White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. - It was back to work for the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday as they re-took the practice field following an off day at Training Camp 2016 presented by Verizon. The practice saw the Saints in helmets and shoulder pads on the artificial turf at The Greenbrier. Here are some observations:
- The Saints got three players back on the field; all of whom will have an impact in varying degrees this season. Most notably, it was good to see cornerback Keenan Lewis back in a limited way for the first time since missing the last six games and 10 total last season. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley and safety Erik Harris also returned from minor injuries suffered earlier in camp.
- The more I watch quarterback Luke McCown in this training camp, the more I am reminded of how good the Saints have it with him as the backup to Drew Brees. The best word to describe him is steady. There's nothing flashy. There's little risk of a dumpster fire on his watch.
3. Dare I say, that the defense is developing a little swagger. The players' confidence grows daily with more and more wins in competitive team drills including a spirited end to practice Wednesday. That period focused on third down, and the decisive play brought a roar from the winning side and extra conditioning for the offense. Whether it's up front, at the second level, or in the secondary there's plenty to like. As a unit is the defense better than what we've seen the last two years? I think so. I know this: I'm ready to see plauers work against another team. And that comes next week vs. the Patriots.
4 Take a listen to the Black and Blue Report podcast presented by ABC Insurance Wednesday on NewOrleansSaints.com. My guests are linebacker Michael Mauti and defensive end Davis Tull. Both give good insight into their position groups and why this defense appears to be tracking in the right direction.