1. Welcome back Emmanuel: For the first time in five practices we saw wide receiver Emmanuel Butler on the practice field. He participated in drill while the New Orleans Saints were inside for the beginning of practice then when the team shifted to the outdoor portion only worked on conditioning and did not participate. We saw this same pattern when running back Latavius Murray and safety Marcus Williams missed time earlier in camp, meaning there is a possibility we could see Butler in the first preseason game Friday night vs Minnesota.
2. Ramping up: The first 40 minutes of practice were inside, consisting of stretching and walk thru. Coach Sean Payton mentioned more soft tissue injuries occur after off days than any other, so the preparation for Minnesota began Wednesday, Aug. 7 with a shorter practice, the Saints will go a little more Thursday in the closed walk thru, then FINALLY we’ll see the Black and Gold back in the Mercredes-Benz Superdome on Friday night.
3. McCoy is learning: Play of the day in practice for me was something that might go a little unnoticed but it spoke volumes. During team period, defensive tackle Malcom Brown stunted to the left and found himself with a clear lane to quarterback Drew Brees and an easy sack. That’s when rookie center Erik McCoy saved the day. He peeled back from pass protection and was able to knock Brown off target, clearing the way for Brees to complete a long pass to Tre’Quan Smith. Very heady for a rookie who continues to learn a difficult position on the job.