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Saints 2019 Training Camp Day #5: Defense’s Hard Hitting and Intensity Rules the Day

For the 3rd time since their 2019 Training Camp began last week, the New Orleans Saints were dressed out in full gear and pads where live tackling is permitted; and so far coming into today’s Practice session, the team has been fortunate to avoid any major injuries.

But without question. the Day #5 Practice that ended a short while ago was by far and away the most physically hard-hitting thus far, as no less than 3 Saints offensive players — Terron Armstead, Alizé Mack, and Emmanuel Butler — were “dinged up” on a variety of different plays, before walking off the field on their own or assisted off the field by a trainer.

Fortunately there were no lingering effects other than a notable increase of intensity on both sides of the football, as the team continues their preparations for the upcoming 2019 NFL Season.

Here are a few of the things that stood out today. as the team will now take a day off tomorrow before they return to action on Thursday Morning….

SAINTS DEFENSIVE BACKS CONTINUE TO IMPRESS

Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Hebert/NewOrleansSaints.com

Rookie safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has had a stellar Camp thus far, and his obvious play-making ability was once again on full display, as he sacked back-up QB Taysom Hill on a well-timed blitz from his “box safety” position.

But he wasn’t alone, as two other veteran DB’s, namely Justin Hardee and Chris Banjo, both made a few nice PBU’s (pass break-ups) in coverage.

Overall, it’s been a great first week for the Saints secondary; as other players such as veterans Eli Apple and Kayvon Webster, have also stood out for their individual performances,

Without any doubt, the entire Saints defense as an unit appears to be greatly improved this year. and unquestionably it’s something that both the organization and the fan-base are certainly hoping will continue into the upcoming 2019 NFL Season,

FORMER LSU WIDE RECEIVER TRAVIN DURAL RE-SIGNED

Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

After Practice concluded, the Saints announced that they had re-signed former undrafted free agent and LSU star WR Travin Dural, who was on the team;s Practice Squad both in 2017 and again last season, before he was released last month during the team;s Mini-Camp,

To make room for Dural on the roster, the team released DB Chris Campbell. Additionally, back-up RB Javorious “Buck” Allen was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury; which prompted the team to sign former local Tulane University star and RB Robert Kelly, Jr.

OTHER NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:

(Photo courtesy of Stephen Lew, Crescent City Sports)

Not practicing in today’s Practice today were WR Michael Thomas, whose hold-out continues; along with RB Latavius Murray, safety Marcus Williams, and linebacker Vince Biegel,

Veteran center Nick Easton and rookie Erik McCoy both rotated in and out with the 1st and 2nd Team offenses respectively. But for the 2nd time in as many days: the rookie McCoy struggled to contain the the oncoming “bull rush” of nose tackle Malcom Brown, who has looked absolutely DOMINANT at times since Camp first began.

For a 2nd straight day, 2nd year WR Tre’Quan Smith made a spectacular catch, as the former University of Central Florida star looks to have a much greater and increased role within the team’s passing attack this year.

Former NFL head coach and Saints 1985 Draft pick / linebacker Jack Del Rio was present on the sidelines, as he observed the Practice session while chatting up defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.

The Saints will be OFF tomorrow, before they return to action on Thursday Morning……

 

Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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