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New Orleans Saints head to training camp with star power, few holes; here are factors to watch

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

he early-summer pageantry of Saints players practicing in shorts and no pads during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp is in the rear-view mirror.

Now, it’s time to temper past enthusiasm on who looked good wearing shells in no-contact drills throughout the install phase of the offseason workout program.

The true assessment period during the march to the regular season begins in less than a week on July 26 when the Saints kick off training camp, where players have a total of 15 padded practices to show the Saints coaching staff what they learned from OTAs.

“Every year since I’ve been here, there’s something about the pads that defined certain players that had it not been for the pads, then you might not have seen their talents,” coach Sean Payton said during last month’s mandatory minicamp. “So, we’re slow to evaluate that way, but quick to evaluate if someone has trouble or can’t learn.”

Full Story - NOLA.com

2019 New Orleans Saints training camp preview: Cornerback

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Will the Saints secondary avoid a repeat of their 2018 early season letdown?

By Bob Rose | Canal Street Chronicles

The New Orleans Saints came into the 2018 season with the thought that they had one of the better cornerback corps in the league. Marshon Lattimore was coming off Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and a Pro Bowl bid, Ken Crawley seemed to be a solid number two compliment, P.J. Williams looked like a potentially competent slot corner, and the Saints had brought back former 1st round draft pick Patrick Robinson. The Saints instead began the '18 season with their pass defense getting embarrassed against Tampa Bay in the season opener, then again two weeks later against rival Atlanta, giving up a combined 88 points, 776 passing yards, and 9 touchdowns through the air in the two contests. Crawley regressed badly, and would eventually be benched. Williams' play was nearly as bad, and Robinson went down with a...

What kind of contract will the Saints offer Michael Thomas?

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

Michael Thomas is currently projected to play the final year of his rookie contract with the New Orleans Saints, but it’s expected he’ll have a long term deal before then.

The wide receiver is expected to sign a massive long term contract extension before the Saints open up training camp, a deal that could dramatically affect the market at his position.

Now, the only question that remains is: What kind of deal will the player actually sign?

If the experts are correct, Thomas could make NFL history with his new contract.

Thomas is currently commanding an annual salary of $20.4 million and should put his name to a five year contract worth $102,331,350, according to the calculations of Spotrac.

There are four wide receivers that currently have contracts worth more than $80 million in total value: Odell Beckham Jr. ($90 million), Mike Evans ($82.5 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($81 million), and Brandin Cooks ($81 million), while three others have deals worth over $70 million (Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry, and Julio Jones).

Full Story - 247 Sports

Saints confident in Kayvon Webster despite recent injuries

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

Kayvon Webster was a late addition to the New Orleans Saints’ secondary, but the veteran cornerback already has one of the team’s coaches on his side as they prepare for training camp.

Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn said that he and the team heard enough good things about Webster from around the league to give him a shot at earning a spot.

“In one on one drills, he has made some good plays,” Glenn said, via The Advocate.

“In his workout, you could see he moves around well. Then you get information from other guys around this league and you find out he’s a really smart player. You have a player like that who has good athletic ability and he’s smart, there is somewhere for him to play. He’s come in here late and has to learn the scheme, but we have to see where that goes.”

Full Story - 247 Sports

Forecast: 3 Things to Watch At 2019 Saints Training Camp

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Saints training camp is about two things; praying players avoid injuries and talking ourselves into players who will be cut before Week 1.

By Ralph Malbrough | WWL TV

NEW ORLEANS — The wait for the New Orleans Saints 2019 football season to arrive was the longest, most awful wait I can remember. The sadness, outrage, disbelief, and melancholy of the NFC Championship just sort of lingers with us. Like some uninvited guest in our heads that just won't leave and pops up to remind Saints fans what protracted anguish is, the blown call remains.

I had to train myself to not fight with national media, fans, or whoever when they would say on Twitter, “Saints fans need to just get over it, one call never decides a game WONK WONK WONK.”

I'll get over this how I damn well please, thank you very little. I care about the Saints way too much, but that's my life choice, and while I don't need so called smart media to respect it, I do reserve the right tell them to go play in traffic. And let me tell you, yelling at national media on Twitter was EXAHAUSTING.

Full Story - WWL TV

Saints receiver Ginn believes in his own '40 yards of gold'

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By Associated Press | The Blade

Even as Ted Ginn, Jr. enters his 13th NFL season, the 34-year-old Saints receiver still considers his foot speed his most distinguishing asset.

New Orleans hopes the former Ohio State football and track star can live up to the hype he himself has promulgated this offseason — namely by publicly inviting anyone to race him for $10,000 and by entering the "40 Yards of Gold" competition that purportedly will determine the NFL's fastest player.

"When you think about speed, and you come to the New Orleans Saints, you think about one guy," Ginn said. "We've all got our labels of who we are. We've all just got to go out and man up to it."

Whether Ginn's outward confidence is genuine or a means of self-motivation is difficult to discern.

Full Story - The Blade

What if Saints, Michael Thomas don't reach new contract by deadline?

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

It was reported in June that the New Orleans Saints hope to sign wide receiver Michael Thomas to a contract extension before training camp kicks off on Thursday, July 25. That makes perfect sense; Thomas is exactly the kind of player teams want to invest in, having accomplished everything the Saints asked of him through his first three years in the NFL.

Thomas, a 2018 first-team All-Pro, has rewritten franchise and league records in both volume (321 career receptions, so far) and efficiency (77-percent career catch rate) as the ideal lead-receiver for quarterback Drew Brees. And at just 26 years of age, Thomas might have another 10 years still ahead of him. Who better to pair with a young heir to Brees, whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater or someone else?
Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

Matt Ryan....Saints killer?

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Matty Ice steps his game up against New Orleans.

By Chris Dunnels | Canal Street Chronicles

There are always certain players that seem to give specific teams trouble, despite the fact that they might be otherwise be a mediocre player to the rest of the league. In some cases, the player might be a Pro Bowl caliber player, but they just take it to another level against particular opponents.

Pro Football Focus did some analysis on this front and determined each NFL team’s “team killer.” For the New Orleans Saints, it’s Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan:

Way-Too-Early NFC South Projections

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By Drew Crabtree | Last Word On Sports

NFC South projections in July? Okay, it may be way too early to begin thinking about the NFL season, but who else can’t wait until fall? In this way-too-early series, I will give my take on each of the NFL divisions and how I believe they will shape up. The NFC South is home to a team that blew a 28-3 in the Super Bowl and a team that was a miracle and a blown-call away from potential back-to-back Super Bowls. Who will end up on top?

Way-Too-Early NFC South Projections

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13) (2-4)

Wins: Carolina Panthers (week 6), Arizona Cardinals (week 10), Atlanta Falcons (week 17)

Losses: San Francisco 49ers (week 1), at Carolina Panthers (week 2), New York Giants (week 3), at Los Angeles Rams (week 4), at...

After Further Review: Biggest position battles of Saints training camp

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By Sean Fazende | FOX 8

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - With every training camp comes new competition at each position. Some battles are obvious, while others develop over the duration of practice.

We’ve pinpointed the six biggest battles as the entire Saints team get set to report this week:

Center

Erik McCoy, Nick Easton, and Cameron Tom

Center is the only true first-team position where the starter is completely unknown. With Max Unger retired, a new player will be inserted into the center of the offensive line. In this offense, many consider it the most important position on that unit. Nick Easton, Erik McCoy and Cameron Tom all received first team reps during OTA’s and minicamp. Each have their strong suits: Easton has versatility, Tom has been in the system and steadily improved, McCoy is a second round pick with probably the most talent of the three. But in this battle, the pads will determine the winner.

Full Story - FOX 8

2019 New Orleans Saints training camp preview: Safety

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How much improvement will the last line of defense show this season after inconsistencies in 2018?

By Bob Rose | Canal Street Chronicles

The New Orleans Saints finished just 29th in the league against the pass in 2018. Much of that was due to major struggles in the team's secondary, which was torched often over the first month of the season in particular. The Saints cornerbacks played better as the season went along, particularly after a midseason trade with the New York Giants to acquire Eli Apple. While Apple and last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore were a talented duo at corner, the Saints safety position struggled for most of the year. The free agent signing of veteran safety Kurt Coleman was an abysmal failure, and the position as a whole gave up too many big plays. Today's training camp preview has a look at the Saints most inconsistent defensive position from a year ago.

SAFETY

Offseason losses:


Kurt Coleman

Offseason additions:...

Mike Detillier: Things to Watch for at Saints Training Camp

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By Mike Detillier / Sports Correspondent

The New Orleans Saints are starting the training camp practices in the next few days and here are a few things to keep an eye on as we are getting ready to kickoff the 2019 football campaign.

DEVELOPING THE YOUNG RECEIVING UNIT

Michael Thomas was marvelous last season catching 125 passes for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns, but the next best wide receiver number wise was Tre’Quan Smith, who caught 28 passes for 427 yards and five scores.

Teams at the end of the 2018 season double-teamed Thomas and Alvin Kamara and forced the other receiving options to get open downfield.

The Saints have combated that sort of coverage scheme due to adding a very talented pass-catching tight end in Jared Cook, who is a perfect fit for the Saints offense, but this team needs to develop a young receiving unit.

Healthy, the Saints know what they will get out of the speedy Ted Ginn, Jr., but he’s 34 years old and like all players, if an injury occurs it takes a little longer to get back in the lineup.

The Saints coaching staff saw glimpses and are still very high on the receiving skills of Smith and Keith Kirkwood, but what they want to see from both is more improvement in their consistency to get open and further developing their ability to gain separation downfield. Both players...

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