The New Orleans Saints jumped back into full pads as they hit the third weekend of Training Camp 2018 presented by Verizon. The outdoor practice Saturday at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center was open to the public and drew another large crowd. Here are a few observations:
The Saints had their first goal-line period of training camp. This is a popular one with the fans because it features the most contact and is very competitive thanks to the very close quarters. Saturday was one of the more physical practices in camp. It usually comes a bit earlier in the schedule, but it may be right on time after Coach Sean Payton said the tackling in Thursday's preseason game was just "OK."
After getting his first game action at quarterback in a Saints uniform, Taysom Hill may be riding an uptick in confidence. He looks more comfortable and there is a noticeable spark in his play. Hill completed 8 of his 9 passes on Thursday night. At Saturday's practice, he showed well in completing three straight deliveries; each one different. Hill was accurate on a back shoulder throw to Brandon Tate, showed some touch on a pass to Shane Vereen, and zipped one to Garrett Griffin down the seam.
Michael Thomas wants to embarrass you. That is if you are an NFL defender. Thomas was a stud again Saturday. He caught everything his way and, more often than not, was able to get wide open despite the efforts of the Saints defensive backs. He never backs down on a practice rep, and the results in games speak for themselves. Thomas is reason alone to attend an open Saints practice. I'm not one to wear another man's jersey, but if someone asked me what jersey to buy, I'd tell them to get a No. 13.