Jul 28, 2014; White Sulpher Springs, WV, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton speaks to the media following training camp at The Greenbrier. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Football season is not only a time down in the Big Easy; it’s a sense. You can smell it, you can taste it and you can certainly feel the electricity surging through the air when the sound of 74,000 people simultaneously screaming “Who Dat!?” at the top of their lungs pounds your eardrums. It’s a sense of pride and joy, and life is just that much better when football hits the Crescent City.
Well, it’s about that time again — New Orleans Saints training camp is well underway at The Greenbrier. The first preseason game is just days away and the Week 1 kickoff will be here in the blink of an eye. With practices in White Sulphur Springs, WV now in the second week, let’s take a look at five thing we’ve learned up to this point.
Keenan Lewis is the real deal at cornerback.
If he can give Drew Brees trouble at training camp, he can give anybody trouble during the regular season. Lewis has been nothing less than exceptional up to this point. After shutting down his opponents in what was arguably a Pro Bowl campaign in 2013, last year’s free agent acquisition is at it again. Now, as the Saints’ No. 1 corner, the anticipation is greater than ever. I fully expect Keenan Lewis to be the leader of that “no-fly zone” secondary in 2014.
Khiry Robinson might just be the Saints’ best running back.
With only 54 touches as an undrafted rookie last year, it’s tough to make that call. However, Robinson has stood out more than any other running back at camp so far and now sits at No. 2 on the unofficial depth chart behind Mark Ingram and ahead of Pierre Thomas. He may not have played in the Big Ten or won the Heisman Trophy while running for an SEC powerhouse, but the kid can ball. His talent is undeniable and he’s showing no signs of being a “one-hit wonder.” He’s quick, explosive and has the power to leave you flattened on the ground like a Looney Tunes character. Khiry Robinson is quickly becoming the fan favorite to lead the backfield in 2014, but he still has some work to do to earn it.
Terron Armstead is getting better everyday.
I’ve said it before and I’ll sat it again — left tackle Terron Armstead is an absolute athlete. The Arkansas-Pine Bluff product passed on several opportunities to play at bigger schools because his coach at APB was the only one who would allow him to participate in both football and track. His speed, quick feet and brisk movements on the offensive line are hard to come across in the pros and are ideal for protecting Drew Brees’ blind side. “He’s a beast. I gave him everything I had to today.” That’s just a little something Junior Galette said the other day as he explained how Armstead is up there with the best he’s faced in the NFL.
Cam Jordan is determined.
While making another Pro Bowl is certainly a goal for the defensive end, the bigger picture is obviously playing at the Super Bowl in Arizona in February. After numerous interviews, it appears that only one thing is on Cam Jordan‘s mind — returning the Lombardi Trophy to New Orleans. He is determined, and when you play like that, big things are bound to happen.
Little injuries are just part of the game.
Yes, it’s been a rough week for several players at camp with the most notable injury coming to Drew Brees. The Saints’ most prized possession has been sidelined for three days now with a strained oblique muscle and may even be forced to miss Friday’s preseason matchup against the St. Louis Rams. However, nicks and bruises are part of the hard-hitting game. Luckily, nobody has suffered anything severe like some other players around the NFL have. For further information, check Who Dat Dish’s August 5 injury report.
It’s almost time for some football, Who Dat Nation. As training camp progresses, we’ll continue to keep you updated with everything New Orleans Saints.