By Mike Detillier / Sports Correspondent
The New Orleans Saints are starting the training camp practices in the next few days and here are a few things to keep an eye on as we are getting ready to kickoff the 2019 football campaign.
DEVELOPING THE YOUNG RECEIVING UNIT
Michael Thomas was marvelous last season catching 125 passes for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns, but the next best wide receiver number wise was Tre’Quan Smith, who caught 28 passes for 427 yards and five scores.
Teams at the end of the 2018 season double-teamed Thomas and Alvin Kamara and forced the other receiving options to get open downfield.
The Saints have combated that sort of coverage scheme due to adding a very talented pass-catching tight end in Jared Cook, who is a perfect fit for the Saints offense, but this team needs to develop a young receiving unit.
Healthy, the Saints know what they will get out of the speedy Ted Ginn, Jr., but he’s 34 years old and like all players, if an injury occurs it takes a little longer to get back in the lineup.
The Saints coaching staff saw glimpses and are still very high on the receiving skills of Smith and Keith Kirkwood, but what they want to see from both is more improvement in their consistency to get open and further developing their ability to gain separation downfield. Both players flashed skills to be good NFL receivers, but they need to further their growth overall to make this a strong unit.
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