Practice Notebook, 8/2
For the third-straight day, the Saints were forced to move an afternoon practice indoors. Today's schedule for the team, after a pair of days with two practices, was a walkthrough in shorts and jerseys in the morning and a full-pads practice this afternoon…Coach Sean Payton was in full-teaching mode early in practice with the offense, carefully going over patterns and drops with the quarterbacks and wide receivers. A combination of up to five wide receivers, tight ends and running backs would take off after the snap without any defenders across from them, and the quarterback would pick a target and deliver the pass. 在 least three other receivers would also be thrown to by the other quarterbacks and a coach… It's hard to get a good idea of the size advantage WR Marques Colston often has on cornerbacks unless standing on the sideline. The 6-4, 225-pound wide receiver towers over most defensive backs and he is extremely physical when the ball arrives…A traditionally-competitive individual faceoff was featured today that isn't always part of the practice routine: Blocking drills where linebackers and safeties take on the running backs and tight ends. The process is simple: The running back or tight end is in his stance – aiming to protect a swiveling blocking dummy with an arm that is holding a football as if passing – and the defender is split out wide. Today the head coach was handling the snap count. RB Reggie Bush did a terrific job in protection in his first rep, stymieing LB Jonathan Vilma. Later Bush was beaten by LB Marvin Mitchell in one of the drill's big collisions. The biggest hits? Crunching blows between LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and TE Billy Miller followed directly by LB Scott Shanle and FB Olaniyi Sobomehin…QB Drew Brees had been flawless – held without an interception despite a multitude of passes through the first four practices – but was picked off twice this afternoon. The first was by CB Jabari Greer, a key free-agent signing by the Saints from the Buffalo Bills in the offseason – a move that ESPN correspondent Chris Mortensen, a visitor at today's practice, expects to be a good one for New Orleans. Brees bounced back with a strike to Miller on the following play, but was intercepted again in a later team drill on a diving catch by CB Randall Gay. The defensive back went to the turf, sliding in front of WR Devery Henderson to pick off the quarterback…Gay also made a nice play earlier in the team period, knocking a would-be completion from the arms of Colston. Brees was under heavy pressure from the defense, which had brought too many players than the offensive line could block. Brees managed to get rid of it and put the pass in a catchable spot for Colston, but Gay beat the wide receiver to the ball…WR Robert Meachem scored on the longest 玩 of the day, with Brees intentionally throwing to his back shoulder after solid coverage by CB Tracy Porter. Meachem hauled in the pass while jumping around Porter's outstretched arms and took off to the end zone.