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NFL owners to consider replay expansion at league’s annual spring meeting

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By Jeff Duncan | | The Times-Picayune

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The NFL’s annual league meeting is usually a pretty sleepy affair but that’s not expected to be the case this year.

Fireworks are expected as league owners and executives convene at the posh Arizona Biltmore hotel for the next four days to discuss the state of the league and to consider, among other things, several controversial rules-change proposals for the upcoming season.

The New Orleans Saints will be heavily involved, as usual. The club will be represented on several committees by owner Gayle Benson and team executives, including president Dennis Lauscha and general manager Mickey Loomis.

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Sean Payton dislikes playoff all-star officiating crews

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By Herbie Teope - Around the NFL Writer |

Don't count New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton as a fan of all-star officiating crews for the postseason.

Payton's team was victimized by a blatant missed call, which even the league admitted should have drawn a penalty, that contributed to a 26-23 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

And the Saints head coach told NFL Network's Steve Wyche over the weekend at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix that matchups need to be better officiated, especially if the top officials in the league are on the field.

"We can't have an all-star crew and sit there and stare at a play like that," Payton said. "That honestly is called correctly -- not only in high school Friday night -- that call is made correctly in youth football. This is supposedly our best and our best wasn't good enough."

Mike Detillier: Saints playing to win today

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By Mike Detillier / Correspondent

You never stay the same in the NFL and the New Orleans Saints have again been aggressive in going after free agents they feel can help their team.

The big difference in years past though is that the Saints seem to have a clear vision for the roles of the newest players on their team.

While former Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray isn’t as talented as Mark Ingram, who decided to sign with the Baltimore Ravens, Murray brings many of the same type of features as a rugged inside runner with a burst of speed in the open, he’s a pretty good receiver coming out of the backfield and he is a good pass protector for his quarterback.

With center Max Unger now retired, the Saints needed to bring in a center with experience and signed former Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings center/guard Nick Easton.

The former Harvard offensive lineman missed the 2018 season with a neck injury, but when he played he was a solid pass protector, someone who understood how to pick up inside pressure in passing plays and is a solid run blocker.

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Saints player profile: Tomasi Laulile, defensive tackle, big year needed

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He hasn’t played a lot of football, but Tomasi Laulile has shown enough promise to have BYU give him a shot out of high school and now the Saints in the NFL.

by Roy Anderson | Who Dat Dish

Part of this piece is meant to show how little pre-draft meetings mean to the Saints. There are a lot of those going on right now and they lead to a lot of unwarranted speculation. We’ll cover that in a separate piece. Tomasi Laulile is an interesting story. He got to BYU and from there to the Saints based purely on potential. For now, he’s been camped out on the Saints practice squad for the past year and, in January, the team signed him to a reserves/futures contract for the upcoming season.

The interesting part about Laulile’s story is that he only played two years of football in high school. His size though, and explosive physicality, made him stand out enough in Thousand Oaks, California to attract the attention of recruiters from BYU.

Full Story -- WDD

Sportsbooks Took a Hit on the NFL NFC Championship Game Due to Officiating

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By Jean Carter | USA Online Casino News

Strange plays in football have caused significant confusion for sportsbooks recently. Some of the plays have even caused bettors to lose significant sums of money due to inadequate referee calls. Unfortunately, for bettors, the NFC Championship was no exception.

Chances are there are not many fans that have not viewed the play already, but Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman delivered a massive hit to Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis as Lewis was trying to catch a pass. A hit of this kind would usually be classified as pass interference. Later, the NFL admitted that the hit is also considered helmet-to-helmet, which is a penalty. However, the play was not called out by officials.

If a penalty had been called, the Saints would have had a first down, which would have concluded the game. However, since the officials did not make the call, the Rams...

Saints among teams impressed with LSU tight end Foster Moreau’s Pro Day workout

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Amos Morale III, | The Times-Picayune

Count the Saints among teams impressed by LSU’s Foster Moreau. Jeff Ireland said so after watching the 6-foot-4, 252-pound tight end work out at LSU’s Pro Day on Friday (March 22).

“I like him. He’s big,” said the Saints college scouting director and assistant general manager. “It’s different when you see a kid on the sideline and you see his size, then you see him in shorts and T-shirts. Man, he’s a big kid, and he moved around pretty well today."

Moreau is enjoying every minute of the draft process. He impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl and posted impressive numbers at the NFL Combine, but the main reaction he’s received from potential employers is that they’re impressed with his ability as a receiver.

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2019 free agency: 6 bargain signings who can help the Saints

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints find themselves in a favorable position against the 2019 salary cap, flush with more than $14 million to spend on free agent signings. The big first wave of additions has come and gone, and now teams are sifting through the market to identify players who can help out at a depressed cost. Here’s seven options for the Saints to consider.

OT Donald Penn, Oakland Raiders

Left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk both finished the 2018 season with injuries limiting their performance, and the Saints should look for a good player to back them up in 2019. So Penn makes a lot of sense: the longtime Raiders left tackle was moved to the right side in his last season, and now he’s on the free agent market. The Saints can’t offer him a starting job, but they can offer him a spot as the crucial swing tackle on a Super Bowl-contending team. His skill and experience would be a very valuable addition.

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Saints whirlwind scouting week wraps up in Baton Rouge

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By Luke Johnson, | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints wrapped up a whirlwind college scouting tour a little more than an hour away from home, at LSU’s indoor practice facility for LSU pro day.

It was the fourth major football program the Saints had visited in four days, and the team brought a massive contingent with it to Baton Rouge, with 17 members of the Saints staff credentialed for the event.

Also on the scouting itinerary for the Saints this week: Alabama’s pro day on Tuesday (March 19), Ohio State’s pro day on Wednesday (March 20) and West Virginia’s pro day on Thursday (March 21).

Jeff Ireland, the Saints Assistant General Manager and Director of College Scouting, said these pro day events offer the staff an additional chance to get an up-close look at a prospect, one that often gives “a different exposure” to a player than the more rigid NFL combine.

“I always tell our scouts, get around the kid, get around the player we’re evaluating as many times as you can,” Ireland said. “The more times you’re around him, the better exposure you have to a player, the more conviction we’re going to have on the player when it comes to drafting him.


Saints' scouting director Jeff Ireland treating draft just like past years despite no first round pick

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

Saints assistant general manager and college scouting director Jeff Ireland didn't treat Friday's Pro Day at LSU any differently than any of the other Pro Days he's been to this year or in year's past.

Despite the Saints not having a draft pick until the second round of April's NFL draft - the No. 62 pick overall - Ireland isn't cutting any corners when it comes to evaluating players.

No, it's not easy not having a first round pick. But it doesn't change his approach.

"It's going to be difficult, but we approach every draft pretty much the same," Ireland said. "We are going to evaluate every player we can possibly get our eyes on. We're going to build the board exactly the same way that we always have."

Full Story - The Advocate

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