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Observations from New Orleans Saints training camp | Thursday, Aug. 4

Payton Turner returns to practice

The New Orleans Saints took the field for practice during 2022 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Thursday, August 4.

1. Payton Turner returns:

After missing the last two days of work, second-year defensive end Payton Turner returned to the practice field in a big way. The 6-foot-6 270-pounder was active in one-on-one pass rush drills Thursday by my count going 3-0 in his individual battles against Sage Doxtater (twice) and Landon Young. Turner has proven even in his limited time in the NFL that he can be a big-time problem to block one-on-one because of his size and his quickness off the ball and Thursday proved no exception. Later toward the end of practice in team drill, Turner recorded a sack on quarterback Ian Book and a few plays later batted down a Book pass at the line of scrimmage with his right arm, despite his left arm being held down by tackle Landon Young. Health has always been the key for Payton Turner, and hopefully Thursday will be the first of many consecutive practices for him, as he still needs as many reps as he can get.

2. Pass rush drill:

For the second straight day, there were receiver vs defensive back one-on-one drills and the aforementioned pass rush drills. When the Saints practice indoors at the Oschner Sports Performance Center, it's difficult to watch the pass rush drills due to our vantage point. With Thursday being outside, I was able to watch the pass rush drills up close, again a luxury of training camp when the pads get put on. This was a very long period of practice, and I counted no less than 40 reps. A couple of standouts were Payton Turner, as mentioned above, and also defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon was able to go 4-0-1 in his individual battles. In some of the "marquee" matchups as I would call them, defensive end Cameron Jordan versus right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, one Jordan win and one push, Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle vs center Erik McCoy, push and defensive tackle David Onyemata vs right guard Cesar Ruiz, one push and one Onyemata win on a nice swim move. Also, rookie left tackle Trevor Penning had a nice win against defensive end Carl Granderson as the defender tried a straight bull rush, and Penning held his own nicely, not giving way after the initial surge and holding off Granderson off the "quarterback."

3. Play of the Day:

Yes, I could be a broken record like every day and give it to (so far) training camp MVP cornerback Paulson Adebo, who, during one-on-one drills, picked off quarterback Jameis Winston jumping a pass route intended for receiver Jarvis Landry. Not even the very next play when defensive back Bradley Roby intercepted Book on a pass intended for receiver Easop Winston Jr. Not even another play when receiver Chris Olave had a beautiful jab step move on Adebo and got the completion on a nice slant from Winston. No, we'll give the Play of the Day to veteran running back Malcolm Brown. During team drill near the end of practice, quarterback Andy Dalton handed the ball off to Brown to the left, and helped by a very nice block by Penning and another seal block from tight end Nick Vannett, burst into the open field for a very long (what I would've called a TD) run. Another great example of the success of the running game, depending heavily on the guys up front, and when those holes are there, the Saints have the guys in the backfield that can get those chunk plays.

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