White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. - The New Orleans Saints returned to the practice field Sunday afternoon on a picnic perfect Sunday. The 2-hour practice in helmets and shoulder pads was followed by a picnic with fans at The Greenbrier. Here are some observations:
- It was a strong day for kickers Zach Hocker and Dustin Hopkins. Both were perfect on their four attempts at various differences. Each kicker represented a side, either defense or offense, in a challenge. For a tiebreaker Coach Sean Payton had the kickers attempt 59-yard field goals. And with success for both there, it was the coaching staff that paid by doing the post-practice running.
- Rookie lineman Andrus Peat worked some at left guard. Normally a tackle, Peat played with his left hand in the dirt much as he did at Stanford where he played left tackle. He also had more than 30 plays at different spots in last Friday's scrimmage.
- Rookie defensive lineman Bobby Richardson got reps with the first-team defense. Sure enough, he knocked down yet another pass.
- Receiver Brandin Cooks and running back C.J. Spiller did not participate so that meant more punt return reps for rookie Marcus Murphy. He was joined by wide receiver Willie Snead. We may see those guys get some chances to return kicks Thursday night in Baltimore. It may be an important factor in helping either guy make the final 53-man roster.