After Further Review: Five takes from Saints practice #14
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Defense dominates 7-on-7
One day after the offense’s best 7-on-7 session of camp, the first team defense responded exactly like they should have. The first teamers on defense played like they were a little embarrassed in Wednesday’s work, and were determined to not let it happen again. C.J Gardner-Johnson opened the period with a pass break-up. On the next play, Bradley Roby picked off Andy Dalton in the back of the end zone. Dalton’s next two passes were incomplete. His best pass came on a shallow cross to Marquez Callaway for a touchdown.
With the second team, Ian Book had a bit more success. He hit Devine Ozigbo on an option route for a score, then found Kawaan Baker in the back of the end zone. He also connected with Easop Winston and Taysom Hill for touchdowns.
Take Two: Offense strikes back during first team period
The first team period started just outside the 20-yard line, and Dalton immediately bounced back. On the first play, Dalton connected with Adam Trautman on an out-and-up route that Trautman has really shined at this camp.
Tyrann Mathieu, playing in the dime linebacker-type role, knocked down a pass intended for Alvin Kamara. Kamara ran that option route that’s become very difficult to defend. Mathieu was there to knock the ball away.
Dalton responded with consecutive touchdowns passes. First, he found rookie Chris Olave in the back corner of the end zone. Olave popped wide open, something he’s done quite a bit in this camp. Dalton followed that with one of his best plays of camp. He rolled to his right and threw a dart to Nick Vannett. Vannett was well covered, but with the defender’s back turned, Dalton purposely threw it behind Vannett, who was able to change direction and catch the pass.
With the second team, Abram Smith scored on back-to-back runs. Then, Ozigbo found paydirt as well.
Take Three: Two-minute close out
The Saints closed out the day with a two-minute drill. Dalton opened with a shot play to Olave, that was broken up by J.T. Gray. Two plays later, Gardner-Johnson knocked down another pass on a comeback route by Olave. On fourth down, Dalton found Tony Jones, Jr. in the flat for a first down. After back-to-back offsides by Carl Granderson and Payton Turner, Dalton tried to find Michael Thomas on a corner route but could not connect. Their final Hail Mary pass attempt fell incomplete. There also could have been a sack on the play.
Book initially had better luck with the second team. After a Taco Charlton sack, Book hit Baker for back -to-back completions. After Turner sacked Book, he connected with Dai’Jean Dixon on a corner route near the sideline for a nice gain. The team would’ve been in field goal range, but elected to throw a pass with one second left that was incomplete.
Take Four: Participation Report
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore returned to practice and did some walkthrough work. He eventually moved to the side and worked with a trainer. Alontae Taylor, Jameis Winston, and Pete Werner were not present. Linebacker Zack Baun was present, but did work with a trainer on the side.
Take Five: Other Observations
- Thursday was Gardner-Johnson’s best practice of camp.
- The Saints were in their dime package on defense often Thursday.
- After 14 practices, the Saints are about to go on a significant stretch here. They open the preseason Saturday in Houston. Then on Monday, they travel to Green Bay for joint practices with the Packers on Tuesday and Wednesday. They’ll play the Packers next Friday for their second preseason game. That will be four straight opportunities to go against another team, which could provide a more realistic look at where this team stands.
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