New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke with local media during a teleconference Wednesday morning, and took some time to address wide receiver Cameron Meredith’s absence in the regular season opener:
“I think, more than anything else, it had to do with just the reps he was behind coming off training camp. We’ll see how he’s doing this week. I think from a health standpoint, he’s doing good. It’s just getting him up to speed from a timing element and getting him the reps he needs to be ready to function and go in and play consistently.”
As Payton explained, Meredith is still developing a rhythm with quarterback Drew Brees after missing time in training camp to a strained oblique muscle. Meredith figures to start from the slot once he’s on the field.
The Saints certainly could use his services. Austin Carr got the nod to start last week, playing 40 snaps, but recorded just two catches for 20 yards. The real star from the slot was Michael Thomas, who reeled in 10 of his franchise-best 16 receptions when aligned there.
That bodes well for Meredith’s production once he and Brees are clicking. Thomas and Meredith are built along the same blueprint at around 6-foot-3, 210-pounds with better short-area agility than raw speed to burn downfield. While Meredith isn’t close to the same caliber of receiver as Thomas, there’s ample opportunity for him to produce right away.
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