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The surprise starter for the New Orleans Saints

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By John Newby | 247 Sports


Look back at the Super Bowl champions in NFL history and one thing becomes clear: the perfectly-laid plans never work out correctly. Something always goes wrong, whether it's the Packers losing cornerback Charles Woodson before halftime of Super Bowl XLV or the Eagles switching to backup quarterback Nick Foles during the lead-up to LII. This adversity tends to arise in the form of injuries, but that isn't always the case.

Sometimes, veteran players and entrenched starters just struggle to perform up to expectations. No matter the reason, it's critical that each team has a cupboard stocked with depth players that could step in and lead the team to victory if needed.

With this in mind, Bleacher Report has set out to determine which player could become that surprise starter for each team, whether due to injuries or poor play of the man atop the depth chart. For the Saints, the best choice appears to be a rookie safety named Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Although he first has to dethrone P.J. Williams and Patrick Robinson. ...

Full Story - 247 Sports

Look What Drew Brees Wrote to Zion Williamson on Signed Saints Jersey

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By Mike Chiari | Bleacherreport.com

After the New Orleans Pelicans selected Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft on Thursday, the former Duke star received an autographed jersey and message from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees: ...


Brees has been the face of New Orleans sports since signing with the Saints in 2006. Since that time, he has been named to 11 Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl and developed into one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. ...

Full Story - Bleacherreport.com

Saints fans rank high in survey of all 32 NFL fanbases

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

In recent years, New Orleans Saints fans have been profiled along with every other NFL fanbase by Professor Michael Lewis of Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. Lewis seeks to objectively survey the NFL’s best (and worst) fans, relying on a few select factors to rank them against their peers.

In his 2019 study, Lewis ended up placing Saints fans at the No. 10 spot — a drop after they ranked No. 7 last year. Here’s how he described his methodology:

My approach to evaluating fan bases uses data on attendance, revenues, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest. The key is that the models are used to determine which city’s fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.

Saints fans ranked highest in “road equity,” which measures their attendance in away games. They were graded 7th-best in that category, with only six fanbases receiving higher marks for traveling well to other teams’ stadiums. Several of those represent teams with strong national brands like the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, and Dallas Cowboys...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Bears Pro Bowler Akiem Hicks reflects on his fallout with Saints

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints were shorthanded in the 2012 NFL Draft, so they picked an intriguing prospect in Akiem Hicks. The one-time LSU commit had played at the University of Regina in Canada, where he’d used his immense physical gifts to get on the Saints’ radar. Towering at 6-foot-5, 332 pounds with 35-plus inch arms, he was a natural fit as a big interior pass rusher. And to hear him tell it, he loved his initial fit in New Orleans.

“I thought I was going to be a Saint for life,” Hicks told Dan Pompei of the Athletic. “I’m going to play here for 10 years and they are going to put my name on a banner in the stadium.”

It was a welcome career shift for Hicks, who had previously worked in call centers and grocery stores.

But things took an ugly turn for Hicks in New Orleans. He was traded away early in the 2015 season, a difficult experience which he describes as “the absolute lowest point of my life.” From his perspective, he’d done everything possible to be a good teammate and an asset to the team.

Hicks sought out the leaders in the Saints locker room to show him how to be a professional. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma looks back on their time together fondly, admitting that they still talk frequently. He’s still puzzled by a position switch the Saints forced on Hicks ahead of his final season...

Bridgewater: Saints 'best opportunity for me to grow'

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By Kevin Patra | NFL.com Analyst | NFL.com


Teddy Bridgewater eschewed a chance to compete for a starting gig on a new team and decided to carry Drew Brees' bag for at least one more season.

Instead of signing with Miami where he might have competed with a younger QB in a rebuilding program, Bridgewater decided to re-re-up with the New Orleans Saints where he will act as insurance to a Super Bowl-contender.

Bridgewater told Luke Johnson of The Times-Picayune during minicamp that returning to the Saints affords him the chance to improve. T, Alabama: Don't dismiss Williams' chances of finishing as the No. 1 overall player on most boards after the Alabama standout shocked the NFL scouting community with a sensational showing on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive tackle has a rare combination of size, speed, strength and power, as evidenced by his effort throughout his workout. Considering his high-quality tape and nasty on-field demeanor, Williams is making a strong push to be the first player selected on draft night. ...

"This is the best opportunity for me to grow as a player," Bridgewater said.

There are few opportunities in football as good as learning under...

Saints hope depth develops at wide receiver

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By Les East | Crescent City Sports

METAIRIE – Depth at wide receiver has been a question mark for the New Orleans Saints for more than a year.

They signed Cameron Meredith as a veteran free agent last year and used a 2018 third-round draft choice on Tre’Quan Smith to address the need.

They signed veterans Michael Floyd and Brandon Tate after training camp was underway a year ago, but neither worked out and both were released at the end of the preseason.

During the season they signed Dez Bryant after Meredith’s surgically repaired knee continued to give him problems and required a second surgery.

After Bryant suffered a season-ending Achilles injury without ever playing a down, the Saints signed Brandon Marshall to replace him and he caught 11 passes before being released.

All of that changed very little.

Full Story - CCS

Pandora’s Box cracked, not fully opened by NFL with amended PI rule

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By Ken Trahan | Crescent City Sports

I have used the phrase many times. Many others do as well.

The discussion about it continues today, thanks to the “NOLA No-Call” of Jan. 20.

With the passing of the pass interference challenge rule, has the NFL opened “Pandora’s Box?”

The current day interpretation of the phrase invokes the meaning “any source of great and unexpected troubles,” according to Wikipedia, where we all search, whether we admit it or not. That is what is said to pour out of the box upon it being opened.

Another way to state the case is that we may have opened a can of worms.

As it applies to the NFL, any rule implemented to improve the game is good. Any rule implemented to improve the perceived integrity of the game is good.

Interestingly, the league only approved the new rule for the 2019 season. Perhaps they are concerned about the practice as opposed to the theory that it will protect the league and improve things.

Full Story - CCS

See when the Saints open preseason training camp; it's less than a month away

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By Staff | The Advocate

The New Orleans Saints are less than a month away from training camp.

The team will begin its 2019 season in earnest when rookies report July 18 to the Saints training facility in Metairie; veterans come in a week later, on July 25.

The dates are some of the earliest in the NFL; only the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks start earlier, with rookies reporting July 17 for those teams.

Full Story - The Advocate

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