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2019 Saints 90-man roster: Offensive line, C Erik McCoy

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The Saints drafted Texas A&M center/guard Erik McCoy in the 2019 NFL Draft, trading up from pick 62 to pick 48 so as to ensure the prize. He’s got a lot on his plate in the upcoming season.

By Roy Anderson | WhoDatDish

We’ve already discussed former Saints center Max Unger’s retirement several times in presenting the 90-man roster with which the Saints will go into training camp in 2019. His was an unexpected loss from which the Saints appear to have recovered from quite nicely. Untested at this point, however, rookie center/guard Eric McCoy will have an immediate opportunity to prove himself and directly influence this season’s outcome.

We’re breaking down the entire 90-man roster the Saints will be taking into training camp this year, first with an overview by position group and then by individual players. We started the series with a breakdown of the receivers, followed by the tight ends, then the...

Saints head into summer with deep and talented roster

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By Ed Daniels | Crescent City Sports

Here’s some black and gold fat to chew as the New Orleans Saints head to the summer break.

In OTA’s and minicamp, tight end Jared Cook received a lot of hype for his ball-catching skills.

The hype is well deserved.

If you are looking for a fantasy football tight end, Cook would seem to be an excellent choice. He has pieced together an excellent NFL career on mostly bad teams.

In four years in Tennessee, Cook played on just one winning team that went just 9-7. After three losing years in St. Louis, he went to Green Bay where he was a solid contributor on a 10-win team.

During the last two seasons with Oakland, Cook shined. No need to elaborate on the quality of the teams there.

So, my guess is he will flourish in one of the best offenses in football. Cook has not had great players around him. On a Super Bowl contender in New Orleans, he will.

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Saints offensive line develops rookie center McCoy, more depth behind veteran starters

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By Rene Nadeau | Crescent City Sports

Saints offensive line coach Dan Roushar is a 33-year veteran in the coaching profession, having spent seven seasons with New Orleans. He originally tutored the Saints tight ends but moved over to handle the offensive line coaching duties in 2016.

Roushar’s unit has consistently been at or near the top in NFL in key measurements since then, allowing the least amount of sacks for example.

In 2018, the 20 sacks allowed by New Orleans paced the NFC and ranked second lowest in the NFL. The Saints gave up 20 sacks in the previous season as well. Roushar stresses that it is a total team achievement.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to our guys,” Roushar deflected any credit. “Brendan Nugent (Saints offensive line assistant) does a great job with those guys. They all understand how the system functions. Drew (Brees) is so good about getting the ball out quickly. Our receivers are working to get themselves open. Our guys understand the protection pattern. Also the guys who played for us are good football players and they’ve done a good job.”

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Teddy Bridgewater keeps impressing while waiting his turn

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

METAIRIE, La. -- Teddy Bridgewater was just having some fun when he switched jerseys and positions with Alvin Kamara for the start of Thursday’s final minicamp practice.

But the New Orleans Saints' backup quarterback turned serious when he talked about his skills as a pass-catcher.

“I’ve probably got the best hands in the NFL,” Bridgewater insisted. “Well, first Michael Thomas. But then Teddy Bridgewater.”

Make no mistake: Although Bridgewater decided that it was the best career move for him to spend another year behind Drew Brees and under the tutelage of coach Sean Payton in New Orleans -- calling himself a “businessman” -- his competitive fire is alive and well.

Even when he was running the scout team during practices last year, Bridgewater loved talking trash to the Saints’ starting defensive backs. And they readily admit that he was torching them early in the season, before he forced them to step up their game.

Saints' star back Alvin Kamara 'didn't know what was going on' at times in his rookie year

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By Glenn Guilbeau, USA TODAY Network

METAIRIE — If newly acquired Saints running back Latavius Murray, formerly of Minnesota and Oakland, did not know that Alvin Kamara was one of the kings of New Orleans, he found out on Wednesday during mini-camp.

Kamara was surrounded by cameras and reporters at his locker when Murray went to the shower after practice, and Kamara was still surrounded by cameras and reporters when Murray returned from the shower and found his way to his nearby locker.

Murray, a free agent signing last March to replace Saints veteran back Mark Ingram now with Baltimore, looked on in amazement and said, "This a podcast?"

As a crowd of reporters and players laughed, Kamara just kept talking.

This illustrated how comfortable Kamara, who will be entering his third season in 2020 after two spectacularly versatile campaigns, is in his skin, in his role, and in his adopted city of New Orleans.

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Saints rookie Kaden Elliss soaking up all the knowledge he can from veteran linebackers

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

Kaden Elliss talks to his dad on the phone every single day after practice.

It was their routine during rookie minicamp.

It continued in OTAs.

And it was part of the schedule during Saints minicamp that wrapped up Thursday.

"He's asking me how things went and wanting to go over things," Elliss said. "It's awesome being able to fall back on him."

Luther Elliss spent 10 seasons in the NFL as a defensive lineman, including two seasons as a Pro Bowler.

So now the elder Elliss is hoping to see his son, a seventh round draft pick by the Saints, make his mark in the league too.

Full Story - The Advocate

Hey, Saints fans. The Super Bowl is the goal, but don’t get ahead of yourselves.

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By Brian Allee Walsh - Special to the Sun Herald

As Coach Sean Payton put his team through its final day of minicamp Thursday at the Saints practice facility, I watched and wondered what the 2019 season would bring, knowing full well the expectations in Who Dat Nation are running sky high.

Out of this world, in fact.

When the team reconvenes for the start of training camp in late July, it will do so with a singular purpose: To win Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Truth be told, the other 31 NFL teams probably will share a similar mindset at the outset of training camp but only eight or 10 teams possess the wherewithal to get it done. Several will have a puncher’s chance, and the rest will be jockeying for the top 15 spots in the 2020 draft.

Full Story - The Sun Herald

The Saints have put their playoff heartbreak in 'the rearview mirror' to focus on winning the next one

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'I don't know if you get over it,' coach Sean Payton said of the brutal loss. 'But I do know you get on with it'


By Pete Prisco | CBS Sports

METAIRIE, La. -- On the final day of mandatory minicamp, which means breaking for the summer and five weeks of rest and relaxation, the New Orleans Saints locker room was buzzing early Thursday afternoon.

In one area, players played Nintendo video games -- yes, the old school games are back -- and in other spots players were saying their goodbyes for a month or so, the next time they convene coming for training camp in late July.

If there was any sort of sign of lingering hurt from losing the NFC Championship Game to the Los Angeles Rams at home last January, doing so in large part to a blown non-call on what should have been a pass-interference penalty, it certainly wasn't evident on this day.

That could be because the Saints say there isn't any carryover from that heartbreak. They would know. They lived it all last season.

Full Story - CBS Sports

Jared Cook, Carl Granderson make positive impressions and other observations from Saints minicamp

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By Jeff Duncan | | The Times-Picayune

Expectations are high for veteran tight end Jared Cook and the veteran tight end did nothing to disappoint teammates, coaches or fans during the New Orleans Saints three-day minicamp this week. He looks primed for a big season.

During the three mini-camp practices I watched, no one caught more passes for explosive plays than the veteran free agent.

Listed at 6-5, 254 pounds, Cook has a lean build and can still run at age 32. He routinely beat linebackers and safeties in coverage and showed a reliable set of hands. He used his height advantage to snare a pass over his head against tight coverage from 5-11 rookie safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and finish the play through contact. It was an impressive display of elite skill and athleticism, something the Saints haven’t had at the position since Jimmy Graham was traded in 2014.

Cook hasn’t caught a pass in an official game for the Saints yet but he looks like a major upgrade over Ben Watson and Coby Fleener, the men who have manned the lead tight end position the past few years for the Saints.

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5 Saints players among PFF's Top 50 for 2019 season

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Pro Football Focus recently completed its ranking of the top 50 NFL players of the 2019 season, and the New Orleans Saints were a popular pick. Five different players made the list, which was updated in installments over the course of the past week.

Here’s where each of the Saints selections ranked:
  • No. 45. Ryan Ramczyk, right tackle
  • No. 36. Alvin Kamara, running back
  • No. 16. Cameron Jordan, defensive end
  • No. 12. Michael Thomas, wide receiver
  • No. 5. Drew Brees, quarterback
Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Report: Cam Jordan extension puts Saints at $12M in cap space

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints worked out an extension with defensive end Cameron Jordan earlier this week, and structured the salary cap accounting in a way that helps the team. Before the extension, Jordan’s salary cap hit was well over $14 million, one of the highest on the team.

Now, Field Yates of ESPN is reporting that Jordan’s extension lessened his salary cap number for the 2019 season, and bumped the Saints up to around $12 million or $12.5 million in spending room. The NFL Players Association public cap report, which has not updated since Jordan’s signing, still lists the Saints with about $7.2 million in space. So a little math suggests Jordan’s 2019 cap hit will sit around $9 million.

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Why the New Orleans Saints could win it all, Part VI: Defensive Line

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The Saints defensive line was surprisingly effective in 2018.

By Chris Dunnels | Canal Street Chronicles

The New Orleans Saints defensive line made massive strides in 2018 from years past. In fact, come the end of the 2018 season, the SB Nation mother ship ranked the Saints defensive line among the NFL’s best, saying this:

New Orleans finds itself on here after a few solid draft choices. Cameron Jordan is an elite defensive end. Sheldon Rankins has developed into one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in the league in his third season. Other players, like David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport, have been solid for the Saints as well.
The Saints lost Alex Okafor in free agency to the Kansas City Chiefs, and...

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