Check out photos of the New Orleans Saints from Day 7 of Training Camp presented by Verizon at Ochsner Sports Performance Center on August 1, 2018.
The New Orleans Saints resumed Training Camp 2018 presented by Verizon Wednesday after a scheduled off day Tuesday. It was the first practice of camp to be fully conducted on the indoor field at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. The players did not wear full pads Wednesday. Here are a few observations:
Coach Sean Payton moved the practice from outside to inside Wednesday for several reasons. After a good amount of rain since Monday, Payton says he was cautious with the condition of the outdoor fields. He also said the move was a good chance to change things up. That is a little thing that may help the mental focus of the team as it moves into arguably one of the most challenging phases of training camp. The newness has worn off and the first preseason game is still nine days away. This stretch is a grind, and by the weekend, the Saints will probably be eager to bang on someone other than their own teammates.
The signing of veteran wide receiver Brandon Tate may serve two purposes right away. The veteran joins a group of pass catchers that is a little short- handed at the moment. There's a need for having a full complement in that group with all the reps that take place during this time of camp. Tate's ability to return kicks also adds to the competition for that skill spot. It's wide open, and Tate can be a contender. At the very least, it sends a message to the others already competing for the job of kick returner that the head coach is willing to look anywhere for the winner.
Backup center Cameron Tom remains sidelined with an injury. Rookie Will Clapp and veteran Josh LeRibeus are the two working most behind starter Max Unger. There have been a few shaky snaps the last couple of practices. If Tom remains off the field heading into next week, we will see a lot of Clapp and LeRibeus at center in the first preseason game. There were some lost plays in the preseason last year due to poor snaps. Let's hope we don't see a repeat this year. This situation bears some watching heading toward Jacksonville.