It seems every year the New Orleans Saints are able to deploy a stable of running backs that are capable of putting on a show for fans in off-season workouts with their dazzling moves and shocking versatility.
In year’s past, Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush were usually the culprits whenever there was a play that resulted in an uproar from the onlooking crowd at the Saints’ Training Facility.
At Tuesday’s mini-camp, which was one of three days of practice that will be open to the public this week, running back Travaris Cadet provided plenty of excitement for the Saints fans that were in attendance.
Cadet’s plays varied from a one-handed catch on the sideline with a defender nearby, to a run that started with him heading to the right side of his line, noticing a hole on the backside and making an impressive cut that brought on a loud cheer from the crowd.
“I just try to separate myself from the average player in this league,” Cadet said. “I believe that hard work pays off and I just want to approach everything and every play with a force.”
With the way Cadet has been used in the offense since his arrival in New Orleans, there has been speculation that it will be his responsibility to fulfill the role that was left in the offense with the departure of Sproles.
But Cadet views his opportunity as more of a chance to prove his capabilities rather than filling Sproles’ shoes in the offense.
“Sproles is a dynamic player in this league and I feel like he’s a Hall-of-Fame player," Cadet said. "He’s a guy I always looked up to and I had an opportunity to see how he approaches coming to work every day. Now that I’ve been given this opportunity, I feel like it’s my responsibility to take advantage of it.”
Some quick observations from practice
- The Saints first and second-team defensive backs like Kenny Vaccaro, Patrick Robinson, Corey White, and rookie Stanley Jean-Baptiste found themselves lined up at several different positions in the defense throughout practice.
- Third-string tight end Josh Hill was on the field quite a bit with the first and second-team offenses with the absence of Jimmy Graham, due to his ongoing contract dispute with the team. Hill played as the second tight end on several two-tight-end alignments plays and also served as the backup fullback whenever Erik Lorig needed a break.
- Undrafted free agent Brandon Coleman stood out quite a bit during Tuesday’s mini-camp, for varying reasons. Coleman’s gigantic frame put him in a position to make a couple very impressive catches during 11-on-11 drills, which included a juggling catch he made around the five-yard line that resulted in a touchdown due to his long strides. He also showed a tendency to struggle a bit catching the ball with his hands.
- Another receiver that stood out was third-year player Nick Toon. The former fourth-round pick showed a bit of burst on a couple deep passes that he connected on with both Drew Brees and Luke McCown, and also caught a touchdown from Brees on the first play when the team began 7-on-7 red-zone drills.
- The offensive and defensive units were very competitive during the 7-on-7 red-zone drills. The offense ran five plays when both of the first units were on the field, two resulted in touchdowns, one resulted in an interception by safety Rafael Bush, one pass was batted down by cornerback Keenan Lewis and Josh Hill nearly caught a touchdown on the final play, but only had one foot down before stepping out-of-bounds.