The Saints held their second day of minicamp on Wednesday in Metairie.
Here are a few observations from minicamp, which concludes on Thursday.
The return of No. 9
Drew Brees returned after missing Tuesday and also missing the final days of OTAs last week. Brees was in San Diego attending to a legal matter pertaining to a lawsuit filed against a jeweler.
Brees wasn't available to the media after Tuesday's practice, but will talk on Thursday when minicamp finishes.
“He had a good practice," Sean Payton said. "He’s someone who obviously is going to work extremely hard on what we’re doing. It was good to have him back there today.”
After underthrowing a sideline route badly and being baited into an interception by cornerback Marshon Lattimore early in practice, Brees led a 69-yard touchdown drive in 46 seconds during a hurry-up drill to end his day.
Brees went 4-for-5 on the possession, with the one incomplete pass a spike to stop the clock with nine seconds left. On the next play, Ted Ginn Jr. ran past cornerback Eli Apple for a 31-yard touchdown catch.
Teddy Bridgewater, who worked with the first-team offense in Brees’ absence Tuesday, was much less successful in his hurry-up possession. He turned the ball over on downs with a desperation heave under pressure from near midfield after the clock ticked down to six seconds before the snap.
Other than Brees' return, Wednesday's absent players were pretty much the same as the day before. Keith Kirkwood, Chris Banjo, Larry Warford, Cameron Meredith, and Sheldon Rankins didn't participate in drills. Receiver/returner Deonte Harris was the only other player missing who was in attendance on Tuesday.
No, Terron Armstead hasn't lost his starting spot at left tackle.
But for the second day of minicamp, the Saints have worked Marshall Newhouse at left tackle with the first team offense.
Newhouse was joined up front by left guard Andrus Peat, center Erik McCoy, right guard Nick Easton and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk.
"We really want to see what he can do, especially in the 2-minute situation," said Saints offensive line coach Dan Roushar. "We want him to find out what these pass rushes are like, look at his set angles and see if we can improve him fundamentally. He's a smart player. He's a veteran player and he's played some football at a pretty high level so we're anxious to see him continue to develop. So far he's had a pretty good OTA and minicamp."
Newhouse, who has been in the NFL since 2010, is now with his seventh team. His career began with the Green Bay Packers and has since included stops with the Bengals, Giants, Raiders, Bills and Panthers. Newhouse said the transition to playing with a new offensive line has been a smooth one.
"Everything feels like normal and luckily I'm familiar with this kind of offense," Newhouse said. "I'm familiar with having a veteran QB like Drew Brees and that helps. Then having a guy like Peat next to you, you just go in and do your job and things work out."
Newhouse is just as pleased with the rest of the team that reached the NFC championship game last season.
"The team is loaded," he said. "Not just loaded with talent, but loaded with leadership. We have the right kind of guys you want in the locker room at every position group. A good mix of older vets and younger guys. There is energy all the time and a lot of excitement around here. I'm glad to be here."
Patrick Robinson’s 2018 ended when he was carted off the field with a broken left ankle against the Atlanta Falcons three games into the season.
Healthy again, he made his presence felt at the nickel position early in Wednesday’s workout, leaping to intercept a pass from Bridgewater in the middle of the field.
“He’s someone that is smart,” Payton said. “He’s played really well in the slot, so yes, it’s (like) another addition to our roster based on the (early-season) injury.”
Robinson is competing with P.J. Williams, who replaced him after he got hurt last year, for a starting role in the slot. Rookie fourth-round pick Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is getting reps there, too.
Marshon Lattimore also had an interception, picking off a Brees' pass.
Tight end Josh Hill turned in the play of the day in 11-on-11 work. With linebacker Demario Davis matching him stride for stride, he high pointed a ball, brought it down and kept running for a big gain in the middle of the field. … Free agent running back pickup Latavius Murray dropped a short pass, then atoned for it with an explosive run on the next snap. … Rookie Erik McCoy and Brees botched the exchange twice in three plays at one point as the Saints look for a replacement for retired center Max Unger. Said Payton: “We’ll get that squared away. Both of those two, we’ll figure it out.”