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July 31 Practice Notes

    <span style="">                 <span style="">Practice Notes</span>: The Saints participated in arguably their most physical practice of training camp this afternoon on the upper athletic fields at Millsaps College. Hitting began early and lasted often over the course of the two hour and 15 minute session and at least three sessions in particular witnessed the pace at game speed with live tackling throughout the periods.  

In a drill rarely seen, receivers lined up in a three point stances with a defensive back squarely across the line from them in a live blocking drill and with a running back behind them. The highlight of the session occurred when S Kevin Kaesviharn knocked WR Skyler Green back a yard and then dropped RB Lynell Hamilton for no gain at the line of scrimmage.

Meanwhile on the opposite end of the field the linebackers and defensive linemen took on the offensive linemen and tight ends in one-on-one drills. The hitting was accentuated as seemingly the entire team and coaching staff surrounded the drill and yelled encouragement to their counterparts, with the highlight plays occurring when LB Scott Fujita beat his blocker and stoned Hamilton for a big hit that dropped the rookie runner from San Diego State. On the next play, LT Jammal Brown stymied DE Charles Grant and running back Reggie Bush darted off of Brown's block.

In team drills, many big plays were turned in throughout the spirited session, including:

*DE Will Smith tackling Reggie Bush at the line of scrimmage.

*RB Aaron Stecker squeezing through a hole up the middle for a gain good enough to pick up a first down in the short yardage drill.

*WLB Scott Shanle making a sensational play to knock the ball out of TE Billy Miller's hands along the sideline in a live blitz period. Shanle and Miller both leaped for the football and Miller appeared to have it, but Shanle chopped the ball out of his hands as they both tumbled to the ground.

*RB Reggie Bush bolted up the middle for five yards before being met by LB Mark Simoneau and S Roman Harper.

*RB Pierre Thomas, working with the second team offensive line, made a quick cutback move over RG Tim Duckworth for a gain of eight yards.

*DT Sedrick Ellis beating a double-team block and stopping Thomas at the line of scrimmage for no gain.

*FB Kevin Dudley making a reception along the sideline and then absorbing a big hit from rookie LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar that sent the fullback stumbling out of bounds.

*RB Lynell Hamilton pounding his way through the line and picking up six yards against the third string defense.

*S David Roach met Hamilton on sweep two plays later but was unable to contain the powerful runner and CB Greg Fassitt cleaned the play up with a tackle.

*In special teams drills, RB Reggie Bush cleanly caught nearly a dozen punts with live covermen converging on him. WR Lance Moore, also seeing plenty of reps, also cleanly fielded the punts despite some gusty winds.

In other live team drills:

*S Josh Bullocks forced an incompletion as he honed in at full speed on WR Marques Colston before the big receiver could get turned around.

*TE Billy Miller made a nice reception on a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage.

*RB Reggie Bush picked up four hard yards with a tenacious inside run before being stopped by LB Mark Simoneau.

*RB Deuce McAllister followed his lead blockers and then made a cut-back move after intitial contact and picked up an additional five yards.

*FB Mike Karney caught an outlet pass from QB Drew Brees and was met along the sidelines by S Kevin Kaesviharn, who quickly pushed Karney out of bounds after a six-yard gain.

*RB Aaron Stecker showing exceptional speed and quickness getting to the sideline after picking up a key seal block on the corner from TE Ronnie Ghent.

*QB Mark Brunell fired a pass into tight coverage but the pass skipped off the out-stretched hands of rookie WR Adrian Arrington and bounded over the heads of two defenders before falling incomplete.

*RB Pierre Thomas followed a big block from T Zach Strief over the right side of the line for a nice gain.

*WR Skyler Green caught a short pass over the middle from QB Tyler Palko and then was met quickly with a big hit from first-year LB William Kershaw.

*WR Marques Colston made a spinnng and leaping reception from Brees as the quarterback hung tough in the face of a weak-side blitz that was picked up by FB Mike Karney.

*RB Deuce McAllister displaying impressive speed on an off-tackle sweep and getting into the secondary.

*S Kevin Kaesviharn came up quickly to stop TE Buck Ortega on a quick pass and wrapped up the tight end before he could turn upfield.

*DE Bobby McCray swatted a pass down at the line of scrimmage that was nearly intercepted by a diving Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

*TE Mark Campbell making a tough reception in front of LB Troy Evans in the flat.

*DT Kendrick Clancy wiped out RB Lynell Hamilton on a sweep, sending the runner tumbling to the ground along the sideline.

*Perhaps second-year WR Robert Meachem turned in the play of the day in a two-minute drill. Meachem caught a short pass after CB Aaron Glenn nearly intercepted the football, and Meachem quickly turned up field and sprinted down the field untouched for 50-yards before being shoved out of bounds inside the five yard-line by a safety that had an angle on him that prevented him from scoring.

Note: NFL officials participated in both this morning's practice and this afternoon's practice and joining the officials was a collegiate official from Conference USA. The official was Sarah Thomas, a line judge, who actively participated with the officiating crew.

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