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2021 Senior Bowl: Film observations from day one

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By Mark Schofield | Touchdownwire

Like everything else in the world, the Reese’s Senior Bowl is a bit different this year due to COVID-19. For the first time in six years I am not in attendance, but that does not mean we cannot evaluate the players who are participating. Thanks to Executive Director Jim Nagy and the rest of the Senior Bowl staff we have access to all of the practice film.

After a late night – and an early morning – of film-watching here are some observations from the first day of Senior Bowl practices. As Tuesday is more of a baseline day, these are not “winners and losers,” but more players that stood out and in some cases require more film study.

National team quarterbacks off to a cautious start

When studying quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl it is important to view the first day as a feeling-out period. They are running new offenses and throwing to players that they have often never targeted in the passing game. A good rule is to use the first day as a baseline day, and then see how the quarterbacks progress over the course of the week.

That being said, the passers on the National team took a more cautious approach to the first day. Particularly in the seven-on-seven drill, Ian Book, Sam Ehlinger and Feleipe Franks were more than willing to check the ball down and take what the defense gave them. Whether it was Book on a Flood concept to the left side of the field passing up the hole shot against Cover-2, or Ehlinger taking the checkdown on a mirrored Smash concept against Cover-3, the National QBs were willing to play it safe. ...

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Mickey Loomis anticipates a busy free agency for Trey Hendrickson

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Trey Hendrickson was one of the breakout players of the year for the New Orleans Saints, finishing the regular season tied for second-best in the NFL for sacks (13.5) after logging just 7.5 sacks in his first 34 games. And it couldn’t arrive at a better time with his low-cost rookie contract set to expire in March.

That fact isn’t lost on Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, who set his expectations early on during a media availability session on Wednesday, saying: “He’ll be an attractive piece for everyone around the league.”

Loomis added that, certainly, the Saints want to keep Hendrickson in the building — he’s one of their biggest draft-and-develop success stories in recent years, and was clearly important to the team’s success in 2020. But he can’t say or do anything actionable until the NFL has set its 2021 salary cap, allowing his team to go through an obstacle course of restructures, releases, and maybe a trade or two before they can start re-signing anyone. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Saints GM Mickey Loomis on future at QB: 'We'll wait for' Drew Brees to make his decision

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By Kevin Patra | Around the NFL Writer

The New Orleans Saints head into the offseason with pressing questions at the quarterback position.

First, as general manager Mickey Loomis noted in an end-of-season press conference, the club awaits Drew Brees' decision on his future.

"I don't think it's a lot different from last year. We'll wait for him," Loomis said Wednesday.

Ten days since the Saints bowed out of the playoffs with a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brees still hasn't announced his intentions. Widely expected to retire, the future Hall of Fame quarterback said he'd give himself time before determining his future.

If Brees does retire, the question for Loomis, Sean Payton and the rest of the Saints' brass is who takes the torch from the legendary QB.

"The answers to that will kick out over the next few weeks as we go through evaluations and we talk about our roster, talk about every position," Loomis said. "Generally speaking, we target our own guys first. But again, the answers to that remain to be seen, and we'll get the answers to that over the next few weeks." ...

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Latest Saints News

The Lions don’t seem to be getting as much interest in Matthew Stafford as expected

  • News source: Mike Florio
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When it comes to potential interest in Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, the glass is currently two-thirds empty.

That’s the obvious import of the news that a third of the league has reached out to the Lions. A third of the league. Ten teams. For a 32-year-old franchise quarterback who is going to get his wish for a new franchise.

The Lions undoubtedly leaked that number to NFL Media in order to generate more interest. Surely, they expected to hear from more than 10 teams — especially since calls always get made when a key veteran player is available as part of the normal due diligence...
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Walker: 50 years ago, the Saints drafted Archie Manning — but it was nothing like you'd imagine

  • News source: BY ROD WALKER | Staff writer
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With the second pick of the 1971 NFL draft, the New Orleans Saints select Archie Manning.

Manning, five months shy of his 22nd birthday, walked to the podium, shook commissioner Pete Rozelle's hand and then put on his black and gold Saints cap while smiling for all the television cameras as millions of football fans all across the country tuned in.

OK, so that's not really how draft day went for Manning 50 years ago, when the Saints selected him with the second overall pick Jan. 28, 1971.

Draft day for Manning, who went on to become one of the most beloved players to ever wear the...
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Saints at the Senior Bowl in smaller numbers, trying to make up what was lost in a pandemic

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
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The bleachers at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, ain’t what they used to be — not this year, at least.

The New Orleans Saints are there in Mobile this week along with the rest of the NFL scouting some of the best incoming talent at the 2021 Senior Bowl. But they are not there in their usual numbers.

The Saints are the closest NFL franchise to Mobile and often have much of their scouting and coaching staff on hand to watch the practices unfold during the day. But with the coronavirus pandemic still a very real problem, Saints Executive Vice President and General Manager Mickey...
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Saints DE Trey Hendrickson is going to 'be an attractive free agent for anyone,' GM Mickey Loomis says

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
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New Orleans Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson's monster season in 2020 came at a good time for the Florida Atlantic product — right at the end of his rookie deal.

Hendrickson posted 13½ sacks in 15 regular season games, and he's "going to be an attractive free agent for anyone," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday.

"Certainly we want him back," Loomis said, but there's one small hangup for the Saints right now when it comes to Hendrickson and their other players headed for free agency.

The salary cap for 2021 hasn't been set yet. Though it's expected to be...
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Loomis: Saints face daunting salary cap issues but not in rebuilding mode

  • News source: Ken Trahan
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Acknowledging that the offseason will be “daunting,” New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday that the team could be close to $100 million over the salary cap.

The Saints are faced with difficult decisions concerning pending free agents, including quarterback Jameis Winston, along with Sheldon Rankins, Trey Hendrickson, Jared Cook, Marcus Williams, P.J. Williams, J.T. Gray, Alex Anzalone and others.

Hendrickson is coming off of a career season, tying for second in the league in sacks with 13.5 but he will command a lot of attention on the open market and could...
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Mickey Loomis: Cap will be challenging, but we’re not rebuilding

  • News source: Josh Alper
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Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis is waiting for word from quarterback Drew Brees about his plans for the 2021 season and he’s also waiting for word from the league about the salary cap for the year to come.

We know the cap won’t be lower than $175 million, which would represent a $23 million drop from the 2020 season and even a smaller drop would leave the Saints well over the cap. During a press conference from the Senior Bowl on Wednesday, Loomis agreed “it’s going to be challenging” for the team to deal with the situation without specifying any plans for doing so.

Loomis did say...
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Saints 'will wait for' Drew Brees to make his decision before they look to future at QB

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
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The New Orleans Saints will be operating a similar fashion as they did last year when it comes to quarterback Drew Brees, general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday.

Brees, after the Saints lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the playoffs, said he'll take some time to contemplate his future.

"We'll wait for him," Loomis said. "We've got a lot of other planning to do. There are more unknowns right now than there are knowns."

The quarterback situation isn't entirely the same as it was in 2020. This time last year, all three of the Saints' quarterbacks last season...
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Saints GM Mickey Loomis is happy Terry Fontenot got his chance; No timeline for replacing staff

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
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Though he lost one of his top deputies to a bitter division rival, New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President and General Manager Mickey Loomis was happy to see Terry Fontenot get his opportunity.

The Atlanta Falcons officially hired Fontenot to be their new general manager earlier this month, ending a 16-year partnership between Loomis and Fontenot in the Saints front office. The Saints plan to fill his spot in the pro personnel department from within.

“Terry Fontenot has been fantastic for us and we're excited that he gets this opportunity,” Loomis said. “We have some guys in the...
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Saints GM: No rebuild during 'daunting' offseason

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
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MOBILE, Ala. -- General manager Mickey Loomis acknowledged this will be a "daunting" offseason for the New Orleans Saints, who will likely need to replace Drew Brees at quarterback and could be close to $100 million over the salary cap.

But Loomis made it clear that the Saints aren't going into rebuilding mode after winning the past four NFC South championships.

"Listen, we've got a great roster. And I can't foresee a circumstance where we're not gonna say, 'Man, we're gonna do everything we can to win -- win now and compete for a championship,'" Loomis said during a videoconference with...
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Mickey Loomis on Drew Brees: We’ll wait on him

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
Reports ahead of the Saints’ divisional round loss to the Buccaneers indicated Saints quarterback Drew Brees would retire once the Saints were out of the playoffs.

Brees didn’t make any announcement after the loss and General Manager Mickey Loomis showed no sign of knowing Brees’ plans at a Wednesday press conference. He did say that wasn’t too different from the past and that the quarterback’s status was one of many things the team needs to sort out in the coming weeks.

“I don’t think it’s a lot different from last year,” Loomis said. “We’ll wait for him. We’ve got a lot of other...
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Saints add a top safety in Mel Kiper’s mock draft

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
In recent years, it was not uncommon to see the New Orleans Saints draft the same position - some times even the same player - in multiple mock drafts as the offseason progresses. Don’t expect that to be the case this year.

In Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft for ESPN (Insider required), Kiper acknowledges the uncertainty surrounding the Saints’ draft needs come the time New Orleans is on the clock near the end of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In this draft, he has the Saints replacing a key player on defense:

You can’t fault Kiper’s logic too much here, but what the Saints do...
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3 up 3 down from Senior Bowl practice day 1

  • News source: Ross.Jackson
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints are allowed to have 10 staff members at the Senior Bowl and have drafted lots of Mobile All-Stars over the last 15 seasons. As they look down at the field in Hancock Whitney Stadium, the evaluation process is under way. After just on day, it’s hard to get too excited or disappointed by prospects, but there are times that they stand out for better or for worse.

QB Jamie Newman, Wake Forest

The quarterback opted out of the 2020 college football season so we haven’t gotten to see much of him. But he looked like he had the strongest arm out on the field. It looked like...
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With tough offseason looming, Saints must prioritize re-signing Marcus Williams

  • News source: KSkiver35
  • Replies: 0
In the NFL’s ever-cycling nature, the priority of positions is always shifting. One year it’s an edge rusher. Then it’s a cornerback. Right now, the lynchpin of a defense is good safety play, as it is harder than ever to defend the ridiculous quarterbacks throwing around the NFL.

The New Orleans Saints were fifth in the league against the pass last year, giving up a shade under 215 yards per game. That was thanks in large part to the play of Marcus Williams, a product of the 2017 draft that also brought the Saints Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk and Alvin Kamara (not to mention late...
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3 most underappreciated Saints from 2020

  • News source: Andrew_Bell
  • Replies: 0
Everybody knows and appreciates the Alvin Kamara’s, the Demario Davis’s and the Terron Armstead’s of the world, and those guys get their deserved props.

But what about the guys who do all the dirty work, providing immense value to team success, who don’t necessarily get all the attention?

Well, today they’re going to get a little love too.

Here are three of the most underrated or underappreciated Saints from the 2020-2021 season:

This is an easy one.

Malcom Brown did so much in the run game this year that went unnoticed because he isn’t the flashy pass rusher. He’s a two-down player...
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