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Mike Detillier: Cook, Murray part of Saints getting better

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By Mike Detillier | Houma Today

It didn’t take long for veteran tight end Jared Cook and veteran running back Latavius Murray to catch the eyes of the Saints coaching staff and head coach Sean Payton during the opening days of offseason training sessions.

Last season Cook caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns on a poor Oakland Raiders football team.

In 2018 the threesome of Saints tight ends Ben Watson, Josh Hill and Dan Arnold caught a total of 63 passes and had four touchdown catches.

In 2017 Cook caught 54 passes for the Raiders.

The foursome of Saints tight ends Coby Fleener, Josh Hill, Garrett Griffin and Michael Hoomanawanui caught 45 passes total.

Payton immediately brought up Cook’s length, his speed and his ability to make something happen after the catch. ...

Full Story - houmatoday.com

Saints planning on big returns from investments to punt return unit

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints have made a number of investments on their special teams unit, ranging from the revamping of the coaching staff to multiple re-signed veterans and the addition of free agent specialists. One of the biggest areas in need of improvement is punt returner, and it’s something at the forefront of head coach Sean Payton’s mind.

“Right now, there’s only so much you are doing,” Payton said following the first week of organized team activities, “so we have candidates, and we get a chance to work on the technique of what we are trying to do relative to (punt) rush, relative to our return game.”

Payton hired an entirely new special teams staff this offseason, headlined by longtime Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, who fills the same role for New Orleans. He’s joined by former Penn State coordinator Phil Galiano and kicking coverage specialist Michael Wilhoite as assistants. All of those coaches are now working to evaluate the best options to return punts and put the offense in good field position. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Can Jared Cook return Saints' tight end production to former glory? It's early, but team has high hopes

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By Nathan Brown | Advocate

After the first three days of OTAs, NFL teams are all about managing expectations. The hot-shot rookie wideout may not look that good once pads and looming safeties itching to tackle are added to the mix, while new offensive lineman struggling early are still getting used to the cadence, chemistry and playbook of a new team.

But pads or not, three days in with his new team or three hundred, it’s hard to stand at Jared Cook’s locker and gaze upon all 6-foot-5, 254 pounds of his Pro Bowl physique, which could challenge several defensive linemen in his new locker room, and not think of the endless possibilities he and Brees could conjure up this season.

“I’d read a lot of good things about him before he got here, but he’s certainly impressed us these first couple of days,” Brees said Thursday after the culmination of the team’s first three-day OTA. “He’s got a great feel for the game, and I think he’s going to fit very well in our offense. ...

Full Story - The Advocate

Will the New Orleans Saints win more or less than one playoff game in 2019?

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The "Good Morning Football" crew discusses if the New Orleans Saints will win more or less than one playoff win in the 2019 NFL season.

Link to Video- Yahoo Sports

Drew Brees: 'thunder and lightning' potential in Latavius Murray, Alvin Kamara

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has shared the backfield with Mark Ingram the last eight years, but he’s comfortable embracing change with the addition of Latavius Murray. After the first few days of practice with Murray and lead back Alvin Kamara, Brees has already seen how Murray can fit in with what the Saints do best.

“Thunder and lightning,” Brees answered when prompted to describe how Murray’s skills compliment Kamara’s. “Look around the league. You have that running back room that typically brings different skillsets and you are able to mix and match. I think our offense is proven that we do a lot of things with two backs in the game. It just gives us a lot of flexibility and gives a lot for the defense to have to worry about and game plan for. Again, we’re only three days into it, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen with him as well.” ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

In 19th season, Saints QB Drew Brees eager for new things, even running WR routes

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By Brett Martel - AP

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — A playful grin widened across Drew Brees' face while he discussed lining up as a receiver for the read-option plays the Saints installed last season for third-string quarterback Taysom Hill.

"If they're going to split me out as much, I'm going to need to have some routes that at least I can start working on," Brees said Thursday after a voluntary offseason practice.

It sounded like he was joking, but anything's possible.

The 40-year-old quarterback said learning and trying new things is as important to him now as at any point in his 19-year career.

In fact, he sees it as a recipe for sustained success. ...

Full Story - The Advocate

Highlights From Saints OTAs on Thursday During Week 1 | New Orleans Saints

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NewOrleansSaints.com

Check out some highlights from Thursday during week 1 of Saints organized team activities (OTAs). ...


Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com Youtube

New Orleans Saints tackle Ryan Ramczyk already among NFL's elite players

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John DeShazier | Senior Writer - NewOrleansSaints.com


When the New Orleans Saints drafted Ryan Ramczyk he wasn’t able to work, while he recovered from surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Since he started working, almost nothing has been able to get him to stop.

The Saints’ right tackle didn’t miss an offensive snap as a rookie first-round pick (No. 32 overall) in 2017. He missed less than a handful in his second season (he played 997) in 15 games, sitting out the regular-season finale against Carolina along with several other starters after the Saints already had secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

“I like to go through practice and get all the work you can get,” Ramczyk said. “I think it’s a big thing to be dependable in this league. Guys go down with injuries, it happens all the time. A lot of it is just misfortune – wrong place, wrong time. But to be able to be that guy that’s on the field consistent, that’s a point I take pride in.” ...

Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com

Alvin Kamara, Ted Ginn Jr., and Mark Ingram to run '40 Yards of Gold' tournament

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Here’s a fun offseason exercise: which member of the New Orleans Saints is the fastest? To help find out, running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. will join former teammate Mark Ingram in the inaugural ’40 Yards of Gold’ tournament, which will pit a number of NFL players against each other in the 40-yard dash. The groups are divided by whether they play offense or defense, and fans can vote for bracket seeding by following this link. Voting ends Sunday, May 26, at 12 AM EST, so make sure your voice is heard.

Here’s the full list of participants, per a press release:

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Saints can't avoid Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan megadeals much longer

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints should be grateful that wide receiver Michael Thomas and defensive end Cameron Jordan aren’t forcing any contract standoffs just yet. Both of the All-Pro stars were back on the practice field this week as the Saints began OTAs.

“I’m a football player first -- I like being at work. So it wasn’t really hard to make a decision [to attend OTAs],” Thomas told ESPN -- a similar sentiment that Jordan shared earlier this offseason.

But the Saints should have their checkbooks, calculators and spreadsheets ready nonetheless. Because the downside of building a roster this loaded is that it starts to become very expensive to keep everyone around.

Full Story - ESPN.com

Quick study Erik McCoy impressing the Saints before he puts on pads

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By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints have not yet seen their top draft pick in pads yet, so it is tough to give a true evaluation of the kind of player they have in offensive lineman Erik McCoy.

But there are still ways to make an impression that go beyond pushing around fellow large humans, and in that regard McCoy has stood out.

“What you see is a guy with a great work ethic — his motor is outstanding — and he’s very hungry to learn,” said Saints offensive line coach Dan Roushar. “He’s been great in the classroom. Makes mistakes, pays attention to them, really works hard to correct them the next day, so you see improvement.”

Full Story - NOLA.com

DT McCoy to visit Browns Friday amid heavy interest

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By Reuters | Yahoo News

Interest from the Cleveland Browns is being reciprocated by free agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who will be in Berea, Ohio, at team headquarters on Friday.

McCoy will take his first-ever free agency visit with the Browns, and he informed other suitors of the pecking order on Thursday.

McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday with three years left on his contract. The deal called for him to make $13 million in base pay this season. The original contract was for six years and $95.2 million.

Cleveland general manager John Dorsey confirmed he'd host McCoy on Friday. Dorsey, speaking Thursday after organized team activities, said he will continue to "turn over every rock." Of McCoy, Dorsey said he is "a good player the Browns want to get to know a little better."

Full Story - Yahoo News

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