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News of Interest from around the NFL

An Early Look at NFL's Next Wave of Head Coaching Candidates

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By Brent Sobleski | Bleacher Report

The template for top NFL coaching candidates is obvious: organizations want young, offensive-minded head coaches to keep up with the game's evolving passing concepts. Preferably, candidates have some experience either developing quarterbacks or playing the position.

Or, they just need to know the Los Angeles Rams' Sean McVay in some way.

A handful of upcoming candidates qualify.

Not every individual fits neat little boxes, though. Some of the game's best coordinators and/or position coaches aren't in their 30s and don't teach quarterbacks. This doesn't make them any less of a candidate.

Every owner and front-office member has preferences, but the goal remains the same: find the right person for the job. NFL head coaches are CEOs, not glorified coordinators. The right personality is needed to lead professional athletes and handle game-day pressure.

The New England Patriots' Bill Belichick never played at the professional level (or even at a major collegiate program), has a defensive background and failed at his first stop. Yet, he's the most successful head coach of all time.

The following eight coaches are counted among the best and brightest options. Retreads need not...

NFL Rumors: Owners to Discuss Changes to PI Challenge Rule Approved in March

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By Adam Wells | Bleacher Report

NFL owners could make changes to the new rule approved in March that allows pass interference calls to be challenged.

Per NFL.com's Judy Battista, owners will be asked to consider a change that would allow coaches to challenge pass interference throughout the game when they meet next week.

When the change was originally approved, potential reviews would be handled by the replay booth during the final two minutes of each half.

Full Story - B/R

Is Drew Brees the Best Fantasy Football QB in History?

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We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2019 season; this is part of that series.

By Ian Hartitz | Action Network

The New Orleans Saints have been one of the NFL’s most efficient and productive offenses for the better part of the past decade behind the efforts of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton.

Overall, they haven’t ranked outside of the league’s top-12 scoring offenses or top-eight units in terms of total yardage since Payton took the job prior to the 2006 regular season.

Naturally, Brees’ and Payton’s prolific relationship has made New Orleans a home for many of the league’s highest-scoring fantasy football superstars. Payton himself is a fan of our national pastime:

Full Story - Action Network

Two Saints stars make PFF's top 25 players under 25

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints saw two familiar names make the list of the top 25 players under 25 years of age over at Pro Football Focus: running back Alvin Kamara (2017’s Offensive Rookie of the Year) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore (2017’s Defensive Rookie of the Year). Here’s what PFF’s Mark Chichester had to say about each of the Saints players on their list:
RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Age at kickoff: 24 years, 1 month, 12 days

Now three years into his NFL career, Kamara has been almost unstoppable in the Saints’ offense. His two-year rushing grade of 87.9 ranks fifth among backs with at least 100 attempts in that span, while his two-year receiving grade of 92.6 ranks first.
Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

NFL Records That Could Fall During the 2019 Season

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By Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report

In the National Football League, only one real goal exists: holding aloft the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions.

However, there's something to be said for individual accolades. For big seasons that land even bigger contracts. And for setting records—the sort of career marks that can earn a player NFL immortality and, perhaps, a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In that regard, 2018 was the year of Drew Brees. Not only did the New Orleans Saints signal-caller break his own record for completion percentage in a season, but he also surpassed Peyton Manning as the league's all-time leading in passing yards.

This year, Brees has his sights set on yet another of Manning's career marks—the record for passing touchdowns. But that's not the only number that could fall this year, and the possibilities range from prowess catching the rock to making quarterbacks miserable.

Full Story - BR

Peter King leaves Saints outside top five in latest power rankings

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

It’s tough to find respect, sometimes. The New Orleans Saints have found that out the hard way — winning 26 of their last 36 games (including the playoffs) still has them on the outside looking in, if we’re asking some observers. That’s sometimes reflected in power rankings for the upcoming season.

The latest power rankings come from Peter King of NBC Sports, who both questions how the Saints can rebound from two tough playoff exits in as many years, and expresses confidence in team leaders riding out the storm:

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

2019 NFL GM Offseason Report Cards

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Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report

It falls to the players to physically win games in the NFL and to the head coaches and their staffs to devise the game plans those players execute.

But there's one other person who is vital to each team's success: the general manager—the man who, as Bill Parcells once put it, "buys the groceries" that make up a roster.

Since the moment the 2018 season ended (and, frankly, well before that), GMs have been going about the business of making teams better. Of pursuing and signing free agents. Of scouting and drafting rookies. The hours are long. The pressure is high.

Some have had outstanding offseasons of splash acquisitions, free-agent bargains, shrewd trades and draft-day steals. For many more, things have gone relatively well—it could have gone better, but it could have been exponentially worse.

Full Story - BR

Saints sign speedy cornerback David Simmons from Division III North Park University

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By Rod Walker, The Advocate.com

Chances are, you've never heard of North Park University.

It's a Division III school on the north side of Chicago.

It's also where David Simmons Jr. attended school.

Simmons, a cornerback, is looking to become the next feel-good story from a small school to make it in the NFL.

The Saints on Sunday signed Simmons, who was invited to the team's rookie minicamp as a tryout player, according to a source.

Full Story - TheAdvocate.Com

Pro football: Having experienced professional joy and personal grief, Bushrod eyes a selfless future

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By TAFT COGHILL JR. | THE FREE LANCE-STAR

When Jordyn Lynn Bushrod was born with a rare genetic chromosome disorder last October, her family was resolute on caring for her long-term knowing the challenges ahead.

Those born with Wolf–Hirschhorn Syndrome have delayed growth and development, intellectual disability, low muscle tone and suffer seizures, among other issues.

“It’s a life-changing syndrome that we were gearing up to deal with for pretty much the rest of our lives,” said her father Jermon Bushrod. “Your love for your children is deep and you don’t know what you’re capable of taking on until something like that happens.”

Bushrod and his wife, Jessica, didn’t have to endure the battle they were anticipating but were left to carry a heavier burden.

Jordyn died on Oct. 18, one week after her birth while Bushrod was in the middle of his 12th season as an offensive lineman in the NFL and his second stint with the New Orleans Saints.

Full Story - - Freelance - Star

Is this the Saints' year to get back to Super Bowl? ESPN says yes, handing them NFC's top odds

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

The New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl the last time the game was played in Miami.

Ten years later, the Saints are the favorite to get there again, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.

The Saints have a 26 percent chance of representing the NFC and getting to Miami for Super Bowl LIV, according to the FPI.

Full Story - The Advocate

Saints rookie haul gets an A grade, fourth-best in NFL

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints maxed out their resources in the 2019 NFL Draft and after it, adding a number of rookie players who are in prime position to help the team right away. Thor Nystrom and Hayden Winks of Rotoworld put together a grading system to rate draft picks and undrafted free agent signings against what it took to acquire them.

So, a highly-rated player added at a low-valued draft slot would result in a nice grade. Undrafted rookies counted for just 10 percent of the overall grade for each team.

And that benefited the Saints well: they earned an A grade, with the fifth-best slate of draft picks and top-rated undrafted signings.

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Saints with the #1 offense in the NFL

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By Chris Dunnels | Canal Street Chronicles

The New Orleans Saints made only a couple of big moves on the offensive side of the ball during the 2019 offseason. First, they lost Mark Ingram at running back, and elected instead to downgrade to Latavius Murray. On the other hand, they found a massive upgrade at the tight end position, replacing the retired-turned-Patriot Ben Watson with Pro Bowler Jared Cook.

On the offensive line, the Saints lost Pro Bowl center Max Unger to retirement, and have brought in two capable bodies to compete for that role in Nick Easton of the Minnesota Vikings and Erik McCoy out of Texas A&M.

Aside from those moves, the Saints offensive roster has largely stayed the same from 2018. For that reason, it should come as little to no surprise that the Saints topped NFL.com’s...

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