1. Surprisingly, linebacker Scott Shanle wasn't with the starting unit in the morning. Chris Chamberlain and David Hawthorne flanked middle linebacker Curtis Lofton in an all-free-agent linebacker group.
Shanle is in a battle with Chamberlain for his starting job. Chamberlain knows Steve Spagnuolo's defense well from their days together with the St. Louis Rams. (UPDATE: Shanle was back with the first unit in the afternoon. It appears he's sharing snaps.)
2. Chase Daniel continues to take snaps as New Orleans' No. 1 quarterback. Interim coach Joe Vitt lauded Daniel's ball placement and ... said the team's center-snap exchange is "phenomenal." We feel like Vitt must have been scraping for compliments if he had to start talking about the center-snap exchange.
4. SI.com's Peter King noted that Jonathan Vilma was on the field for a walkthrough before going back inside for rehab on his surgically repaired knee. Vitt said Vilma has made a lot of progress physically in the past two weeks.
5. Vitt's words on defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, a third-round draft pick, are worth remembering for almost all players during summer work: "You can see he's big, he's mobile, he can run, he can change gears, he's got good body control, he's got good balance But listen -- we're going to put the pads on, and that's what's going to define him."
7. Our friend, Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune, noted that Saints practices were a lot quieter without Gregg Williams, Drew Brees and Sean Payton in attendance. These are strange days with the Saints.