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New Orleans Saints quarterback evaluation process begins

'We're evaluating everything we are seeing'


First off, nothing definitive was established at quarterback at the first training camp practice for the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, July 29.

In the first camp practice without Drew Brees as the starter, Taysom Hill took snaps with the first group and Jameis Winston took snaps with the second unit. Beyond that, no conclusions should be drawn; Coach Sean Payton said the evaluation process will proceed and that the respective quarterbacks will work with different groups during training camp.

"It's all of it," Payton said of the process. "We're evaluating everything we are seeing. We chart throws, we obviously understand what group they're with and all those other things. We evaluate all of it."

Also, cornerback Patrick Robinson lined up with the starters on defense, as did linebackers Zack Baun and Kaden Elliss alongside Demario Davis in the base defense. Shy Tuttle was at defensive tackle beside David Onyemata.

HYPE MAN: Speaking of Davis, the veteran linebacker was coy when asked if he'll singularly take over duties as the pregame huddle point man. Davis assumed the mantle in 2019 when quarterback Drew Brees missed five games with a thumb injury, shared the duties with Brees when the quarterback returned that season, then in 2020 shared with Brees and handled it solo again when Brees was sidelined four games.

Davis appears to be a natural for the duty, but he wasn't giving any indicators yet.

"I say to be determined," he said, smiling. "Let's keep the anticipation."

THE INTERNSHIP: A couple of familiar faces are among the Saints' coaches this training camp. Former Saints Jermon Bushrod (offensive tackle, 2007-12 and 2018) and cornerback Sterling Moore (2016-17) are coaching interns this summer, Bushrod with the offensive linemen and Moore with the secondary. Bushrod was a member of the 2009 Super Bowl-winning team.

PRESSURE COOKER: You won't find a more candid interviewee than running back Alvin Kamara, and Thursday was no exception. While commenting on his willingness to assist quarterbacks Hill and Winston in any way possible, Kamara said he could think of two positions that were much more difficult to play than his. "I feel like quarterback is probably the hardest position on the field," he said. "Other than, maybe, like, (kicker) Wil (Lutz), kicking field goals. I wouldn't want to kick field goals."

ABSENT: Lutz, offensive lineman Derrick Kelly II and cornerbacks P.J. Williams and Grant Haley didn't practice. Haley was absent for personal reasons; his father, Dr. Leon L. Haley, died last Saturday in an accident involving a personal watercraft vehicle. Dr. Haley, 56, was CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and had been lauded for his efforts in response to Covid-19.

The New Orleans Saints take the field for Day 1 of Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

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