Saints practice report: 4 takeaways from Sunday
METAIRIE, LA - With temperatures continuing to be a scorcher throughout training camp, the Saints were greeted after practice with Williams Plum Street Snowballs. Through four practices it's to pick out the most buzzworthy player, that goes to rookie wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith, who continues to make highlight-reel catches in team drills.
Below are my four takeaways from Sunday's fourth training camp practice.
Saints WR Michael Thomas Route Tree is filthy
Thomas already a budding star in New Orleans and continues to prove why he's an elite receiver in the NFL. With back-to-back productive seasons to start his career, Thomas looks primed for yet another monster season with the Black and Gold.
Today Thomas got physical with CB Ken Crawley in 1-one-1 drills, then proceded to break his ankles in the process with a nasty juke to create separation. Not to mention the Thomas slant route appears to already be in mid-season form.
Here's the video evidence to prove it.
Michael Thomas ?? pic.twitter.com/UHr6WS1zG5— Amos Morale III (@Amos_MoraleIII) July 29, 2018
Saints return game is like the "Bachelor"??
Although early, the Saints look to have an open competition at the punt and kick return game.
“Our return game is kind of like ‘The Bachelor’ right now," said head coach Sean Payton. "We’ve got about 12 contestants and they’ve all got a rose. And, if we don’t like ‘em we’ll bring in new contestants.”
The Saints have been working out rookie running back Boston Scott, wide receivers Josh Huff and Josh Smith. However, Sean Payton didn't rule out the possibilities of Alvin Kamara being the kickoff returner.
Several veterans got some extra rest on Sunday. Defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor, along with wide receiver Cameron Meredith and left guard Andrus Peat all left practice early after participating in early walkthroughs and stretch periods. Okafor is returning from a ruptured achilles and Meredith is coming off a serious knee injury that kept him out the 2017 season.
One again the entire roster was in full pads and present on the practice field. So far the Saints have escaped any major injury bugs to key players as they wrap up the first full week of training camp. Wide receiver Brandon Coleman and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui remain on the PUP list, but have each been present at all four sessions.
Former LSU wideout Travin Dural did go down in team drills and left practice. According to reports, Dural broke his humerus on the play and will undergo surgery.