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Sean Kelley: Observations from Monday's Saints training camp practice

Defensive backs are interesting to watch

Photos from New Orleans Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on August 01, 2016

White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. - The New Orleans Saints started the new calendar month with their fifth practice of the Training Camp 2016 presented by Verizon. It was the team's third straight day in full pads and the final full workout prior to the first scheduled day off. Here are some observations:

  1. Linebacker Nate Stupar told the media after practice that the offense may have had the upper hand Monday after the defense had the edge during the first two days in pads. If the offense did win the day, it wasn't by much in my opinion. Rather, it was a winning day for both because the full team battled through the "camp wall" that can present itself prior to the day off. It was a solid practice.  Coach Sean Payton echoed that feeling.  
  1. The defensive backs have proven to be an interesting watch. Sunday we pointed out the play of undrafted rookies Jimmy Pruitt and Ken Crawley. Monday, undrafted rookie De'Vante Harris out of Texas A&M climbed the ladder to break up a high level pass to Kyle Prater. P.J. Williams continues to play well with the first team in the absence of Keenan Lewis. Veteran Roman Harper may have had his best day of camp so far including a strip of the ball out of Mark Ingram's hands. And there was visible chemistry in the back of the defense between Kenny Vaccaro and Rafael Bush. Remember, those two have not been able to log a lot of time together on the field due to injuries.
  1. Let's give a little attention to some of the other newcomers. Guys that are definitely in crowded roster battles.  Free agent rookie wide receiver Tommylee Lewis used his notable speed to grab two big catches Monday. One was a bomb. Both throws were made by Garrett Grayson. On defense, David Onyemata caught my eye. The rookie defensive lineman from Canada had his best showing in one-on-one pass protection drills. He also should be credited with at least one sack during full team periods.
  1. Lastly, few Saints have the workload right now that is being carried by Andrus Peat. The second-year offensive lineman has been working heavy reps at both guard and tackle. He is vastly improved from his rookie year thanks to a disciplined offseason working on his body. He's looked much more of a force in one-on-one battles and more ready to help pull the rope when working collectively with the linemen in plays from scrimmage.
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