WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Veteran right guard Jahri Evans has drawn some criticism early in camp, both for his performance in practice and the preseason opener against Baltimore on Thursday night.

His head coach isn’t sure the criticism is warranted.

“I don’t know that I would agree with that,” Sean Payton said. “He’s a veteran player, he knows what to do. We played against a good front the other night. I think he’s doing pretty well.”

Evans was given a grade of minus-2.9 by Pro Football Focus for his performance against Baltimore, a game in which he had a false start and appeared to have some trouble against the Ravens’ front.

In practice, he’s had his hands full with Saints defensive linemanAkiem Hicks in one-on-one pass rush drills.

But Payton says the idea that Evans, a six-time Pro Bowler and a dependable guard who’s started all but two games of his nine-year career with the Saints, is struggling may be misguided.

“The key was him coming in in good shape and he is, he’s under his weight. I think we’ll have a good chance to see him this whole week coming up. Our ones will play more, obviously, in this next week.”