Full coverage of the New Orleans Saints workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Wednesday, July 26.
1. Perfect Attendance: The buzzword around this New Orleans Saints team the last few seasons has been the word "health." Unfortunately, injuries have riddled the team on both sides of the ball to key contributors which has been reflected in the win/loss record the last couple of seasons. Even though it's a part of the NFL, it seems at some point luck will go in the Saints favor and the injury issue will be at a bare minimum. Well, even though it was just the first practice of a long and grueling training camp, there was some good news. Every person on the Saints' 90 man-roster was present and in uniform. Better yet, all participated in some form or fashion except for defensive back Anthony Johnson who ran sprints on the side while practice was going on. As camp continues and attrition starts to hit, as it always does, building depth is going to be a key component like it is every year.
2. First Day First Team: Again, I know it was just the first practice, but that can also be a look into the future when you consider these are the players that the coaches think puts the team in the best position to win games. Football is won in the trenches and I thought it would be important to see who lined up at first team on the offensive and defensive lines. These are definitely subject to change but this is what we all saw Wednesday. On the offensive line, from left to right, left tackle Trevor Penning, who has returned from a Lisfranc injury in his right foot suffered in the last game of the regular season; left guard James Hurst, who worked 15 games at tackle last year and one at guard; center Erik McCoy, right guard Cesar Ruiz, also recovered from a Lisfranc injury suffered in the regular season; and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who did not participate in OTAs or mandatory minicamp. On the defensive side, the four-man front consisted of defensive end Cam Jordan, now starting his 13th training camp in New Orleans; the tackles were fourth-year veteran Malcolm Roach and this year's first round draft pick, Bryan Bresee. At the other end was fifth-year vet Carl Granderson. The depth chart will continue to be fluid for a month as the coaches continue to mix and match to build depth, but that was our first look Wednesday.
3. Gassers Anyone? Training camp in the NFL is a necessary evil. Not only does it prepare you for the rigors of a 17-game schedule but it also builds camaraderie and bonds that can be intangibles for a team. It also gets you into much better condition, especially in the brutal south Louisiana heat. So it was interesting after the 90-minute workout the entire team lined up on the far sideline to run gassers. Definition - a gasser is run from one sideline to the other and then back in a certain amount of time. Made more difficult AFTER a practice and in the heat. What made this one so much fun to watch (and the team ran four of them) was Coach Dennis Allen being a part of the group that ran. Coach Allen said he was directly challenged by four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Allen accepted the challenge and finished all four (by my count) gassers. Another note, Allen ran right next to Lattimore during the drill, but thankfully, as DA mentioned, he did not beat Lattimore on any of the runs.
The New Orleans Saints took the field for workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Wednesday, July 26.