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Sean Kelley's key takeaways from Thursday's New Orleans Saints practice

Final open practice at team's Metairie facility

Photos from Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon on Thursday August 27, 2015. Photos by Richard Crank (New Orleans Saints photos)

The New Orleans Saints continued training camp outside at their facility Thursday, Aug. 27 with a concentration on red zone and late-game scenarios. Here are some observations:

  1. How important are special teams? Well, again Thursday, a special teams period featured three stations with work on breakdown and tackling techniques. The ENTIRE team rotated through the stations with the exception of the quarterbacks. At the very least, sending everyone through sends a strong message about how valuable that phase of the game is.
  1. Coach Sean Payton placed the team in some desperate late-game situations. The play of the day saw Drew Brees connect with Brandon Coleman on a 35-yard touchdown pass as time expired. It was a big highlight for Coleman but also maybe a bit of a lowlight for the Saints' cornerback and safety trying to defend the last-second play.
  1. Look for significant and meaningful reps Sunday for running back Tim Hightower. Hightower ran quite a bit with the first team Thursday. Coach Payton likes what he has seen so far, and plans to get even more game film to evaluate against the Texans.
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