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Eric McCoy headlines Saints' rookies reporting Thursday for training camp

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate

Here come the Saints’ rookies.

The team’s first-year players report Thursday for training camp, a week ahead of veteran teammates before the two groups combine for practice Friday, July 26.

The Saints’ foundation on both sides of the ball appears set with established starters, though, signaling the 2019 draft class shouldn’t experience an immediate impact with the exception of one player: center Erik McCoy.

McCoy, a second-round pick (44th overall), finds himself in what projects as a three-way battle with Nick Easton and Cameron Tom for the starting job, which opened after Max Unger announced his retirement during the offseason.

Full Story - The Advocate

Tre’Quan Smith still wants to prove himself

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

Last season as a rookie, Tre’Quan Smith had his ups and downs, but on the whole, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver enjoyed a what could be called a solid outing in 2018.

But in 2019, Smith wants to take a big step forward.

His first chance to make another good impression will come in the team’s organized team activities, which take place this week and into the beginning of June.

“I feel like it’s very important for me just to come out and give everybody (an example) of what I’m very capable of,” he said, via the Times Picayune.

“Even though I didn’t have a good season in year one, it’s onto bigger and better things, and I’ve really got to prove myself all over again and show everybody, being a great asset to this team.”

Full Story - 247 Sports

Saints no stranger to tough losses, but NFC Championship 'a lot more difficult,' Sean Payton says

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By Amie Just | The Advocate

Of all the tough losses New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has been a part of during his football career, he said the NFC Championship loss to the Los Angeles Rams was one of the more harder ones to take.

"This past year was different," Payton told Chris Simms of NBC Sports while at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe over the weekend. "This past year was, I would say a lot more difficult."

Payton added that the "young, resilient" team is "absolutely" ready to move forward in 2019.

Bouncing back from hard losses isn't something new to the Saints, as the team lost another close one in Minnesota in the 2018 NFC divisional round.

Full Story - The Advocate

Players call out low 'Madden NFL 20' rating for Drew Brees

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

The developers at EA Sports released initial player ratings Monday for “Madden NFL 20,” this year’s entry in the long-running video game franchise. And some of their player ratings raised eyebrows across the league; in one glaring example, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was given a 92 rating.

In a vacuum, 92 out of 100 is mighty fine. But when ranked against the other NFL quarterbacks, that number ties Brees with Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck — and trails a handful of other, less-established names. Players like the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (97) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (94). New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (96) was also rated higher than Brees.

Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

New Orleans Saints: 2019 Preseason Predictions and Preview

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By Athlon Sports

Drew Brees and the Saints still have Super Bowl aspirations

It's been a decade since Drew Brees, Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints went to and won the Super Bowl. The Saints came close to returning to the big game the previous two years only to see their seasons end in heartbreaking fashion. But there are ample reasons to believe the window is still open in New Orleans.

If the Saints aren't the most talented team in the NFL, they're in the conversation. Drew Brees continues to play at an elite level despite turning 40, and the core of the roster is in its prime. Eighteen of the 22 players who started in the NFC Championship Game are back, including eight of the 10 Saints who made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons.

Full Story - Athlon Sports

New Orleans Saints to expand offense to open up more plays for Jared Cook

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By Skyler Carlin | Clutch Points

The New Orleans Saints offense is already one of the best in the NFL. Now, their offense could be better with the addition of Jared Cook to the passing attack.

According to Sean Payton himself, New Orleans is going to expand their offenseto open up more plays for Cook. The Saints already have weapons like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara at Drew Brees’ disposal, but Cook could add more flavor the offense.

Last season, Cook had career-highs in just about every stat with the Oakland Raiders. Cook finished the season with 68 receptions, 896 yards, and six touchdowns (all career-highs).

Full Story - Clutch Points

Saints’ nickel corner spot up for grabs at camp

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Not everyone hates Nickelback.

By Chris Dunnels | Canal Street Chronicles

There are a lot of interesting roster position battles for the New Orleans Saints this year. Long snapper, #2 wide receiver, #3 wide receiver, center, back-up offensive linemen, and kick returner are all wide open for the taking this year. So too is the nickel corner spot on defense.

Bleacher Report, in determining the “biggest spot up for grabs” on each NFL team’s roster, decided the nickel corner was the “biggest” spot available:
The New Orleans Saints have their starting cornerbacks in Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple. However, there should be an open job at nickelback this season and a few potential candidates to fill it.
Patrick Robinson started eight games for the Saints in 2017 but suffered a broken ankle after just three appearances last season. P.J. Williams took over and started seven games, but he could face discipline for an...

Load management in the NFL? Think again

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By Ken Trahan | Crescent City Sports

A reported proposal by NFL owners could have franchise players like Drew Brees forced to sit out meaningful regular seasons games.

Ideas are always welcome in any business. The latest from NFL owners regarding improving their product is welcomed in a sense but the welcome mat is most certainly not out from the NFL Players Association.

Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal reported in an in-depth story this past week that the NFL is considering an 18-game regular season schedule.

The concept is not new.

Back in 2011, the NFL owners put the concept of an 18-game regular season on the table as part of the collective bargaining agreement. It had been discussed several times prior to then as well.

The impasse over fixing an obviously flawed system in which there are four extraordinarily boring, virtually meaningless preseason games and reducing that by two is a sound thought process.

No one who is forced to purchase the two home game exhibition game tickets as part of season ticket packaging at full cost is happy, nor should they be. In a nutshell, it is a rip-off and everyone knows it.

Full Story - Crescent City Sports

Al Riveron vows to overturn only “clear and obvious” PI plays

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By Charean Williams | PFT

Remember not long ago when no one knew what a catch was? The debate about what pass interference is (or isn’t) is about to begin.

Although NFL referees Tony Corrente and Ron Torbert said nothing changes for officials with pass interference now reviewable, it could have a huge impact on the game as Mike Florio addressed this morning. Al Riveron will determine that.

The NFL’s senior vice president of officiating cited two plays that he would have overturned on replay: A non-call on Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore for pass interference on Rams receiver Brandin Cooks in Super Bowl LIII and a non-call on Chargers receiver Mike Williams for pushing off on Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller, who was called for defensive pass interference on the play.

Riveron said the only feedback he has gotten from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or the Competition Committee since is “let’s get it right.”...

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2019 New Orleans Saints training camp preview: Defensive tackle

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Saints interior line continue their standout play without their biggest star?

By Bob Rose | Canal Street Chronicles

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins played on par with the most disruptive defensive tackles in the league in 2018. He finished with career high totals in sacks (8), tackles for loss (12), and quarterback hits (15), all second on the team while his 40 tackles nearly doubled his two year career total. The 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Rankins showed promise in a rookie season abbreviated by injury, then showed great improvement in his second year before a breakout campaign last season. Unfortunately, Rankins suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the Saints divisional playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles, an injury that is expected to keep him out of the lineup until midseason or longer. The New Orleans defensive line still has quality players without Rankins; depth and skill that will both be tested until his return, something we look at today as we continue with our training camp previews.


Offseason losses:

Tyeler Davison

Offseason additions:

Malcom Brown, Sylvester Williams

Obviously, the key storylines for not just this position but one of the major ones for the entire Saints defense, is the Rankins...

Sean Payton hits a ridiculous golf recovery shot off a boat

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By Henry McKenna

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has always found ways to surprise. Remember his call for an onside kick in Super Bowl XLIV? Apparently, you can also expect the unexpected from Payton off the football field.

While golfing in Lake Tahoe at the American Century Championship, he managed to put a golf ball on the back of a boat. Because that boat seemed to be just off the course, he was able to chip the ball back into play, which drew loud cheers from those observing the ridiculous shot.

Here’s a look at the video of the moment from last weekend


Full Story - USA Today

Cam Jordan weighs in on 18-game NFL season proposal, Madden rating, new P.I. replay rules

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Cam Jordan had plenty to say on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday

By John J. Hendrix | Canal Street Chronicles

We’re in the calm before the storm that is NFL Training Camp, and it’s about time for us to get back to football. On Monday’s showing of The Rich Eisen Show, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan spoke about his Madden NFL 20 rating, the league’s 18-game proposal, and the new instant replay rules. The video is below on YouTube, courtesy of of AT&T AUDIENCE Network. ...

Full Story - CSC

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