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Mike Detillier: The changing football world

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By Mike Detillier / Sports Correspondent

Every week, all you hear from football fans is just how bad defenses in college and pro football are today.

Many blame it on the unusual year of 2020 without spring and summer drills, tackling and taking bad angles to the football, the lack of playing together as a unit and the ability to hone in a defensive scheme, but it is more than that.

While 2020 is the most unusual year ever for both college and pro football, defenses are struggling because of what has happened in the off-season for years. Summer events such as 7-on-7 training and games have benefited the offensive side of the ball.

It has hit high school football and has taken over the college game.

It’s a personnel issue, especially with more 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-6 players today playing wide receiver and tight end and not outside linebacker or defensive end.

And the quarterbacks entering the college football world are more experienced and football savvy in the pitch-and-catch part of the world than ever before.

And it’s hit pro football too.

Full Story - Daily Comet

Tony Chachere's Key Ingredients to a New Orleans Saints victory vs. Carolina Panthers

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By John DeShazier | Senior Writer -

The early bye week possibly came at a fortuitous time for the New Orleans Saints.

Several bodies needed the rest, recovery and rehabilitation, and the Saints (3-2) needed to iron out a few wrinkles before entering their season-ending 11-game marathon, beginning with Sunday's game against Carolina (3-3) in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

There should be a quick indication in the game of how much the Saints improved and shored up during the break. The Panthers likely will be a stern test.

Here are a few keys to the game:
  1. GROUNDED: The Saints aren't exactly ground-and-pounders when it comes to the running game, but that doesn't mean they can't do it. Against the Lions, in a 35-29 win, New Orleans had 42 attempts for 164 rushing yards and three touchdowns, significantly above the team's season averages of 28 attempts and 115 rushing yards per game. The reason to mention this is because the Panthers allow 121.7 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. Alvin Kamara (281 yards, 4.6 per carry) and Latavius Murray (218 and 4.2) could have busy days for the Saints as runners.
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Sean Payton feels "Good" about Saints depleted Receiver Corps

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By Kyle T. Mosley | SI

It's been a tough week for the New Orleans Saints wide receiving corps. On Wednesday, many were surprised when the team listed All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas with a hamstring injury. Thomas confirmed with his social media posting, saying it was a "setback."

On Friday, New Orleans was dealt another blow. Wideout Emmanuel Sanders became ill on Thursday, got tested, and was confirmed positive with COVID-19. Coach Payton confirmed the report on Sanders with media. He said tests were ordered for approximately 20 people who electronic tracers had them in contact or near Sanders. At this point, no other Saints player had a confirmed COVID-19 test stemming from contact with Sanders.

Finally, Sanders' close friend and teammate Bennie Fowler was placed on injured reserve by the Saints because of a shoulder injury.

Full Story - SI

Behind Enemy Lines, Week 7: Previewing Saints vs. Panthers

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

There’s a big matchup brewing between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints against Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers, so we previewed the game by going to the best source of Panthers analysis we know: Tim Weaver over at Panthers Wire.

We exchanged a series of questions and answers to touch on several topics in this week’s game, which could get interesting considering how much star talent isn’t available for either team. Both squads will have to adjust and find new ways to win on Sunday, and the more creative team just might come out ahead. Here’s what we learned:

1. So how has Teddy Bridgewater looked? He became a Saints fan favorite in short order and still has a lot of good will going his way, but not this week. Has he lived up to expectations after signing a big contract with Carolina in free agency?

It’s still early to say if he’ll live up to the contract he signed. Bridgewater has been mostly what we expected. He’s a solid QB who generally makes good decisions and is a very accurate passer. Teddy’s deep ball has also been pretty on-point this year, even if there haven’t been too many of them. He’s also a tremendous fit for Joe Brady’s offense.

Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

Saints call up two practice squad receivers as COVID-19 replacements

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

Both wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Ken Crawley were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, prompting the New Orleans Saints to promote a pair of wide receivers from the practice squad: veteran Austin Carr and rookie Juwan Johnson. NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill first reported the roster moves.

Per an NFL rules tweak, these will not count against each other player for future promotions (the new CBA allows for two practice squad call-ups per player each season). Because they are filling in for teammates on COVID-19 reserve, both players are granted a temporary exemption. Carr has already had one game-week promotion so he is still allowed one more, while Johnson retains both of his future opportunities.

Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

Latest Saints News

Sources: Thomas in jeopardy of missing Week 8

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
  • Replies: 0
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, after suffering a hamstring injury during practice this past week, underwent an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 strain that is expected to sideline him one to two weeks, league sources told ESPN.

Thomas already has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, and there's a real chance he will not be able to play next week against the Chicago Bears either, according to sources.

Thomas is likely to be considered questionable for next week, as he tries to recover from his hamstring injury as well as the high ankle sprain that...
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What the Saints did without Emmanuel Sanders against the Chargers in Week 5

  • News source: Ross.Jackson
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints will square off against the Carolina Panthers without their top two wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Thomas suffered a hamstring injury during Wednesday practice and has been ruled out for his fifth game in a row. He missed the previous for with a high ankle sprain and some disciplinary issues. Sanders will unfortunately miss after being moved to the Covid-19 list. A confirmed, symptomatic positive will keep him out for ten days, meaning no game against Carolina and doubt for his availability against the Bears.

New Orleans has gone 2-2 without...
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Film Study: How the Saints Pass O shapes up against the Panthers zone-heavy Pass D

  • News source: Andrew_Bell
  • Replies: 0
This is the second week in a row the New Orleans Saints passing attack will face up against a defense that deploys a Cover 3-heavy scheme, as the Carolina Panthers defense now leads the league in the usage of that coverage.

The week before, Drew Brees and the offense faced off against the Chargers, who were also no. 1 in Cover 3 rate at the time. Now they’re no. 2 behind the Panthers, who run it on nearly 50% of of their defensive pass snaps.

While the Chargers were more susceptible to biting on play action and allowing a few more big plays, the Panthers play a pretty conservative brand...
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Can Panthers' Teddy Bridgewater exploit his knowledge of the Saints?

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
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1 p.m. ET | Fox

Matchup rating: 57.9 | Spread: NO -7.5 (51)

What to watch for: No one expected this veteran Saints team to be just a half-game up on a Panthers squad that was overhauled from top to bottom this offseason. So as much as the Saints love seeing their old friend Teddy Bridgewater succeed, they would love to flex their muscles on him by finally playing their most complete game of the season. The Saints are hoping to reboot after the bye -- and it would help greatly if wide receiver Michael Thomas is able to return from ankle and hamstring injuries (he didn't practice on...
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Walker: Even with no Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the show must go on

  • News source: BY ROD WALKER | Staff writer
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Curtis Johnson has been down this road before.

Well, maybe not this exact road, but the Saints' senior offensive assistant coach has seen one similar to it.

It wasn't quite as rugged the last time he traveled it, but this pothole reminds him of the one he had to navigate 11 years ago.

Now, if only the road leads to the same destination.

The year was 2009, the Saints' Super Bowl season.

An ankle and a hamstring — the same two body parts keeping Michael Thomas from playing Sunday against the Carolina Panthers — limited former Saints receiver Lance Moore to just seven games that magical...
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Saints vs. Panthers live scoreboard, updates: See time, channel, picks, more for NFC South showdown

  • News source: Staff report
  • Replies: 0
Fresh off a bye week, the New Orleans Saints return to action against their divisional foe Carolina Panthers in the first game of the 2020 NFL season that will allow fans inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Get important gameday information, including how to watch, stream and follow the game, below.

When: Sunday, Oct. 25 (noon CT)

Series record: Saints lead, 26-25.

Last meeting: 2019, Saints win, 42-10

Panthers in 2020: 3-3, 3rd in NFC South

— New Orleans: WVUE-TV (FOX - 8)

— Baton Rouge: WGMB-TV (FOX - 44)

— Lafayette: KADN-TV (FOX - 15)

— Fox Sports Go App

— Yahoo! Sports app...
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Three things to watch as Saints and Panthers rivalry hits its refresh button

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
For a long time, the games between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints were a representation of two of the NFC’s more stable franchises.

The Saints have had the same coach and quarterback in place since the start of the 2006 season. From 2011 to 2019, the Panthers were coached by Ron Rivera and quarterbacked by Cam Newton. Since that 2011 season, either the Panthers or the Saints have won the division in all but two seasons.

That has changed a bit this year. While the Saints have managed very little turnover yet again, the Panthers they will face this year will look almost...
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Teddy Bridgewater may be a 'frenemy' now, but there's still plenty of love for him in New Orleans

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
Start this Teddy Bridgewater story where most of them probably should start: Not with his accomplishments on a football field, but with the way he made somebody feel.

This was last year, when Bridgewater was still wearing a No. 5 New Orleans Saints uniform on Sundays. Joe Lombardi served as Bridgewater’s position coach with the Saints, and his son, Joe Jr., broke his foot in the lead up to his senior year at Jesuit High School. He was devastated when he found out he’d miss most of his senior football season.

Bridgewater knew the feeling — he was just really starting to re-emerge on the...
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Missing Sanders and Thomas, Saints add WRs Carr and Johnson to roster ahead of Panthers game

  • News source: CCS Staff
  • Replies: 0
Missing both starting wide receivers for Sunday’s NFC South matchup with the Panthers, the Saints made two additions to the active roster Saturday.

Wide receivers Austin Carr and rookie Juwan Johnson were elevated from the practice squad.

The team also moved offensive lineman Will Clapp from the active roster to the practice squad.

Along with cornerback Ken Crawley, Emmanuel Sanders was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week while Michael Thomas was declared out for the fifth straight game as he deals with ankle and hamstring injuries.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Johnson was an...
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Saints to use Austin Carr, Juwan Johnson as COVID-19 replacements, activate Will Clapp too for game vs. Panthers

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints have activated three players from the practice squad ahead of their Week 7 game against the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Saturday.

Wide receiver Austin Carr, rookie receiver Juwan Johnson and interior lineman Will Clapp got the call-up this week for different reasons.

Teams are typically limited to two call-ups per game from the practice squad, but Carr and Johnson are categorized as COVID-19 replacements, meaning they take the spots of receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Ken Crawley, who were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.

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Saints fans 'Ask Amie:' Michael Thomas trade rumors, receiver depth, Emmanuel Sanders on COVID-19 list

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
Welcome back to The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate's Saints mailbag.

Every week I hand-pick a few questions from my Twitter mentions and emails to attempt to satisfy y'all's Saints curiosities.

If you want your weekly question included in my weekly mailbag, send them to me on Twitter at @Amie_Just or email them my way at

Here are some questions you asked about the Saints ahead of Week 7's game.

Honestly, this is preposterous. ESPN's Field Yates put it more succinctly than I could: "The only place Michael Thomas is getting traded is in your fantasy league."...
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Saints favored by 7+ points for second consecutive week

  • News source: Ross.Jackson
  • Replies: 0
As the Saints prepare to host the Carolina Panthers at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, they earn the heavy favor of Vegas. New Orleans will enter the weekend as 7.5-point favorites according to Sports Betting Dime.

The Saints (3-2) may be playing without their star wideout Michael Thomas for the fifth game in a row after he suffered a hamstring injury during Wednesday’s practice. Without Thomas this season, New Orleans has still maintained an ability to score and move the ball. While it’s not always pretty on offense, they are still one of six teams around the league scoring more...
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College prospects to watch: Week 8

  • News source: Anthony Mocklin
  • Replies: 0
The Big Ten Conference has joined the fray. All Power 5 conferences will finally take center stage for the first time this season in what should be an exciting weekend. Here are five NFL Draft prospects to watch in Week 8:

No. 5 Ohio State makes its season debut against Nebraska. Fields and his returning teammates are looking to avenge their loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal last season.

Fields will likely be the second quarterback off the board and for good reason. He threw for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and just three interceptions while adding 484 yards and 10...
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Film Study: Panthers without McCaffrey, but Mike Davis still a threat

  • News source: Matthew Terry
  • Replies: 0
I feel like a broken record at this point. The New Orleans Saints have still yet to allow a 100-yard rusher since they faced off against then-Washington running back Samaje Perine back on November 19, 2017. They’ve faced some of the top running backs in the NFL since then, including Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley (when he had knees), Christian McCaffrey multiple times, and most recently new stud Josh Jacobs. Not a single one of them has hit the 100-yard marker. This week the Saints get ready to face the Carolina Panthers without Christian McCaffrey, the highest-paid and arguably best running...
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