White Sulphur Springs, W. Va - The New Orleans Saints operated in full pads Sunday morning. Coach Sean Payton used full team periods to further implement some installations of the playbook and specific situational aspects of a game. Here are some observations:
- It's a daily "next man up" mind-set at this time of camp. Injuries ranging from long term to short allow younger players a chance to play with the first units and see increased reps. Stanley Jean-Baptiste saw plenty with the first-team defense. He showed his high end speed in coverage of Brandin Cooks. He also showed he has plenty to learn. Bottom line for Jean-Baptiste, though, is that there is more and more good, and that means more meaningful reps to come. Also taking advantage of "next man up" was tight end Alex Smith. Smith saw increased reps Sunday with the excused family absence of Benjamin Watson. Smith made several nice contested catches. He is battling Orson Charles to be a third tight end.
- Tyeler Davison keeps making plays toward a spot in defensive line rotation. He leverages well to get in the backfield and continues to knock down pass attempts through the box. A ball he knocked away from Luke McCown on Sunday ended up in the hands of Tavaris Barnes for a takeaway.
- Two nuggets from the post practice media availability. Fifth-round pick Davis Tull is scheduled to come off the PUP list Sunday and start back to work. He's another member of this year's large draft class I've been excited to see play. And John Jenkins confirmed his sleeker look by sharing that he dropped 35 pounds from the end of OTAs to the start of training camp. It's paid off with a strong camp thus far.