WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Notes and observations from Day 2 of training camp:
More personnel movement: The Saints continue to search for the right mix of players on defense. Rookie linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha took the place of Anthony Spencer on the first-team defense and lined up on the strong side. With Dannell Ellerbe sidelined for undisclosed reasons, rookie linebacker Stephon Anthony played middle linebacker, with David Hawthorne sliding to the weak side. Anthony continues to show good instincts and plays well in space. He gave up one receptions to Brandin Cooks when the wide receiver crossed through his zone.
Focus on formations: The defense continued to operate primarily out of a Cover 1 formation on defense during team drills. During 7-on-7 work, the team appeared to be working on some Cover 2 and Quarters concepts.
Grayson watch: Grayson fumbled a snap during a drill with the running backs, but the third-round pick threw a handful of good passes during team drills. The best one came when he connected with Lance Lewis on the sidelines over Kyle Wilson on a post route.
Richardson up: Undrafted rookie defensive lineman Bobby Richardson is someone to keep an eye on. Based on usage, he’s clearly caught the eye of the coaching staff and is logging snaps with the second-team defense. When Kevin Williams came off the field for a few snaps, Richardson took his place with the first unit.
Tight end update: Ben Watson has been the most productive tight end through the first two practices, making several catches Friday during team drills. Undrafted Jack Tabb also caught a couple passes and Orson Charles added another. Josh Hill, who many expect to be a bigger part of the passing offense with Jimmy Graham in Seattle, did not appear to have a single pass thrown his direction during the first two practices.
Early star: The pads are yet to come out, so that automatically disqualifies anyone on either line and most of the linebackers from inclusion on this list, but Keenan Lewis has been the best player on defense through two practices. He stood out a few times Thursday and added an impressive pass breakup to his reel on Friday when he knocked a pass away from Nick Toon on the sidelines.
Cole’ing: Brandon Coleman has caught the eye a few times. He’s shown a good understanding of how to use his body to shield off defenders. He’s done a good job of going over the middle and using his frame to make catches in traffic.
Return game: Brandin Cooks, Josh Morgan, C.J. Spiller, Khiry Robinson, Marcus Murphy, Edwin Backer, Jalen Saunders, and Lance Lewis returned kicks. Murphy duffed one. The team spent a lot of time working on this phase of the game.
Starting defense: Cam Jordan, Kevin Williams, John Jenkins, Akiem Hicks/Hau’oli Kikaha, David Hawthorne, Stephone Anthony/ Keenan Lewis, Brandon Browner, Rafael Bush, Kenny Vaccaro
Second-team defense: Lawrence Virgil, Bobby Richardson, Tyeler Davison, Parys Haralson/ Anthony Spencer, Ramon Humber, Jerry Franklin/Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Delvin Breaux, Kenny Phillips, Vinnie Sunseri.
*Keep in mind that the Saints are still working out of base on both sides of the ball. Things will change when nickel packages start being used.
Drew Brees passing
1. Complete to Khiry Robinson
2. Broken up by Keenan Lewis (Nick Toon)
3. Complete to Brandin Cooks
4. Sacked by Hicks/Incomplete to Joe Morgan
5. Complete to Ben Watson
6. Complete to Brandon Coleman
7. Incomplete to Ingram (Ingram slipped)
8. Complete to Joe Morgan
9. Complete to Watson
10. Complete to Watson
11. Incomplete (batted ball)
12. Complete to Toon
Ryan Griffin passing
1. Complete to C.J. Spiller
2. Complete to Jalen Saunders
3. Complete to Erik Lorig
4. Complete to Brandon Coleman (tight coverage by Stanley Jean-Baptiste)
5. Complete to Coleman
6. Incomplete to Toon (PBU by Stanley Jean-Baptiste)
7. Complete to Robinson
8. Complete to Toon
Luke McCown passing
1. Broken up by P.J. Williams
2. Complete to Jack Tabb
3. Complete to Lance Lewis
4. Complete to Orson Charles
5. Complete to Kevin Brock
6. Complete to Orson Charles
Garrett Grayson passing
1. Complete to Lewis
2. Batted down