A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New Orleans Saints training camp:
Cornerback Corey White's interception toward the end of Sunday's practice highlighted a dominant day for the secondary. And it was another nice moment for White, who can't be ruled out of the No. 2 cornerback competition, especially since Patrick Robinson missed the second half of Sunday's practice for an undisclosed reason. ... The Saints' defense won the day overall, especially during a series of hurry-up drills at the end of practice. First, quarterback Luke McCown and the starters went 4-and-out with three pass break-ups and a would-be sack by linebacker Parys Haralson. Then White intercepted Griffin when the second units were in. Each QB then got another crack, including Hail Mary attempts. McCown's Hail Mary attempt was batted down by tight end Jimmy Graham, who was moonlighting as a safety. Then Griffin found redemption with a Hail Mary touchdown pass to tight end Benjamin Watson (who was actually playing tight end).
The defense was equally strong up front for most of practice. Although the Saints’ run game got off to a fast start in the first set of team drills, the defense fought back with a number of run stuffs. It was hard to identify many specific players from our vantage point, but middle linebacker Curtis Lofton had at least one standout stuff. ... Defensive end Cameron Jordan had a couple highlights both in team drills and 1-on-1 pass-rush drills.
On the flip side, the Saints’ offensive line was the most dominant unit in Friday night’s preseason opener -- especially in the run game. I chatted with center Tim Lelito on Sunday, and he praised left tackle Terron Armstead and guards Senio Kelemete and Marcel Jones, among others. Lelito credited Kelemete and Jones for playing virtually the whole game, since starters Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs were held out. Lelito said they did a great job with communication and assignments – as if there was barely any drop-off from the usual veterans.
Newly-signed veteran fullback Greg Jones got some snaps with the first-string offense Sunday. The Saints haven’t offered any specific details on fullback Erik Lorig’s leg injury. But I can’t help but wonder if a proven vet like Jones would have been signed if Lorig was expected back in a matter of days or even weeks. Payton spoke highly of Jones, a 10-year veteran with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. “He’s experienced. He’s someone that’s very physical. And looking at his tape from a year ago before we signed him, he played pretty well in that [Texans] offense,” Payton said. “So he is tough. He plays with good pad level, and he’ll strike you. He has good size. And it will be a good look for us and him ... this week.”
The Saints will be back on their normal practice schedule Monday, with a full practice scheduled for 8:50 a.m. ET and a walk-through at 4:30 p.m. This is their final week of practices at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia before they return home for the rest of training camp.