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Todd Graffagnini's Saints training camp observations for Thursday, Aug. 22

Final open practice of Saints training camp presented by Verizon

1.      DBs were stellar: During the indoor session Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Oschner Sports Performance Center the defensive backs shined during the red zone portion of the period as the wide receivers went against the defenders near the end zone. Time after time the defensive backs won the battles, highlighted by a couple of pass breakups (PBUs) from C.J. Gardner-Johnson and another by safety Vonn Bell who had blanket coverage on wideout Keith Kirkwood. The latter more entertaining as after the play Bell and Senior Offensive Assistant Curtis Johnson got into a good-natured jawing match from across the field. Competition remained intense throughout camp to the last day.

2.      More defense: Continuing the theme on that side of the ball, the defense pretty much owned the outdoor portion of practice to the conclusion. Sure there were plays made by the offense, but for the most part, it was all defense. Good pressure up front led to errant throws, mixed in with some drops by the running backs and wideouts. The ball seemed to be on the ground more during those periods than we had seen all camp combined, but after practice, Coach Sean Payton made mention that he thought the defense performed well. Hopefully, the theme continues at Met Life Stadium on Saturday night against the Jets.

3.      Thank you Saints fans: Make no mistake, training camp is a grind. One day seems to roll into the next. Many times you forget what day of the week it is. One thing though was a constant everyday…the best fans in the world, the rabid fans of the New Orleans Saints. Every morning they packed the covered stands at the Oschner Sports Performance Center, some even lining up at the entrance gates as early as 6 a.m. Their cheers echoed throughout practices when big plays were made. It made the monotony of the daily grind a little more tolerable to everyone who was out there in pads working hard in the heat and humidity.

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