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Sean Kelley: Observations from Sunday's New Orleans Saints practice

Defense has a good day

White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. - The New Orleans Saints showed no signs of slowing down during a nearly three-hour practice Sunday morning. The team was in full pads for the second day as Training Camp 2016 presented by Verizon continued at The Greenbrier Resort. Here are some observations:

  1. Deuce McAllister, a former star Saints running back and now analyst for WWL-870, pointed out that Sunday's workout would be especially tough following Saturday's first practice in full pads. McAllister said the players would be working through some soreness and a dose of mental fatigue.
  1. The defense continues to string together good outings. Sunday saw the defense stuffing some runs, creating turnovers, and pressuring the quarterbacks. In fact, it was the defense that won the final competitive period of the day; it cost the Saints offense 10 up-downs at the end of a long day. Undrafted defensive backs Jimmy Pruitt and Ken Crawley helped the cause with interceptions. For Pruitt, it was his second in as many days. Make no mistake, though, the most consistent and dominant defender since the team started working in full pads is defensive end Cam Jordan, who has been a treat to watch in individual and team drills.
  1. Rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas spoke to the media for the first time in camp Sunday. He's certainly shown us plenty of highlights through four practices. On Sunday he showed us a very humble side and a smart maturity in his comments. His teammates rave about his work ethic. And after jumping offsides on one play Sunday, he ran a self-imposed penalty around the field before returning to the rest of the offense.
  1. One of New Orleans' favorite sons was on the sideline at practice. NFL great Peyton Manning stopped by during a break from speaking engagements at a convention being held at the resort. Saints tight end Coby Fleener said that it was "kind of mind-boggling" to see "that much awesomeness at quarterback" as Manning spoke with Drew Brees. The reaction from Saints veteran safety Roman Harper was a little different. Harper, who lost to Manning in the Super Bowl this year when Harper was with the Carolina Panthers, said he was a little angry at first to see the former Denver quarterback. Harper then gushed about Manning's career.  The two exchanged pleasantries after practice. Manning told Harper, "Now we're even."
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