Notes and observations from Tuesday's minicamp practice.
Absent from practice: DE Trey Hendrickson, DE Cam Jordan (birth of child) and WR Michael Thomas were not spotted.
Recovery crew: OL Andrus Peat, DE Alex Okafor, WR Tre’Quan Smith and WR Cam Meredith and tight end Deon Yelder were all present but limited in some form or fashion. Meredith and Okafor both took part in the walkthrough.
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One-on-one highlights: We finally got to watch some one-on-ones between the wide receivers and cornerbacks. It didn’t disappoint. Here are some highlights:
--Tommylee Lewis continues to be a standout performer in these drills, which isn’t new to this season. He had a couple of decisive wins, beating Ken Crawley on a curl and then on an in-breaking route. He later won on a crossing route against P.J. Williams.
“One-on-ones, it’s an offensive game,” Crawley said. “It works on your technique, too.”
-- Williams had a few nice wins in coverage. He beat Travin Dural on a corner route and then again by batting down a back-shoulder throw.
--Wide receivers Eldridge Massington (go route) and Paul Turner (stop and go) both had wins that were met with bad passes. Turner won another route but dropped a back-shoulder throw.
--Wide receiver Kevin Snead, who was trying out, had a nice win on a curl route.
--Devante Harris put a mean jam on Massington to win a rep.
“I had to do it,” Harris said. “He got away from me on the first one.”
Hightower highlights: It will be interesting to see how the Saints move forward at running back. The team had Tim Hightower in for a workout, and he had some nice carries, including one he took for about a 10-yard gain. The veteran running back looked spry and quick. He’s clearly looking to make a good impression this week and took a step toward doing so on Tuesday.
As for the other running backs, Boston Scott had some nice reps. He has the speed to get to the edge but isn’t afraid to take it up the middle. This is going to be one of the battles of the summer, determining who will help fill in for Mark Ingram the first four games of the season, but it’s too soon to start handicapping the race that will also include Trey Edmunds and Jonathan Williams.
Plays of the day: On offense, give it to Alvin Kamara. He had a great catch when he went up the sideline and high-pointed a pass over linebacker Demario Davis, who was providing strong coverage. Kamara looks a little bit stronger this summer.
A second contender: Drew Brees got Massington wide open by staring down the sideline before hitting the receiver in the middle of the field on a curl. We all know how good Brees is, but it will never get boring watching someone who is a master of his craft.
Defensively, cornerback Arthur Maulet broke up a would-be touchdown pass to Lewis in the end zone during a team portion of practice.
Valley: It’s going to be a summer of ups and downs for young players as they settle in, get comfortable with the offense and build chemistry and timing with one another. So, since we’ve given him some hype this summer, it’s only fair to point out the bad moments. And Taysom Hill had a rough series. He threw four passes during one session and missed Snead on two passes, and then skied another to tight end Jack Tabb, who was trying out. But the one pass he completed was an absolute gem he dropped on the back shoulder of wide receiver Keith Kirkwood with Williams in coverage.
Other notes: Josh LeRibeus received some reps at left guard. … Dan Arnold is continuing his transition to tight end. … Crawley had a nice interception when he ripped the ball out of the arms of Ted Ginn. … Max Unger laid a good block on a screen pass to Kamara that allowed him to cut back and take it for a big gain. … Marcus Davenport had a sack on Brees. … Chris Banjo nearly intercepted a screen pass. … Mitchell Lowen had a few tackles for a loss. It’s going to be hard to keep him off the team if he performs like he did last summer. ... Manti Te’o played middle linebacker and was flanked by A.J. Klein and Davis when the team was in its base package.