Practice 1/5, Day 3, Training Camp Observations

Injury Report:
TE Jeremy Shockey (knee) was held back Sunday afternoon with a sore knee, Head Coach Sean Payton said. The team had the tight ends knee looked at, but deemed it not serious and held him back. He dressed out and attended the session, however. Shockey missed the final three games of the 2009 regular season with a bad right knee.

The PUP crew WR Robert Meachem (toe), WR Marques Colston (left knee), LB Clint Ingram (left knee) and S Darren Sharper (left knee) all missed team drills.

DT DeMario Pressley (back) returned to practice for the first time since Friday morning when he began to suffer from back spasms.

Heat Index (calculated from NWS numbers at MSY):
3:53 p.m.: 109 degrees
5:53 p.m.: 108 degrees

Numbers taken by the Saints head trainer Scottie Patton on the field told a slightly different story. At the beginning of practice, the air temperature was 95 degrees with a heat index of 119. Twenty minutes after practice ended, the air temperature was 100 degrees.

Regardless, it was hot. Very, very hot. But the players were rewarded after practice with freshly cut, iced-down watermelon.

(Audio - Anthony Hargrove loves the watermelon treat and wants more surprises)

Position Battles:
CB Randall Gay appears to still have the nickel back position on lockdown. He worked as the primary nickel back on Sunday. He also was in with the first team when the team went to its 'penny' package three cornerbacks and one safety.

Meanwhile, LB Troy Evans was back with the first team at SLB on Sunday. The second-team LB crew was Jonathan Casillas, Marvin Mitchell and Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

The second-team offensive line appears to have Jermey Parnell at left tackle, Brandon Carter at left guard, Nick Leckey at center, Na'Shan Goddard at right guard and Zach Strief at right tackle. Expect this group to continue changing as it's early in camp.

QB Patrick Ramsey was again with the second-team offense.

Interesting observation:
RB Pierre Thomas was back on the kickoff return team, working at the secondary return man with WR Courtney Roby holding onto his primary return spot.

But while Thomas has experience as a returner, teams shy away from putting their primary running back on special teams.

Team 1:
QB Drew Brees spiraled a beautiful pass to the right boundary at a well-covered WR Lance Moore. But Moore once again came down with a stupendous catch over CB Randall Gay. It obviously brought the crowd to its feet.

On the next play, however, WR Devery Henderson couldn't corral a pass from Brees as he was sliding to the turf.

RB Chris Ivory, one of the hot hands so far in camp, might want to clutch a football while he sleeps tonight. Fumbling won't get him anywhere. He caught a pass, turned upfield and then fumbled the ball as it was stripped.

OL vs DL:
While the skill players were going through pass skeleton drills, the offensive line was battling the defensive line in one-on-one drills. What follows is a win-loss chart, with a draw consisting of a stymie where the defensive lineman got push into the backfield.

Jon Stinchcomb: 2-0
Jahri Evans: 0-0-1
Jonathan Goodwin: 1-0-2
Carl Nicks: 1-0-1
Jermon Bushrod: 0-1-1
Zach Strief: 1-0-1
Tim Duckworth: 1-0-1
Nick Leckey: 1-0-1
Terrence Metcalf: 1-0-1
Jermey Parnell: 0-2
Na'Shan Goddard: 2-0
Brandon Carter: 1-1
Charles Brown: 1-0

Alex Brown: 0-1
Sedrick Ellis: 0-1-1
Remi Ayodele: 0-0-2
Anthony Hargrove: 0-2-1
Will Smith: 0-1-1
Bobby McCray: 0-1-1
DeMario Pressley: 0-2-1
Al Woods: 0-1-1-
Jay Ross: 1-2-1
Jeff Charleston: 2-0
Junior Galette: 0-2

Team 2:
Brees went 4 of 5, hitting his first four passes before Henderson dropped a pass in his arms over the middle. WR Courtney Roby made a nice catch over the middle for a 30-yard gain in front of Gay

Later, Brees again found Roby over the middle, this time for a 20-plus yard gain. But that was followed immediately by Henderson's drop.

In between, the team barely let QB Patrick Ramsey throw any passes. He tried to reach WR Montez Billings in double coverage, but the receiver was too slow to catch up to the pass.

QB Chase Daniel had one good pass, scrambling to his right before whipping a ball low to WR Matt Simon, who made the sliding catch.

Team 3:
Brees finished the day 9 of 11, but he finished the final team period 4 of 4. First he hit WR Lance Moore on third down in front of CB Jabari Greer for a short gain. Then he hit Henderson over the middle for four yards. Brees connected with Moore again for seven yards and finished by hitting Henderson for about nine yards.

The bad news, at least for the offense? None of the plays netted a first down as all were third-down plays.

Ramsey hit Billings on his first play. But the receiver, who spun forward for the first down before CB Leigh Torrence forced a fumble. S Usama Young recovered. Shortly thereafter, Ramsey was intercepted by S Pierson Prioleau.

What's next?
The Saints will practice twice on Monday. The morning session goes from 8:50-11 a.m. and is open to the public pending weather. The afternoon session is scheduled for the indoor facility from 4:20-5:45 p.m. It's not open to the public. These represent practices six and seven of 35 (not including the Black & Gold game).

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