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Sean Kelley's observations from Saints-Texans practice

Check out pictures from the final open practice of Saints Training Camp with the Texans.

The New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans shared the outdoor fields at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in a joint practice Thursday, Aug. 24.  The teams were dressed in full pads and displayed a crisp tempo through the nearly two-and-a-half-hour session.  Here are some observations regarding the Saints from practice:

  1. All signs are pointing to the Saints biggest stars playing Saturday night in the preseason game versus the Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. That includes future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson. He will be heading into that game on a high note after showing off his pass-catching skills Thursday. Peterson went on a wheel route down the right side of the field; he split two defenders and caught a Drew Brees pass falling into the end zone for a score. As a runner, he's still amazing to watch 10 years into his career. I've never seen a running back in person that so ferociously and so quickly attacks holes at the onset of a carry. 
  1. The Saints have invested a lot of time in their 2-minute offense and defense this month. Thursday showed some returns on that investment as both units had something to smile about against the Texans first teamers. On offense, Brees connected with Brandon Coleman on a 30-yard, double-move route for a touchdown. And on defense, the Saints stopped the Texans twice; once on downs, and the other on a Vonn Bell interception near mid-field.
  1. Bell and Sterling Moore may be the defensive backs of the day. Bell was physical and effective during one-on-one drills and added a couple of pass breakups to his interception. Moore was very active and showed how smart he is in anticipating ways an offense may attack him and his fellow defenders. Moore saw most of his action rotating in when the Saints used a nickel package.
  1. The Saints defense also carried over the pressure on opposing passers that they displayed last Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Cam Jordan (expected to play on Saturday night) continued to shine as he has done throughout camp. Sheldon Rankins seemed to be in the Texans backfield a lot. Rankins looks explosive at defensive tackle.  Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was pleased after practice, and noted that Rankins is showing the speed and power he possessed before breaking his leg in last summer's training camp.

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