Photos: New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson stops by camp, key players begin to show off _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Saints head coach Sean Payton stops to chat with owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle during the Saints morning practice Monday at White Sulphur Springs, WV.


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Notes and observations from Monday’s practice:

Grayson looking better: One of the things that has stood out in recent practices is the way rookie quarterback Garrett Grayson is settling into things. He still has a long way to go before he can even compete for the backup job, but he’s looking better as he continues to settle in and get a better grasp of the offense. That’s what you want to see out of a young, developmental player at this point in camp. We’ll see what the preseason holds.

Peat project: The Saints continue to move Andrus Peat around the offensive line. After working at right tackle and left tackle earlier in camp, he’s been getting some work at guard. He worked on the left side yesterday and lined up on the right side today. Conditioning still seems to be an issue and he needs to refine his technique at the guard position.

Ellerbe in coverage: Dannell Ellerbe looks like he has a shot at shoring up the Saints’ pass coverage from the linebacker position. He moves well, knows how to use his hands, and understands leverage. He’s been playing alongside Stephone Anthony on the first-team defense. He’s still working his way back from an undisclosed injury.

Bush stands out: When discussing Jairus Byrd’s injury yesterday, safety Kenny Vaccaro reminded everyone not to overlook Rafael Bush, who has been standing in at free safety. Bush hammered that point home. He had a nice pass breakup during team drills and moved around the field well.

Small Hills: It’s been a quiet camp for Josh Hill. He was targeted only twice during the early portion of camp, was sidelined for a few days with an undisclosed injury, and then came today and dropped the first pass thrown to him. The hope was that he could fill in as the flex tight end and pick up some of the slack left by Jimmy Graham’s departure. Maybe it turns around once games start, but his early performance has been underwhelming.

Sunseri stepping up: Vinnie Sunseri continued his strong camp by picking off his third pass of training camp. The one today came when he read Luke McCown and stepped in front of the receiver to make the play. His instincts have really been showing up throughout camp and he could be putting himself in position to compete for more snaps.

Clean sheet: For what it’s worth, Drew Brees hasn’t picked off yet during training camp during team drills.

Here are the passes from Monday’s session (credit to Joel “Don’t Forget the ‘A'” Erickson for helping with charting):

Brees passing

1. Incomplete (batted down by John Jenkins)

2.Complete to Marques Colston

3. Complete to Joe Morgan (pressure Kevin Williams; tackle by Rafael Bush)

4. Complete to Josh Morgan (tackled by Keenan Lewis)

5. Incomplete to Ben Watson (broken up by Rafael Bush)

6. Incomplete to Josh Hill (drop)

7. Complete to Mark Ingram (tackled by Delvin Breaux)

8, Incomplete to Josh Morgan (broken up by Delvin Breaux)

9. Complete to Mark Ingram

Griffin passing

1. Complete to Seantavius Jones (David Hawthorne tackle; Kasim Edebali pressure)

2. Incomplete to Marques Colston (broken up by Delvin Breaux; Parys Haralson, Ashaad Mabry pressure)

3. Incomplete to Khiry Robinson (broken up by Dannell Ellerbe)

4. Complete to Khiry Robinson

5. Complete to Khiry Robinson

6. Complete to Khiry Robinson (pressure by Tavaris Barnes)

7. Complete to R.J. Harris

Grayson passing

1. Sacked by Markus Pierce-Brewster

2. Complete to Lance Lewis

3. Incomplete to Kyle Prater

4. Batted

5. Complete to Toben Oporum (tackle by Jamarca Sanford)

6. Incomplete to R.J. Harris (drop)

7. Scramble

8. Complete to Josh Hill (tackle by Henry Coley; pressure Ronald Powell)

9. Complete to Lance Lewis

McCown passing

1. Complete to Ben Watson (tackled by Vinnie Sunseri)

2. Marques Colston held by Kyle Wilson

3. Complete to Joe Morgan

4. Intercepted by Vinnie Sunseri

5. Complete to Orson Charles (tackled by Vinnie Sunseri)