrington dropped a TOUGH catch from Brunell over Greg Fassitt. It wasn’t good coverage and wasn’t a bad drop by Arrington, yet it was not a completion.

Probably in an effort to relieve the pressure by the D, they called a reverse. Meachem had good speed on the reverse and would have gotten free for a good gain. We didn’t notice it, but we think that Arrington either sold the pass or had a good block on Fassitt, as he was not even near the side that Meachem came on (which was the left side where Arrington had been lined up). Since they were only 10 yards from the end zone (this was almost all red zone play), Arrington must have had a good block at some point to pull it off.

Brunell followed it up with a good throw to Adrian Arrington, who made the catch. Looked like a normal successful play.

Arrington switched to the right side and had a WR in the slot. A pick/screen play got Arrington a short catch in traffic. Good catch and showed good concentration.

-Palko came in with the 3rd string.

(As noted before Mitchell was running the MLB with 3rd string D)

Palko completed a screen to Lance Moore.

Outside run by Lynnell Hamilton was a good run. Showed some speed and running ability.

Palko completed short pass to Buck Ortega, and Ortega got a few yards after stumbling with no defensive player around him.

They started with a stack of two WRs in the slot position with no WR on the outside. After the WR cleared out on patterns, Palko completed a quick pass to RB Olanyi Sobomehin coming up behind where the WR stack had been.

Screen pass to Barclay which Barclay turned into a nice run.

Palko finished off his chance with a bad pass…

-1st team came back in with a short flats pass to the left to Mike Karney who was immediately hit by Fujita (love tap, but harder than most of the day)

Here is where the play from this link happened:

Grant had a lot of pressure on Brees, it was a marginal pass that looked wobbly and could have been tipped. Gay tipped it up in the air and made his own INT for a BEAUTIFUL play by Gay.

Duece with a run up the middle, good push.

Copper dropped a very hard to catch sideline pass from Brees. It looked like Copper was not the first guy in Brees’ progression and Drew was trying to squeeze the ball in tight. Good pass, tough catch Copper didn’t make.

Middle run by Deuce again. (I think they were trying to relieve the D-line pressure)

Drew finished up his session and was MAD. He hit the ground with his helmet as he walked off.

-Brunell came back in with the 2nd team and Vilma was definitely the MLB with the second team this time around (which is why we assumed the first time around but forgot to note it)

Brunell’s first pass was behind the line to Stecker for what probably would have been a short gain.

D-line getting a lot of pressure, Brunell threw a TIGHT inside pitch in traffic to Pierre Thomas. Was a scary play from the sidelines, but worked well to what looked like it would have been a good play.

Brunell threw a good pass over the middle to Billy Miller.

Another nice pass to Moore.

Arrington dropped a catchable ball that was a bit behind him, but he still should have caught.

-Palko came in with the third team. Marvin Mitchell came in as the 3rd string MLB again, with JoLonn Dunbar as one of the OLBs, but we had a hard time telling if he was Sam or Will, and got distracted and didn’t follow up later… so sorry couldn’t tell which…

Quick pass to Barclay for short gain.

Great D-line pressure YET AGAIN with Marcus Pittman and Marques Gunn in on a sack (rare with this drill).

Usama Young made a great INT, but the crowd seemed to think that he dropped the ball as he hit the ground. I didn’t see that part, but it might be true. Who cares, he made a play on the ball!

Palko threw another INT by Craft trying to get the ball to Lance Moore.

Palko gets a break with a hand off up the middle to Lynell Hamilton (who wasn’t spectacular necessarily, but was looking good).

-1st team back with Brees and Simoneau as MLB again.

Screen pass to start with Shockey getting popped by Usama Young (love tap) as he caught the ball. Was around the line of scrimmage when hit.

Hand off to Reggie for run.

Brees pass to Copper (made catch) but hit by Jason David as he caught it.

Brees handed off to Reggie for outside run to the left. Reggie was FAST to the outside.

Brees pass was tipped by Charles Grant (pass middle right), still caught by Lance Moore, with good concentration.

Inside run, didn’t see who…

Nice pass to Reggie.

Pass to Colston over Jason David. Colston used size to get ball.

-2nd team with Brunell again. MLB was Vilma again.

Short pass to Billy Miller.

Tight coverage to the left and Brunell threaded a BEAUTIFUL pass between defenders to a sliding Adrian Arrington for a great catch in the end zone.

Outside run by Stecker.

Short pass to Lance Moore of Greg Fassitt.

Hand off up the middle to Stecker (could have been PT?) Was almost like a draw play.

Good outside run to the left by Pierre Thomas.

Bootleg to the left, D-line following with Ronnie Ghent wide open for a touch down pass.

-3rd team with Palko

Wale Dada deflected a pass to Adrian Arrington by timing his hit over the top of AA very nicely. Very close timing on the tip (over the top).

Wale Dada hit the WR again in another nicely timed play as the WR (couldn’t see who) tried to catch the ball.

Practice was over, huddled up before they went in. Skyler, PT, Lance Moore, Barcley, and more were left out with the jugs machine practicing fielding kick off simulated spinning kicks. We got distracted because Drew and Billy Miller came over to sign things and Shibby got a hat signed by both.

Billy made a comment about people coming from a distance and I said that we had come from 15 hours away. He looked at me all puzzled and asked where and I said DC and he said, “I’m sorry!” as a joke. J (seemed like a good guy)

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2 Responses to “Saints 7/28 Morning Practice Notes”

  1. Tony Derbigny says:

    Really enjoyed the article, seems like there are a few sleepers. Cant wait until preseason!!!

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