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Saints center Max Unger providing security, comfort for Drew Brees the past 4 seasons

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

To see how much New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees appreciates center Max Unger, go back and watch the play when Brees broke the NFL’s career passing yardage record in Week 5.

After the play, a 62-yard touchdown, the first person to congratulate Brees was left tackle Terron Armstead, who wrapped Brees in a hug. Then, tight ends Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill as well as right guard Larry Warford joined in on a group hug. From there, about 20 Saints players surrounded Brees and jumped for joy.

Unger wasn’t in that group. Instead, Unger was down the field, trying to separate wide receiver Michael Thomas from Washington cornerback Josh Norman as the two were jawing after the play.

“I turn around and everybody is celebrating, and I was like, ‘Oh crap, I forgot,’” Unger said.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Report: Marshon Lattimore fined $13,369 for donating $23

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

New Orleans Saints defensive back Marshon Lattimore was fined $13,369 by the NFL after he dropped $23 into an oversized Salvation Army kettle during his game against the Dallas Cowboys, per Nick Underhill of the Advocate. Lattimore’s stunt was a reference to a previous donation of $21 by Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott into the big jar in the end zone of AT&T Stadium, referencing their jersey numbers.

Elliott was also fined $13,369 by the NFL when he performed the celebration, though he has since appealed. The young Cowboys star later matched his touchdown celebration with another $21,000 to the Salvation Army, which reported a spike of other donations up to $180,000 the following day.

Lattimore hasn’t spoken yet on his own fine, but Elliott probably summed up his feelings in a conversation with reporters after receiving his letter from the league: ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Key ingredients to a New Orleans Saints victory vs. Buccaneers, presented by Papa John's

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John DeShazier | Senior Writer - NewOrleansSaints.com

Sure, payback might be on the New Orleans Saints’ mind. That wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility, since their 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay in the regular-season opener now stands as one of their two losses this season, came against a team they were favored to beat and is a reason they currently are a game behind the Rams for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

But, primarily, there’s this: With a win, the Saints are in.

A victory Sunday in Raymond James Stadium would raise the Saints’ record to 11-2, give them the NFC South Division title for the second straight year, and clinch a playoff berth (and at least one home playoff game).

Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com

Saints mailbag: Should fans cheer for the Rams or Bears on Sunday night?

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(Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints have a chance to clinch the 2018 NFC South championship with a win on Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For some reason, though, that game wasn’t top of mind for most fans who submitted questions for this week’s mailbag. Some focus on the future while others wonder about some of the decisions the Saints are making on offense.

Now, onto the questions.

Let’s consider the possibilities here. The Rams 11-1, and the Bears are 8-4. If the Saints (10-2) beat the Buccaneers, a Bears win over the Rams would boost the Saints back in the No. 1 seed with three games remaining — because the Saints beat the Rams back in Week 9 — while a Rams win would make it easier for the Saints to secure a top-two seed.

The No. 1 seed should be the top target for the Saints. Even though they’ve been equally good on the road as at home this year, everyone on the team would like to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Fans shouldn’t settle for silver. Go for gold. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints center Max Unger providing security, comfort for Drew Brees the past 4 seasons

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(Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

To see how much New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees appreciates center Max Unger, go back and watch the play when Brees broke the NFL’s career passing yardage record in Week 5.

After the play, a 62-yard touchdown, the first person to congratulate Brees was left tackle Terron Armstead, who wrapped Brees in a hug. Then, tight ends Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill as well as right guard Larry Warford joined in on a group hug. From there, about 20 Saints players surrounded Brees and jumped for joy.

Unger wasn’t in that group. Instead, Unger was down the field, trying to separate wide receiver Michael Thomas from Washington cornerback Josh Norman as the two were jawing after the play.

“I turn around and everybody is celebrating, and I was like, ‘Oh crap, I forgot,’” Unger said.

Before Brees returned to the sideline to hand the record-setting ball to Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker, the quarterback ran downfield to embrace his center, and Unger said he was glad Brees made a point to celebrate with him. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Super Demario: Saints' LB Davis making his mark on, off field in first season in New Orleans

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

It's been nine months since Demario Davis decided to play for the New Orleans Saints.

His reason was simple.

Through seven NFL seasons, the linebacker watched the Saints from afar while playing six years with the New York Jets and another with the Cleveland Browns.

"We've got to put another ring on Drew's finger," Davis said that day in March after signing a three-year deal reportedly worth $24 million. "I think they are on the cusp of something special, and I wanted to come in and be a part of that."

Davis, of course, was referring to Drew Brees. And Davis, just 12 games into his tenure as a Saint, has done his part to make this a special season, adding a rock-solid piece to a defense that is no longer just an afterthought.

Davis will play his 13th game in his No. 56 black and gold jersey on Sunday when the Saints (10-2) face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7) at noon Sunday in Raymond James Stadium.

He'll look to add to his team-high 87 tackles (59 solo, 28 assists). ...

Full Story - The Advocate

The biggest difference between the Saints and Buccaneers isn’t what you think

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By Thomas Bassinger | Tampa Bay Times

In 2011, the Saints became the fourth team in NFL history to average 34 points a game. This season, they’re averaging 35, putting them on pace to set a new team points record.

Is it Drew Brees? Alvin Kamara? Michael Thomas?

Those are all good reasons. But there’s something more elementary to their success. Something really, really boring. Something that only coaches talk about.

The single greatest difference between the Buccaneers and Saints isn’t who is playing quarterback, running back or receiver.

No, the difference is that before the Saints touch the ball, before coach Sean Payton even relays the play call, the offense is getting a 5-yard head start.

Full Story - Times

Sean Payton appreciates analytics, but 'I kick myself' for not trusting intuition

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been one of several play callers to really embrace analytics in 2018, and often to great results. Payton acknowledged the success that trusting the numbers has brought him on Pro Football Talk Live this week, but also made it clear that he feels there have been situations where he may have been better-served by sticking to his gut

“I kick myself for two or three different situations in that game [against the Dallas Cowboys], not handling them the right way. We have an opportunity to score, it’s fourth-and-1, I know our fourth down numbers are good, I felt like we had a good plan, and yet, in that game? Kick the field goal.”
Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Sean Payton Saints-Buccaneers Week 14 Media Availability

Tyeler Davison: "This is a big game for the guys in the trenches" | Week 14 Post-Practice

Tre'Quan Smith: "We're putting a big emphasis on the little details" | Week 14 Post-Practice

Cameron Jordan: "We're focused on trying to contain Jameis (Winston)" | Week 14 Post-Practice

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