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Saints Training Camp 2021: Key Takeaways from Monday, Aug. 9

Offense, defense pick up the tempo, intensity

The New Orleans Saints take the field for Day 10 of Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

Must be a game week

Monday marked the 10th practice of Saints Training Camp presented by SeatGeek. The team has been in full pads for the better part of a week. Until Monday, Aug. 9 things had progressed rather uneventfully with regards to the physical nature of practice. That all changed inside the Oschner Sports Performance Center. The pace of practice was noticeably more up tempo on both sides of the ball, and during team drills the defense was REALLY flying around to make plays. So much so that you saw some offensive players repeatedly on the ground, which is kind of an unwritten no-no nowadays. We have reached the point of training camp where guys are just tired of beating up on each other, and the defense is ready to hit someone with a different colored jersey on. Thankfully, they will get their wish on Saturday at 6 p.m. central when the team will play the Baltimore Ravens in the first preseason game.

Have a day, Deuce

Rookie cornerback Deuce Wallace is doing everything he can to make the team. Fortunately for him, the former Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajun took a big step in that direction during Monday's practice, defensively and during a special teams drill. In 7-on-7 red zone, Wallace intercepted quarterback Ian Book at the goal line and raced up the right sideline untouched for a pick-six, much to the delight of the white jerseys on defense. Wallace wasn't done there. During a special teams punt drill, Wallace was teamed up with cornerback Bryce Thompson 2-on-1 blocking receiver Lil' Jordan Humphrey who was trying to cover the punt and make a tackle. Well, the two blockers had pretty much sealed Humphrey off as the play wound to a close. No sooner did the whistle blow that Wallace wasn't quite ready for the play to be over. He threw the much taller Humphrey to the deck like a sack of potatoes. Cue the ensuing celebration on the near sideline at practice and go back to Takeaway No. 1.

By the Book

Book, a rookie from Notre Dame, has had his ups and downs during the first 10 practices, and Monday there was no exception. He has thrown a couple of interceptions (to be expected as a rookie), but he has also shown to be pretty accurate, something which Book mentioned after Monday's practice that he really prides himself on. Saints Coach Sean Payton also mentioned that he has been encouraged by Book even though it's early in camp. He has made plays either by air or by land every day. Book responded after that early interception by Wallace to throw back-to-back touchdown passes in the final Red Zone team drill of the morning. He found fellow rookie Kawaan Baker on a sweet throw just inside the front right pylon for a touchdown, then on the very next throw tight end Juwan Johnson snagged a deep slant in the back of the end zone that was zipped in there by Book. If Book continues to get better every day, he will definitely vie for that QB3 spot.

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