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Summary from the Final Week of Camp
Coach Sean Payton has landed on Jameis Winston as Drew Brees’ successor. Many considered this a foregone conclusion, as Winston offers the best chance to attack defenses downfield. Winston possesses a cannon arm, as seen in his dazzling showing (9-of-10 for 123 yards and two touchdowns) against the Cardinals. As ESPN’s Mike Triplett puts it, the goal is to maximize Winston’s arm talent while minimizing the mistakes he was known for in Tampa Bay. Taysom Hill will always have a role in the offense; Payton adores his versatility. “[The team] will almost certainly keep designing packages for him as a read-option quarterback, runner, and pass-catcher,” Triplett opines.
Alvin Kamara comes out of camp healthy and projects as the offensive focal point. And even with the downfield-minded Jameis Winston taking the reins at quarterback, Kamara’s outlook for volume is as promising as ever. “When you have a running back as talented as him, you make it a focal point to get guys like him the ball,” Winston said during camp. “In my career, I’ve had dominant pass-catchers at the receiver position and at the tight end position. I’ve had great running backs, but not as dynamic as Alvin Kamara out of the backfield and in the slot position.” The real drama lies behind him, where Latavius Murray’s hold on the No. 2 role is tenuous. The team would save $2.3 million against the cap by cutting him loose, while Tony Jones has electrified throughout the preseason. His play allowed the team to veteran Devonta Freeman. Mainstay reserve Dwayne Washington should be safe given his special teams contributions.
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