The New Orleans Saints have their joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers this week. Here is what Saints fans should be on the lookout for during them.
When it comes to NFL joint practices during preseason, more and more stock is being put into them. It could be because it's easier to zero in on repetitive reps against opposing competition, and the fact that the action is days-long as opposed to limited to one preseason game. The New Orleans Saints and their fans will get to experience this, as they will be practicing with the Los Angeles Chargers this week leading up to their preseason tilt on August 20th. There are some intrigue surrounding these sessions that Saints fans should watch for.
Most of the anticipation is matchup-based, as it usually is. Trevor Penning was showing flashes in his limited preseason action, which is a welcome sight since the Saints are expecting a healthy Penning for the first time since taking him in the first round a year ago. He'll be most likely matched up with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, so if we want a real test to see what he's made of, this is it.
Side note, it seems that donnybrooks are aplenty during these things, and if we were to put money on it, we're throwing everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink on Penning being in the middle of the kerfuffle.
Another matchup is the Saints secondary against the Chargers' pass-catchers. The Bolts have talent everywhere, and the starting secondary of the Saints is finally looking like its taking shape, and we'll see just what shape that is. Alontae Taylor has drawn a lot of praise to this point, and is seems to have a fast-track on the starting job opposite Marshon Lattimore. These practices could be a nice preview of what that may look like.
We'll also get a look at more simulated action for the Derek Carr-led offense. What we have seen to this point have fans salivating of the possibilities, so more action for the palette is always something to look forward to. We can also see just how real this A.T. Perry fellow could be, and the continued growth of Rashid Shaheed we've heard so much about.
Elsewhere, we'll have to take in as much Alvin Kamara action while we can now with his suspension on the horizon. His new trainer appears to be doing wonders. We should probably approach Michael Thomas reps similarly, just for different reasons.
While we'll probably get another CLEARER picture of how the 2023 New Orleans Saints could look when the two take the field for their preseason game, the picture may be BIGGER when more and more comes out from these joint practices. Either way, we're another step closer to the real deal.