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Porter Gustin brings extreme talent, drive in efforts to make Saints roster

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By Rene Nadeau | Crescent City Sports

Undrafted rookie free agent Porter Gustin is embracing the challenge of trying to make the roster with the New Orleans Saints. He has caught some eyes as a potential surprise to stick during training camp but perhaps it should not be much of shock. Gustin was born to excel in sports.

His father John was a 6-foot-6 quarterback for the Wyoming Cowboys from 1991-’94, leading the team in passing his senior season with 2,757 yards and 17 touchdowns under head coach Joe Tiller. When Tiller moved on to Purdue, he coached current Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Gustin’s mother Scarlett was Idaho’s Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year in 1987 before moving on to play at BYU.

Porter was a High School Parade All American in 2014, accumulating 152 tackle with29 for loss, 10 sacks and two interceptions as a senior linebacker at Salem Hills High School in Elk Ridge, Utah. He was just as dominating as a quarterback, throwing for 2,864 yards with 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions and adding 891 yards (9.7 per rush average) and 10 scores as a runner.

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New Orleans Saints Preseason Position Battle Update: Week Two

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By Ian Riise | Last Word On Sports

Running Back

The running back competition has become a bit clearer since the previous edition of this series. Dwayne Washington, who is hoping to reprise his reserve role from last season, made a strong impression in the first preseason game. Behind a second-team offensive line Washington managed to gain 36 yards on 8 rushes, averaging a healthy 4.5 yards per carry.

Jacquizz Rodgers saw five carries and three receptions versus Minnesota after being signed only a few days earlier. While Rodgers averaged just 3.5 yards per touch, he showed potential as receiving back in the Saints offense. Unfortunately, he did drop a pass on a two-point conversion, his best opportunity of the night.

Undrafted rookie Devine Ozigbo had just four touches late in the fourth...

Yoga, Pilates and balance challenges: How some Saints take their training outside the box

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By Luke Johnson - USA Today | The Advertiser

NEW ORLEANS — Dr. Sharif Tabbah’s challenge is to find a way to get Alvin Kamara to fail.

Tabbah goes home at the end of one of his offseason training sessions with the New Orleans Saints’ superstar and gets devious. He schemes up ways to test Kamara’s body on multiple planes — front-to-back, side-to-side with some rotation for good measure. Assault his senses by making the surface unstable or throwing blinders on him, then literally throw things at him while you’re doing this, but don’t just ask him to catch the object, ask him while it’s in flight to catch a certain part of the object.

This is the benefit of working with one of the world’s top athletes: You get to test the limits of your own creativity, then you get to watch as he masters what seemed impossible at the beginning of the day.

“He’s always trying to find something (to) stump me, but I get him,” Kamara said.

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Saints vs. Chargers: Three areas to watch

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By John Hendrix | Canal Street Chronicles

The NFL’s second week of preseason action is almost at its end, with just three matchups left on the docket between Sunday and Monday. The New Orleans Saints (0-1), who have already been on the West Coast this week for joint practices, meet the Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) on a nationally televised CBS broadcast (Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts with the call) on Sunday. It’s the third straight year these two meet in the preseason, with the series being split at 4-4. Here’s a few things we’re looking forward to and paying close attention to after kickoff.

The Starting Lineup

“Obviously we’re going to play our ones a little bit longer into this game like we typically do. You’re wanting to see some of the mistakes cleaned up from a week ago,” Sean Payton said during Friday afternoon’s press conference.

Last week, Teddy Bridgewater started against the Minnesota Vikings and had a pretty strong showing. However, we’re all always interested in seeing what...

What to watch in Saints vs. Chargers: Situational football, Butler time, and more

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

COSTA MESA, Calif. – The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers are familiar with each other at this stage.

The two teams spent Thursday and Friday conducting joint practices at the Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex, and it marked the third straight summer the clubs have worked out together in Southern California before squaring off in preseason action.

Sunday’s game could see more of the first-team offense, although it remains to be seen how much quarterback Drew Brees will play. In 2018, Brees played 17 snaps against the Chargers, which marked the third week of preseason when starters typically play longer. In 2017, Brees didn’t play at all in what was the second preseason game for both clubs.

Should Brees not play or see limited action, it wouldn’t surprise to see Taysom Hill get extended time during the early portion of the game after Teddy Bridgewater drew the start in the preseason opener.

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Saints-Chargers quarterback challenge comes down to final throw

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

Quarterbacks from the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers gathered for a final trick-shot challenge after practice on Friday, this time of Drew Brees’ design. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and his crew came up with the carnival-style obstacles used in Thursday’s challenge, inspired by the nearby Orange County Fair. Brees was joined by backups Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, while Rivers brought Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, and rookie Easton Stick with him.

Targeting blown-up, aged-up Fathead signs of themselves (the edited photo of Brees featured a terrific gray beard) attached to moving tackling dummies proved to be a difficult task, and the contest’s final result ended up riding on the final throw. You can find out who claimed victory in the video embedded below, or by following this link.

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Saints starters to play 'a little bit longer' against Chargers, Sean Payton says

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By Amie Just | The Advocate / Picayune

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Most of the Saints starters played for brief periods in the preseason opener last week against the Minnesota Vikings, and coach Sean Payton said that playing time will ramp up a smidge in the second preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

What he’s looking for in the second game depends on the position, but the starters, regardless of position, will get more reps this week.

“Obviously we're going to play our ones a little bit longer into this game like we typically do,” Payton said. “You're wanting to see some of the mistakes cleaned up from a week ago.”

Payton and Co. are creatures of habit, so here’s the breakdown of last year’s playing time.

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6 studs and duds from Saints practices with Chargers

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

The New Orleans Saints shared the practice field with the Los Angeles Chargers for two days before their preseason game, and some players made the most of the opportunity. Others regressed a bit or weren’t available to practice, allowing their competition to gain ground in the race for a roster spot. Here’s our list of studs and duds from the Saints’ joint practices with the Chargers.

Studs:

  • Kaden Elliss, linebacker. The rookie filled in for injured starter Alex Anzalone this week, and held his own against a tough opponent. Elliss has taken first-team snaps with the defense ever since Anzalone exited the first preseason game after just five plays, and hasn’t been seen since. He continued to show good awareness, upper-shelf athleticism, and smooth flow to the football in his outing against the Chargers. Elliss is in great position to make the team as a top backup along with Craig Robertson and Vince Biegel, and if Anzalone misses more time, just might crack the opening-day lineup.
Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

Austin Carr, Geneo Grissom visit Guatemala over summer to raise awareness on fight against sex trafficking

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

COSTA MESA, Calif. – NFL players often engage with their communities to foster good relationships or raise awareness for a notable cause.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Austin Carr and defensive lineman Geneo Grissom, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Geremy Davis and Buffalo Bills defensive end Sam Acho took it a step further over the summer by getting involved on a global scale.

The four NFL players came together in mid-July as members of Team Freedom to visit Guatemala in support of the International Justice Mission (IJM), a non-governmental organization and the largest nonprofit whose mission is to combat modern-day slavery.

“Being a part of Team Freedom, which is the pro-advocacy group of IJM, was an honor,” Carr said Thursday after a joint practice with the Chargers. “Joining the Team Freedom group to fight against sex trafficking and human exploitation is an awesome opportunity to love your neighbors as yourself.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints vs Chargers Day 2 | 2019 QB Challenge | Ep. 13

Quotes: Payton, Jordan, Lattimore, Thomas reflect on practices with Chargers

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By Justin Macione | Crescent City Sports

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Training Camp Presented By Verizon

Friday, August 16, 2019

Post-Practice Media Availability

What was your impression of the two-minute drill at the end? It seems like you had success on both sides.

“We’re trying to get some of the groups that are going to work it in the game possibly. You saw our second unit and then you saw our third unit. Anytime you’re trying to simulate game situations — one of them was down in the red zone, we had to defend six or seven plays inside the 10-yard line. That’ll be a good film for us.”

Full Story - CCS

Saints training camp observations (Aug. 16): Kamara back to team drills, Ginn provides mentorship, and more

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

COSTA MESA, Calif. –
The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers put in a light day of work during Friday’s joint practice.

After Thursday’s fully padded practice, the two teams started off in shoulder pads and helmets, but shed the pads midway and finished the on-field work in shells while working on short-yardage and two-minute drills.

The Saints and Chargers did the same thing in 2018 on the final day of joint practices, and Saints coach Sean Payton pointed out the tone of practice didn’t alter too much in shells.

“Still was able to get a good physical practice,” Payton said. “We had a run period to start practice, and then quite a bit of team snaps. Overall, I thought it was good.”

With two days of joint practices in the books, all that’s left now for the Saints and Chargers is Sunday’s preseason game.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Marshon Lattimore has game right where he wants it in Year 3 with Saints: 'I'm ready for it'

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By Amie Just | The Advocate / Picayune

COSTA MESA, Calif. —
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore admits he eased into training camp last season, and subsequently had a slow start to his second year in the league.

He finished things off strong, though, and that's the momentum he wants to carry into year three.

Why? Because this year is the year.

"Going into this season, I just want to start how I played at the end of the season and then raise my game every week, just becoming better mentally and physically as a player," Lattimore said Friday. "Year three is big for me, especially for any corner, anybody, period. But corner is definitely big. I'm ready for it.”

Full Story - NOLA.com

Darren Rizzi takes Saints special teams unit back to basics

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

COSTA MESA, Calif. —
The New Orleans Saints enjoyed strong special teams play as an overall unit in 2018 under Mike Westhoff, Bradford Banta and Kevin O’Dea.

But offseason change happens in the NFL, so the Saints turned to Darren Rizzi to lead the special teams unit after head coach Sean Payton learned of Rizzi through a personal friend.

“The late Tony Sparano and I worked together in Dallas for three years and he's someone that I would say I was very close with,” Payton said Friday. “Tony hired Darren at the college level, so I had heard a lot of good things from Tony about him.

“He was at Miami. I'd met him on a handful of occasions and overall I thought it was a good fit for us, his experience and his ability to teach, his teams have played well. That’s how that began.”

Full Story - NOLA.com

Walker: Latest review of pass interference call during preseason shows kinks in system

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate / Picayune

Sean Payton wasn't watching Thursday night's pre-season game between the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals.

That's probably a good thing.

What he would have seen is that the newly implemented instant replay on pass interference calls - something Payton advocated for during the offseason - still has some kinks that need to be worked out.

The good news is it's still just the preseason and the games don't really mean anything.

Full Story - NOLA.com

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