Two days removed from the preseason opener against the Patriots, the Saints were back on the practice fields for two sessions at the Saints indoor facility on Saturday. The black and gold practiced from 8:50 to 10:30 a.m. and 4:20 to 6 p.m. The squad focused on short yardage and empty nickel packages at both sessions.
NEXT UP:The Saints will be back on the practice field at 8:50 a.m. on Sunday. The session will be outside and open to the public.
INJURY UPDATE:P Thomas Morsteadinjured his shoulder on the first series of the Saints-Patriots contest and was held out of Saturday's practices but was present for both sessions. Head coach Sean Paytonsaid they will have to "wait and see" when the six-foot-four punter can play in the Saints next preseason contest against the Houston Texans on Saturday, Aug. 21.
Morstead said he wasn't sure when he will return but was impressed with K Garrett Hartley'spunts as his replacement.
"He looked nervous on the sidelines but when he got out there and punted he looked like a pro," said Morstead.* *
Along with Morstead, LB Stanley Arnoux, WR Adrian Arrington, TE Jimmy Graham TE Tyler Lorenzen, FB Marcus Mailei, DL Jimmy Wilkerson and DB Usama Young sat out Saturday's practices.
Additionally, the three players listed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List - LB Clint Ingram, WR Robert Meachemand DB Darren Sharper– remained sidelined.
Payton said of Graham, who was wearing a walking boot at practice, has a sprained ankle.
COLEMAN RE-SIGNS:LB Harry Colemanre-signed with the Saints Saturday morning after the squad waived/injured RB Lynell Hamilton.
Coleman was signed by the Saints as a rookie free agent in May and participated in the team's offseason program before being waived shortly before the start of training camp. A two-year starter at LSU, Coleman (6-2, 212) made a career-best 82 tackles with four sacks as a senior in 2009.
Coleman participated in the Saturday afternoon practice and said afterwards that he was grateful to be back.
"Great to be back," said Coleman. "I was surprised I got the call, but once I got the news I got here quick."
HARPER RETURNS:WR Rod Harper participated in both practices after sitting out due to injury.
LINEBACKER MIX:LB Jonathan Casillasearned a game-best 10 tackles against the Patriots last Thursday. On Saturday, Casillas was running at first-team weak side linebacker. LB Scott Shanlemoved to the strong side spot. Shanle was open to the move and said he believed the Saints linebackers trio could be "one of the best in the NFL".
Despite his strong performance in the preseason opener and reps at first team, Casillas said he is still approaching practice with the mindset that he "always has something to prove."
Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williamssaid the move for Shanle is not a knock on Shanle but a credit to his flexibility.
"In all honesty, Scott Shanle might be one of the most underrated linebackers in the National Football League," said Williams. "Scott Shanle can do it all for us. He can play all three positions; he can actually even play the strong safety position. He can rush; he can cover; he can play physical; he's a strong, stout man on the line of scrimmage. But his flexibility allows us to do an awful lot of things."
TAKING PUNTS:WR Larry Beavers, RB Reggie Bush, WR Rod Harper, WR Lance Moore and DB Tracy Portercaught punts in special teams drills.
PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS:*RB Reggie Bushshowcased his blazing speed with a nice run of the middle in team drills.
*LB Anthony Waters picked off a pass from QB Chase Danielin seven-on-seven drills.
*QB Drew Breesconnected with WR Marques Colston on the left sideline as the five-year wideout made a tip-toe sideline catch.
- WR Courtney Robycaught a 60-yard touchdown in the team drills.
VILMA WELCOMES "CRAZIEST" SAINTS FAN:LB Jonathan Vilmaheld a contest on his Web site (www.jonvilma.com) for "craziest" Saints fan. The participants had to send a video to Vilma's Web site to prove why he or she should win. Chris Kirchein from Rockaway Park, N.Y. won the contest and VIlma welcomed him and his mother Janet to the Saints Facility on Saturday.
Chris and Janet watched both practices and received a tour of the facility. Along with Vilma, many players and coaches greeted the them, including Saints Owner/President Tom Benson,Executive Vice President/General ManagerMickey Loomis,head coach Sean Paytonand a number of players.