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Saints linebacker A.J. Klein hoping to be fully healthy for training camp

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By
Josh Katzenstein
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

As long as A.J. Klein is limited in practice, New Orleans Saints coaches won't be able to fully evaluate the linebacker corps.

Fortunately, it seems the team won't have to wait long to have a better read on the group.

Klein, who underwent surgery in December for a sports hernia, said Wednesday (June 6) at the Black and Gold Celebrity Softball Game that he's "really close" to being fully healthy.

Thus far in organized team activities, Klein has been limited in team drills and has yet to participate with the first-team defense. He's hoping that could change next week during mandatory minicamp, but he's targeting training camp as the time to be fully recovered from the injury that ended his 2017 season...

Wide receiver Josh Huff using 'rookie mindset' in pursuit of Saints roster spot

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By
Josh Katzenstein
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Josh Huff was with the Philadelphia Eagles from May 2014 through November 2016, but when the Eagles marched to a Super Bowl title in 2017, the wide receiver had to spend the entire season watching from home.

A third-round pick out of Oregon in 2014, Huff was cut during his third NFL season after being arrested on gun and marijuana charges in November 2016. He later had the charges dismissed after entering a pre-trial intervention program, but incident had already damaged his career.

After the Eagles cut Huff, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team for which he appeared in three games late in 2016. Then, after he failed to make the Buccaneers roster after the 2017 preseason, he spent all of last year as a free agent.

Now, after a season away from football, Huff is with the New Orleans Saints and hoping to make good on the potential he previously showed.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints’ defensive coordinator says helmet rule comes down to how it’s officiated

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By Michael David Smith


The NFL is starting to offer some details about how the new rule against lowering the helmet to initiate contact will be enforced, but until we actually see which plays the officials flag and which plays they let go, we probably won’t know exactly what this new rule means.

Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen says that the video the league has distributed to give examples of penalties under the new rule offers some insight, but a play can look significantly different on replay than it looks on the field.

“When you watch some of the clips at normal speed, I don’t necessarily think I can recognize that there’s a foul occurring,” Allen told Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune. “Then when you slow it down you can see that it is. The interesting thing is how you’re going to officiate it.”

Full Story - PFT

Most impressive Saints at OTAs this year

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By James Parks

The New Orleans Saints continue to embark on their latest offseason workouts to prepare for the coming year by taking part in their latest phase of organized team activities, most recently taking the team indoors to get away from the unforgiving heat and log their practice reps in the air conditioned splendor of their practice facility in Metairie.

Among the most important jobs facing head coach Sean Payton and his assistants during these practices is to gauge the progress of the Saints rookie class, to judge how far along the new players are coming, in what positions and situations they place their best and worst, and how best to acclimate the first year players into a roster that already feels like one of the best in football.

Marcus Davenport, the first round edge rusher selection made by the team after a surprising trade with the Green Bay Packers on the first night of the NFL Draft, appears poised to take the biggest role among the rookies, with coaches saying they have plans to slot him in as a featured right defensive end to rush the pass from the blind side. But other rookies, including wide receiver TreQuan Smith and offensive lineman Will Clapp, a New Orleans native and LSU product, are also ready to assume notable responsibilities, judging by their heavy involvement in the...

Congress finally finds something it can agree on: Steve Gleason

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By Jeff Duncan
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Big news out of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday (June 5), and it didn't involve POTUS or the Philadelphia Eagles.
Congress found something it can agree on: Steve Gleason.

A bipartisan delegation led by U.S Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., John Kennedy, R-La., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., announced its bill to award the former New Orleans Saints standout with the Congressional Gold Medal passed its first legislative hurdle.

With 67 senators now on board, the legislation now has the two-thirds majority it needs to be brought before the Senate Banking Committee and moved to the House of Representatives. Once passed by both chambers, it will be brought to the president to be signed into law.

This is only the second Congressional Gold Medal bill this Congress has advanced to this level in the Senate, which says all you need to know about Gleason and the respect he has earned nationally.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints' Marshon Lattimore looking to build on rookie of the year campaign

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By Amos Morale III

The New Orleans Saints opened Thursday's OTA practice to media, and at least one Saints player thinks his teammate was showing off for the press.

The NFL's defensive rookie of the year, Marshon Lattimore found himself matched up with Pro Bowl receiver Michael Thomas. With Lattimore draped all over him in full 11-on-11 drills, Thomas secured a catch on a back-shoulder throw from Drew Brees.

Following practice, Lattimore joked that this was the first day Thomas made a play like that one against him.

"He showed out for the cameras," Lattimore said Thursday (May 31) with a laugh. "Mike is a great player. I take nothing away from him. That's my dog. So, any little competition or battle we have, it's always great. We don't take it personal. He's gonna get me sometimes and I'll get him sometimes. It is what it is."

Full Story - NOLA.com

High risk, little reward for Mark Ingram at OTAs

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By Clyde Verdin


Mark Ingram's absence from the New Orleans Saints organized team activities makes sense if you think about how much is at stake for the running back in 2018.

In a contract year, Ingram is one of the many high-profile players around the NFL not taking part in the voluntary workouts as an untimely injury could prove costly come 2019. Already through just two weeks there have been a litany of stories of players being lost to injury for the upcoming season.

That's why, on Thursday's "Dunc & Holder," columnist Jeff Duncan feels that Ingram is making the right move by sitting out these workouts.

"The one thing that's struck me this year, more than ever, are players getting injured," he said. "His representation has got to be telling him that it's not worth running the risk of getting hurt in a contract year." ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints sign safety Sharrod Neasman, cut Mykkele Thompson

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By Josh Katzenstein
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints had a new face at organized team activities on Thursday, welcoming safety Sharrod Neasman to the 90-man roster.

Neasman, 26, went undrafted out of Florida Atlantic in 2016, and he spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in three games as a rookie, 11 in 2017 and has five career tackles.

The signing of Neasman should become official Thursday evening. To make room for him, the team waived safety Mykkele Thompson.

At OTAs on Thursday, the Saints had some new absences. In addition to running back Mark Ingram and wide receiver Brandon Coleman, who were gone last week, safety Kurt Coleman and running back Daniel Lasco were not seen at practice.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Why Saints LB Anzalone is confident shoulder won't hold back his potential any more

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By Joel A. Erickson


Alex Anzalone has been through this before.

The promise, the flash of ability, the season-ending injury to his right shoulder.

For a player whose career at Florida was stunted by repeated injuries to that same right shoulder, the dislocation Anzalone suffered in the fourth game of his rookie season with the Saints could be seen as an indicator that the joint will always be a liability.

Anzalone believes this time is different. Back in action after undergoing surgery to repair the damage done by the dislocation he suffered against Miami in London, Anzalone is confident the shoulder has been repaired.

"It was fixed really well this time," Anzalone said. "My arm fully dislocated, but it was fixed differently."

Anzalone opted not to offer a full medical breakdown of his injury after Thursday's organized team activity, but his shoulder problems at Florida stemmed from issues with the initial repair done to the joint as a freshman. ...

Full Story - The Advocate

More from the Advocate:

News and notes from Thursday at Saints OTAs: Lattimore-Thomas showdown, P-Robbin' season, more

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By Nick Underhill


Notes and observations from Thursday's organized team activity.

Injury updates: Wide receiver Cam Meredith continues to do some work before team drills during practice. It looks like he is moving well. A.J. Klein was on the field but did not appear to do much.

Not spotted: Mark Ingram, Kurt Coleman, Tre’quan Smith and Brandon Coleman

Present not participating: Cam Jordan and Trey Hendrickson

Heavyweights: The highlight of Thursday’s practice was the moments when Marshon Lattimore and Michael Thomas squared off. And the top moment within that match up came when Thomas caught a contested pass up the left sideline on a curl. These are two players who are both arguably in the top five of their respective positions. It should be an entertaining battle watch throughout the summer, as both men are clearly approaching it as a friendly competition every single time they’re pair up against one another.

Full Story - The Advocate

Marcus Davenport already making big strides with Saints

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By Josh Katzenstein
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

First-round pick Marcus Davenport has been enjoying his first organized team activities with the New Orleans Saints, especially when he has a chance to go fast.

Fortunately, coaches have encouraged him to move fast even while he's still learning the intricacies of his position.

"It got to a certain point where they're just like, 'We want you to play fast. It doesn't necessarily matter if you mess up; just go fast,'" Davenport said.

The Saints still have plenty of time to teach Davenport the minutiae of playing defensive end in the NFL, but coach Sean Payton and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen said they've been encouraged with Davenport's progress.

"He's a quick learner, and he's picking it up," Nielsen said. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Which New Addition to the Saints Defense Will Have the Biggest Impact?

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By Bob Rose

The New Orleans Saints are continuing to re-build their defense to compliment their championship caliber offense to make the team into one of the NFC favorites for the Super Bowl. High draft choices have teamed up with mid or late round selections and a few smart free agent acquisitions to improve the Saints defense from a bottom ranked unit into an up and coming squad capable of shutting down most offenses they face. Today, we take a look at a few important offseason additions on the defensive side that are hoping to help transform the New Orleans defense into an elite NFL unit.

Demario Davis, LB

Davis was arguably the biggest free agent acquisitions of the 2018 offseason for New Orleans. The 29-yr. old veteran comes over from the New York Jets as one of the league's most underrated linebackers. He has explosive sideline to sideline athleticism, is a strong run defender, an effective blitzer, and has solid pass coverage ability. He is able to play any linebacking spot in either a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment, as well as sub packages. ...

10 most important Saints players in 2018

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By James Parks

The New Orleans Saints surprised the world in the 2017 NFL season, after starting a meager 0-2 and seemingly destined for yet another mediocre 7-9 campaign, the team instead won their next eight straight football games, using that success as a catapult to propel themselves to an NFC South championship and a playoff berth for the first time in four years.

That success came thanks to having one of the most talented rosters in the league.

On offense, defense, and special teams, and on the sideline, the Saints boast one of the best assemblages of talent in pro football. Names like Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore, and Cameron Jordan will help bring the team back into relevance again in the 2018 season, a year in which they, and their fans, believe the Saints have a genuine chance to get back into contention and potentially hoist another Super Bowl trophy.

Here is our list of the 10 most important players on the Saints roster this coming season. ...

Full Story - 247 Sports

Could sit out over Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid affect Saints?

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By Roy Anderson

There is word that a sit out may be brewing among some players in the NFL over Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid. Could such a sit out affect the Saints?

Bleacher Report ran a piece on Sunday, May 27, about word that a possible sit out could be coming from some NFL players. The issue is that Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, both very vocal in support of the “take a knee” movement, have yet to be signed by any team in the league.

The perception is that both players are being blackballed by the NFL. There’s something to that argument. Both players are, arguably, better than many quarterbacks and safeties currently sitting on NFL rosters. And both players are certainly political lightning rods.

Nothing is known about who might be behind such a protest. The Bleacher Report article was reporting based on a tweet from Shaun King, a writer for a left-leaning, civil rights blog called The Intercept.

Full Story - WhoDatDish

Saints' Mark Ingram joins NFL Network list of top 100 players for 2018

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By Christopher Dabe
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The NFL Network list of top 100 players for 2018 now includes Mark Ingram.
The New Orleans Saints running back is the No. 43 player on the list. The network continued its weekly countdown Monday (May 28) with players listed from Nos. 50 to 41.

Ingram is the third Saints player on the list so far, with wideout Michael Thomas at No. 81 and cornerback Marshon Lattimore at No. 82.

The placement of Ingram on the list is based in part on his 2017 performance, when the seven-year veteran posted the second of back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His 1,124 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns both were career bests.

The Saints will be without Ingram for the first four games of the season after he violated the league policy on performance enhancing substances.

Full Story - NOLA.com

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