Observations from New Orleans Saints training camp practice on Thursday, Aug. 27, from the indoor practice facility at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center:
- UNIFORMITY: Every Saints player had the name "Jacob Blake" on the front his helmet, where his last name usually would be, to continue spotlighting Blake, who was shot in the back seven times by police on Tuesday in Kenosha, Wis. Players and Coach Sean Payton collectively came up with the idea Wednesday night and said while there was no discussion of canceling practice, there is ongoing discussion as to what players – individually or collectively – will do to continue shedding light on systemic racism, police brutality, social justice and several other initiatives that are areas of heightened concern.
- MOVE ALONG, NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Probably, the next time we mention rookie offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, it'll be on the day he doesn't play center. Thursday, for the fourth consecutive practice, he was the center with the starters and Erik McCoy was at right guard. The guess is that the coaching staff likes what it's seeing from the combo at those positions.
- NO THOMAS: Any time receiver Michael Thomasisn't in practice, it's noticeable. So when Thomas sat out Thursday's session, it was noticeable. Select veterans receive scheduled days off during training camp, and there's plenty of work to go around for young receivers hoping to make an impact.
- GRAND SLAMS: Second-year defensive end Carl Granderson continues to impress. Yep, it's training camp and, double yep, there hasn't yet been any tackling. But he said he feels like a different player from a year ago, and he looks that way.