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Sean Kelley: Observations from Monday's Saints practice

Team has just one more practice at The Greenbrier

Photos from New Orleans Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on August 15, 2016

White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. - The New Orleans Saints conducted their next to last practice of The Greenbrier portion of 2016 Training Camp presented by Verizon on Monday. Tuesday is an off day before the final practice and move to Houston on Wednesday. Monday was also the third straight practice in full pads and featured a fully live goal line team period. Here are a couple of observations:

  1. Unfortunately the goal line period saw an injury to first round draft choice Sheldon Rankins. The defensive tackle suffered an apparent lower leg injury and had to be carted off the field. He was off to a solid start and competing for first team snaps. This now places some strain on the interior defensive line and may cause some shuffling in the roles of  Nick Fairley, Ashad Mabry, John Jenkins, Bobby Richardson, and David Onyemata. Tyeler Davison appears to be the starting nose tackle. Everything else is up for grabs and this is a very important position group to watch moving forward.
  1. The Saints have a healthy mentoring program working. Yes, the roster is very young. Most of the positions, though, have a veteran or two that seem to relish the roles of teacher and big brother to the less experienced. Roman Harper spoke Monday after practice and gave us a great example in talking about last week's game in New England. He pointed to a mistake by rookie safety Vonn Bell that resulted in a big gain. It was an important teaching moment that the vets have used to help Bell. Watch Harper's comments here. Along those lines, we've heard in the last couple of days that rookie wide receiver Tommylee Lewis is sponging off of Drew Brees quite a bit. And second-year running back Willie Snead is benefiting from the mentorship of Terron Armstead.
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