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Jonathan Williams building momentum in Saints RB battle

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints will need someone to fill in for Mark Ingram during the two-time Pro Bowler’s month-long suspension, and it looks like third-year back Jonathan Williams is in the lead position.

Williams won fans over with his go-ahead score over the Jacksonville Jaguars in last week’s preseason game, but he’s been known to football fanatics for a while now. He rushed for over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns in two years as a starter for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and bounced between the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos as a reserve after entering the NFL through undrafted free agency...

Hitting the wall: What happened at Saints training camp Monday

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By Larry Holder - NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The wall.

Often NFL teams hit the training camp wall. The New Orleans Saints have seemingly crashed into it judging by Monday’s practice session.

Some sloppy play arose on both sides of the football on Airline Drive, especially early during team drills. Efficiency on offense arrived as practice progressed despite a few snaps being stopped before the started because of confusion.

Regardless, Tuesday’s off day can’t arrived fast enough with the Saints inching closer to Friday night’s preseason home opener against Arizona.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the...

Third down defense a 'point of emphasis' for 2018 Saints after recent struggles

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


It is not a good thing when efficiency, or lack thereof, is measured by the time allotted for concessions consumption.

Yet here is New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton describing the Jacksonville Jaguars' opening drive against his first-team defense in their preseason opener last week: "Everyone had their nachos, their hot dogs, their Coke and they were on to the freakin' churros. It was 15 plays."

While their fans chowed down in the seats, the Jaguars ate up nearly half of the first quarter -- the drive drained 7:02 off the game clock -- as they strolled...

On 3rd team in 3 years, Saints RB Jonathan Williams putting his faith in work

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

Jonathan Williams caught himself saying roughly the same sentence three or four times in the span of a few minutes and apologized.

"I know I'm like a (broken) record player and keep repeating this," Williams said. "But I keep working. I'm trying to put my head down and keep working, and I think that showed in the preseason game."

To keep himself from getting lost in the shuffle, the New Orleans Saints' third-year running back is trying to lose himself in the work hoping that, by the time he picks his head up, he will have earned a place on the Saints'...

Sean Kelley's Saints training camp observations for Sunday, Aug. 12

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By Sean Kelly

The New Orleans Saints spent Sunday morning sweating through a two-and-a-half hour practice in full pads at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. The practice was open to the public. Temperatures soared in to the low 90s and the heat index made it feel like 103 degrees by the end of practice. Here are some observations:

Andrus Peat is participating more in the full team periods this weekend. The Saints starting left guard is making his way back from a broken leg...

Saints stage race between Will Clapp, Henry Mondeaux and tackling dummy

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BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM

Sean Payton took a moment during practice on Sunday for an impromptu race.

A rookie offensive lineman, in this case LSU and Brother Martin's Will Clapp, versus a rookie defensive lineman, undrafted free agent Henry Mondeaux.

And a tackling dummy. The Saints have a motorized tackling dummy that can move at fairly high speeds, and Payton put Clapp and Mondeaux up against the machine.

"What we found is that motorized dummies do not move too fast on the grass," Payton said. "Now, in the indoor facility, they do."...

Saints pleased with progress of Andrus Peat, Alex Okafor, Cameron Meredith

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BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM

New Orleans is still pleased by the progress of three players coming off of major surgeries to repair leg injuries suffered last season; left guard Andrus Peat, defensive end Alex Okafor and wide receiver Cameron Meredith.

None of the three players took the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Thursday's preseason game.

All three have been held out of several practices or limited in others — Meredith has missed the last two — and they're working their way back.

Asked about Peat specifically on Sunday...

'It's risk-reward, right?' Drew Brees is content with coaches deciding when he gets preseason reps

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BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM

Drew Brees spends more time in a baseball cap on the sideline during the preseason than he does on the field.

New Orleans held Brees out of the preseason opener against Jacksonville, and the Saints will likely keep him out of the fourth preseason game as well, if history is any indicator.

Brees, who typically leaves his playing time in the preseason up to the coaching staff, understands why he's held out of some games, a practice that is common for most established quarterbacks around the NFL.

"It's...

Where does Drew Brees draw inspiration for longevity as he approaches 40? Hall of fame pitcher Nolan Ryan

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BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM

When Drew Brees was a kid, he used to watch the same VHS tape, "Golden Greats of Baseball," over and over again.

That's where Brees fell in love with Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams, who served as the inspiration for Brees to wear No. 9.

A pitcher, a towering figure to two generations of baseball-loving boys from Texas, also caught Brees' eye, and although he didn't end up following Nolan Ryan into the major leagues, Brees has picked Ryan's mind about the preparation and the routine that powered the...

Saints training camp Day 18: Michael Thomas is good, Andrus Peat working back in, more

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BY NICK UNDERHILL | NUNDERHILL@THEADVOCATE.COM

Dress code: Pads

Attendance: DE Marcus Davenport (muscle pull), WR Cameron Meredith, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, WR Tommylee Lewis and DL Mitchell Loewen did not practice.

Returned to action: OL Cameron Tom (chest)

Michael Thomas is good: It becomes easy to overlook great play when it is great all the time. The goal is to share something new and unexpected in these reports, which at times can cause players who are consistently good to get lost in the shuffle. So, this is probably a good...

FIVE BLUEPRINTS TO THE SUPER BOWL FOR THE 2018 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, PART TWO: FOURTH QUARTER DEFENSE

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Dean Mullen | Aug 12, 2018 | LWOS Saints, Saints101.com

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that having more points than your opponent is most important. Furthermore, the last quarter of the game is oftentimes the ultimate decider. Closing out your opponents late is a crucial element for any contending team.

The New Orleans Saints...

Michael Thomas looks to join NFL elite in 2018.

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By Drew Gagneaux | Saintsreport.com Staff Writer

In the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL draft the New Orleans Saints selected WR Michael Thomas, out of Ohio State University. In 2016, Thomas set Saints rookie records for receptions (92), receiving yards (1137) and receiving touchdowns (9). In 2017 he earned a Pro Bowl nod with a franchise record 104 receptions for 1245 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2018 Thomas looks to continue his dominance at the NFL level.

The main reason the Thomas' touchdown numbers were down in 2017 was because defenses could key in on him in the red-zone. Ted Ginn Jr. was a deep threat...

Pelicans fly in 2018 as a much different team.

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By: Drew Gagneaux | Saintsreport.com Staff Writer

May 8th 2018, the New Orleans Pelicans magical season ended in Oakland that night with a 113-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors. This capped an end to a remarkable run for the Pelicans that surprisingly started when Demarcus Cousins went down for the season with a ruptured achillies in a win vs. the Houston Rockets. Next the Pelicans made an A+ move acquiring the sharpshooting Nikola Mirtotic for the cost a 1st round pick and the luxury of shedding the remainder of the terrible Omer Asik contract. Anthony Davis then moved to the center position the...

Mr. Friendly: Saints' nice guy Jayrone Elliott aims to become next Glenville High alum on roster

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

Jayrone Elliot can't really help it.

It's just who he is.

It's why he earned the nickname "Mr. Friendly" during his playing days at Glenville High School in Ohio.

He earned that name off the field by how he treated his peers. He earned it on the field by how he treated opposing quarterbacks, helping them up off the ground after recording a sack.

"I stayed in his face all the time about that," said Ted Ginn...

Saints praising Williams’ response to unhappy ending

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AP / Fox Sports


METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Saints can only hope safety Marcus Williams’ recent refusal to discuss the last play of last season isn’t a sign of mental fragility.

New Orleans is counting on Williams, a 2017 second-round draft choice , to build on a largely promising rookie campaign that helped solidify the Saints’ secondary and propel the club back to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

At issue now is how Williams will move forward from the cruel way his first NFL season ended. His whiffed tackle attempt on Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs last January allowed the Vikings...

Saints training camp Day 17: Taysom Hill has a good day, Jonathan Williams is climbing, more

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Dress code: Pads

Attendance: DE Marcus Davenport (pulled muscle), WR Cameron Meredith, WR Tommylee Lewis, CB P.J. Williams (bruised rib), DL Mitchell Loween and TE Michael Hoomanawanui did not practice.

Returned: TE Ben Watson, WR Austin Carr, OL Josh LeRibeus, LB Manti Te’o, S Kamrin Moore

Overview: The Saints focused on some red-zone and late-game situations during Saturday’s practice. The red-zone period was conducted behind a wall of players, making it difficult to see. The defense won the late-game situation period by running the...

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