<span> <span style="">Hot Brees:</span> Quarterback Drew Brees opened up the 11-on-11 period by connecting on his first three passes, spreading the ball around to three different receivers (Terrance Copper, Robert Meachem and David Patten). The pass to Meachem covered 40 yards with the second year receiver leaping to make the reception between a cornerback and a safety.
Brees' streak of three straight completions came to a halt when DT Kendrick Clancy fought through a block and pressured Brees into throwing the ball away.
QB Mark Brunell took the snaps with the second team, as usual, and the team had successive short runs, one by Aaron Stecker and the other by Pierre Thomas. DE Bobby McCray and DT Sedrick Ellis teamed to stop Thomas at the line of scrimmage. Brunell then connected with a line drive pass to WR Lance Moore for 16 yards. On the next play rookie WR Todd Blythe and CB Wally Dada continued their play after the whistle and briefly had a shoving match that last a few seconds. On the next play, however, Blythe made a catch on the opposite side of the field for 15 yards on a pass from Tyler Palko.
The team ran an extended special teams period in the middle of practice, focusing on punt returns and kickoff returns. The highlight of the drill was when RB Reggie Bush scooped up a short punt from rookie punter Waylon Prather on one bounce with two players converging on him and appeared to split the coverage with a deft move.
Throughout the specials teams periods, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron worked intensely on the side of the field with Sedrick Ellis and Antwan Lake covering technique and footwork drills.
The second 11-on-11 period once again started with Drew Brees coming out firing and connecting on his first three passes. The first was an eight-yard completion to WR David Patten, then a well-timed pass to WR Robert Meachem in the face of a heavy blitz and the third coming on a 33-yard pass to Meachem who once again was able to slide in between a safety and cornerback.
Brees' consecutive completion streak was snapped once again at three when DE Will Smith and DE Charles Grant turned up the heat on the quarterback and forced Brees to scramble back to the line of scrimmage as the referee's whistle blew.
Brees came right back and once again found Meachem for a 10-yard gain before he was shoved out of bounds.
Mark Brunell then hit rookie Adrian Arrington for eight yards, and connected with Lance Moore for a 16-yard gain. On the completion to Moore, Sedrick Ellis was pursuing Brunell quickly and nearly got to the signal-caller.
DE Bobby McCray then blew up the next play when he applied heavy pressure on Brunell and forced the veteran to throw the ball away. Two plays later Brunell found Moore again for a gain of 20 yards.
DE Marcus Pittman, a rookie from Troy, tracked down a scrambling Tyler Palko when the second-year man from Pitt scrambled out of the pocket. On the next play Sedrick Ellis bolted past an attempted block by a rookie guard with a hard inside move and caused an incompletion. On the next play, CB Wally Dada knocked away a Palko pass intended for rookie WR Curtis Hamilton.
The practice ended with a two-minute drill that was witness to impressive plays both offensively and defensively. The highlight of the first-team offenses drill was a sensational twisting reception Reggie Bush made on a pass from Drew Brees that resulted in a first down inside the red zone. Earlier in the drive LB Mark Simoneau forced an incompletion with a well-timed and physical blitz, and CB Usama Young knocked down a Brees pass intended for David Patten in the end zone. Brees concluded the drive by hitting Meachem for a touchdown pass from inside the five-yard line after Bush had set it up with his big reception.
The second string offense wasn't as fortunate in their drive, however, as Brunell marched the team the intitial 11-yards with three straight completions to Pierre Thomas, but tight coverage on WR Skyler Green by veteran CB Aaron Glenn forced an incompletion, then a pass defensed by CB Greg Fassitt on a pass intended for Adrian Arrington brought up a third down and Sedrick Ellis ended the practice by getting to Brunell in short order.
Saturday Scrimmage: The Saints will hold a scrimmage on Saturday at Jackson Memorial Stadium. The team will take to the field at 2:00 p.m. and after normal stretching and warm-up drills the offense and defense will scrimmage against each other in a controlled setting with special teams drills mixed into the actions. The scrimmage is free and open to the public. There will not be a morning practice on Saturday and the players will be given Sunday off and will resume practicing on Monday, August 4 with sessions at 8:50 am and 4:20 pm.