Saints camp, Day 1 observations: Jameis Winston looks sharp with his new group of receivers | Saints

Saints camp, Day 1 observations: Jameis Winston looks sharp with his new group of receivers | Saints

The 2022 New Orleans Saints season is officially off and running, as the team held its first practice session of its summer training camp.

New head coach Dennis Allen led the team through a relatively short practice, covering roughly 90 minutes on the outdoor fields at the team’s Airline Drive practice facility.







New Orleans Saints Jameis Winston (2) throws the ball during training camp in Metairie on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Photo by Brett Duke, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)




Here were the highlights.

Attendance

The Saints had near 100 % attendance for the first day of training camp, with the only exceptions being defensive ends Marcus Davenport (Physically Unable to Perform list) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (illness), receiver Rashid Shaheed (non-football injury list), safety Tyrann Mathieu (excused absence) and linebacker Pete Werner.

Werner was present for practice, but was working off to the side with an undisclosed injury. Allen declined to offer any specifics on Werner’s injury after practice, but the coach did say he’s hopeful Werner would not miss much time with the injury.

Running back Devine Ozigbo briefly left practice after colliding with linebacker Andrew Dowell during team drills, but he returned to make a nice catch and run.

Several players who did not participate in the Saints’ organized team activities and minicamp this offseason were out on the practice field Wednesday, including Taysom Hill, Marcus Maye and Payton Turner.

Oh, and a guy named Michael Thomas was out there. The Saints star receiver did not participate in full team drills, but he otherwise went through the same practice as his teammates — a huge step in the right direction.

Michael Thomas took part in the first practice of New Orleans Saints training camp on Wednesday as he continues his return from an ankle injur…

Winston was sharp

Quarterback Jameis Winston looks ready to put any lingering questions about his health to bed.

Participating in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since he tore his ACL last October, Winston completed all but one of his pass attempts during the full team period, and his lone misfire was not his fault: Winston placed a perfect pass to receiver Kevin White on a comeback route, but White dropped it.

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Winston showed no signs of the limp that was apparent during minicamp. When asked if he would be on any sort of “pitch count” during practice — meaning, if he would sit out certain situations or periods to avoid putting undue stress on his knee — Winston merely laughed and shook his head.

Hello, Jarvis

Winston wasted little time connecting with one of his newest pass-catchers, finding Jarvis Landry for a huge gain with a bullet down the left seam.

The pair showed off some nice early chemistry on the play, with Winston unleashing his pass right as Landry was breaking off his route toward the middle of the field. Landry caught the pass in stride in front of rookie corner Alontae Taylor, and the veteran receiver took off upfield, running away from linebacker D’Marco Jackson.

Three stars

DE Payton Turner: Allen singled Turner out for having an impressive pass rush win, but it was unclear which snap he was referring to. Turner burned backup tackle Jerald Hawkins with a speed rush twice, once getting home for a “sack” and the other time forcing a rushed throw.

TE Adam Trautman: The third-year tight end made a pair of nice grabs during full team drills, including one that would’ve gone for about 20 yards down the seam. It’s a small sample size, but those sorts of explosive plays were noticeably absent from Trautman during camp last year.

QB Andy Dalton: Ask about anybody on the Saints and they’ll tell you how pleased they’ve been with Dalton as the No. 2 quarterback. He showed why with an impressive day during team drills, completing seven of his eight attempts (though his one misfire was a near interception he threw into coverage).

Lineup notes

Full disclaimer: This is simply how the Saints are lining up on the first day of training camp, and this will change throughout as the team readies itself for its Week 1 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Veteran offensive lineman James Hurst took the first team repetitions at left tackle while first-round rookie Trevor Penning slotted in behind him. That’s potentially setting up to be one of the more interesting position battles of this training camp, and Penning is going to have to show he has the chops to step in right away.

With Werner sitting practice out and the Saints operating out of their base defensive look, Demario Davis, Zack Baun and Kaden Elliss served as the starting linebacker group.

The first group of punt returners featured Deonte Harty, Easop Winston and rookie wideout Chris Olave.

Up next

The Saints return to practice fields with a closed session Thursday at 9 a.m.

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