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Top 5, bottom 5 PFF player grades from Saints' loss to Bucs

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(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints were eliminated from the playoffs after falling short to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in large part due to their offense fraying at the seams. Drew Brees and two of his regular playmakers, Michael Thomas and Jared Cook, each ranked among the lowest-graded players in the game by Pro Football Focus. Thomas didn’t catch a single pass for the first time in his career, while all three Buccaneers touchdowns were scored after Brees or Cook gave the ball away.

But there were some bright spots, too, giving reason for optimism in the future. Here’s the final list of top five and bottom five Saints player grades of the 2020 season: ...

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Report: Dan Campbell to finish Saints exit interviews before taking Lions job

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The Detroit Lions can hire their new head coach at any time, but Dan Campbell wants to handle all the responsibilities left on his desk before leaving the New Orleans Saints. Because of NFL rules, he was only allowed to speak with suitors until the Saints’ season ended, at which point he can join a new team. Their playoffs loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opens the door for him and others to go pursue new opportunities.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Campbell is expected to be announced as Detroit’s next head coach later this week, once he’s formally met with the team in person after interviewing virtually. That’s when he’ll be able to put pen to paper. ...

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Three steps to fix the Saints for 2021: Finding a replacement at quarterback is top priority

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Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By Jordan Dajani | CBS Sports

The New Orleans Saints' 2020 season ended on Sunday night, as they fell to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round, 30-20. While it didn't end with Sean Payton hoisting a Lombardi Trophy, there are still reasons to be content with what the Saints were able to accomplish this season. They won the NFC South for the fourth consecutive year with a 12-4 record, they defeated Brady twice in the regular season in his first year with the Bucs, Alvin Kamara made NFL history by rushing for six touchdowns in a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas and they did win a postseason game after failing to do so last year.

This offseason is going to be incredibly important for the Saints moving forward as a franchise, as they will likely be searching for a new starting quarterback. Not only that, but this franchise will be forced to deal with several pressing issues such as pending free agents and then of course the salary cap. Below, we will examine what I believe to be the three most important steps New Orleans will have to take in the coming months.
1. Find your new quarterback

Drew Brees said he's going to take some time to think about retirement, but maybe the Saints should give him a little push towards the door. Brees is an NFL legend, there's no doubt about it. ...

Full Story - CBS Sports

Drew Brees says he's not ready to decide on retirement

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Drew Brees and his wife stood alone on the Superdome sidelines, watching their children play together on the roughed-up turf. They remained in the building for nearly an hour after the New Orleans Saints were eliminated from the playoffs by the division-rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, soaking in every sight and sound of the moment.

But when asked if he could confirm reports that he plans to retire now that the 2020 season is behind him, all Brees could offer in a postgame conference call was a delay.

“I’m going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season, just like I did last season, and make a decision,” Brees replied. Pressed about what would go into that decision, Brees said: “I’m going to keep that to myself right now.” ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Latest Saints News

Falcons announce hiring of G.M. Terry Fontenot

  • News source: Michael David Smith
  • Replies: 0
The Atlanta Falcons have officially hired General Manager Terry Fontenot.

Fontenot had emerged as the favorite and his hiring was announced this morning. He’ll work with new head coach Arthur Smith as the Falcons attempt to rebuild after a disappointing end to the tenures of former G.M. Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn.

“When we started this process we were focused on finding someone that not only has a track record of identifying key building blocks that result in successful teams, but also someone who focuses on cohesive relationships within the building. We feel very strongly...
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Fleur-de-Links, January 19: Reactions from players and fans following Saints loss

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
Answers as to how the Saints lost their playoff game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Drew Brees speaks on his decision to return for the 2020-21 season.

Sants fans and players take to social media to share their thoughts after the Saints playoff loss.

Saints fans share photos of meeting Drew Brees.

Sean Payton, Alvin Kamara, Cam Jordan, and more share their thoughts about the previous season, the playoff loss, and Drew Brees.

Drew Brees does not give an answer about whether or not he will play in the upcoming season.

The Saints’ “initial draft slot” is 28th in the 2021 NFL draft.
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Reports: Ravens releasing Mark Ingram on Tuesday

  • News source: Charean Williams
  • Replies: 0
Ravens running back Mark Ingram broke his own news, though it was expected.

Ingram tweeted a good-bye letter to Baltimore minutes before multiple reports broke that the Ravens have informed the running back they are releasing him Tuesday.

Ingram played his final game for the Ravens in Week 17. He was a healthy scratch in both playoff games.

The Ravens save $5 million in cap space by releasing him.

In 2020, Ingram had a career-low 72 carries and a career-low 299 rushing yards.

Ingram, 31, has 7,324 rushing yards in 10 NFL seasons, eight with the Saints. He has 9,219 yards from...
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Rumors: Saints block LSU from hiring Nielsen, open to trading Michael Thomas

  • News source: CCS Staff
  • Replies: 0
The offseason has begun, and rumors are swirling about coaches and players for the New Orleans Saints.

In a truly local football story emerging, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports LSU wants to hire Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen to be their defensive coordinator but New Orleans is currently not willing to sign off on the move.

One would think the parties involved would come to an agreement to allow Nielsen to presumably earn a significant raise with a higher profile position despite the move down to college. However, that remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, NFL reporter Ian...
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Report: Saints disputing whether Ryan Nielsen’s contract allows him to leave

  • News source: Charean Williams
  • Replies: 0
Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen wants to join Ed Orgeron’s staff at LSU, and a deal seems (or seemed?) imminent.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron even went on WWL Radio on Monday afternoon and said of Nielsen, via Julie Boudwin of Rivals: “We are in the process. Ryan is a prime candidate for us. Love Ryan. . . . We in the process of figuring out who we’re going to hire, and I think we’re very close.”

Jane Slater of NFL Media, who reported the original news that Nielsen was leaving the Saints to become LSU’s defensive coordinator, now reports that the Saints aren’t letting Nielsen go easily...
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Antonio Brown injury could open door for Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown exited Sunday’s playoff game with an injury. At last word, Brown was getting an MRI on his knee.

In his absence, a couple of other receivers stepped up: Scotty Miller, who saw his playing time plummet after Brown joined the team, and rookie Tyler Johnson (pictured). Both players had key catches in the fourth-quarter drive that resulted in the Buccaneers taking a 23-20 lead. Johnson made an athletic, lunging catch of a low-and-outside pass on third and 11, securing a first down. Three plays later, Miller caught a 29-yard pass on third and five.

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A look at how the Saints' snap counts vs. Bucs were affected without RB Latavius Murray

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
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This week's snap counts analysis looks at the running backs, the rookies and other assorted takeaways:

Alvin Kamara (56, 86%), Michael Burton (15, 23%), Ty Montgomery (9, 14%), Dwayne Washington (2, 3%). Inactive: Latavius Murray (quadriceps).

Veteran running back Latavius Murray is typically on the field for 24 to 49% of the Saints' offensive plays, depending on the game plan on the team's health.

But with Murray out with a quadriceps injury for Sunday's game, the Saints relied on additional usage from star running back Alvin Kamara, rather than use a tandem similar to what he and...
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Source: LSU working to hire Saints' D-line coach

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
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METAIRIE, La. -- LSU is working to finalize a deal that would make New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen its next defensive coordinator, a source confirmed to ESPN.

However, the agreement has not become official yet since Nielsen's contract with the Saints could bar such a move.

Nielsen has a longtime relationship with LSU coach Ed Orgeron. He played under Orgeron as a defensive tackle at USC from 1998 to 2001 and coached on Orgeron's staff at Ole Miss from 2005 to 2007.

The Tigers parted ways with defensive coordinator Bo Pelini last month after just one season. The 2019...
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Report: Saints DL coach Ryan Nielsen set to become LSU defensive coordinator

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen is reportedly heading to a different job in Louisiana.

Jane Slater of NFL Media reports that Nielsen is finalizing a deal to become the defensive coordinator on Ed Orgeron’s staff at LSU. Nielsen informed Saints head coach Sean Payton of his intention to leave for Baton Rouge on Monday.

Nielsen just finished his fourth season on the Saints staff. The job was his first in the NFL after 15 years at the collegiate level. He joins former Panthers assistant Jake Peetz as coaches heading to LSU from the professional ranks.

The Saints are also expected...
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Saints won 49 games in four years without reaching a Super Bowl

  • News source: Michael David Smith
  • Replies: 0
The Saints have had a great run over the last four years. At least in the regular season.

But the contrast between the Saints’ regular-season success and their postseason lack of success has been noteworthy: The Saints have won 49 regular-season games in the last four years, the most wins in a four-year span by a team that failed to reach a Super Bowl, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In 2017 the Saints went 11-5 but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs. In 2018 the Saints went 13-3 but lost in the NFC Championship Game. In 2019 the Saints went 13-3 but lost in the wild card...
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Jaguars will pick 25th after Rams loss in divisional round

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer knew his team had the first overall pick in the draft when he took the job and now he knows where the team’s second first-round pick will fall.

Jacksonville acquired the Rams’ 2021 first-rounder as part of the deal for cornerback Jalen Ramsey in October 2019 and it will be the 25th overall selection after the Rams lost to the Packers on Saturday. They also acquired the Rams’ 2020 first-round pick, which they used to take edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson.

The Browns, Ravens, and Saints also have their spots set for April’s draft after losing over the...
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Important quotes after the game include reflections on Drew Brees as a teammate

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
On the four turnovers:

“I thought defensively we played exceptionally well. Unfortunately, those types of things in a game like this, end up being the difference. They (Tampa) scored three touchdowns off of our first three turnovers. It’s just tough to win a game against a good team like that when you do that.”

On not attacking more downfield:

“We had some down the field throws, actually. Sometimes, we were coming off to the underneath throws. We had a couple double spears. Look, we made some plays down the field. Obviously, not enough. I don’t think that was our issue. I thought that...
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Report: Saints expected to lose Dan Campbell to Lions, Terry Fontenot to Falcons

  • News source: Jude Young
  • Replies: 0
An offseason of what is expected to be significant change for the New Orleans Saints is underway.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that top Saints assistant Dan Campbell will likely become the head coach of the Detroit Lions and executive Terry Fontenot is expected to be hired as General Manager of the rival Atlanta Falcons.

Campbell has been the assistant head coach and tight ends coach in New Orleans for the past five seasons. Fontenot, a Lake Charles native and Tulane product, has served in the Saints’ front office for the past 16 years.

Like Fontenot, Jeff Ireland is another Saints...
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Saints recent playoff misery falls at feet of the offense

  • News source: Ed Daniels
  • Replies: 0
It is the worst kind of three and out.

For the Saints, a third straight playoff loss at home was likely the end of a 15-year stay as the Saints quarterback for Drew Brees, who is expected to soon announce his retirement.

There’s a common thread in those three losses. It’s lack of offensive production.

In those three home defeats to the Rams, Vikings, and Bucs, the Saints scored a total of 63 points. New Orleans had seven turnovers to just two for the opposition in those defeats.

The first quarter of the 30-20 loss to the Bucs looked a lot like the first quarter of the loss to the Rams...
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