No need to brag about how great the weather is in Coast Mesa, California. It was a glorious 72 degrees when the Saints & Chargers took the field for their first joint practice leading up to preseason game #2. It felt great, but even better was seeing a number of guys back for the Black & Gold. Wide receiver Keith Kirkwood was finally back after getting hurt early on in camp. Tight end Garrett Griffin had been absent a number of days, but made his return. Running back Alvin Kamara had missed the last 2 practices, but returned. Left tackle Terron Armstead was also on the field. Also, corner Marshon Lattimore had been wearing a red non-contact jersey the last few sessions, but he wasn’t wearing one today.
Some more positive news. Fullback Michael Burton and tight end Alize Mack were not dressed, but were at least on the sidelines. Both have missed a lot of time at camp.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone, corner Marcus Sherels, safety Saquan Hampton and offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge were the only four players not seen.
A consistent nuisance to the Saints offense in camp has been 3rd year defensive end Trey Hendrickson. He brought his disruptive attitude out West as he picked up 2 sacks on the day. The 24 year old out of Florida Atlantic is finally looking like the guy the team drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft.
The defense of the Chargers picked off Saints QBs twice on the day. Their first came against Teddy Bridgewater. After DB Kemon Hall hauled in the interception, he took off for endzone. The rest of the Bolts defense joined him as they posed for pictures, a celebration that the Saints started and has been copied time and time again. Once was ok, but the Chargers double dipped after an INT off Drew Brees. It wasn’t #9’s fault though. The ball bounced off undrafted rookie Emmanuel Butler’s hands and Derwin James plucked it out the air. The whole Los Angeles defense strutted their stuff again in front of the cameras.
While the Saints defense had a few INTs as well, they did not do opt to hold a group celebration. Maybe they are saving that for Sunday’s preseason contest.