Time isn’t everything when Brees drops back to pass _lowres

Advocate file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Peter Carmichael, left, and quarterbacks coach Mike Neu are focused more on how quartback Drew Brees deals with specific pass situations than his average time before throwing a pass.,

Going out strong

The Saints’ first-string offense ended the team’s three-day minicamp with a 13-play, 70-yard, two-minute-drill drive that culminated in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to receiver Kenny Stills on third-and-goal.

Brees completed 7 of 12 passes to five different receivers. Two of his completions were third-down conversions.

Before that, ‘D’ ruled

Before the two-minute drill between the first units Thursday, the first-team defense got the best of the offense a number of times.

One moment especially stood out. During the first play of 11-on-11 drills, second-year safety Kenny Vaccaro intercepted a Brees pass. He celebrated the play by throwing the football as if he were shooting a jump shot.

Vaccaro later said he celebrated so emphatically because he had picked off a former Super Bowl MVP and “Hall of Fame quarterback.” He also explained defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had shown them highlight videos of ex-Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan nailing crucial shots.

Ryan instructed players to pretend they were shooting a basketball when they did something “clutch,” Vaccaro said. So Vaccaro obeyed.

Participation report

As was expected and had been the case since Tuesday, neither rookie receiver/first-round draft choice Brandin Cooks (finishing school year) nor All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham (contract dispute) attended the third day of minicamp.

Receiver Steve Hull and defensive back Derrius Brooks were not seen at minicamp Thursday. Both had been working at minicamp on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Spotted but not participating in drills were wide receiver Joseph Morgan (knee), nose tackle John Jenkins (reportedly, recovering from surgery on a pectoral muscle), safety Jairus Byrd (back), nose tackle Moses McCray (undisclosed) and outside linebacker Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed).

Up next

The Saints have four days of voluntary offseason practices next week. They then report to training camp at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia on July 24.