Today the Saints had their first official training camp of the 2011 pre-season. Of course not everyone was in attendance during the first day as the Saints continue to try and re-sign key free agents to solidify the roster during this unprecedented free agency period.
A handful of players still recovering from injuries — OT Charles Brown (hamstring), RB Chris Ivory (foot), P Thomas Morstead (toe), CB Tracy Porter (knee), DE Greg Romeus (knee), and OG Carl Johnson (hamstring) — did not practice but will be rotated in as the recovery allows.
The talk of training camp today was all about defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, on-lookers just couldn’t get over how big he look noting he was taller and bigger then any one else on the defensive line. In fact it was said that he made teammate Sedrick Ellis look small, no easy task.
Rogers was signed by the Saints prior to the NFL lockout after his release from the Cleveland Browns. The Saints were in need of improvement against the run and Rogers should lock down the starring nose tackle position and provide an immediate boost.
Remi Ayodele, the teams starting nose tackle the last two seasons, will be officially signing with the Minnesota Vikings today cementing Rogers as the starter alongside Sedrick Ellis this season.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is know to be a fiery character, and the first day of practice was not without some classic shenanigans by the once former NFL head coach.
Williams was heard several times laying into the defensive backs. Last season his favorite target was first-round draft pick Patrick Robinson, but it looks like undrafted rookie safety Isa Abdul-Quddus is the new golden child.
Apparently Williams had some choice words for Abdul-Quddus who was unhappy with the effort he was giving during his first NFL practice. Excerpt taken directly from the twitter account of Times-Picayune writer James Varney.
"Gotta feel for UFA safety Isa Abdul-Quddus. On first day, DC G. Williams tells him he needs “flames coming out his a*@, then screams, “this ain’t f#**#@^g college football!”"
Speaking on undrafted free agents linebacker Jeremiah Hunter really stood out in practice. He was “all over the place” and nearly picked of two passes during scrimmage. Early on Hunter could be the player to watch.
Hunter play college football at the University of Iowa where he ranked 20th all time in tackles totaling 269 total stops.
He garnered interest from the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders but in the end accepted the Saints offer as he thought it gave him the best chance of sticking with an NFL team.
The Saints are viewing Hunter as an outside linebacker in the NFL, although he played primarily inside during his college career.
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