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Observations from New Orleans Saints training camp | Wednesday, Aug. 3

Safety Tyrann Mathieu attends first practice

The New Orleans Saints took the field for practice during 2022 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Wednesday, August 3.

1. The Badger is Back:

Relax, Saints fans. After a week of free agent signee and former LSU Tiger safety Tyrann Mathieu missing Saints training camp due to personal reasons, the Honey Badger was on the practice field with his teammates inside at the Oschner Sports Performance Center. Wearing his white No. 32 jersey and gold football pants, Mathieu participated in every rep in walk-through and individual drills, sitting out the team portion of practice, then returning back to the sideline wearing a baseball cap and conversing with teammates. Coach Dennis Allen mentioned after practice it was great to have him back, obviously, and the team would ramp Mathieu back up in a physical sense and get his feet back under him before he goes full speed. Bottom line though is, Tyrann returns to an already stout defense, and his veteran presence will only make it more difficult to compete against for opposing offenses.

2. WR vs DB:

One of the best drills you can watch during all of training camp (and you have to wait a few practices to get there) are the one-on-one wide receiver vs defensive backs drill. Rep after rep, mano-a-mano, guys competing every single play to come up with a catch or make a defensive pass break up. Some intriguing matchups today were rookie Chris Olave vs rookie Alontae Taylor, each splitting a win in their two early battles. Marquez Callaway made a rare catch against Paulson Adebo on an out route. Adebo then would blanket Olave on another rep and force an incompletion. Tre' Quan Smith caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston, getting separation from Taylor. Then finally, Kirk Merritt appeared to have Adebo beat down the right sideline for a TD, but the throw was a hair under thrown and Paulson was able to knock it away at the 5-yard line. Truly an entertaining portion of practice.

3. Play of the Day:

Pretty simple on this one. The first three plays of team portion of practice were rushing attempts. First was running back Alvin Kamara on a stretch play out to left, and he was run out of bounds after a minimal gain, Play two was a run up the middle by Tony Jones Jr.  stuffed quickly by defensive end Carl Granderson. Play three was a simple handoff to Kamara off right guard, the hole opened wide and BOOM, off he went into the open field and secondary and would've gone for a long touchdown or at worst a long gain. With so much attention being put on the receivers during this camp, it's always refreshing to know you can always get No. 41 involved in the run or pass game, and every time the man touches the football, he can take it to the house.

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