Coach Matt LaFleur says the Packers are preparing for the worst — that Bakhtiari won’t be ready for the opener — and will be happily surprised if that’s not the case.
METAIRIE, La. - For the first time since the New Orleans Saints opened training camp, neither Jameis Winston nor Taysom Hill did much to distinguish themself from the other in terms of throwing the football.
“I learned a long time ago that I cannot approach any season with expectations of playing any position,” Turner says.
Matt LaFleur so admires and appreciates Lewis — and has cited his leadership and professionalism so frequently — that his assistant coaches, during LaFleur’s first season as head coach in 2019, gave him an authentic Lewis No. 89 jersey.
“It feels good to have the boys back together,” tight end Robert Tonyan said. “Even just chilling in the locker room or in the cafeteria, I just think everyone's just glad to kind of just be back to normal and have football again."
The 37-year-old has shown no signs of rust after skipping the entire offseason program, including the mandatory minicamp in June.
METAIRIE, La. - Temperatures approached triple digits as the New Orleans Saints held their first outdoor practice of 2021 training camp, but that didn’t stop fans from packing the bleachers to get their first glimpse of the team in this setting since 2019.And while many came eager to throw their support behind Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill, who are vying for the chance to succeed Drew Brees, Friday’s practice offered more simple efficiency than it did flash.Again, Hill worked with the first team offense, and again, coach Sean Payton made clear that Winston’s time with the first team unit will come soon.Here are a few observations from Day 2 of the post-Drew Brees era.The numbersTaysom Hill: 6 completions in 7 attempts during full team drills/ 11 for 14 in camp as a wholeJameis Winston: 7 completions in 8 attempts during full team drills/ 14 for 16 in camp as a wholeIt’s not clear if this was by design, but neither Winston nor Hill pushed the ball downfield much during team drills, opting instead for short, high-percentage pass attempts while they operated the offense.Five of Winston’s seven completions went to running backs at or near the line of scrimmage. While all but one of Hill’s passes were directed at receivers, they were also kept mostly within about 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.That’s not to say there weren’t some impressive plays. Winston connected with recent Saints signee Chris Hogan for a gain of about 15 yards during one period, a frozen-rope throw that Hogan secured with an excellent leaping catch. Hill threaded a few in-stride passes to Deonte Harris through tight windows.But, for the most part, Friday’s practice was more about directing the offense and not making mistakes — though there were a couple of those as well.Hill’s first pass attempt, a deeper route to Marquez Callaway on the right hash, was so wildly off target that it wasn’t clear if it was simply a bad throw or if Hill thought Callaway was going to be somewhere else. Regardless, it was a missed opportunity: Callaway was open. Hill did rebound to complete his last six attempts in team drills.Winston took at least one sack, and might’ve taken a second. As usual, the quarterbacks are wearing red non-contact jerseys, so plays are allowed to continue even when defensive linemen get to the quarterback.Winston’s lone incompletion came on his one attempt at a shot play. It appeared that his intended target, Jalen McCleskey, tripped when his feet got caught up with safety Bryce Thompson.Hogan’s leaping snare of a Winston pass was easily the most exciting play of the day and got the biggest rise out of the fans in attendance. It obviously was not a perfect pass from Winston, but as has been clear through the first couple days, he has no shortage of arm strength. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Hogan’s catch was that he corralled the rocket.Programming noteIt was a little hard to parse meaning out of what Payton was saying, but it sounded like Winston could be penciled in to get some work with the first team offense Saturday. “Basically, the first two days of install were one and two, tomorrow we go back to one and two, we’ll flip the rotation. A lot of it is install driven.”
As he strode onto Ray Nitschke Field Thursday morning, Kelly did so incognito: He was wearing All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari’s No. 69 jersey, which led to more than a few double takes — given that Bakhtiari is on the physically unable to perform list and isn’t expected to return to action for awhile after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee last Dec. 31.
GREEN BAY — Brian Gutekunst made himself crystal clear: Randall Cobb would not be a member of the Green Bay Packers had Aaron Rodgers not wanted him on the team.
METAIRIE, La. - The first snaps in the battle to replace a New Orleans Saints legend went to Taysom Hill.For the first time since the 2005 season, the Saints held a training camp practice in which Drew Brees was not the unquestioned leader of the offense. Brees retired this March, the Saints made a commitment to allowing Hill and Jameis Winston compete for the starting job, and they are making good on that promise now.Though Hill worked with the first team, and though all of Winston's full-team practice repetitions came with the second unit, coach Sean Payton said after practice that the roles would rotate so the team can get a look at how both fit within the starting offense.Here are a few observations from Day 1 of the post-Drew Brees era.The numbersTaysom Hill: 5 completions in 7 attempts during full team drillsJameis Winston: 7 completions in 8 attempts during full team drillsBehind the numbersWhile both Winston and Hill completed a high percentage of their passes (and Hill's numbers may have been better if not for what appeared to be a dropped pass by Deonte Harris), Winston clearly had the better day throwing the football.All but one of Hill's completions appeared to travel fewer than seven or eight yards past the line of scrimmage, and both of his incompletions came on his downfield attempts (though, again, Harris could have helped him on one). Three of those completions came either at or behind the line of scrimmage.Winston, meanwhile, cut it loose on several of his attempts. His zipped his first pass attempt of the day on time and in stride to former Tulane receiver Jalen McCleskey near the sideline on a deep crosser, then two pass attempts later found Juwan Johnson for a similar completion.The Saints did not run through red zone or two-minute offense drills, sticking mostly to the middle of the field, but Winston likely would've had the only touchdown between the two when Harris got behind new Saints signee Brian Poole on a play action pass.Harris had Poole beaten by several steps, allowing Winston to put a little more air under the ball to make sure he didn't overthrow the streaking Harris, who caught the ball and raced toward the end zone.Winston's lone incompletion was a short pass to rookie Kawaan Baker that was deflected by Ken Crawley.Moment of the dayWinston's final pass attempt in team drills went to Baker, who bobbled the pass before reeling it in and picking up yards after the catch. After the play, Winston tracked the rookie down and shouted words of encouragement his way.Quote of the day"Two very strong leaders, two confident men, they've both got unique styles, unique ways they go about their business and how they do things," said All-Pro left tackle Terron Armstead. "This first practice went really well, the offense had a lot of tempo, we had a lot of would-be big plays."
NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans Saints All-Pro punt returner Deonte Harris was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and was issued other citations in July near his hometown of Baltimore, according to police records from Baltimore County.Harris was arrested at 1:27 a.m. on July 16 in Towson, Maryland, and was cited for negligent driving, reckless driving, failure to obey traffic control device instructions, and exceeding the speed limit.According to police records, Harris was driving 77 mph in a 55 mph zone.The case remains open, and Harris has not yet received discipline from the NFL. The news was first reported by Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.Typically, two-game suspensions are common for a first offense of DUI. Saints defensive back P.J. Williams was suspended two games during the 2019 season after he had an offseason arrest for the same charge in New Orleans.Williams later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless operation of a motor vehicle.Harris, who came to New Orleans as an undrafted rookie in 2019, has played in 23 games for the Saints and has logged 53 punt returns for 545 yards and 40 kick returns for 1,080 yards.Last season, Harris missed some time due to injury, playing in just nine games. When he was out, then-rookie Marquez Callaway filled in on punt and kick returns, as did Tommylee Lewis. Callaway remains with the team, while Lewis does not.If Harris misses time, he'll be the second receiver to do so. Saints receiver Michael Thomas was placed on the physically unable to perform list earlier this week after having ankle surgery in June. He is expected to miss all of training camp and part of the season.If Harris receives a suspension, he'll be the second key player to do so.Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata will be suspended the first six games of the upcoming season without pay after he tested positive for a banned substance.
Rodgers offered plenty of insight during a news conference in which his tone was borderline somber at times. What he didn’t do was instill much confidence his time with the Packers is going to end well or even that this season will be as super as some had hoped.
“I'm not complaining about it. I'm not poor right now. I'll be OK to get through and go and try to win a Super Bowl again,” Adams said.
During a news conference in which he was even-keeled and introspective but also unvarnished and brutally honest, Rodgers confessed he came back for two reasons: He found his competitive fire still burns within him, and he wanted to be back with those in the organization he loves — his teammates, including wide receiver Davante Adams and left tackle David Bakhtiari; his coaches, led by coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett; and the fans.