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Drew Brees on the Dan Patrick Show

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How the Saints, with Ida approaching, relocated on the fly — and scored a big win

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By Adam Kilgore Washington Post

On Aug. 27, as Cameron Jordan reported with the rest of his teammates to a hotel in downtown New Orleans, a shroud of uncertainty hovered over the New Orleans Saints. None of them knew what time they would depart the next day, where they were going or how long they would be gone. They did not know what condition their houses would be in when they got back, or what would happen to a city that had become home. They did not know where they would play their next game. Many of them stuffed clothes in a backpack, assuming they would return in a few days.

It had all happened so fast. The morning before, they had practiced like any other day at training camp. For 24 hours, they had scrolled on their phones and studied phrases such as wind shear and barometric pressure. They were supposed to sleep in that downtown hotel as standard procedure the night before a preseason game. They would instead be leaving home to seek shelter from Hurricane Ida.

“It was like, we’re headed to a place, and we’ll figure it out when the plane gets there,” Jordan said.

On Sunday, a little more than two weeks after they relocated a football team on the fly, the Saints celebrated at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., where the end zones had been painted with “SAINTS” in black and gold. They destroyed the Green Bay Packers, a Super Bowl aspirant, 38-3. The victory showcased Sean Payton’s play-calling wizardry, Jameis Winston’s deep passing and the defense’s ferocity. Even more, it provided a testament to organizational planning, resolve and competence.

Some NFL teams can’t figure out third and six when a lineman goes down. The Saints managed players’ anxieties, solved a mountainous logistical labyrinth and executed a game plan that throttled Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They refused to consider their circumstances — in the wake of a hurricane that led to at least 29 deaths in Louisiana, left more than a million people without power and caused untold destruction — as adverse.

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Offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz fluidly moved from guard to center during New Orleans Saints' opener

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By John DeShazier | Senior Writer -

Good thing Cesar Ruiz didn't need a lot of time to think, because he didn't have much even if he'd wanted it.

Before the New Orleans Saints completed their first drive on offense in the season opener against Green Bay, center Erik McCoy limped off with a calf injury. Ruiz – drafted to play center last season but in at right guard because an injury slowed his progress at center, and because McCoy stamped his name on the position – quickly moved from right guard to center. And once Calvin Throckmorton came in to play right guard, the Saints' offensive line was set in what became a 38-3 victory.

Ruiz, who had minimal reps at center this year in training camp, said it helped that he didn't have time to stew over the change. He'll likely remain in the position for the immediate future.

"Especially when you get in like that," he said Thursday, Sept. 16. "In a situation like that the last thing you want to do is come into a situation and think too much. So I was like, hey, 'You gotta go.' I'm not thinking about it, I've just got to do my job."

He, and the rest of the offensive line, did just that.

New Orleans had 322 yards on offense, was perfect (4 for 4) in the red zone, ran for 171 yards on 39 carries, didn't allow a sack of quarterback Jameis Winston and bullied its way to 34:36 in time of possession.

Ruiz said he learned during the lead-up to the game that he would be the backup center.

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Receiver Chris Hogan made impact in first game with New Orleans Saints

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By John DeShazier | Senior Writer -

If we're doing memory-lane strolls, Chris Hogan has a pretty interesting one.

Before the New Orleans Saints receiver caught his 10-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston on the third quarter of the Saints' 38-3 victory over Green Bay in the season opener – giving New Orleans a three-touchdown lead – he'd last caught a pass in a regular-season game on Oct. 11, 2020, for the Jets against Arizona.

For his last touchdown in an NFL game, walk back a little more, to Dec. 16, 2018, for New England against Pittsburgh.

So Sunday's score was special for Hogan, who, after being waived from injured reserve by the Jets last December, joined the Premier Lacrosse League in February and played that sport until the PLL season ended. He signed with New Orleans on July 26, and caught one of five touchdown passes by the Saints in the season opener.

New Orleans plays Carolina on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

"It was pretty incredible," Hogan said of the touchdown. "It's been a little while since I've gotten in the end zone. It's been a few years.

"To be able to make a play in a game like that, first game of the season where we're trying to find our identity and build on the team that we have, I was pretty excited. I was very fortunate to be in that position and was thrilled to make a play for the team."

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Latest Saints News

Saints vs. Panthers: How to watch, storylines ahead of week two matchup

  • News source: BY DEVIN JACKSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 16
After a dominant win last Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints continue their road journey to take on the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte.

New starting quarterback Jameis Winston put on a clinic, throwing for five touchdowns in their 38-3 rout. The defense forced two Packers interceptions and only allowed 229 total yards of offense.

Meanwhile, the Panthers, who also coincidentally have a new quarterback this season in former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, are coming off a win against the Jets 19-14 in a game the Panthers controlled until late. They enter...
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Two More: Saints coaches Ryan Nielsen, Brian Young to miss Panthers game due to COVID-19 protocols

  • News source: Justin Macione
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 24
Ryan Nielsen (assistant head coach/defensive line) and Brian Young (pass rush specialist) will not be in attendance at Sunday’s game due to Covid-19 protocols, the team announced Saturday, Sept. 18. Nielsen’s and Young’s duties will be divided among the defensive staff.

On Friday, the team announced the following coaches would not be coaching against the Panthers (1-0): Jim Chaney (offensive analyst), Declan Doyle (offensive assistant), Phil Galiano (assistant special teams), Curtis Johnson (senior offensive assistant/wide receivers), Dan Roushar (run game coordinator/tight ends) and Joel...
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Saints Saturday Roster Moves and Coaching Changes in Week 2

  • News source: Kyle T. Mosley
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 40
The New Orleans Saints announced several roster moves and coaching changes on Saturday. Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and pass-rush specialist Brian Young will not make the trip to Carolina for Week 2's game due to Covid-19 protocols. The team reports Nielsen's and Young's duties will be covered by the remainder of the defensive coaching staff.

The team will be down another linebacker was Chase Hansen joins Kwon Alexander on injured reserve. New Orleans countered the move by elevating linebacker Wynton McManis from the practice squad.

Defensive back Jordan...
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Report: Saints to let Terron Armstead test free agency in 2022

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 45
Well that’s disconcerting. We’ve known the New Orleans Saints had been preparing for the possibility of life without Terron Armstead, but now we’ve got news that it could be more likely than not. Losing their All-Pro left tackle would be very difficult to recover from.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Saturday that the Saints are effectively finished negotiating big-money contract extensions this season after signing star cornerback Marshon Lattimore to a five-year deal, months after right tackle Ryan Ramczyk was also extended. Here’s what Fowler wrote:

Fowler has been on top of Saints news...
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Short-handed Saints must contain fully armed and operational Christian McCaffrey

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 30
It’s been a while since the New Orleans Saints got a good look at Christian McCaffrey. The superstar running back missed both games with the black and gold last season due to injury, and he only touched the ball 16 times in the previous season finale before getting pulled from the game with most of Carolina’s starters. The Saints haven’t seen McCaffrey at full strength in a meaningful game since before Thanksgiving 2019.

That’s far from the case this time. McCaffrey is back in good health after missing 13 games last year with a high-ankle sprain plus shoulder and quadriceps issues, and...
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Two more members of Saints’ staff out because of COVID-19 protocols

  • News source: Michael David Smith
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 28
Two more members of the Saints’ staff will be unavailable for Sunday’s game because of issues related to COVID-19.

The Saints announced today that assistant head coach/defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and pass rush specialist Brian Young will not be in attendance at Sunday’s game at Carolina.

Nielsen and Young join six other coaches who had already been ruled out: Jim Chaney (offensive analyst), Declan Doyle (offensive assistant), Phil Galiano (assistant special teams), Curtis Johnson (senior offensive assistant/wide receivers), Dan Roushar (run game coordinator/tight ends) and Joel...
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Saints minus two more assistants amid protocols

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
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The list of assistant coaches not with the New Orleans Saints for their game Sunday vs. the Carolina Panthers grew on Saturday.

The Saints announced that defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and pass rush specialist Brian Young will not be with the team for its second game of the season due to the NFL's COVID-19 protocols. Nielsen's and Young's duties will be divided among the defensive staff, the team said, adding that offensive line coach Brendan Nugent will be with the club in Carolina.

Saturday's announcement brings the team total to eight coaches unavailable this week, and the Saints...
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Saints place LB Chase Hansen on injured reserve; see list of 5 roster moves

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 58
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The New Orleans Saints have placed special teams linebacker Chase Hansen on the injured reserve ahead of their game against the Carolina Panthers.

Hansen missed Thursday and Friday's practices with a groin injury. He was inactive against the Green Bay Packers last week.

With Hansen's move to the injured reserve, he can return to the active roster in three weeks — ahead of the Saints' Week 5 game against the Washington Football Team — if he's cleared to play.

Hansen has had a few injuries over the past few years.

He missed his rookie season in 2019 due to an...
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Saints file roster moves ahead of Week 2 game vs. Panthers

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 39
The New Orleans Saints called up a couple of players from their practice squad for Week 2’s road game with the Carolina Panthers, while a few others were moved around to make room. The Saints previously signed kicker Aldrick Rosas to the active roster from the practice squad to open another roster spot. Here’s what you need to know:
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Two more Saints coaches held out of Panthers game due to COVID-19 protocols

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 11
The hits just keep coming. The fully-vaccinated New Orleans Saints coaching staff has been managing a series of breakthrough COVID-19 cases, and on Saturday the team announced two more coaches will miss Sunday’s away game with the Carolina Panthers: defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and his assistant Brian Young. Both coaches must return negative test results in two consecutive days before they may rejoin the team.

However, one coach who was previously sidelined by COVID-19 protocol was cleared to return: offensive line coach Brendan Nugent. That brings the total to 8 coaches out of the...
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[WATCH] Pre-game promo video for Saints vs Panthers in Week 2

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 28
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, on Instagram @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel.
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2 more Saints assistants out due to COVID-19 protocol, 8 total out for Panthers game

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 27
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The New Orleans Saints will be coaching without two more assistants for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, putting eight of the Saints' 25 listed coaches unavailable for their Week 2 game because of COVID-19 protocols.

Defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and pass rush specialist Brian Young will not be making the trip to Charlotte due to COVID-19 protocols, the team announced. Those two are the first defensive coaches to be placed in isolation this week.

On the flip side, offensive line coach Brendan Nugent will be making the trip after all, the team announced...
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Walker: 50 years later, Archie Manning reflects on that hot September day win in his Saints' debut

  • News source: BY ROD WALKER | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 43
Archie Manning calls them his running shoes, the ones he wore that day because it's the smart thing to do when you're facing Deacon Jones and the rest of the Los Angeles Rams' Fearsome Foursome defense.

The high temperature was 86, which on the newly installed artificial turf in Tulane Stadium on a September Sunday in New Orleans felt more like 186.

For Manning, his NFL debut on Sept. 19, 1971 feels a lot more like yesterday than fifty years ago.

"It's hard to believe it's been that long," Manning said Friday. "It was a good way to start."

It was Year 5 for the franchise, but Year One...
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Saints open up a little more salary cap space with two restructures

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 61
ESPN’s Field Yates reported Saturday that the New Orleans Saints are working around the clock to maximize their resources, restructuring their contracts with cornerback Bradley Roby and defensive end Marcus Davenport. The two moves ultimately created more than $1.08 million in cap space for the 2021 season, which will be critical in filing daily roster moves like sending players to and promoting them from the practice squad. Things are tight, but not unmanageable.

But what are the long-term implications here? All this does is push some of the current-year money into future fiscal years...
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Which Saints are on injured reserve, and when can they return?

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 58
It didn’t take long for the New Orleans Saints to fill out their injured reserve list. Two defensive starters landed on the list after their dominant Week 1 victory, but the good news is that neither player is done for the year. In fact, most of the injured players will be back sooner rather than later. NFL rules stipulate that players must be inactive on injured reserve for at least three weeks before they are eligible to return.

Before we get into the list, here’s a quick refresher on which games are ahead of the Saints before their Week 6 bye (and don’t forget, wide receiver Michael...
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Panthers fans not happy that “Keep Pounding” chant disappeared in Week One

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 36
Panthers fans had reason to be happy about the outcome of their team’s Week One game. They weren’t happy about something that happened, or more accurately didn’t happen, during the game.

The “Keep Pounding” chant wasn’t part of the pre-game or in game experience, via the Charlotte Observer.

A Panthers spokesperson told the Observer that the team “has been experimenting with different game-day experiences.”

The chant will return to the video screen for Sunday’s game against the Saints. The spokesperson said it’s possible it won’t be used in other games.

Regardless, the team isn’t trying...
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