Notes and observations from Sunday’s practice:
Heating up: After spending the first three weeks of camp in the mild conditions of West Virginia, the Saints returned to Metairie for Sunday’s session. It was hot. Practice wasn’t. The team took it easy, went through some positional drills, and practiced at about half speed. With Monday a scheduled off day, look for things to be more active on Tuesday.
Good sign: While most of the secondary was out of action Saturday against the Patriots, the sight was a bit different on Sunday. Cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Delvin Breaux and safety Kenny Vaccaro returned to action and participated in some team drill. The team is still without safety Jairus Byrd and Brandon Browner.
Wilson rises: Cornerback Kyle Wilson built on his momentum from Saturday’s game by picking off a pass in one-on-ones. It came on a pass from Luke McCown to R.J. Harris. I don’t typically put a lot of stock in one-on-one passing drills because they typically favor the receiver. The momentum quickly went away when Wilson was badly beat on a later rep. Overall, the defense fared quite well in the drill.
Abstract view: This one is kind of hard to quantify, but I posted up in the end zone for the one-on-one drills and got to watch the receivers set up the cornerbacks and run their routes. Seeing Brandon Coleman go through the drill was something to see. He moves better than I thought and did a good job of setting up his man. It was cool to see.
Coley up: With both David Hawthorne and Dannell Ellerbe out of action, undrafted rookie Henry Coley took some reps higher in the order. He’s had a pretty solid camp and had some positive moments in both preseason games. If nothing else, he’s a strong candidate for the practice squad.
Grayson woes: I was talking up Garrett Grayson just a few days ago. Now, he’s back to struggling. It’s going to be a process and if his performance Saturday wasn’t a reminder of that, the interception he threw to Vinnie Sunseri during Sunday’s practice was. It’s not going to be immediate. Grayson still has some growing pains to get through.
Return game: Marcus Murphy, Jalen Saunders and Brandin Cooks handed the punt returns. Willie Snead, who used to be apart of that group, went through a drill to practice open-field tackling.