The 3 most impressive training camp performances: Week 1 edition – (CSC) Saints News

Training camp is here and the Saints already have 5
practices under their belt. Who has impressed us the

Sometimes it can be difficult
to discern whether a player is performing well in training camp or
if it’s just that his competition is sub-par. Today, we don’t have
that problem as we’re going through the 3 most obvious producers
through 5 days of camp.



id=”WXV459″>From being a 2nd round pick, to being an enormous
contributor on a rising young defense, and then to being the
centerpiece of an unbelievable up-and-down playoff game, Marcus has
had quite the past 14 months. What’s clear about the 21 year-old
Mr. Williams is that he’s intent on transitioning from good young
player to an absolute terror in the middle of the field. After
seemingly living in the gym during the 2018 offseason, he’s
translated his year of experience and NFL-caliber training into a
5-day training camp performance worth writing about.

One of the best compliments you can make
towards a defensive back is that he is always around the ball. With
Marcus, it’s not that he’s just around it, he’s making contact with
the ball every single day in practice. Whether that’s breaking it
up or intercepting the

pass, his propensity to be at the catch point
from sideline to sideline in the deep part of the field is
something opposing offenses will have to contend with in 2018.
Dennis Allen’s defense already deploys a top-tier cornerbacks duo
of Marshon
and Ken
, making the passing windows already tight. The
presence of Marcus
makes it so that the smallest of errors turn
have serious potential to turn into big defensive plays.


It’s extraordinarily difficult to find something to
complain about when it comes to Michael
. Mike gives maximum effort even when the ball
doesn’t come his way, lines up all over the field, and he’s always
elated to share in the success of his teammates. All of those
compliments don’t even address how dominant he is as an actual
receiver. He can run every route in the route tree, has a genuinely
elite catch radius, and almost never drops a pass. What more do you
want from your #1 wide receiver?

Mike’s performance through the first week of
training camp is what it looks like when a player in his physical
prime has become a master of his craft. I think it can be dangerous
to try to gleam too much from 1-on-1’s in training camp, however I
can’t in good conscience write this article without showing this



Amos Morale III (@Amos_MoraleIII) July
29, 2018

Michael Thomas uses his outside arm to club Crawley
towards the middle of the field, implying that Mike’s intention is
to gain separation before he breaks outside. However, as soon as
Crawley turns outside to play the out, Mike takes advantage of
Crawley’s blindspot and breaks inside on the dig route. That type
of attention to detail and route running mastery, using his hands
and feet in unison to set up the defensive back, is the sign of a
wide receiver that is primed to abuse defenders on the way to
another Pro Bowl berth in 2018.


This one isn’t necessarily about him being the most
impressive player out there, but about being most impressed in the
incredible jump he seems to have made in the past 8 months. David
Onyemata has been a top-tier athlete at the defensive tackle
position since entering the league 2 years ago, but his pass rush
toolkit has been rather limited in terms of variety. He’s been a
bit of a brute-force rusher for the past 2 years but since camp
started last week, he’s been able to show that his hand usage is
starting to match his physical abilities.

Onyemata has been consistently re-adjusting his
hands in the middle of the rush to regain control of his blocker
and give himself a better chance at getting pressure when his
initial rush plan falters. If Onyemata performs as well as he did
last year, the Saints
are looking at perhaps the best defensive line in the Sean Payton
era; if Onyemata matches his physical potential with the same level
of technical proficiency, he can help propel the unit to being the
best defensive line ever fielded in the Saints 51 year


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