3 NOLA Saints who had us talking during Day 14 of training camp

Leigh Oleszczak
New Orleans Saints Andy Dalton - Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints Andy Dalton - Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /
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Day 14 of training camp is a wrap! Which members of the NOLA Saints had the fans and the media talking after practice concluded? 

With the New Orleans Saints taking the field on Saturday for their first preseason game of the summer, we had another practice to get to before we get to that point.

In this practice, the quarterbacks showed a lot of juice. We haven’t seen Jameis Winston taking any snaps since earlier in the week due to a foot injury that will keep him out of the preseason opener but Andy Dalton has looked great in the practices that have followed that injury.

Third-stringer Ian Book has also looked good and it was important for the second-year quarterback to show the team something this year. He didn’t have a good NFL debut last year but in his defense, he should have never been put in that situation in the first place.

With those two already mentioned, let’s start with a defensive player who had folks talking on Day 14 of training camp.

Tyrann Mathieu

One of the most exciting additions this offseason was former LSU standout Tyrann Mathieu, who joined the Saints shortly after the draft. Mathieu has always been a fan favorite in the state of Louisiana despite him not playing for a hometown team until now.

After missing the first week of training camp due to a personal matter, Mathieu returned last week and immediately showed why he was such a big addition to this secondary. He was one of the stars during Thursday’s practice, making an incredible play against Alvin Kamara.

As Luke Johnson mentioned in the tweet below, it’s hard to cover Kamara but Mathieu not only ran with the running back but was able to break up a pass intended for Kamara. That’s impressive and the Honey Badger deserves to be on this list for this play alone.

Ian Book

As noted earlier, Ian Book had a rough introduction to the NFL last year but it isn’t fair to judge the young signal-caller on that one game. There was a lot working against him in that matchup against the Dolphins and the eight sacks are a strong indication of that.

Fortunately, Book has looked really good in training camp this summer. Of course, it’s just practice, but he needed to show why he belonged on this roster and he’s done just that. As Johnson tweeted, Book looked comfortable doing the two-minute drill and that’s a big sign of improvement for the second-year product.

Head coach Dennis Allen has seen the improvement with Book, but notes that he still has work to do. Allen did confirm that Book would see plenty of playing time on Saturday when the Saints take on the Texans in the preseason opener. It’ll be nice to see what the Fighting Irish product can do in that game.

Andy Dalton

Wednesday’s practice was very impressive for the Red Rifle and he followed that up with another impressive outing. Dalton had a rough start, going 2-for-6 and showing that he is human. He was able to rebound, however, and that’s what’s important here.

He didn’t shine in the 7-on-7s during Thursday’s outing but the team drills was a different story, as Dalton only had one incompletion. The three passes he completed all went for touchdowns and the toss to Nick Vannett was the best of the morning.

We all know what Andy Dalton is at this point in his career but it’s been nice to see him dominate in training camp so far. The Red Rifle is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league and he’s shown why during Winston’s absence.

Next. 4 Oldest Players to Ever Wear Saints Uniform. dark

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These three players certainly had fans talking after Thursday’s practice was in the rearview mirror.

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