METAIRIE, La. — Adrian Arrington leapt off the line, streaking straight towards the end zone before breaking off his route and cutting to a hole in the defense.
There, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees spotted him, zipping a pass to the receiver.
But, despite being covered by nickelback Johnny Patrick and steps in front of safety Malcolm Jenkins, Arrington managed to snag the ball out of the air, falling to the turf for what would have been a first down.
And that was only one of several dazzling catches the fifth-year receiver has made in the opening two days of training camp.
“I’ve obviously been in this system for so many years now,” Arrington said Friday. “Everything is kind of clicking. Hopefully I can continue to keep it going. It’s still early right now. Just got to keep staying healthy and come out and make plays.”
Indeed, in his first four seasons, Arrington has been a mixed bag, showing signs of life during preseason only to get injured his first two seasons and buried on the depth chart.
He has played in only five games in four years, catching a total of nine passes for 110 yards. Additionally, he has caught only two passes in two postseason games.
Yet, Arrington doesn’t feel any more pressure this year than he did when he was the lanky seventh-round surprise pick in 2008.
“I feel the same pressure every year,” Arrington said. “I’m always in the same situation every single year. It’s always the same to me. As long as I can out here and stay healthy, I know the things I can do. If I can go out here and stay healthy, I know I can contribute.”
Regardless of it being only two days into camp, so far, he’s catching the eyes of the right people.
“I think he’s always been a very sharp kid,” Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. said. “I’ve never known for the last couple of years for him to slow down because he learns as he goes. He’s a sharp guy. He can play a couple of different positions.”
Coming into training camp, Arrington was believed to be in a battle for the fourth receiver position with second-year player Joe Morgan and rookie fourth-round draft pick Nick Toon.
He has something they don’t have that, thus far, is giving him a leg up and that’s the knowledge of each position that Carmichael talked.
“After so many years of doing this, everything is second hand,” Arrington said. “I know it like the back of my hand.”