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GMoney2600
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Things We've Learned From Saints OTAs

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OBSERVATIONS AND NOTES FROM OTAS: June 9th, June 2nd, May 26th

Thursday officially wrapped up a three-week period of OTAs for the Saints, and they'll be back at it next week with a mandatory three-day minicamp. We've been able to see three practices from New Orleans, and here's what we've learned about Dennis Allen's team thus far.

VETERAN IMPACT: The Saints have brought in several key veterans this offseason, and two of the main ones in Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry are as advertised. Marcus Maye is a player who's only seen more action as OTAs have progressed, and he's getting up to speed from his Achilles injury last year.

It's not just the new guys who are making a difference, as the return of Jameis Winston so early and his participation in practice has been one the best storylines to emerge for the Saints. Many took a 'noticeable limp' in the wrong context, and those who follow this team and have seen him up close know better.

This will be a very different year in terms of locker room leadership with the losses of Malcolm Jenkins and Terron Armstead, but the Saints look like a team that have the answers. We'll see more of this as we get further along.

ROOKIE GROWTH: You always want to see growth from the rookie class, and the team's top three picks of Chris Olave, Trevor Penning, and Alontae Taylor are shining examples of it. They've come a long way in such a short time, and it's a great sign of future things to come.

Olave has demonstrated an affinity for being a pro, frequently trying to ask Jameis Winston about what he likes, where to be, and how to get better. Penning has learned a tremendous bit in the first several weeks, especially in the sense that he's been 'thrown into the fire'. It's far from perfect, but seems to improving in the right direction.

As for Taylor, the DB room has been his best friend. He was very quick to point on the willingness of others to help him out and teach him, something that only delivers the best type of results on the field. He's doing this without Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby in the room, mind you.

UNDER THE RADAR PLAYERS: Bryce Thompson is one of the many players who have made a strong impact just several weeks into things. Lucas Krull is someone who shined at rookie minicamp and then had a great practice to close out OTAs. He has a great opportunity to move up the depth chart, and we'll just have to see if he can keep putting things together.

Another undrafted player that looks favorable early is Abram Smith. He's been pretty solid, and has a great outlook if he can keep it going. We don't expect Tony Jones Jr. and Dwayne Washington to not give him a great fight.

There was some strong buzz when the team landed Kirk Merritt as a reserve/future player in the offseason, and he finished with another strong practice. He's getting gunner work too, and he'll be one to watch at training camp.

Kaden Elliss is another player that has looked strong in the early stages. He's flashed better pass coverage over the weeks and has looked more comfortable out there. He's known more for his role on special teams, but obviously served a good bit as the starting strongside linebacker in base formation.

NO PAYTON? NO PROBLEM: Dennis Allen has a lot on his plate this season and giant shoes to fill, but that doesn't seem to be intimidating to him. From what we've seen so far, the coaching staff is operating well together under Allen. Most of this early stuff until we get to training camp is laying the foundation, and Allen is doing just that with the help of his assistants.

SPECIAL TEAMS MATTER: A lot of the early work in OTAs is centered around special teams and the fundamentals there. We see a lot of the drills go on, and there's still things to pay attention to.

How this roster ultimately gets constructed is going to depend heavily on special teams play. At least 10 players will be in key roles between the kickoff, kick return, punt return, and field goal/extra point teams. It's hardly a sexy position to talk about, but the competition is only going to get bigger from here.

Let's also not forget the biggest thing that can happen for this group, which is getting Wil Lutz back in the lineup.

MINICAMP EXPECTATIONS: Dennis Allen said that he expects all players to be in attendance for the team's three-day minicamp. There are no excused absences, as of now. This will be a huge point of reference if players like Michael Thomas and Taysom Hill are around. We've been missing James Hurst, Payton Turner, and Marcus Davenport as well, while most of the other veterans haven't been around since it was a voluntary session.

The Saints will at it for three straight days starting on Tuesday, June 14. Be sure to keep it here with all the latest and greatest from Airline Drive.


Spelt it rong
Atlanta Braves Fan
I'm from Laweezyana
Member since Oct 2012
8775 posts

Hey. Great post. Please don't ever leave.

ILY


Suntiger
USA Fan
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Thanks for the update.

quote:

Penning has learned a tremendous bit in the first several weeks, especially in the sense that he's been 'thrown into the fire'. It's far from perfect, but seems to improving in the right direction.


Offensive line is my biggest concern this year. Ramczyk & McCoy are solid. Ruiz needs to step up this year and Peat is terrible. Someone out of Penning, Hurst, Lamp and Throckmorton needs to emerge as a better than average OT for us to succeed.


LSUZombie
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I’m trying not to be overly optimistic but I think we will be really good if we can get a break from the injury bug


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Spelt it rong
Atlanta Braves Fan
I'm from Laweezyana
Member since Oct 2012
8775 posts

quote:

Peat is terrible

No, he's oft-injured. If the Saints FO thought he was good enough to give him that contract, that's good enough for me given the track record with OL


mdomingue
LSU Fan
Lafayette, LA
Member since Nov 2010
17280 posts

quote:

quote:

Peat is terrible


No, he's oft-injured. If the Saints FO thought he was good enough to give him that contract, that's good enough for me given the track record with OL



The hyperbole on this board is out of control sometimes. Peat may not have lived up to his first round pick expectations but he has not been terrible. Not his fault the Saints reached for him.


drake20
New Orleans Saints Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
13069 posts
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Peat has been terrible and his contract is horrendous. Saints FO has done a good job on a lot of things, but not this one.


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1BamaRTR
New Orleans Saints Fan
In Your Head Blvd
Member since Apr 2015
21732 posts
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Peat is a mediocre player that’s hurt too much. Certainly not deserving of the contract he was given. He’s not close to the worst decision made by the Saints FO but still not a great one.


mdomingue
LSU Fan
Lafayette, LA
Member since Nov 2010
17280 posts

quote:

Peat is a mediocre player that’s hurt too much. Certainly not deserving of the contract he was given. He’s not close to the worst decision made by the Saints FO but still not a great one.



See, I don't know if that's entirely right or not, but it is a realistic assessment that would not be hard to agree with.

The way folks are with "he's trash" or "He's the goat" with almost everyone is ridiculous at times. Peat has been adequate, which makes him a bad first round pick and the contract questionable, in my mind. Not garbage, probably not worth his contract.


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Suntiger
USA Fan
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I’m not one for hyperbole. I don’t say someone is a bust after a year or this person is the goat or worst ever. But Peat is terrible. He’s directly responsible for Brees’ hand injury against the rams and another one or two injuries last year because he can’t stand up to the inside rush. Add onto that his injury history (I’m usually glad when he’s out) and his contract and he is the dead albatross around this teams neck.


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tigersquad89
LSU Fan
Raleigh, NC
Member since Oct 2014
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Dude, he was blocking Aaron Donald lol. No guard can block that man. He’s arguably the greatest defensive player to ever play in this league.

I’m not saying Peat is elite but that is the worst thing to point out when saying Peat is horrible. He couldn’t block a guy that nobody can block.
This post was edited on 6/11 at 1:02 pm


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Doublebagger
Member since Mar 2021
960 posts

Thank you for the post.


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Spelt it rong
Atlanta Braves Fan
I'm from Laweezyana
Member since Oct 2012
8775 posts

quote:

He’s directly responsible for Brees’ hand injury against the rams

Wasn't it Donald he was trying to block? Pretty sure he does that to literally everyone.

quote:

and another one or two injuries last year because he can’t stand up to the inside rush

Which is it, one or two? How do you know what his responsibility is on any given play? Stop acting like he's Ruiz out there.

quote:

injury history

I'm team Suntiger on this one


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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
12922 posts
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LINK...Full attendance expected at upcoming Saints minicamp

One of the biggest reactions that usually pops up during the NFL offseason is the overblown concern over players not present at organized team activities. The thing is, OTAs are voluntary. For the New Orleans Saints and several teams around the league, especially without offseason activities for the last two season, absences during those three weeks are not usually of concern. The first big test comes when mandatory minicamps roll around.

The Saints will host their mandatory minicamp June 14-16. During that time, head coach Dennis Allen expects that all players will be present. There was a collective of veterans not present throughout OTAs as well as some that only partially attended. While some questions the veteran players’ connection to their new head coach, others saw the absences as a matter of no concern.

Allen made it clear early in OTAs that he was comfortable with all of the reasons players were not present; for instance, newly-signed wide receiver Jarvis Landry missed the first week to attend his 5-year old daughter’s preschool graduation. A full showing at next week’s minicamps should clear up any further concerns or questions around the teams makeup. It’s also worth mentioning that missing minicamp results in a $95,877 fine under the collective bargaining agreement.

However, full attendance does not also mean full participation. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas is “doubtful” to participate over the week according to Allen while he continues to recover from ankle surgery. But Thomas and others who have not been able to do on-field work have been present at the facility focusing on rehabbing and recovery. Next week, we should see a 100% presence across the roster though, which is always a positive sign. It’s all setting the stage for an exciting Saints training camp later this summer.


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Locoguan0
LA-Lafayette Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Nov 2017
1701 posts

The key with the veterans is health. Guys like Landry and Honey Badger get more injury prone each season.


CRW
LSU Fan
Destrahan
Member since Aug 2016
523 posts

I`m so happy alot of you guys on here know more and
watch more film than the Saints coaches do.
I will say this,SP did piss away alot of money on free
agents the last few years.He was an arrogant SOB and had
to have things his way.
Peat has played well when healthy and the older you get
the harder it is to come back. Allen and Mickey must
believe he still has it.


Laaz2750
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2008
7957 posts
 Online 

Excellent article…

Wish they would have given us more on this though

quote:

Many took a 'noticeable limp' in the wrong context, and those who follow this team and have seen him up close know better


Like… OK, what is the proper context then. How’s he really doing?


goatmilker
LSU Fan
2014 drunkin Bobby award winner!
Member since Feb 2009
54527 posts
 Online 

He is cleared to throw which he has been but he is not cleared to run from scrimmage. Same for mini camp and is expected to be close to 100% for camp.


Laaz2750
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2008
7957 posts
 Online 

Thanks!


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BRL79
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Mar 2014
2502 posts

quote:

SP did piss away alot of money on free
agents the last few years.He was an arrogant SOB and had
to have things his way.


You show me a head coach that doesn't want to do it his way and I'll show you someone that shouldn't be a head coach. Sick of all the Payton bash on here. Fake arse Saints fans on here. Do me a favor and be a Falcons fan.


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