The Saints first two practices were just in helmets, Saturday the pads came on. Sean Payton explains its when the coaches can really start to see who belongs.
"Today's the first day you're able to start talking about pad level and really truly playing the game. So the evaluation process gets a little, I don't want to say easier but it's a little bit clear when you're seeing them in pads, how they carry their pads, type of physical presence they have."
It was the first time the Saints have been in full pads since the team's loss to Atlanta on New Year's Day. Was it the level of physicality Payton was hoping for?
"Thought it was ok, think we're going to have periods and practices that are more physical, yet it was the first one. So I think we'll be smart but it's their first day carrying the pads. I think you're going to see some more practices probably with a little bit more hitting. "
It was the first time Payton was able to see the first round pick Ryan Ramczyk in pads. The offensive tackle didn't participate in Saints preseason, still recovering from hip surgery. Starting left tackle Terron Armstead had shoulder surgery. Payton said Armstead will play this year, but not anytime soon. So, for now, Ramczyk is the answer at left tackle.
"I thought he handled himself pretty well over there. Course that's where he's played in college so we'll look at the film. Overall, sure there's some good things and some things that will need to be cleaned up," Payton commented.
Damian Swann came off the PUP list day three, practicing Saturday. He was on the PUP list to begin with after failing his physical on Wednesday.
Brandon Coleman has made some good plays so far. The Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2014. He's had opportunities, although he's managed to stay on the roster, he's never quite lived up to his potential and has had too many dropped passes.
"His rookie year was a tough year just because he was coming off of an injury, more of a red-shirt year. He's made progress each of those seasons. This will be an important season for him, an important training camp. His ability to high point balls and make plays in traffic one thing he's continued to work on and understand he has to work on," Payton said.
Fellow receiver, former Detroit Lion Corey Fuller has also had a great start to training camp.