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New Orleans Saints seeing progress from rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo

'I think every I'm getting more and more comfortable as I'm learning the defense'

The New Orleans Saints take the field for Day 3 of Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

It wasn't just the fact that New Orleans Saints rookie cornerback Paulson Adebo came up with an interception in a one-on-one drill, one of the most difficult drills for defensive backs because the odds are tilted against them (receiver can use the whole field, there's no pass rush).

It's that Adebo, the team's third-round pick this year, in the last three or so training camp practices has been stuck to receivers, forcing incompletions and making life difficult for receivers even when they're able to come up with catches.

The issue the first few days of cam was that Adebo was in position, but not making plays on the ball. The jump lately is that he totally has reversed that trend.

"I think every day I'm getting more and more comfortable as I'm learning the defense, and getting more comfortable with that, plays will kind of start happening quickly," Adebo said Thursday, Aug. 5

"Just trying to trust my technique, whatever route I'm getting, trying to make sure I play it to the best of my ability."

Admittedly, Adebo needed to shake off some rust. Opting out of last season at Stanford due to Covid-19 concerns means he hasn't played since 2019. But the acclimation process, athletically, didn't take long.

"The first day, maybe," Adebo said. "But now I'm back to it, feel good."

It's showing on the field, as the 6-foot-1, 192-pounder not only is showing well at cornerback, but also on special teams as a gunner. The Saints have All-Pro J.T. Gray at one gunner position, but lost free agent Justin Hardee at the other; the two formed a formidable pairing.

"I have seen some really good special teams snaps," Coach Sean Payton said of Adebo. "I thought he had a better practice (Tuesday) afternoon. I think he is smart. I know he is. He picks things up very quickly. I know he has good ball skills.

"It's about putting practices together. He's someone who has good hips, he's sudden. You see his athleticism. I thought (Tuesday) was one of his better practices."

"In college I didn't play gunner, I didn't do too much on special teams, slot corner," Adebo said. "But coming in, just trying to be on the field as much as possible."

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