Saints training camp takeaways, Day 5: Paulson Adebo continues to shine

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The pads went on for the first time on Day 5 of New Orleans Saints training camp. The clattering and cracking of contact filled the practice field with fans in attendance on Monday. The ability to evaluate the offensive and defensive lines took a step forward today, but it was the secondary finding ways to shine yet again. Here are our observations from the fifth day of Saints camp.

Biggest story: Paulson Adebo continues to shine

Coming into camp, we expected there to be a competition for the second cornerback spot opposite Marshon Lattimore. As that competition took shape, it resulted in last year’s starter and third-round draft selection Adebo and veteran corner Bradley Roby trading off first-team reps. While Roby pulled in an interception on quarterback Jameis Winston on Saturday, Adebo has by far been the most consistently impactful player at the position.

Today, he continued to show out with several pass break ups in team and one-on-one drills. He showed that his physical nature has not taken any steps back since last season with active hands throughout each rep. Head coach Dennis Allen commended Adebo’s physicality as a part of the identity the Saints want to bring to their defense.

If there’s a competition for the cornerback role across from No. 23, Adebo is intent on holding on to his job. So far, he’s had a pass break up in every practice, nearly an interception on Monday. His performance will continue to draw attention as the pads stay on, and physical play is welcomed.

Surprise attendance: Alvin Kamara was present and participating

There was an expectation that Kamara would be tending to his Las Vegas, NV court date today, but instead he was present for Saints practice. Per David Charns of 8 News Now, Kamara’s battery case has again been continued for another two months. This is the third time the running back’s court hearing has been postponed, which means he can likely be available for the Saints to start the ceiling assuming he does not end up on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

It was good to see Kamara out there who continues to look explosive and his usual self with the ball in his hands. Getting Kamara on the field to start the season is a win for New Orleans. But the hope would then be that the legal process does not wrap in time for the NFL to hand down any kind of discipline during the stretch run at the end of the season. If the team is vying for the playoffs, losing Kamara in the back half of the season could be a detriment.

Play of the day: Justin Evans picks off Ian Book

To wrap up team drills today, Evans stepped in front of a receiver that Book was targeting downfield to come away with an interception. After several reps of the defensive line breaking through and putting pressure on both Book and Andy Dalton, Evans capped the day off with the interception.

Evans has had a solid camp so far. Which is of great value to the Saints. There is a world in which they do not have free agent addition Marcus Maye to open the season depending on his legal process around a DUI over a year ago. If Evans can continue to show his value, that’s a huge benefit for New Orleans.

Jameis Winston update: Staying steady

Winston had a pretty steady day with the pads going on. He sailed one pass to Michael Thomas during the routes on air period of practice. He also underthrew a couple passes during one-on-ones. Could be chalked up to nuances and timing still needing to develop between him and his receivers. The Saints quarterback has continued his steady focus to development though and constantly shows an ability to hold mentally and bounce back, completing four straight passes to wrap up his day in the team periods.

Position battles: James Hurst holding firm

Saints first-round selection Trevor Penning has an up and down showing throughout his first day with pads on giving up pressures to edge rushers Scott Patchan and Taco Charlton. However, he held up well in a rep against Payton Turner that ended in a minor scuffle between the two. Penning’s aggression is something the Saints view as an asset rather than concern. But it’s clear that for now, Hurst remains in the lead at the position.

Adebo continues to hold his spot at cornerback while Shy Tuttle had some great moments in the run game. That spot on the interior defensive line next to David Onyemata may be up for grabs, but Tuttle isn’t letting up on it easily. His biggest competition may be free agent addition Kentavius Street who has a more athletic and agile approach to the interior game than others on the roster.

Attendance: Pete Werner returns

Returned to practice:

  • LB Peter Werner (walk through and individual drills, no team)

  • S Bryce Thompson

  • TE Juwan Johnson (sidework)

Not spotted at today’s practice:

  • TE Taysom Hill

  • S Tyran Mathieu

  • WR/RS Rashid Shaheed

  • EDGE Marcus Davenport

No big surprises in terms of absences, but a pleasant update with the return of Werner. The linebacker was on the non-football injury (NFI) list to start camp, but looks to have been cleared to return. He did not participate in team drills or seven-on-sevens, but still a good sign to see him back out there at all.

WR Michael Thomas continues to work his way back as well. He still is not participating in team drills. But that’s not much of a surprise with it also being the first day of padded practices today.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire