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Saints training camp observations (Aug. 21): Hendrickson shines again, PBU time, and more

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

The Saints held a relatively light day of work Wednesday, which marked the 18th day of training camp practice.

For a second straight day of work, the players were in shells and not full pads a day before the final day of training camp, which is Thursday.

The Saints spent almost a full hour indoors, where they conducted stretching and conditioning, individual position drills and some team-related drills before moving outdoors.

Once outside, the Saints spent time on 7-on-7 drills, special teams and focused on two-minute drills before ending the day’s on-field work shortly after 11 a.m.

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Sean Payton on Drew Brees this week vs. Jets: 'We'll plan on playing him'

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By Luke Johnson - USA Today | The Advertiser

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is expected to make his 2019 debut this Saturday against the New York Jets after sitting out the Saints’ first two preseason contests.

“In a game like this we’ll plan on playing him,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. “How much, we’ll see. But I think it’s important for everyone around him, too.”

Brees’ preseason workload has evolved over the course of his Saints career, but this is following the same course Payton has taken with his quarterback recently. Brees only appeared in one preseason game in both 2017 and 2018, and it was the third preseason game on the Saints schedule that year.

In the last two seasons, Brees has played a combined total of 44 preseason snaps — 17 plays in three offensive series in 2018, 27 plays in five series the year before. When asked if the ideal situation would be to get nine or 10 plays, score a touchdown and get off the field, Brees responded with “Ideally I’d like more than that.”

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees ready for his preseason debut

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John DeShazier | Senior Writer -

Drew Brees understands the why, and he’s fine with it.

His snaps in preseason games have diminished over the years, and the reasoning behind the dip is logical for Brees and the New Orleans Saints. So, with Saturday’s third preseason game, against the Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., possibly being the only appearance he will make this preseason, the 19-year veteran just wants to make sure that the showing is an effective, efficient one.

“I like reps,” Brees said. “I like reps during practice. I like reps in games, especially. I also understand the balance of, ‘What are you trying to accomplish?’ At the end of the day, the most important thing is being as healthy and prepared as you can be for Week 1 of the regular season, when games begin to count.

“I also understand the desire and need to develop young players, to give guys reps at all different positions. The last couple of years, I’ve just gotten really one game, maybe two, in the preseason. I’m fine with that. But I want it to be quality, I want us to be sharp.”


Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill are giving the NFL a backup QB battle worth watching

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Could either one of them be Drew Brees’ potential successor?

By Christian D'Andrea | SBNation

The Saints are set at starting quarterback for 2019. Drew Brees was his typical all-world self for most of his previous year. While the now 40-year-old’s level of play declined late in the season, he still managed to record a league- and career-high 115.7 passer rating and led his team within one blown pass interference call of the Super Bowl.

But if Brees goes down, New Orleans has the backup ballast it needs to stay afloat.

The quadragenarian quarterback sits atop a depth chart that features a former Pro Bowler in Teddy Bridgewater. This offseason, Bridgewater re-signed with the Saints on a one-year deal, allowing him to continue to rebuild his value following 2016’s catastrophic knee injury...

Steve Young: Brees successor will face impossible situation

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Tells Saints fans to live in the moment

By Mark Menard | WWL Radio

Make no mistake. Drew Brees is still the unquestioned starting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. And he has never given any indication that retirement is in the near future.

But now that Brees has crossed over into the land of 40-somethings, the question of when he'll call it a career looms far larger than ever before. And it's a question that haunts some Saints fans, who parse every pass, looking for signs of age-initiated degeneration in the skills of #9.

Whether or not the heir apparent to Brees as the Saints' next quarterback is Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill, or someone honing their craft someplace outside of the Crescent City, one thing is for sure. The pressure on that signal-caller when the time comes will weigh heavily on their shoulders. Take it from a man who knows a thing or two about following a legend.

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Sean Payton announces four Saints roster moves

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced four roster moves after practice on Wednesday. The most-significant move was the loss of veteran left tackle Chris Clark, who was signed just last week but was injured in their preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Clark was designated to the injured reserve list.

Additionally, the Saints waived rookie long snapper Nick Moore. Moore was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia and was competing with Zach Wood, the Saints’ incumbent.

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Saints vs. Chargers 2019: The View From Section 124

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By Wallace Delery | Canal Street Chronicles

The New Orleans Saints traveled out to my backyard of Los Angeles, California this past week, having taken part in joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers in Orange County, and culminating with a preseason game in the Chargers’ surrogate home in Carson. I’ve had the great fortune to see the Saints play five times in Southern California since the 2016 season after they hadn’t been to the region for a very long time. I’ve given recaps for those games at San Diego (Week 4) ‘16, at Los Angeles (preseason) ‘17, at Los Angeles (Week 12) ‘17, and at Los Angeles (preseason) ‘18.


Ted Ginn Jr., Alex Anzalone among 8 Saints players not present for practice; Chris Clark to IR, source says

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

The Saints were down eight players on the 18th day of practice of training camp.

Wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., wide receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr., offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse, defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., linebacker Alex Anzalone, linebacker Craig Robertson, rookie safety Saquan Hampton and cornerback Marcus Sherels were not observed on the field during the stretching and conditioning portion of practice.

Anzalone, Hampton and Sherels have not practiced since the preseason opener. Edwards and Robertson left Sunday’s preseason game against the Chargers early for undisclosed reasons.

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In the copycat NFL, no one can duplicate what this Idaho native is doing

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By MICHAEL LYCKLAMA | Idaho Statesman

LOS ANGELES — NFL coaches constantly scour their opponents’ playbooks and rosters, trying to find the slightest edge they can copy and apply to their own team.

So after Pocatello native Taysom Hill broke out last season as a do-everything weapon for the New Orleans Saints, teams across the league combed their rosters and the college ranks for the next player capable of filling multiple jobs while taking up only one roster spot.

But no one has found the next Taysom Hill. And the Highland High grad and former All-Idaho Player of the Year keeps improving under center, leading to plenty of whispers that he could be the heir apparent to Drew Brees.

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Saints sign linebacker Will Compton, source says; adds to position depth

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

The Saints on Wednesday added depth on defense.

The Saints signed linebacker Will Compton, a source familiar with the situation confirmed with The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate. ESPN’s John Keim first reported the news.

Compton’s signing comes in the wake of Craig Robertson leaving Sunday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers for undisclosed reasons.

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Saints rookie C.J. Gardner-Johnson using preseason to develop a feel for pro game

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By Luke Johnson - USA Today | The Advertiser

NEW ORLEANS — These first few preseason contests have been about developing feel for New Orleans Saints rookie defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Get used to the technique, which is different than the type he played as a bump-and-run defender at Florida. Get used to the speed and intelligence of the players he’s lining up against, which are surely also different than the types he saw at Florida. Know the assignment, especially since they’re asking you to do a few different things.

The Saints coveted Gardner-Johnson leading up to the draft partly because of his versatility, which is why they traded up to select him in the fourth round. They’ve filled his plate since the outset of training camp to see where he can help contribute on defense.

Sunday against the Chargers, that meant lining up with the first-team defense as a slot defender — though not as a typical nickel cornerback, but as part of New Orleans three-safety “Buffalo” package.

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Our Views: Superdome renovations a face-lift for New Orleans, but about far more than football

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Staff Editorial | The Advocate / Picayune

Before Moon Landrieu was mayor of New Orleans, he served on the local committee developing what was to become the Louisiana Superdome.

He tells the story of how the designers decided that with the money available they could not meet the 60,000-seat order they had been given by Gov. John J. McKeithen, a requirement of the National Football League.

As Landrieu had been on the wrong side of the last governor’s race, against McKeithen, the other committee members felt that he would have the least to lose in terms of breaking the bad news to the governor.

Landrieu explained the problem over the phone. He recalls McKeithen’s North Louisiana drawl in reply: “You load the wagon. I’ll take care of the mules.”

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Saints' Taysom Hill showed his progression as a passer in Chargers win

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By Luke Johnson - USA Today | The Advertiser

NEW ORLEANS — It wasn’t necessarily that Austin Carr wasn’t expecting the ball to come his way; it was just that the odds of it happening were exceedingly slim.

Carr was somewhere way down the progressions list when he ran a wheel route against the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter of Sunday’s preseason game, something like the fifth or sixth option. Yet, as he broke free behind the Chargers secondary, the ball was already in the air.

That play in particular, a 27-yard scoring strike from quarterback Taysom Hill that sparked a second-half comeback, is representative of the strides Hill has made as a passer in now his third year with the New Orleans Saints.

“That route concept, even versus that coverage, 99.99 percent of the time it’s not thrown to me on the wheel,” Carr said. “I think we saw the .01 percent where the defense dropped coverage, and I just kept running.

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Saints working out former Washington LB - Will Compton

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By Scott Prather

Inside linebacker Will Compton is heading to New Orleans to workout for the Saints, according to ESPN NFL Nation reporter John Keim.

Compton broke into the league in 2013 with Washington, earning a deal with the team as an undrafted free agent, first on the practice squad, and eventually the active roster.

In his best pro season to date, the former Nebraska Cornhusker started 15 games in 2016, procuring 122 tackles, a sack, an interception, six passes defensed, and a fumble recovery. ...

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Interactive: How Saints small-school finds stack up in NFL? 23 players, coaches -- one's named Payton

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Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD

As the New Orleans Saints prep for another season with large expectations, they do so while leaning on a dozen players with a common thread: Small school backgrounds.

Read Saints reporter Amie Just's deep dive into the NFL's representatives from several schools very far from the Southeastern Conference.

The graphic below details the 12 Saints players who fit that description.

Can't see the graphic? Click here.

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