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Key observations from New Orleans Saints Training Camp: Day 8

Cam Jordan signs contract extension, Trevor Penning rounds into form

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was joined by his family at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center as he signed a two-year contract extension on Friday, August 4, 2023.

1. Saint for Life: On Friday morning, the New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis announced that defensive end Cameron Jordan had signed a two-year contract extension, good through the 2025 season. This is tremendous news to anyone who is a fan of the Black and Gold. Jordan has been the model of consistency and production since his entrance to the NFL and the Saints in 2011. Last year, Jordan became the team's all-time sack leader with 115.5 and first in the time frame in the league since 2012 with 114.4. Even more impressive has been his availability. In 12 season, he's missed just one game due to Covid-19 protocols in and one in 2022 due to injury. A stalwart member of the community as well, who has remained very active since coming to the team, Jordan was selected the Saints Man of the Year in 2017 and 2022. The superlatives keep coming and after Friday's practice Coach Dennis Allen was obviously pleased that Jordan would in essence be ending his almost certain Hall Of Fame career as a Saint, but also joked that he gets to celebrate a contract extension and he gets a day off too. To celebrate the contract extension, Jordan received an extremely rare "vet day" for him and did not practice with the team. Rest assured, however, on Saturday when the Saints return to the Ochsner Sports Performance Center for practice No. 9, Jordan will be where he is most comfortable, on the field with his teammates.

2. Penning Ramps Up: Second-year left tackle Trevor Penning had what you could call a forgettable rookie season. The former Saints first round pick at No. 19 in 2022, Penning injured his left big toe in the final preseason game last year and would miss most of the season. He returned with six games remaining before suffering a Lisfranc injury on his right foot in the final game of the season against Carolina. Due to that injury, Penning was not able to participate in any offseason activities. He has been on the field since the beginning of training camp and slowly but steadily has been rounding into form. It's pretty evident now eight practices in the Saints coaches have Penning penciled in a the starting left tackle. Interesting though in Friday's practice. Penning would not only work with the first team, but also took additional reps with the second team. Penning mentioned after Friday's practice he feels much more comfortable this camp than last year when he was a wide-eyed rookie. But the real good news is that he has had no additional soreness from the Lisfranc injury and everything has checked out thus far with the trainers. During 11-on-11 drills Friday when the team was outside, Penning would have a tremendous kickout block (on which he actually fell down) pan-caking defensive end Isaiah Foskey and springing running back Kendre Miller for a huge gain on the left side. Penning would also prevent a sack from defensive end Carl Granderson on Derek Carr by forcing Granderson to the outside allowing Carr to step up in the pocket and unload a deep ball to wide receiver Chris Olave, which unfortunately was a bit overthrown and incomplete.

3. Plays of the Day: One was just mentioned above, the Miller touchdown run that was sprung by Penning. The other occurred on the first play of 7-on-7 drills. After a difficult day offensively Thursday, the offense looked to make a bit of a statement early during the indoor portion of practice. It didn't take long. On the very first play with Carr at quarterback, he would drop back and scan the entire field. Waiting another couple of seconds, he would uncork one deep to the left side, where wide receiver Rashid Shaheed was sprinting from the right side of the field. Shaheed had gotten past safety Tyrann Mathieu and the pass from Carr hit Shaheed in stride and the second-year player coasted in for the touchdown. The real interesting part was after Shaheed caught the ball the members of the offense on the sideline erupted in loud cheers like they witnessed a play in the regular season. It was pretty evident that the Thursday showing, or lack thereof, they were intent on making plays. It turned out to be a very productive period as there was only one incompletion during 7-on-7 drills and that was a drop by Olave on a perfect ball from Carr. Olave was so frustrated he took a swipe at the ball with his foot while the ball was on the ground.

The New Orleans Saints took the field for workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Friday, August 4.

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