<span style="">Two days, three different practice locations. After working on the lower athletic field this morning, the Saints are practicing this afternoon in the Millsaps Stadium in the heart of the campus.
Due to a viable seating option and a proper desk to work on, NewOrleansSaints.com will report live today on the afternoon practice. The press box is located on the east side of the field and alongside of WWL's Deke Bellavia and the Cajun Cannon "Bobby Hebert", we will try to keep you up to speed on what is happening here.
The offense is decked out in their white jerseys and the defense in black, while the players are wearing shoulder pads and shorts. After a special teams period directed by special teams coordinator Greg McMahon, the team has broken into offensive and defensive groupings for a walk-though. Shockey, though, did participate in the walk-through portion of practice, which is an extension of the classroom work the team does. The plays are called and the team jogs through the plays in order for the coaches to make sure the players know the formations and plays.
TE Jeremy Shockey is not in pads, as Head Coach Sean Payton is being judicious in his return from his broken leg last year and practicing him once a day early in camp. Deuce McAllister appears on the same schedule, which Payton has said he'll do.
BREAKING NEWS ALERT*
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS SIGN SECOND-ROUND PICK CB TRACY PORTER TO FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT
The New Orleans Saints have signed second-round draft choice Tracy Porter to a four-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. The cornerback, selected 40th overall in the NFL Draft, was a four-year starter at Indiana and grew up in Port Allen, La.
Porter had 16 interceptions in his career – including six as a senior – and departed as the only player in school history to return a punt, interception and fumble for a touchdown. He set an Indiana all-time record with 413 yards in interception returns. In 2007 Porter was a first-team All-Big 10 selection. He opened 43 games with the Hoosiers: 29 at right cornerback, 13 on the left and one at strong safety.
In his career, Porter posted 212 tackles (175 solo), 24 pass defenses, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries for 147 yards in returns, including a 74-yard touchdown. He was also a top special teams performer, blocking a kick and returning 35 punts for 477 yards (13.6 avg.) with an 86-yard TD.
The Saints have also terminated the contract of veteran TE Eric Johnson, who joined the club in 2007. Johnson played in 14 games last season, catching 48 passes for 378 yards (7.9 avg.) and two touchdowns.
*Eric Johnson's release comes just two days after the acquisition of Shockey. It is always tough to see players released/waived, especially good guys like Johnson. We wish him the best as he moves on.
*Porter, sporting his #22, is on the field and going through the paces with the team. The rookie from Port Allen missed three practices, but it probably felt like three weeks to him.
*The strength and conditioning coaches are putting the players through their stretching drills and then the players will break into individual position groups for technique work.
The wide receivers are in front of us and working against the cornerbacks. The receivers are working on beating jams and the corners are jamming hard. I doubt corner relishes the opportunity to see Marques Colston across from him in this drill.
CB Usama Young and WR Robert Meachem both displayed good strength in battling each other. Meachem appeared to get the upper hand in a close duel.
*CB Aaron Glenn looks about the exact same now as he did as a rookie with the New York Jets in 1994. Glenn wears his jersey the exact same way as he did 14 years ago, sleeves rolled, socks down and a long-sleeved undershirt.
*The defensive line, under former Ole Miss Head Coach Ed Orgeron, is in constant motion. The tackles and the ends are usually broken up early in the period and then come together to work on stunts and gains. Every glance at the position shows a seemingly new drill for them.
*S Chris Reis is impressive. Last year he had a three interception game against the Miami Dolphins in a preseason game and stuck around on the roster and earned his way into games with his special teams ability. This morning Reis had an opportunity to light a receiver up across the middle of the field, but pulled up at the last second. It would have been a devastating hit.
*The team has moved to a team period and on the second play, LB Jonathan Vilma met RB Aaron Stecker at the and on the next play met RB Pierre Thomas after a spinning move by the running back.
*Reggie Bush ripped off a 7-yard run over the right side.
*Stecker catches a quick out pass and turned it into a 10-yard gain.
*Thomas darted off the left side for a 15-yard gain against the second team defense.
*QB Mark Brunell overthrew Robert Meachem down the middle. CB Jason Craft had tight coverage underneath and S Tuff Harris was over the top.
*Meachem picked up 15 yards on a trick play.
*Glenn met rookie RB Lynell Hamilton at the line of scrimmage to stop him for no gain.
*Lance Moore caught a quick out and picked up 8 yards before taking a shoulder from newcomer Wally Dada.
*Porter made his first play as a Saints when he pushed RB Chris Barclay five-yards downfield.
*On the final play of the first team session, S Chris Reis came up to meet Hamilton at the line of scrimmage for a short gain.
*After a five-minute water break, the team breaks up in kicking drills and left-footed rookie Taylor Mehlhaff boots a 35-yard field goal right down the middle. He moved back 5 yards and replicated the effort.
*Mehlhaff moves to the right hash marks and back 5 more yards. Same results.
*Rarely do defensive tackles participate in coverage drills during special teams, but Orien Harris seems to be the exception. For a big man, he runs well and can change direction. Harris was teammates with Shockey and Vilma while at Miami.
*The second portion of the team drills has begun and the defense comes out and throws two tight coverages on the offense. Brees checks down to a crossing Billy Miller.
*Miller then catches a pass from Brees across the middle and Vilma pulls up from taking a shot.
*David Patten catches a pass in double coverage.
*Randall Gay has tight coverage on Devery Henderson and causes an incompletion deep the middle of the field.
*Reggie Bush hauls in a pass in the flat and turns it up for 10-yards.
*Reis makes a spectacular diving interception of Brunell pass.
*On the next play, Brunell strikes back and finds Adrian Arrington on a post route behind Jason Craft for 50 yards.
*WR Skyler Green hauls in a short pass from QB Tyler Palko and turns it up field as LB Marvin Mitchell pursues.
*Miller catches a pass over the middle from Palko for 10 yards.
CB Aaron Glenn and S Tuff Harris bracket Lance Moore after a short completion.
*Palko scrambles out of the pocket for a long gain.
*The final period of the day begins with the starting offense against the defense. Reggie Bush begin with an inside handoff and bounces through traffic for a nice gain.
*Colston catches a 25-yard pass from Brees.
*TE Ronnie Ghent makes a nice reception down the middle on a perfectly thrown pass from Brees.
*LB Scott Shanle stops Bush for no gain on a short pass.
*Reis catches the offense off guard and blitzes Brunell, forcing an incompletion.
*Meachem hauls in a slant from Brunell.
*Usama Young breaks up a pass from Brunell intended for Arrington.
*Bush catches and picks up 10-yards.
*Porter breaks up a pass.
*Lynell Hamilton catches a pass in the flat.
*S Kevin Kaesviharn defends a deep pass intended for Skyler Green and causes an incompletion.
*Bush springs a nice pick up with an off tackle run.
*Lance Moore makes a deep catch down the middle of the field.
*TE Mark Campbell ends practice with a nice twisting reception down the middle of the field on a pass from Drew Brees.