New Orleans Saints' Jeff Charleston, Marvin Mitchell know, embrace roles By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune (1 Viewer)


Hung out to dry
Dec 28, 2006
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Cordova, TN
Jeff Charleston and Marvin Mitchell are the ultimate role players for the New Orleans Saints, and Monday night their role was to make the biggest play of the biggest win of the season.

Charleston reached up to strip the ball from Atlanta tailback Michael Turner a foot short of the goal line early in the third quarter, and Mitchell recovered the fumble.

The game-changing play prevented the Falcons from scoring a go-ahead touchdown, on a night when points were at a premium. The Saints won the game 17-14.

"I think both of those guys have had paid the price, they've waited their turn," Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said of Charleston and Mitchell. "And it's just good to see that this organization is good about, if a guy earns something, they're going to give them their time. And they've both earned the time that they've been given this year."

Even before Monday's heroics, Charleston and Mitchell had increased roles this season -- especially Mitchell, who took over Scott Fujita's spot in some nickel defense packages.

Charleson and Mitchell are fourth-year veterans. Mitchell joined the Saints as a seventh-round draft pick out of Tennessee in 2007. Charleston entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Idaho State in 2006, then bounced around from the Texans to the Colts before joining the Saints in October 2008.

Saints Coach Sean Payton talks about the importance of identifying players who "know their roles" on the 53-man roster -- and of embracing them.
Players like this exemplify why the Saints have been successful. Gregg Williams has the knack for putting players in situations where they can excel. And then they make a great play like that fumble and recovery.

Still, my favorite Mitchell moment is when he races past Payton on the sidelines during Porter's interception. :rofl:
Both of these guys have played very well this year, and throw Dunbar into the pleasant surprise list.

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