July 28, 2008

Camp Notes: McKenzie Practices As Others Sit: Veterans working back from injury; more from Jackson

CB Mike McKenzie practiced for the first time on Monday, only eight months after tearing his ACL in Week 16 against the Eagles. Like other veterans like Deuce McAllister, Brian Young, Josh Bullocks and Jeremy Shockey, the Saints have been conservative with their effort in camp.

McKenzie will never practice more than once per day. He's been moved from the PUP to the regular practice roster.

DT Sedrick Ellis remains unsigned, even though the contract is pretty well bracketed by deals above and below him in the draft order. The two sides are now apparently waiting to be the last ones to sign, hemming in the numbers.

It indicates that the two sides are far apart and that one of them is trying to ask for more from the other than what is in line with previous deals.

CB Usama Young is buried in a tough fight at the position, but helped himself today with three interceptions. With rookie Tracy Porter going down with a hamstring injury, Young must jump on the opportunity.

Porter has a roster spot, but he might not have a spot in the secondary quite yet. Staying on the sideline will ensure that Porter will be limited to special teams contributions only at the start of his rookie season.

Another young speedster in hot competition is Devery Henderson, whose hamstring injury isn't helping him in a tough depth chart at wide receiver. Seventh round picks Marques Colston and Adrian Arrington have been two of the best so far, Arrington being a very pleasant surprise.

David Patten and Terrance Copper are reliable veterans with clearly defined roles on the 53-man roster, while Henderson and Robert Meachem are battling for the starting job. The Saints would prefer than Patten start only if Henderson and Meachem fail to earn it. Skyler Green and Lance Moore also are campaigning for a spot on a platform of kick and punt return duties.

Both Henderson and Porter continue to sit. WR Todd Blythe (concussion) continues to sit. DE Bobby McCray had some back spasms, probably heat-related, but is fine. Bullocks, McAllister, Patten, Shockey, and defensive tackles Hollis Thomas and DT Brian Young were limited today. All are nursing some sort of leg injury, though Patten's toe injury is somewhat troubling. Toe injuries are notorious for skill position players.

The Saints have moved their Tuesday afternoon practice to under the lights at the stadium instead of the practice field at Millsapps.

The Saints will hold joint practices with the Houston Texans on August 13-14, after training camp closes and right before the two teams play a preaseason game in the Superdome. The teams will practice at Saints headquarters in Metairie.

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