Dress code: Pads
Attendance: DE Marcus Davenport (pulled muscle), WR Cameron Meredith, WR Tommylee Lewis, CB P.J. Williams (bruised rib), DL Mitchell Loween and TE Michael Hoomanawanui did not practice.
Returned: TE Ben Watson, WR Austin Carr, OL Josh LeRibeus, LB Manti Te’o, S Kamrin Moore
Overview: The Saints focused on some red-zone and late-game situations during Saturday’s practice. The red-zone period was conducted behind a wall of players, making it difficult to see. The defense won the late-game situation period by running the offense out of downs before it was able to score any points.
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Taysom time: Taysom Hill seems to have gained some confidence after a solid performance during Thursday’s game against Jacksonville. The quarterback had what might have been his best period in practice by connecting with Brandon Tate on a back-shoulder throw, Shane Vereen on an option route and then Garrett Griffin up the seam on an impressive throw. Hill has work to do if he wants to win the backup quarterback job, but he is taking steps in the right direction.
Taysom Hill is a singularity in the Saints quarterback room.
Speaking of Griffin: The tight end had one of the better moments of the day during a red-zone drill when he caught a fade in the left side of the end zone with safety Kurt Coleman providing tight coverage. Griffin hasn’t gotten much attention in the tight-end battle, but he is competing alongside all the other guys. Earlier in practice, many of the tight ends struggled in a blocking drill. Dan Arnold and Deon Yelder looked like they lost more than they won.
Williams on the move: It seems like the Saints were encouraged with Jonathan Williams’ performance against the Jaguars. It looked like he was getting snaps a little higher in the rotation during Saturday’s practice. He took advantage of the opportunity by ripping off a few good runs. It will be interesting to see if Williams plays a little bit earlier in this week’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. He didn’t get on the field until late in the second half against Jacksonville. The Saints need to find out if he can perform against better competition as they search for someone to fill in for Mark Ingram.
Veteran receiver Michael Floyd still has a lot to prove with the Saints.
Corner shake: Natrell Jamerson worked with the second team with P.J. Williams sidelined due to a bruised rib. The rookie had a solid performance against Jacksonville. It might not mean anything, but that could indicate is right on the fringe of the roster if he ranks as the fifth or sixth cornerback. As for stellar performances, Arthur Maulet had another highlight when he fell backwards through the air to break up a pass for Brandon Tate in the end zone.
Busted coverages: The defense had some during Saturday’s practice. Michael Thomas ran free for an easy reception during 7-on-7s and Deon Yelder wasn’t covered during a red-zone drill. Neither of these things are a huge deal on its own, and the team will figure it out, but those are the details that need to be addressed before the start of the season. There were a couple busted coverages against Jacksonville, too.
Notes: Another practice, another highlight by Demario Davis. The linebacker has shown a penchant for making plays in coverage, and showed up with a good one by breaking up a pass intended for Ben Watson. … DT Taylor Stallworth is starting to piece together a decent summer. After making some plays against the Jaguars, he tipped a Tom Savage pass that was intercepted by Trey Hendrickson, who also played well in Jacksonville. … WR Austin Carr served as the slot receiver during the first-team offense during a late-game situation period. … Alvin Kamara fumbled after catching a pass from Brees. … The second-team defense covered so well on one snap during 7-on-7s that Hill was unable to throw the ball.
Rickey Jefferson never stopped working.