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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. ...

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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

Fleur-de-Links, June 2: Saints owner makes a big move and Demario Davis speaks out

  • 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.

Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson announced the Social Justice Leadership Coalition in response to ongoing protests across the country.

Saints linebacker Demario Davis will join Pelicans guards JJ Redick and Lonzo Ball as the first official members of Gayle Benson’s Social Justice Leadership Coalition.

In addition to joining the Social Justice Leadership Coalition, Demario Davis spoke on NFL Network about the need to...
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Interviews: Ron Swoboda, Perry Clark, Andrew Doak on All Access

  • News source: CCS Staff
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Saints, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson issues George Floyd statement: 'This is about making a difference'

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson became the latest high-profile member of the professional sports community to condemn the actions of police officers that resulted in the death of George Floyd last week.

Benson opened her public statement Monday afternoon saying as much, but followed by saying the key takeaway was not the words, but the action to follow.

In her statement, Benson said the organization reached out to and spoke with Saints linebacker Demario Davis and Pelicans guards Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick. The result of that conversation was...
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Gayle Benson statement on George Floyd tragedy, community initiatives

  • News source: Justin Macione
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Social Justice Leadership Coalition Created

One week ago today, George Floyd was tragically and senselessly murdered. Anger, sadness and protest followed throughout our nation in response to this unjust murder. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of George Floyd.

There are no written words, nor the timing of those words that can properly honor the life of George Floyd. We stand against police brutality in any form. Statements are words; unified action towards a solution is what needs to come from this now.

Both the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans...
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Saints, Pelicans form joint Social Justice Leadership Coalition

  • News source: Charean Williams
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“Statements are words,” Saints owner Gayle Benson said Monday.

“Unified action towards a solution is what needs to come from this now,” Benson added in a long statement.

To that end, Benson formed a Social Justice Leadership Coalition within her two organizations, the Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. Saints linebacker Demario Davis and Pelicans players Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick are helping spearhead the joint effort.

“This is not about making statements to appease people. This is about making a difference and working together,” Benson wrote.

Here is...
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With America in turmoil, Saints' Demario Davis says the time for action is now

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
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New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis has never been one to shy away from taking a strong stance against systemic racial inequality in America, and that is not going to change now.

Appearing on the NFL Network with host Andrew Siciliano on Monday, Davis said now is the time to enact reform within law enforcement to prevent the type of situation that resulted in unarmed and restrained black man George Floyd lying dead in the street while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

It was a catalytic moment that has since plunged the country into protests and...
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Demario Davis: “We have to change the way policing is done”

  • News source: Darin Gantt
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Many companies in every industry are putting out statements, which don’t really state all that much.

When Saints linebacker Demario Davis was asked about the violence that has erupted from protests of the death of George Floyd, he had specific ideas.

During an appearance on NFL Network, Davis said any hope of progress has to begin with honoring the memory of Floyd — but it can’t stop there.

“We can’t bring justice to these families,” Davis said. “Justice would be bringing those people back and we can’t bring them back. The first thing we can do is try to honor...
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Marty Hurney won’t say if NFL has been in touch about Tommy Stevens pursuit

  • News source: Josh Alper
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The Saints traded into the seventh round of this year’s draft in order to select former Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens and Saints head coach Sean Payton said later that he made the move in order to keep Stevens from going to the Panthers as an undrafted free agent.

According to Payton, the Panthers and Stevens had agreed to a deal before the draft is over. That’s prohibited as teams can speak to players, but NFL rules preclude them from discussing financial matters or entering into an agreement.

The Panthers denied the allegation shortly after the...
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Cam Jordan makes PFF’s NFL Top 50

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
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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
  • Replies: 0
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
  • Replies: 0
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
  • Replies: 0
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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