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Saints Training Camp 2021: Key Takeaways from Monday, Aug. 2

Four new players make their practice debut Monday

The New Orleans Saints take the field for Day 4 of Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

Welcome to New Orleans, you're in

The New Orleans Saints transaction wire was active during the off day Sunday. Four players were signed: running back Devonta Freeman, defensive backs Prince Amukamara and KeiVarae Russell, and offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy. All are longtime NFL vets and all four received a trial by fire in their first practice Monday at the Oschner Sports Performance Center. Freeman got the most action by far, with former running back Ty Montgomery now being used as a full-time wide receiver. The opportunities were there to pick up the extra reps, which Freeman most certainly did, as a rusher and receiver out of the backfield. Freeman mentioned to the media post practice that despite his age (29) he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. If Monday was any indication, he'll need the extra fuel, but after one practice displayed a pretty good burst inside and outside.

Seven seconds to victory

During the first four practices, there has been one period specifically designed to end football games with a win - victory formation, taking a safety, are two examples. Monday was no exception. Coach Sean Payton addressed this after practice to the media calling it the seven- second drill. Meaning the quarterback takes one or two steps step and throws it as high up on the wall of the indoor as he can (the clock doesn't stop in a real game until the football makes contact with something out of play). Payton also quipped that they've been giving rookie quarterback Ian Book a hard time because of his 6-foot stature it might be more of a four-second drill since the throws might not be as high on the sideline, drawing laughs from the media contingent.

Rookies making waves

It's still early in camp, and there hasn't been pads put on (that will change Tuesday) but Book and receiver Jalen McCleskey have made their presence known. Book has been taking most of the third-team reps the last two practices and has displayed a very solid throwing arm to go with his decision-making. Book had two touchdowns during team Monday, a deep slant to Ty Montgomery who pulled away from cornerback Paulson Adebo and a bomb to McCleskey. The former Tulane standout has been working also as a punt returner in the first four practices but his route running, speed and hands have been prominent early on. With the pads being put on for the first time Tuesday, we'll see if the first four practices translate into more success for this pair of rookies.

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