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Saints Sophomore Spotlight: Erik McCoy

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By Bob Rose

Heading into the 2019 draft, the New Orleans Saints were looking to replace their Pro Bowl center Max Unger, who had retired after the previous season. New Orleans did not have a selection until the end of the second round, but swung a trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up to the 48th overall pick. The Saints used that pick to draft Erik McCoy, an impressive offensive lineman from Texas A&M.

McCoy was installed as the immediate starter and successor to Unger at center. He would start every game for the Saints during the 2019 season, playing in 99% of the offensive snaps. The 22-year-old McCoy anchored a New Orleans offensive line that allowed only 24 quarterback sacks and averaged nearly 109 yards per game on the ground. He finished the year as a Pro Bowl alternate and was voted onto the 2019 All-Rookie team.

The 6’4", 314-pound McCoy has good quickness and excellent strength for the position. He gets into his pass protection stance quickly, setting a good anchor against power rushers and staying light on his feet to handle finesse moves. He fires off the snap with terrific power as a run blocker and uses terrific technique and leverage to gain an advantage, along with the quickness to get to the second level of a defense effectively. His ability to handle the league’s best interior linemen one on one gives the New Orleans line a big advantage when attacking defenses. ...

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Saints Games May Have a Radically Different Feel This Season

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By Dr. C. | Sports Illustrated

The New Orleans Saints fans may experience home games radically differently this season. COVID-19 guidelines are putting an extreme limit on large gatherings, and the NFL is no exception. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s capacity is 74,000 fans, but the 6 feet rule could cap attendance to only 13,000 fans (17.5%).

The NFL has yet to release official instructions for fans, but ASM Global Vice President Doug Thornton is moving forward with more details on the social-distance experience at Saints home games. He believes that they can manage social distancing mandate, but the ASM Rep stressed over 17.5% is needed in the Dome. Thornton is working closely with the Saints to find innovative ways to increase the arena’s capacity safely.

“The Saints have been good at using their business models to help us create a seating manifest that allows us to adhere to the six-foot distancing rule but still increase the capacity,” Thornton said. One idea mentioned is to seat fans in pods of four, six, or eight and allow families traveling together to sit in the same sections. Thornton's goal is to increase attendance to 20,000 - 30,000, if not higher. ...

Full Story - SI

Mike Detillier: The Kamara money talk

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By Mike Detillier

One of the most talked about offseason topics for the New Orleans Saints this year has been about the future of halfback Alvin Kamara.

Kamara is in the final year of his original contract when the New Orleans Saints selected him in the second-round in 2017.

Kamara has been a vital cog in Sean Payton’s offense as both a runner and receiver.

The issue is how much are the Saints willing to pay Kamara on a long-term deal knowing the team has potential deals to be done in the near future with linebacker Demario Davis, the best right tackle in pro football in Ryan Ramczyk, one of the best young cover cornerbacks in the league in Marshon Lattimore and a promising defensive tackle in Sheldon Rankins, who has had injuries each of the past two seasons.

There is no doubt that the halfback position in the NFL has been devalued and it shows up big on draft day.

In the 2019 NFL draft, there was only one running back selected in Alabama’s Josh Jacobs, who the Oakland Raiders selected in the first-round. Penn State halfback Miles Sanders, who the Philadelphia Eagles selected in the second-round, was the only halfback selected in the second round in 2019.

In the 2020 NFL draft, there was only one running back — LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire of the Kansas City Chiefs — selected in the first-round, with D’Andre Swift (Detroit Lions), Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis Colts), Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams), J.K. Dobbins (Baltimore Ravens) and A.J. Dillon (Green Bay Packers) going in the second round this spring.

In April, the Carolina Panthers gave halfback Christian McCaffrey a 4-year contract extension worth $64 million dollars...

Deonte Harris hoping to help his team even more in 2020

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Deonte Harris is one of the brighter young stars of the New Orleans Saints, having made the leap from small-school Assumption College to the NFL, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition along the way. Harris shredded opponents on special teams while returning punts and kickoffs, finally plugging a position of need the Saints had spent nearly a decade fumbling with.

The second-year pro appeared on the Straight up Saints podcast to discuss his breakout 2019 season, as well as his ambitions for 2020 and beyond. One area of improvement Harris has focused on is his untapped potential as a pass-catcher, saying, “I want to be more involved in the offense and help us put more points on the board. I want to do what I did on special teams, but I also want to play a role on offense and help out as much as I can.”

And he feels fortunate to be surrounded by examples of success like Michael Thomas and now, Emmanuel Sanders. The Saints inked Sanders to a two-year contract early in free agency, and Harris is eager to see the NFL veteran in action once the team gathers for training camp.

Full Story - Saintswire

Latest Saints News

Cam Jordan makes PFF’s NFL Top 50

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan has been one of the most dominant and consistent performers on the Saints defense since he came into the league in 2011.

Jordan has started every single game since 2012 and has averaged 13.5 sacks over the last three seasons. In those last three seasons, Jordan has made the Pro Bowl each year and has made First Team All-Pro once. To cap off an incredible career so far, Jordan made the’s All Decade team for the 2010s.

It should come as no surprise then that Jordan similarly made Pro Football Focus’s Top 50...
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Louisiana by the Numbers: The best of every uniform (0-9)

  • News source: Lenny Vangilder
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Part 10 of a series

This is what happens when history meets numbers.

Crescent City Sports has decided to go back through the list of greatest players to compete on the fields, courts and diamonds of Louisiana and decide who was the best to wear every number from 0 to 99.

Our rules are simple: To be eligible for our list, you had to play for a college or professional team in Louisiana, and the list is based on the number you wore while in Louisiana.

The final installment of our 10-part series looks at Nos. 0-9. While many of the greats in Louisiana sports...
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Eli Apple joins Saints junior varsity team?

  • News source: Kade Kistner
  • Replies: 0
Former New Orleans Saints cornerback Eli Apple just inked a brand new, one-year, $3 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. After having his previous deal with the Las Vegas Raiders fall through earlier this offseason, this seems like a pretty good deal.

Now for the question that remains: is Apple heading to the Saints junior varsity team? Seemingly every player that New Orleans released or opted to not re-sign this offseason has somehow made their way to the Panthers.

Those players include fan favorite quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, wide receiver Keith...
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Fleur-de-Links, June 1: Malcolm Jenkins joins protesters and a potential edge rusher for the Saints

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
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Officially licensed Saints face coverings are available for the first time, with partial proceeds from the sales going to the CDC Foundation.

Sports Illustrated names wide receiver, edge rusher, and cornerbackas the three most “concerning area” regarding the Saints’ roster.

A film study showing how players like C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Malcolm Jenkins, Anthony Chickillo and more can be used in the 2020 season.

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins marched with protesters in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Running back Alvin Kamara, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and defensive...
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Matt Rhule: Teddy Bridgewater brings out the best in people

  • News source: Josh Alper
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One of the first big decisions the Panthers made after hiring head coach Matt Rhule was the decision to sign quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as a free agent.

Bridgewater got a three-year deal in Carolina after spending the last two years as a backup in New Orleans. He got five starts last season while Drew Brees was injured and the Saints won all five of those games, which provided a strong sign that Bridgewater can still get the job done after his serious 2016 leg injury.

That checked off one box and Rhule said that Bridgewater also fits the bill in other ways. He...
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A look around the NFC South on SB Nation

  • News source: JR Ella
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Defense will win it or lose it for Tampa. Despite the flashy additions of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Bucs Nation’s Evan Winter still believes that Devin White and is defensive gang hold the key to Tampa Bay’s 2020-21 season.

Devonta Freeman could be headed to Tampa. The NFC South’s dealings continue, as the former Falcons running back has been officially offered a contract by the Buccaneers. There’s one thing you can say about Tampa this year: they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Will it be enough to win the division or even contend for a...
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Saints S Malcolm Jenkins calls for charges, convictions in George Floyd killing

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins sat at his desk Wednesday, wearing a white long-sleeved T-shirt with a homemade message inscribed in all caps in black marker.

His shirt read, "Charge & convict the murderers of George Floyd!"

Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, died Monday while a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the back of his neck for at least seven minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and said he struggled to breathe.

Floyd's arrest and subsequent death was recorded by a cell phone video posted to social media, inciting peaceful...
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3 Saints players whose 2020 season will be a make-or-break campaign

  • News source: Kade Kistner
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The New Orleans Saints have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL. As such, an intense level of competition will be present as players try to maintain their place on the roster this season and in the future. We have targeted three players whose 2020 season will be a type of “make-or-break” campaign in determining their future on the squad.

There has been a ton of talk this offseason regarding running back Alvin Kamara’s future. A faction of fans are calling for him to be traded after a lackluster and injury-plagued 2019. Another faction still believe that he...
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Report: Eli Apple’s deal with Panthers worth $3 million

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 1
The Panthers announced that they have agreed to terms on a contract with cornerback Eli Apple for the 2020 season and that deal looks different than the deal Apple initially struck earlier this offseason.

Apple agreed to terms with the Raiders on a one-year deal early in free agency, but it fell apart before being finalized. Apple was set to make $6 million for the AFC West squad and his Panthers deal reportedly won’t be worth that much.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Apple’s deal is worth $3 million. The structure of the deal includes a $750,000 signing...
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Film Study: How the Saints can work with their linebacker room

  • News source: KSkiver35
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The New Orleans Saints have underwent a complete transformation over the past few seasons. The defense is no longer the laughingstock it once was, and a big part of that has come from the revitalization of the linebacking corps. Mike Nolan completely reshaped them in the past three seasons, with Demario Davis’s addition in 2018 being a huge contribution.

Dennis Allen has also helped this transformation, using different blitzing packages and looks to keep defenses off-balance. Despite some injury issues, the Saints’ team defense has managed to stay intact. With...
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Fleur-de-Links, May 29: Former Saint signs with division rival and plans for Superdome capacity in 2020 season

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
Officially licensed Saints face coverings are available for the first time, with partial proceeds from the sales going to the CDC Foundation.

Conference call with recently signed offensive lineman James Hurst.

Based on previous years’ stats, Alvin Kamara is on track to break the Saints franchise record for all-time leading scorer.

Former Saints cornerback Eli Apple joins former teammate Teddy Bridgewater as he signs a deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Based on numbers by BetMGM, the odds are in favor of the Saints going to the playoffs and winning between 9 and...
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Superdome’s “worst-case scenario” is 13,000 fans for Saints games

  • News source: Charean Williams
  • Replies: 2
No one knows what games are going to look like this fall. Are they going to be played without fans? Some fans? Full stadiums?

Every team likely is busy planning for everything, or anything.

The Superdome Commission, a state entity formerly known as the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, held its monthly meeting Thursday. Stadium officials revealed they are modeling multiple contingency plans in case the NFL calls for social distancing, Sean Fazende of WVUE-TV reports.

The Superdome Commission has considered scenarios of using between 17 percent and 50...
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The Simms QB top 40 countdown, No. 33: Jameis Winston

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
Five years after becoming the first overall pick in the draft, quarterback Jameis Winston no longer is a starter. And with 32 teams in the league, it’s no surprise he’s not among Chris Simms’ top 32 quarterbacks for 2020.

Winston just missed the cut. The NFL’s first 30-30 man came in at No. 33 on the list.

If he plays this year, he could go a lot higher, thanks to the tutelage of Saints coach Sean Payton. Last year, Teddy Bridgewater parlayed five starts into a $22 million annual deal with the Panthers.

Winston may not get the chance, if starter Drew Brees stays...
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13,000 fans in Superdome for Saints games? That's just one of many scenarios considered

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
With some four months to go before the New Orleans Saints regular-season home opener, officials in charge of operating the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are considering a series of changes to manage fan safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, including what could be a sharp drop in the number of people able to cheer in person.

During a monthly meeting Thursday, officials from the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District — the state entity commonly known as the Superdome Commission — said they are currently modeling multiple contingency plans should the NFL mandate social...
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