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whodatworm23

Worm's notes from Saints training camp:

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Ok, so I've made two of the Saints "open" training camp sessions thus far and I compiled my notes that I jotted down on my note pad here for you...
 
THE GOOD
 
"Ryan Ramczyk is a stud!"
I'm not sure how he will fair at LT as a rookie but early indications on Ramczyk in my opinion is that the Saints have a STEAL on their hands with the 32nd overall pick. Ramczyk rarely makes the same mistake twice and he's much more athletic than I realized. There's a real mean streak underlining his soft spoken nature and above all else he's a finisher!
 
 
"Hau'Oli Kikaha is bigger/stronger than I remember and shows no sign of any loss of quickness off the snap"
Just based on the eyeball test, Kikaha is clearly a different guy than the last time we saw him on the field. I'm not sure how much bigger he is these days but up close it's an obvious difference. He's also clearly stronger than before and still flashes a knack for making plays in practice. I've compared his play thus far to FA addition Alex Oakfor and in my opinion Kikaha is the better player but it's still early and Oakfor has done some impressive things as well. I believe this is one of the more lesser known, more heated position battles in camp this year.
 
 
"Brandon Coleman is playing like a man possessed"
Where did this Brandon Coleman come from? No more issues with drops, extremely physical and has an unexpected burst that has really surprised me. Clearly one of the top players we have at the position and will likely make more of an impact in 2017 than many realize. 
 
 
"David Onyemata flashes the ability of a dominant force"
Sheldon Rankins is going to be a pro-bowler very soon but his running mate Onyemata could get there as well if his play ever becomes consistent. There are times when Onyemata appears simply unblockable due to his power, quickness and leverage but he's still adjusting to the NFL game and allows himself to get washed out of plays to often.
 
 
"AJ Klein is going to be a really good player for us"
I have to admit that I was a tad bit skeptical of the Saints giving Klein the kind of money they did in FA but thus far through camp Klein appears to be worth the price. He's clearly the top LB we have and is very versatile. He's also a very good communicator and his leadership has already been on display. He's the alpha dog of the linebacker unit and the other players seem to respond to him.
 
 
"There's no doubt... Saints have the NFL's best running back group"
It's borderline embarrassing... Mark Ingram is one of the NFL's best all purpose backs while Adrain Peterson looks to be in 2015 form. Rookie Alvin Kamara is as silky smooth as they come with the athleticism to be special while Cadet and Lassco both provide quality depth. To top it off John Kuhn is a veteran FB who is still one of the top players at his position. 
 
 
"Our secondary will be vastly improved"
The competition in the defensive secondary is abundant to say the least. 1st round pick Marshon Lattimore is finding his way in Dennis Allen's zone concepts but as a pure man coverage corner the Saints have no one else better. PJ Williams is once again having a great camp and showcasing his intellect and knowledge of Allen's defensive scheme on a daily basis. Sterling Moore is as feisty as they come and is a menace on the back end. Delvin Breaux is so naturally gifted and physical and has clearly become the vocal leader of the cornerbacks. Kenny Vaccaro is a natural leader but Von Bell and Marcus Williams are ultra talented. Williams in particular has a rare keen sense for what offenses are doing. He's made some rookies mistakes as expected but his a turnover machine who isn't fooled by the same thing twice... very smart player!
 
 
"Saints two best players are the teams top two leaders and appear ready for all-pro years"
Drew Brees and Cameron Jordan are clearly a cut above the rest. These guys look amazing and are leading their team the way all fans should hope there too players would be. They are holding everyone accountable and are leading by example. The respect level this team has towards these two players is off the charts and can clearly be noticed whenever one of them speaks. 
 
 
 
 
THE NOT SO GOOD
 
Pray Max Unger is back to start the season
There is a clear weak link at center on this team with Unger out. I still don't fully understand why Sino Kelemente isn't being given reps here and why Payton is content on allowing Jack Allen and  Josh LeRibeus soak up all the time here. Snaps sailed over and around the quarterbacks, penetration through the A gaps. Maybe I'm being over harsh but it's time Kelemente starts warming up at center because this will quickly become an issue this preseason... this also could be why Orlando Frankiln was brought in, to free up Kelemente to kick inside. 
 
 
"Still not impressed with Fleener
Maybe it's just me but I'm not a big Colby Fleener fan! He's a slightly better blocker than Jimmy Graham (not saying much) but while he may make an occasional play downfield, he still drops catchable balls and even looks lost at times running routes. Fleener will need a good year to justify keeping his contract on the books but as of now I just don't see it happening. 
 
 
"Edge rush will continue to be an issue"
As high as I am on Kikaha and Jordan, I still don't see this team being a consistent threat off the edge. Jordan's value is in his all around ability while Kikaha may not even start. This team still lacks an explosive element off the edge and until there prepared to invest BIG money in FA or a 1st round pick into the position they will continue to have this weakness on their team.
 
 
"The battle at WILL linebacker"
I'm still unsure how I feel about this to be honest with you. This fight is basically between former 1st round pick Stephone Anthony and rookie Alex Anzalone. On the huff, Anzalone appears to be the better player with his athleticism, instincts and coverage ability but he's made as many rookie mistakes as he's made plays. Anthony on the other hand appears to be the more physical player of the two and looks to be more comfortable at his new position. Thus far Anthony is the more consistent of the two and might have a slight lead in the race. My issue is that I can't tell yet if this is two good players fighting eachother for a starting job or if there two mediocre players trying to find out which one is the least worse. If towards the start of the season Craig Robertson emerges as a candidate to start here then we will have our answer for that question. 
 
 
"Coaching"
Boy... did I hate having to write this one down! I respect Sean Payton for what he's done in New Orleans and the offensive mind that he is but he still (even in practice) makes calls that cause even the most diehard fan to question. It's a pattern that has followed Payton his entire tenure in New Orleans and it's safe to say that after 11 years it is what it is with him. On the other side of the ball, Dennis Allen also appears to be trying to emulate himself as the defensive version of Payton. His job is to simply put the defenders in the best position to make plays and to call a game that caters to his players strengths but it seems often times he gets caught up in the moment which thus far in camp has backfired into big plays on offense.
 
Having said that, I do believe that this tandem of Payton and Allen could be a very good one and hopefully there just testing the waters in camp on ideas they have and will take a more focused approach as the season inches closer.
 
 
Side note:
The most impressive player I've seen in camp thus far overall is Michael Thomas... the kid is just flat out mature beyond his years!
 
 
 
 
WHODAT 
 

 

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Yeah I read Kikaha put on about 15 pounds. I hope his frame can handle that weight. If he gets hurt again he may have to rebrand himself if he wants to play in the NFL for a living. 

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9 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

"Ryan Ramczyk is a stud!"

Glad to hear it, pleasantly unsurprised to be honest. He was a steal on draft day and most people who watched him knew it.

9 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

"Brandon Coleman is playing like a man possessed"

He's shown up in dominant flashes before. I want to see him sustain it.

9 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

Still not impressed with Fleener

He's trash. I remember you and I were some of the first posters defending the signing cause it was under $8m a year. Looked good at the time, but he's not living up to it at all. 

9 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:
Pray Max Unger is back to start the season

O-line health will make or break this season IMO.

9 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

My issue is that I can't tell yet if this is two good players fighting eachother for a starting job or if there two mediocre players trying to find out which one is the least worse. If towards the start of the season Craig Robertson emerges as a candidate to start here then we will have our answer for that question. 

I think this (the latter) is what's happening. They know what they have in CR, if Anthony can't beat out Anzalone handily I bet they cut/trade him and roll with CR and Anzalone this season.

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On Anzalone... I don't know man, his talent is impressive. I really think he could develop into a Sean Lee type talent for us. 

 

Could be one one of those guys who battled the injury bug throughout college, fell in the draft, becomes a pro-bowl type talent in the NFL. 

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11 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

I really think he could develop into a Sean Lee type talent for us. 

Could be one one of those guys who battled the injury bug throughout college, fell in the draft, becomes a pro-bowl type talent in the NFL. 

...becomes a pro-bowl type talent in the NFL, keeps battling the injury bug throughout his career.

Seems like Payton has LOVED guys who fall, or are a good value, due to injury lately.

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Oh I agree... he's built a roster of glass IMO which I feel will ultimately cost him his job eventually but of course it will be someone else's fault. 

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