Friday's media day was Quarterback Day for the New Orleans Saints, with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston addressing the media for the second time in training camp.
The two are in competition to replace Drew Brees as the starter this year. Brees began his stint as starter in 2006. Before him, in 2005, Aaron Brooks (13) and Todd Bouman (three) started games.
Hill, who started four games last season in place of an injured Brees, and Winston, who started his first five NFL seasons for Tampa Bay, each said he has a self-evaluation process.
"I think what's makes a quarterback great is his decision-making, his accuracy, timing," Hill said. "So as I'm evaluating my film, those are the things that I'm paying attention to. Obviously, complete and incomplete and there's matchup, personnel things, stuff like that. But there are three things that I pay attention to – the decision-making, was the accuracy there, was it complete or incomplete. Those are what I evaluate."
"Decisions," Winston said. "That's all. I'm not looking at completions. I'm not looking at anything besides decisions.
"How can I process the information quickly? How can I execute better? Was it the right decision? I try to keep it simple. I don't try to get too in-depth. Typically when you overthink things, it's not really the right thing. You try to keep everything simple and go out there and execute."
Asked if he was getting better, Winston replied in the affirmative.
"Oh, absolutely," he said. "We're getting better, now. We're getting better. And we're looking good, too. We've got to keep looking good and obviously, the consistency. Had a great opportunity these last three days, in particular, to get some great work with the young guys.
"Having guys like Easop Winston step up, having guys like Jalen McCleskey step up. Great to have Tommylee Lewis back; that's my guy, we built a great connection on scout team last year. So these young guys have been stepping up. We're down to three tight ends. So it's been great to get some work with these guys and build rapport with some of the guys that I haven't been throwing to early in camp."
Each quarterback had a strong day Friday running their respective offenses in team drills, aided by the fact that it was a repeat offensive install and the young receivers were able to operate better because of the familiarity.
"I think any time as a QB you come out and you see guys that break the huddle, line up, sprint to where they're supposed to be, and then as you see guys run the right routes getting in and out of the breaks, as a QB, that's what you want to see," Hill said. "We're always working on decision-making, timing and all of that but it's a two-way street. So as you see that, your confidence as a quarterback to let that ball go when you need to is much high."
Hill also has eschewed the inclination to scramble a lot in practice.
"I think that's an instinctive thing for me," he said. "That's one of those things that as someone who can run and you have the ability to make plays with your feet, I feel real comfortable doing that.
"So when I'm out at practice – there was a situation today where I would have ran in a game situation, but I want to work on stepping up, getting the ball out, working through my progressions and everything else. I think that there's a balance of making a gain to where you're taking off and making plays like that, but in a practice setting I'm going to work on getting through progressions."
READY TO ROLL: Linebacker Kwon Alexander, who ruptured his Achilles in Week 16 last season (Christmas Day), declared himself ready to play. As in, today.
"I'm 100 percent," he said. "I know I'm 100 percent. But I'm just easing in right now. They're just trying to get me moving around because everybody else has been in camp and everything. When they're ready, I'm gonna be ready."
Alexander participated in walk-through before practice started, then left the practice field and did some rehab work in another area.
"I feel legendary," said Alexander, whom joined the Saints via trade during last season. "It's real to get back out there. Taking it kind of slow, they're easing me back in so whenever I get my chance, I'll be back out there.
"I was trying to get back. I was rushing, trying to tell them hurry up and come back and get me. This is where I wanted to be. Since I came I've been having fun, this is where I wanted to be."
For a portion of his summer work, Alexander was under the direction of Dr. Sharif Tabbah (Dr. Reef), a doctor of physical therapy who works closely with Saints running back Alvin Kamara.
"I just saw Alvin going," Alexander said. "I talked to him about it. I saw how well he was moving with his balance and everything, so I went down there with him. (Tabbah) was so legendary, he had me getting right doing all kinds of stuff to get my body right, balance and all. I appreciate everything from him.
"(I'm) way, way, way more explosive. Dr. Reef got me way more explosive than I've ever been."