WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Tyeler Davison prepared for his rookie season by training with one of the best.
Davison spent six weeks in the pre-draft process training with Keith Millard, a former All-Pro who won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1989 with the Minnesota Vikings.
Millard had 18 sacks that season. By the time Davison was done training with the former star, the fifth-round pick from Fresno State had a whole new set of weapons in his arsenal.
“He gave us a lot of pointers on pass rush, different moves that he used to use, because he played a lot of 3-technique,” Davison said. “Not only that, but he gave us a lot of reads in the run game, coming out of your stance and reading real quick.”
His work in the offseason has been evident on the training camp field.
Davison has been consistent from the start of camp, flashing both speed and power as a pass rusher and using his quickness to make plays against the run.
“He is pretty active. I would say he has good instincts. He has good hands,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He is the one guy, if you watch pass rush, who it would be pretty common to get two or three rushes in the (one-on-one) drill, and it seems like he always has success on at least one. I think he is an active player that is going to have a chance to factor in sub-rush inside. He is real quick.”
The injury Ramon Humber suffered in the Saints’ preseason loss to Baltimore is not serious, a league source told The Advocate.
Humber is expected back quickly.
The veteran linebacker has missed two days of practices since the preseason opener, a game he left in the second half after suffering an injury in the pileup.
Humber made a team-leading nine tackles in the game and served as one of the team’s captains for the preseason game.
During Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, and not Payton, handled play-calling duties for the offense.
“He did last week,” Payton said. “We will keep looking at how we do that, but he called all of it last week. He did a good job.”
Carmichael called plays in some exhibition games last season, but Payton ultimately took over during the regular season. However, Carmichael has proven he has the ability to do the job.
He assumed play-calling duties after Payton suffered a broken leg on the sideline during a Week 6 loss at Tampa Bay in 2011. During the final 12 games of that season, including playoffs, the offense averaged 488.25 yards per game.
The next season, when Payton served a year-long suspension, the Saints finished second in yards in third points. New Orleans finished first in yards and ninth in points last season.
New Orleans added three new players in addition to former Louisiana-Lafayette linebacker Justin Anderson: tight end Michael Egnew, linebacker Chris Young and defensive tackle Austin Brown.
Egnew, a former third-round pick of the Miami Dolphins, made seven catches in two seasons, then was cut at the end of training camp a year ago. Egnew briefly caught on with Jacksonville, only to be cut off the practice squad less than a month later.
Both Young, an Arizona State product, and Brown, from Miami of Ohio, spent training camp with the Houston Texans last year and didn’t make the final cut.
Brown, in the meantime, played a full season with the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.
To make room for those moves, the Saints waived defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil with an injury designation and cut undrafted wide receiver Kyle Prater. Virgil, who had fallen to third-team nose tackle, was injured against Baltimore and seen in the locker room using crutches to support an injury to his lower left leg.
Prater, despite a big catch late against the Ravens, had fallen behind in a crowded receiver race.