June 4, 2013

Payton Opens His First Minicamp Since 2010

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, thanks to the 2011 lockout and his 2012 suspension, ran his first offseason minicamp since 2010, beginning today at the Saints' headquarters in Metairie, Louisiana.

The facility is shared with fellow Benson-owned pro sports team the New Orleans Pelicans, who are busy preparing for the NBA Draft later this month.

Payton did not talk much about practice, but pointed out the names specifically of WR Jarred Fayson when asked about the young guys on the field. When asked, Payton praised TE Jimmy Graham for a good practice today.  Graham had offseason wrist surgery in January, a problem fixed that may have contributed to his drops in 2012.

Veteran TE Benjamin Watson, first year CB Ryan Steed, and free agent prize CB Keenan Lewis (stomach) sat out of the first day of the team's mandatory minicamp on June 5.

Watson, 32, will reportedly participate in NFL Films' Broadcast Boot camp later this month, for players looking to make the transition to broadcasting post-career.

Rookie third round pick LT Terron Armstead, who could be challenging for a starting job, did not appear in the afternoon walkthrough practice because of an unspecified injury. The Saints are splitting starters' snaps between Armstead, former second round pick Charles Brown and free agent addition Jason Smith.

"Well, he's athletic, you see him handle the speed pretty well," Payton said of Armstead, the team's third round pick. "I'll be anxious to see how he handles the power when we're in pads. You can't really simulate that. You can see the speed rush. But he's some who's long, he's got good feet."

Lewis was reportedly hospitalized overnight with stomach pains, but Sean Payton gave no update on him on Tuesday.

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