The New Orleans Saints began their three-day minicamp Tuesday. The practice started outside but had to move to the team's indoor facility about 90 minutes into the session. Here are a few observations as we begin the final week of the offseason:
Rookie receiver Michael Thomas is the real deal. My very early take is that the 6-foot-3 receiver from Woodland Hills, Calif., is going to be a star. His size - combined with solid hand skills and speed - has shown very well. He already plays with a confidence about him. Thomas still wears his cleats from Ohio State. That will have to change, but for now, don't change anything.
Is Andrus Peat the starting right guard for the Saints? Yep. That seems to become more solid by the day. All of his reps appeared to be that job on day one of minicamp, and there's nothing to make me think that will also be the case when full training camp begins next month.
Coach Sean Payton was as forthcoming as he could be about the knee injury suffered by Hau'oli Kikaha last week. It's unfortunate news for all parties. Kikaha is still seeking all the medical opinions he'd like before the decision is made on how this time doctors repair his ACL. Payton said he does not believe it's career-ending. Payton, though, seems willing to concede that he won't have the pass rush specialist any time soon. The Saints may already have Kikaha's replacement in house. Payton said guys like Obum Gwachum, Kasim Edebali, and Davis Tull have shown enough promise to get the chance. Maybe enough promise to keep the Saints from hitting the free-agent market.
Lastly, former Saints wide receiver Robert Meacham practiced with the team Tuesday. He's one of eight players getting a tryout with the Black and Gold this week. The strange thing about Meacham's appearance was the fact that he was wearing No. 12, formerly of Marques Colston. Meacham's old No. 17 was also on the field, but that jersey is now worn by Kyle Prater.