Attendance: The following players were either not spotted or did not practice: RB Mark Ingram, DL Nick Fairley, FB John Kuhn, WR Tommylee Lewis, TE Josh Hill and WR Willie Snead. Snead was behind the huddle, in uniform, listening to the play calls. He did not participate. There could be a handful of other players who also did not participate in practice but were present.
Fuller Hype: There’s a summer darling in practices every year. Sometimes those guys blossom and live up the early hype. Sometimes they falter away. Wide receiver Corey Fuller could be someone who fits the bill this year. He had a handful of impressive catches, with one each on starting cornerbacks Delvin Breaux and P.J. Williams during a team drill on back-to-back plays. He showed good hands and made an adjustment to come back to the ball on the play against Williams.
It’s important to remember that a good practice in May doesn’t mean much. Last year, R.J. Harris lit up the summer schedule and then failed to keep the pace during training camp. But it’s important to make an early impression and a guy who spent time with the team last year should be ahead of the newcomers at this early juncture.
Peterson: Not a lot of running during Thursday’s practice – and even if there was it would be worthless to try and evaluate since there is no hitting allowed in these practices. But with Mark Ingram sidelined for undisclosed reasons, Adrian Peterson caught a handful of passes out of the backfield on screens. He let one wheel route fall to the ground, but he was making catches with his hands and looked comfortable doing so.
Rotation, rotation: The Saints used a lot of three-safety looks with the supposed first-team defense (again, guys rotate on different days. This isn’t a depth chart), with Kenny Vaccaro, Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams serving as the safeties. Dannell Ellerbe and A.J. Klein lined up at linebacker. Stephone Anthony and Craig Robertson came in behind them at linebacker.
Slot work: P.J. Williams took some snaps at slot cornerback during a blitzing portion of practice. He moved inside with Ken Crawley coming in to spell him on the outside. This is something Williams did at times last year and could be an option to log some snaps in the slot during the season if Marshon Lattimore pushes him for a starting job on the outside.
Lattimore: Didn’t see Lattimore get targeted at any point during practice. He played mostly on the outside with what was the third-team defense. The team says they want to make him earn his spot, and that rotations in May don’t mean much of anything. There was one point where a play had to be stopped so that he could get lined up properly. Otherwise, his coverage looked good and he didn’t give up much.
Kikaha present: Good sign that Hau’oli Kikaha was present and took part in some team drills. He suffered a torn ACL during organized team activities last year and missed the whole season. His presence gives the team another person who can compete with Alex Okafor at defensive end.