Camp Confidential: New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints’ offense still looking to catch fire: Mike Triplett’s first take from Tuesday’s practice

I saw him make several big plays during my visit. Hicks is going to get his chance to shine in the regular season, and with Coleman out, it looks like he’ll be a starter at defensive end. In another sign that the Saints are serious about running the ball more, Graham has bulked up. The tight end said he now weighs about 270 pounds and that hes focusing on becoming a better blocker. The Saints have a history of finding unheralded running backs who end up making a contribution (see Chris Ivory and Travaris Cadet ).

New Orleans Saints’ Preston Parker hopes to build on ‘exceptional’ game vs. Kansas City Chiefs

“They can say all they want, they can be excited, we’ll run our sprints,” offensive tackle Zach Strief said. “But you put those two (Graham and Harper) in a race, I’ll take Jimmy Graham every time.” And that generally sums up the Saints’ overall attitude about their offense at this point of the preseason. They’re still extremely confident in their talent and ability, despite the fact that they have yet to truly “catch fire” more than two weeks into training camp. Loading Photo Gallery The Saints’ first-string offense failed to score a touchdown in two tries during last Friday’s preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. And the first-string offense has lost most of these “high-stakes” battles against the first-string defense so far in camp — the intrasquad scrimmage site web and both of these two-minute drills, among other showdowns.

New Orleans Saints still juggling WRs

Huh, AP Jets WR Vidal Hazelton (18) snares a pass in front of CB Ellis Lankster (21) in Cortland, N.Y., July 31. Richard Barnes, USA TODAY Sports Redskins QB Robert Griffin III greets fans in Richmond, Va., July 30. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Meanwhile, RG3’s teammates did some serious hitting. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Cardinals QBs Carson Palmer (3) and Drew Stanton fire away July 30 in Glendale, Ariz. Ross D. Franklin, AP Packers TE Andrew Quarless takes a bike ride to practice in Green Bay on July 30. Morry Gash, AP Raiders WR Conner Vernon snares a pass in Napa, Calif., July 30. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports The Silver & Black were also busy with conditioning work. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Lions CB Chris Houston (23) works on his footwork in Allen Park, Mich., July 30. Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports Colts LT Anthony Castonzo (74) works on blocking technique in Anderson, Ind., July 30. Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports Patriots backup QB Tim Tebow unloads a pass July 30. Stew Milne, USA TODAY Sports Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass during the Indianapolis Colts training camp at Anderson University. Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) runs with the ball as Redskins linebacker Bryan Kehl (53) attempts the tackle during afternoon practice as part of the 2013 NFL training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton with quarterback Drew Brees (9) during a morning training camp practice at the team facility. Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws the ball during training camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-139352 ORIG FILE ID: 20130729_kkt_sv7_023.jpg Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Woods (10) makes a catch during training camp practice at St. John Fisher College. Mark Konezny, USA TODAY Sports Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) participates in drills during training camp at Saint Vincent College. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) jokes with quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Richard Barnes, USA TODAY Sports New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during training camp at Timex Performance Center. The Star-Ledger, USA TODAY Sports Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) talks with defensive coordinator Sean McDermott at Wofford College. Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY Sports Members of the Houston Texans practice during training camp at Methodist Training Center. Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) makes a catch during training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium. Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during training camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports Cincinnati Bengals tight end Orson Charles, right, runs against assistant coach Eric Ball, left, during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) runs with the ball during the first day of training camp held at EverBank Field. Rob Foldy, USA TODAY Sports Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) gestures to fans while walking onto the field during 2013 NFL training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) runs a drill during training camp at ContinuityX Training Center. Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rashad Ross (89) leaps to catch a pass against corner back Tommie Campbell (37) and linebacker Jonathan Willard (49) during training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) carries the ball during training camp at the Eagles NovaCare Complex. Howard Smith, USA TODAY Sports New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez arrives for training camp at SUNY Cortland. USA TODAY Sports Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws the ball during opening day of training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) breaks free from defensive tackle Sammie Hill (94) during the first day of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (93) runs around a blocking bag during linebacker drills at training camp at Chargers Park. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Denver Broncos wide receiver Gerell Robinson (10) attempts to catch a pass during practice at the Broncos training camp. Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) signs autographs for fans following training camp at the Broncos training facility. Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) runs away from linebacker Craig Robertson (53) during training camp at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility. Ron Schwane, USA TODAY Sports San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, runs drills with wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, right, during training camp. Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) signs autographs for fans after training camp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, right, takes some playful punches at hand pads worn by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, left, during training camp. Ted S. Warren, AP Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton rides his segway at training camp. Jeff Siner, AP San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd, right, and strong safety Brandon Taylor battle for a pass during the team’s first practice at their training camp in San Diego. Lenny Ignelzi, AP A pair of young Redskins fans receive autographs from players, including wide receiver Josh Morgan (15), after training camp practice. Courtesy photo: Allison Stover Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver BJ Cunningham (88) tries top catch a ball on a rope during training camp at the Eagles NovaCare Complex. Howard Smith, USA TODAY Sports Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) directs a teammate during NFL football training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Orlin Wagner, AP Dolphins helmets with the team’s new logo are lined up prior to a camp practice. Wilfredo Lee, AP Byproducts of the Dolphins’ humid camp are wet cleats and gloves. Wilfredo Lee, AP Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware signs autographs at the team’s camp in Oxnard, Calif. Gus Ruelas, AP QB Ryan Tannehill (red), C Mike Pouncey, center, and the other Dolphins stretch July 22. Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports In a time-honored traditions, Dolphins rookie DT A.J.

Rob Ryan adding swagger to Saints’ defense

It’s the type of game that can give a receiver a leg up on the competition in a crowded field on candidates vying for the fifth wideout spot on the final roster. “The biggest thing that we talk about is consistency,” wide receiver coach Henry Ellard said. “Don’t let yourself have one big week and then all of a sudden disappear. That’s what I don’t want to see. “Don’t just make one play. I want to see it on a consistent basis, and that’s what we’re looking for.” Ellard said Parker has had a good camp. Saints wide receiver Preston Parker on helping younger players: video Saints wide receiver Preston Parker talks about helping younger players with advice and about his renewed appreciation for his job in football.

New Orleans Saints: Pass Offense Built Frugally Around Drew Brees

Instead of paying Meachem or Devery Henderson decent money to stick around, they jettisoned them for the next line of younger, cheaper deep-threat talent. Its unfortunate that the next in line for 2013 was Joe Morgan, who will spend the year on injured reserve due to a recent camp injury, but the idea was sound and followed a strategy that has worked for New Orleans. General manager Mickey Loomis knows he has to pony up for Jimmy Graham soon and this is a good area to waiver. For now, its easy to marvel at the receiving talent around Brees that has allowed him to put up prolific numbers, with of course part of this leaning on Brees making his receivers better. Graham gives New Orleans nearly a $1.5 million cap hit in 2013 but combined for barely more than that in his first three years combined.

Saints’ D taking more positives than negatives

The team reportedly has signed veteran Patrick Crayton . That comes a week after the team signed another veteran, Steve Breaston . Rookie Kenny Stills and second-year pro Nick Toon also are in the mix for the backup jobs behind Marques Colston and Lance Moore . Crayton, 34, hasnt played in the NFL since the 2011 season. But he has some history with coach Sean Payton, who was an assistant in Dallas for the first two seasons of Craytons career.

Overall we did a pretty good job.” Lofton helped spark the revival, combining with end Cam Jordan to stuff running back Knile Davis for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1 on the Chiefs’ second possession. Rookie defensive tackle John Jenkins, a third-round pick, sacked Daniel to stop another series. Undrafted rookie end Glenn Foster stripped Kansas City quarterback Tyler Bray on a sack in the third quarter, causing a turnover at midfield. Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro, the Saints’ first-round pick, led the team with six tackles. ”I thought it would be a lot faster, but I was prepared and it slowed down for me as the game went on,” Vaccaro said. ”We have a long way to go, but after that first drive we played really well. Everyone was tackling. We were physical, and I think we outhit them.” The players did not expect a totally smooth transition on Friday. Smith, a 4-3 defensive end for his first nine years, struggled in pass coverage on the opening series.

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