Costa Mesa, Calif. - The New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Chargers practiced jointly for a second straight day at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex on Friday, Aug. 18. The teams did not practice in full pads and worked a shorter time than they did Thursday. The Saints and Chargers are scheduled to have a light walk through Saturday leading up to a preseason game at the StubHub Center in Carson on Sunday. Here are some observations from Friday's session:
- The Saints wide receivers put together a solid day with standout play from Michael Thomas and Drew Brees. Thomas has been one of the most reliable members of the Saints offense this month. His play Friday was consistent with the high level of work he has displayed in his second training camp. Corey Fuller's reps are on the rise with the injury to Ted Ginn Jr. Jr. A wide open drop Fuller suffered in full team competition, was the only negative moment for the Virginia Tech product. Fuller is a player to watch Sunday in preseason game two. Another receiver that was targeted several times was De'Quan Hampton (rookie-Southern California). I won't be surprised if he sees increased snaps Sunday versus the Chargers, too.
- First round draft choice Marshon Lattimore saw significant time with the first team defense. Lattimore is looking more comfortable, and his confidence seems to be growing with each play. Fellow rookie, safety Marcus Williams, intercepted Chargers quarterback Cardale Jones during the two-minute drill. Williams is especially good in space while playing "center field." That's where he found his chance to splash on the deep pass attempt.
- Saints center Max Unger is on the doorstep of returning to full participation. He has passed his physical and says he feels great. That's good news for the Saints offensive line, which may have a tough weekend ahead. Right tackle Zach Strief did not practice Friday. He left Thursday's practice early with an apparent problem in his left elbow. Backup tackle John Fullington left practice early, too.
- It's a big weekend for many Saints hopefuls hoping to make a splash in Sunday's game. Here are some of the players I'll be watching closely: Corey Fuller, Brandon Coleman, Adam Bighill, Mitchell Loewen, and Daniel Lasco. I'm also eager to see the first NFL game snaps for draft picks Ryan Ramczyk and Lattimore.