The Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints took the field on Friday for a pair of practice for their 2010 minicamp. morning practice began at 10:15 outdoors. Due to lighting and heavy rain in the area, the workout was moved indoors midway through. The 3:00 practice took place in the indoor practice facility. Both practices started with stretching and position drills, followed by one-on-one and seven-on-seven work. The practices concluded with a special teams period and team snaps.
Many different players impressed with their play during the position drills. WRs Marques Colston and Lance Moore worked with the first wideout group and showed midseason form with their route-running and soft hands. With the absence of RB Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Lynell Hamilton saw the most comprehensive carries. Drew Brees looked sharp during the position drills, but showed a little rust when he faced the first team defense for the first time.
CBs Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer each recorded interceptions during team drills, while 2010 first round draft pick Patrick Robinson also recorded a pick on the day. With the strongside linebacker position currently up for grabs, Jonathan Casillas, Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Troy Evans all saw snaps on the outside.
FB Heath Evans, S Chip Vaughn, and LB Stanley Arnoux all saw work on the field as they continue their rehabilitation from season-ending injuries in 2009. S Darren Sharper did not practice as he continues his rehabilitation from offseason knee surgery, with Malcolm Jenkins taking his place out on the field. Other injured players who did not participate included CB Glenn Sharpe, WR Robert Meachem, and LB Clint Ingram. TE Jeremy Shockey returned to the field for the afternoon practice after being bothered by back spasms in the morning.
With the Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. practices open to the public at the club's practice facility in Metairie, there are several intriguing drills and position battles to view. With the pads off until the start of training camp, the passing drills are always a fan favorite. An interesting battle is competition between quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield for the backup spot to Drew Brees. Greg Paulus, who played at Syracuse in 2009 under former Saints offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Doug Marrone, after playing point guard at Duke for four years is participating at the camp on a tryout basis.
Two exciting pass plays stand out from Friday's workouts The first came when QB Sean Canfield completed a pass to WR Larry Beavers. Beavers caught the seven-yard pass and avoided the touch of multiple defensive players en route to the end zone. The second was a 25-yard pass across the middle from Chase Daniel to TE Tory Humphrey. Surrounded by four black defensive jerseys, Humphrey tipped the ball to himself and came down with the pass using only one hand.