1. Beat the Heat:
Originally scheduled to practice outside at the Oschner Sports Performance Center for day three of Saints Minicamp 2022, Saints Coach Dennis Allen mentioned after the INDOOR practice Thursday the decision to move inside was made around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday after practice on Day 2. With heat indexes reaching into the mid-100s at the close of practice on Thursday, I would imagine all parties involved were happy with that decision, and per usual during indoor workouts, practice was fast and crisp.
2. Bryce Making Plays:
I've been commenting on how Allen really wanted to get as many reps of situational football as possible in just three days of work, and Thursday was no exception. From opening walk-throughs to 7-on-7 reps (no 11-on-11 this practice), the focus was on red zone. I would say after all the reps and all three quarterbacks working, the player that made the most impact was defensive back Bryce Thompson, who was on the Saints practice squad last season. Thompson broke up three passes, including a should-have-been interception stepping in front of wide receiver and another PBU against wide receiver Jarvis Landry at the front left pylon, earning yelps of encouragement and high fives from fellow defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Allen mentioned after practice that Thompson's 's time on the practice squad last year helped him prepare for his opportunity this season. If Thursday was an indication, big things are ahead for the second-year player from Tennessee.
New Orleans Saints players participate in Day 3 of 2022 Minicamp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on Thursday, June 16, 2022.
3. Wil the Thrill Part 2:
So I'm doubling up Observations on our kicker, but Thursday was even more significant. It was the first time that Wil Lutz has actually place-kicked since last August. During his warmups on the field he was absolutely flawless including a boomer from 59 yards with room to spare. During live drills, however, he wasn't as crisp going 5 of 9, but making a 52-yarder from the right hash which was the last action of minicamp. Lutz had to end it on a make, which he did, drawing applause from his teammates. Allen was very encouraged post practice mentioning it was the first time Lutz had kicked live in a year, and the way the ball came off his foot made him feel comfortable where Lutz was at physically six weeks before training camp.
Observations will return for training camp!