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Key observations from New Orleans Saints Training Camp 2023: Day 4

Alvin Kamara took part in wide receiver drills

Full coverage of the New Orleans Saints workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Saturday, July 29.

1. Kamara at WR: Training camp practices are fairly predictable, especially at the beginning of them. The team always begins with walk-throughs and stretching (the last two days those have been held indoors at the Oschner Sports Performance Center), before splitting up in to individual position groups as the position assistant coaches put their players through their paces and drills. What was NOT predictable Saturday, however was watching running back Alvin Kamara not go through the drills with the running backs, but instead he worked with the wide receiver group. Wide receivers coach Kodi Burns went through separate drills for the receivers, fighting through jam-ups, working around defenders and making tough catches amidst contact. Kamara went through all these drills, then ran all the routes the wide receivers do on a daily basis. Kamara showed soft and steady hands and caught every ball thrown his way. The period ended with Kamara and receiver Rashid Shaheed taking a jet sweep handoff from left to right from quarterback Derek Carr. The fact that Kamara participated in these receiver drills lends to the belief that he will be featured more as possibly lining up as a receiver as the season progresses and an opportunity for the offensive coaches to keep him on the field as much as possible as an explosive play-maker.

2. Competition at Kicker: In the first four days of Saints training camp, Coach Dennis Allen has used the words "competition" and "compete" extensively. It has definitely been a theme early on in this taring camp, as the coaches are stressing that competition amongst position groups makes the team better as a whole. One such battle early on has been the place kicking position with the incumbent Wil Lutz and undrafted rookie from Notre Dame Blake Grupe. In the first four practices each kicker has alternated days (Lutz on Wednesday and Friday, Grupe on Thursday and Saturday) with each one attempting 12 kicks with six on each day. To this point here are the totals. Lutz 12 for 13. Successful attempts (Wedensday), extra point (32 yards), 36 yards right hash, 39 yards right hash, 35 yards left hash, 41 yards right hash, 41 yards left hash. Successful attempts (Friday), extra point, 40 yards right hash, 43 yards left hash. extra point, 44 yards right hash, 49 yards left hash. Unsuccessful attempt…47 yards left hash, wide right (which he attempted after the miss, thus the extra kick). For Blake Grupe,12 for 12. Successful attempts (Thursday), extra point, 38 yards right hash, 41 yards left hash, extra point, 40 yards left hash, 44 yards right hash. Successful attempts (Saturday), extra point, 39 yards right hash, 41 yards left hash, 34 yards left hash, 42 yards right hash, 44 yards left hash. Stay tuned to this throughout camp and the preseason games. Lutz obviously has made some big kicks in his tenure but Grupe at least early on has shown he has the leg and accuracy to compete for the job.

3. Play(s) Of The Day: To this one man's opinion it seems the quarterbacks have attempted more deep passes than we have seen in recent training camps. Depending on what side you're on, good or bad news that not one has been competed though there have been opportunities for the receivers to make a play, but none have been able to. Credit though to the defensive backs in coverage who haven't allowed the catches to be competed. Another such play happened again today during 7-on-7 drills with Carr at QB. Moving right to left on the field closest to Airline Drive, Carr dropped back and aired one out deep down the left sideline and the east end zone. Sprinting underneath was Shaheed who appeared to come down with the catch at the goal line. However sixth-year cornerback Isaac Yiadom was able to separate the ball from Shaheed's grasp at the very last second denying the would be touchdown. A frustrated Shaheed lay face down on the Bermuda grass for a few seconds as Yiadom celebrated the pass break up (PBU) with his defensive teammates. Later in the final set of 11-on-11 drills moving the same left to right direction, Carr found receiver Chris Olave, all alone 25 yards up the field as he ran across from left to right. Olave had gotten behind cornerback Bradley Roby, caught the ball all alone, then turned up the right sideline and sprinted for a 74 yard touchdown. As the practices continue, Dennis Allen has mentioned the speed this team possesses on the offensive side of the ball, and it's been fun to watch that speed attempted to be utilized in the first four practices of saints training camp. Enjoy the off day Sunday, and we'll see you on Monday!

New Orleans Saints fans check out practice at 2023 Saints Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Saturday, July 29 at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center during the NFL's Back Together Weekend.

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