METAIRIE — New Iberia native and former Saints defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker is back with team as one of nine players participating during mini-camp on a tryout basis.
The Westgate High product by way of the University of Tulsa played with the Saints from 2012-14, joined Detroit for 2015-16 and played with the Los Angeles Rams last season.
The others trying out are running back Tim Hightower, wide receivers Kevin Snead and Josh Smith, offensive linemen Trevor Darling and Gino Gradkowski, tight end Jack Tabb, kicker Younghoe Koo and punter Jonathan Hernandez.
Coach Sean Payton said even if the Saints don’t sign someone trying out, the experience helps them evaluate who to put on their “short list” of players to consider if a need arises later on.
Saints sign RB West
The Saints signed former Browns, Titans and Ravens running back Terrance West after a workout Wednesday, according to NFL.com.
New Orleans also visited with former Chiefs and Broncos running back Jamaal Charles, but he left without the two sides agreeing to deal.
The addition of West gives the Saints insurance at a position where starting running back Mark Ingram will miss the first four games of the season while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy prohibiting performance enhancing drugs.
In four seasons, West has 1,816 yards rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns 344 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Ingram is an eight-year veteran, but after him New Orleans has little experience at running back. Alvin Kamara was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, Trey Edmunds is in his second year, Jonathan Williams and Daniel Lasco are in their third years and former Zachary High School and Louisiana Tech runner Boston Scott is a rookie sixth-round draft choice.
Scott among return candidates
Scott is one of “five or six candidates” that Payton said are competing to be the primary punt returner, a position that will be won during the preseason. He’s also competing to be a kickoff returner.
Benson honored on field
The Saints have painted logos featuring the initials TB on their practice field in honor of former owner Tom Benson, who died of natural causes in March.
Payton said he, general manager Mickey Loomis and Benson’s widow, owner Gayle Benson, recently decided to put the logos on the field.
“There will be something I’m sure during the season on the jersey or helmet,” Payton said.
Officials help out
The Saints had a group of officials participate in Wednesday’s practice.
“They’re here to help and train themselves so there’s a benefit to us when we have the communication that takes place in the relationships,” Payton said. “We see these guys every fourth or fifth Sunday and I think it’s good for our players to ask questions and be around them, and certainly there’s discussion back and forth with regards to some of the nuances or new rules and that will come up again in training camp.”