Dress code: Shorts and shells
Attendance: CB P.J. Williams (ribs) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui were not spotted.
Returned: WR Cam Meredith participated in practice. DE Marcus Davenport (groin) was present but did not appear to participate in drills.
Injury: DE Alex Okafor walked off the field after suffering an injury.
Overview: Practice moved into the indoor practice facility. Conducted in shorts and shells, it was basically like an organized team activity. Many periods were focused on special teams before the team practiced late-game situations with 1:01 on the clock. New Orleans will conduct a walkthrough on Thursday ahead of Friday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Special teams notes: TE Dan Arnold and DL Mitchell Loewen both had good reps during a punt-block drill by breaking into the backfield and getting close to the play. Also of note is that RB Jonathan Williams and TE Garrett Griffin served as the upbacks on kick return. Added value on special teams could give someone the edge at tight end if things remain close.
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Highs, lows and everything between: Rookie WR Tre’Quan Smith had an array of moments during Wednesday’s practice. The good came when he made a contested catch near the sideline with Ken Crawley in coverage. The in-between moment came when Smith made a top-tapping catch on the sideline but only got one foot down. One has to wonder if he could have gotten both down if he had been in full pads and been willing to fall forward to make the play, but there is no need to do that in practice while wearing shells. The bad came when he dropped a pass over the middle. The rookie has had a solid camp. Was just interesting to see him touch all the bases in one practice.
Situational plays: It felt like Michael Thomas was given too much of a free pass on a crossing route he caught with 12 seconds remaining during the hurry-up portion of practice. He ran right across the coverage, caught the ball and was allowed to get out of bounds. It looked like New Orleans was in zone coverage. It can’t be that easy for the offense to set up a winning score. Those details need to be cleaned up.
Taysom time: Mentioned it earlier this week, but Taysom Hill has seemed more comfortable since the preseason opener. He had another good period during 7-on-7 drills and then carried it over into the hurry-up period. He had two incompletions during the hurry-up session, but Smith should have caught both passes. Hill just needs to remain patient and settle in further. It looks like things are starting to click for him, though.
First-round pick Marcus Davenport has been out of action for most of training camp after suffering a pulled groin.
Notes: Cam Meredith nearly made a catch on the sidelines during a team portion of practice. Having him back in action is a good development. Now he needs to stay healthy and continue to progress. … DE Trey Hendrickson had another sack. He continues to play well. … Mentioned it yesterday, but TE Ben Watson has settled back in quickly after missing some time with an undisclosed injury. He has quickly reasserted himself as the best tight end in camp. … S Kurt Coleman had an impressive pass breakup on a ball to Watson. … S Marcus Williams broke up two passes on Wednesday. …. WR Keith Kirkwood made a good catch down the sideline with CB Patrick Robinson in coverage.