WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. —
Three days into Saints training camp, it’s time to start hitting at The Greenbrier resort.
ABOUT YESTERDAY: In helmets, jerseys and shorts, the offense won the day. It started with tight end Jimmy Graham making the catch of the day with an aggressive grab over rookie Vinnie Sunseri of Alabama. Graham finished the fine play with his now-outlawed signature celebration dunk on the goalpost. Meanwhile, Khari Robinson looked sharp out of the backfield and through running lanes, and third-year pro Nick Toon looked poised to challenge for one of the final receiver spots on the roster. Joe Morgan, his primary competition, spent the morning practice watching as the Saints ease him back after last season’s ACL tear. Also on the sideline was Kenny Stills, one day after bothering his hamstring. Even rookie free agent Seantavius Jones (Valdosta State) made a nice grab. The defense, meanwhile, allowed several big plays, including Andy Tanner’s wide-open touchdown catch, with free safety Kenny Vacarro and his secondary left wondering what went wrong. A defensive bright spot: cornerback Patrick Robinson looked poised to challenge for serious playing time — maybe even splitting a starting job with Champ Bailey.
ON TODAY’S AGENDA: Pads will be in place Sunday morning for the 7:50 a.m. Central Time practice, followed by a 4:30 p.m. walkthrough. Players scheduled to be available for interviews at about 11 a.m. CDT are include quarterback Ryan Griffin, receiver Brandin Cooks, running back Khari Robinson, guard Jahri Evans, outside linebacker Victor Butler, outside linebacker Parys Haralson and cornerback Champ Bailey.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Whether Victor Butler, the veteran outside linebacker injured last offseason, is fully recovered from his ACL knee tear. Butler missed all of 2013, ruining his first season in New Orleans (He followed Rob Ryan from Dallas). Butler, once a projected starter for the Saints, can apply plenty of pressure on Parys Haralson, Junior Galette and others. Also, Sunday marks the first time the Saints will learn if their new-and-improved blocking techniques on the offensive line are truly improved. And keep track of second-year running back Khiry Robinson — Mark Ingram isn’t guaranteed the starting job.
Follow Gary Estwick on Twitter: @EstwickSaints.