The New Orleans Saints completed their fourth practice of Training Camp presented by Verizon at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on Sunday. It was the second consecutive day in full pads. Here are some observations:
Wide receiver Michael Thomas may as well just shut it down until Labor Day. The Saints leading receiver from a year ago put on a clinic this weekend. He looks ready for the season and more as he is giving the defensive secondary fits. Sunday, again, he had cornerback Marshon Lattimore shaking his head. The 1,245 yards receiving last season seems like an easy target again.
The Saints are searching for that Swiss Army Knife offensive lineman to take the role vacated by Senio Kelemete. With all the full contact this weekend that process is ramping up. Right now, there is no clear candidate. Josh LeRibeus, Jermon Bushrod, and Cameron Tom are among the group in that hunt. Tom did leave practice early Sunday.
Mike Westhoff is worth the wait. The Saints did without the 70-year old special teams coach for the entire offseason as he recovered from a very complex leg surgery. He's back to work with the use of a cane. Observing Westhoff work is like watching a master craftsman as he ambles on the field coaching the finest details to the various special units. Sunday's practice was heavy with special teams work, and it was special to watch him command the players' attention to even an adjustment of inches in stance or placement of hands. Pardon the "Star Wars" reference, but Mike Westhoff is the Yoda of the Saints special teams.