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Saints Training Camp 2021: Key Takeaways from Thursday, Aug. 19

Defensive newcomers welcomed to team

  1. Defense welcomes new players: Even though you can count the amount of training camp practices left on one hand, we mentioned Tuesday on Takeaways the New Orleans Saints continue to tryout players and sign them to the roster of 85. We talked about the signing of wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday and his participation in practice. The two defensive signees, defensive back Natrell Jamerson (a former Saints 2018 fifth round draft pick) and cornerback Bryan Mills both participated fully in practice as well Wednesday, but on Thursday they were officially welcomed to the defense. As is the custom, immediately after stretching, any new additions to the roster on defense must do up-downs at midfield with the entire defensive unit (anyone wearing a black jersey) surrounding them. I probably couldn't do five of these things, but the number easily was north of 30, and by the end, both were glad to get it over with. The pace, understandably, had slowed considerably as the drill continued. Welcome to NOLA!
  2. Crawley continues to shine: There has been no question as to what defensive back has had the best camp so far - Marshon Lattimore. But as camp has moved now to 17 practices, it cannot be denied that his counterpart on the other side Ken Crawley has had as good a camp as Lattimore has. Crawley has received praise from Coach Sean Payton and his defensive teammates throughout the last three weeks. On Thursday, inside at the Oschner Sports Performance Center, Crawley added to the total of his many plays made during camp. In 7-on-7 drills. Crawley stepped in front of a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver Chris Hogan and picked it off in stride, taking it to the house for a Pick-Six. Crawley has displayed these ball skills throughout camp and it would be a safe bet right now to see Crawley as a starting cornerback when the Green Bay Packers come to the Caesars Superdome on Sept. 12.
  3. Play of the day: Full disclosure to everyone reading this, we have reached the point tin training camp where most practices are basically the previous day's practices. Trying to keep the column fresh has been a bit challenging the last week especially. On Thursday, we had reached that point again, and was this close having to go with just two takeaways. But on the second-to-last rep of the day we hit pay dirt. Linebacker Andrew Dowell made his presence known again during team drills. With Taysom Hill at quarterback, Dowell stepped in front of tight end Nick Vannett, who was in the middle of the field, and easily intercepted the ball and sauntered some 60 yards (with a defensive escort) for a Pick-Six. It was an electrifying way to end the day and it was good to see Dowell get involved like he had been early on in camp.

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