Last day of Saints training camp all about defense

Steve Geller
August 22, 2019 - 2:08 pm

It seemed to take so long to get here, and now it’s over. The Saints held their final practice of training camp today, but it doesn’t mean the players are done.  The team will adjust to a different schedule now as they get into regular season mode after they play the New York Jets in preseason game number three on Saturday. 

There were eight players who missed today’s workout:

RB Latavius Murray

WR Simmie Cobbs

G Marshall Newhouse

LB Alex Anzalone

LB Craig Robertson

CB/RS Marcus Sherels

DB Saquan Hampton

DE Mario Edwards

Defense feeling feisty

Before players head outside for practice, they warm-up inside their indoor facility and you could tell that the defense was ready to close out training camp with a bang. They were a lot more engaged and vocal; cheering one another on along with some friendly trash talk.  The offense didn’t have the same juice as there were a number of dropped passes.  Both trends continued when they team left the air-conditioning for the bright, sun filled sky in front of fans.

Corners Marshon Lattimore and PJ Williams both broke up passes during red zone drills while Ken Crawley nearly came up with an interception. 

The team also worked on hurry-up situations. Drew Brees drove the offensive down to the 10-yard line and had 1st and goal with: 16 ticks left on the clock. More than enough time for No. 9 to cap things off with a TD.  But instead, there were four straight incompletions — the last one a PBU by Lattimore vs. Michael Thomas.

Never give the offense a 2nd chance

The second team offense did manage to get some payback to close things out. Teddy Bridgewater lofted a pass into the right corner of the end zone that was almost picked off by rookie linebacker Kaden Elliss. Bridgewater took advantage of the second opportunity, finding receiver Austin Carr for the score with one second left on the clock.

Ups & downs for Deonte

The punt return job still remains a big question for the Black & Gold. Marcus Sherels was believed to be the guy, but the veteran hasn’t been at practice since the preseason opener.  That opened the door for undrafted rookie Deonte Harris, who has gained 140 yards on just five kickoff returns and 55 yards on six punt returns. He did have a mistake last game though as he misjudge a punt and let it bounce in front of him instead if fielding it.

"That bothered me," Coach Sean Payton said after the win against the Chargers. "It's a little bit of you don't know what you're going to get, yet you see some good signs."

Harris muffed punt today at practice that will bother Coach as well.  The 5-foot-6, 170-pound receiver slammed the ball to the ground frustration after the play. It’s moments like that which keep the door open for Sherels since he is a proven veteran. We just don’t know how hurt he is right now.


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