Saints Training Camp Insider: July 25

Saintsinsider.com will take you deep inside Saints training camp every day, with analysis of key team news, player competitions and injuries. Today we have updates on Robert Meachem, Skyler Green, Carlos Robinson, Jonathan Vilma and more. Read more inside.

Robert Meachem: Everyone knows that knee problems hurt his hopes of playing last year (Saints head coach Sean Payton said Meachem was really "struggling" due to the injury). Now, Meachem has made plays in the past two workouts that has Payton believe that the second-year wide receiver is finally getting it together. "It's good to see him running around without the gait anymore and picking things up," Payton said.

New Orleans' wide receivers are among the youngest in the NFL. Meachem is undeniably talented. If he continues to progress, the preseason games will be interesting, as he could cut into David Patten's playing time. But training camps are famous for young players flaming out early (read Tampa Bay's Maurice Stovall last season). Keep an eye on him.

Carlos Robinson: The junior college wide receiver tweaked a hamstring on Friday. That's never a good thing for a player from a small college, much less one from a junior college. If the injury keeps him out for more than a few days, he may lose what little shot he had at making the roster in the first place.

Jonathan Vilma: Don't read anything into Vilma's work on the second team on Friday. He rotated with Mark Simoneau. That's standard work during training camp. Barring injury, Vilma will be the starter.

Skyler Green: Payton all but said Green will have to make the team through special teams, which means as a returner. The third-year LSU product has some vocal support in these parts. But Green has just 17 combined punt and kickoff returns in his career. The Houma, La., native better hope he can tackle, too, if he hopes to make the team. He'll also have to overcome players like Pierre Thomas and Lance Moore to earn the return chores.

Reggie Bush: The third-year back dropped a few punt returns on Friday and did extra work after practice. The bigger question is why he's even doing this? If he's the Saints' meal ticket, he better not be on special teams come the start of the season.

The pass rush: Payton is already getting questions about an improved pass rush. The Saints made wholesale changes across their defense in the offseason, but if their pass rush is going to improve it will start with improvement from Charles Grant and Will Smith. If they don't pick up their production, don't expect the rest of the defense to pick up their play, either.

Matthew Postins is the publisher of saintsinsider.com.


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