The Countdown (2 Viewers)

Saint Tex

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Hey, hey, hey, it’s that time, Saints fans. What guido calls the 4th (or possibly) 5th most wonderful time of the year. We just dropped from triple to double digits in the number of days before the season starts, and that means….wait for it….

THE COUNTDOWN!!!!

Here we go on our annual romp through the roster, counting down by jersey number the days until the first game of the Saints season. (Yes, I know the official season starts before the Saints first game this year. Friends of the Countdown can join this chorus: "We Don’t Care." First day of the season to us is Saints first game. Period. This is Countdown policy. Sticklers for technicalities, go be a lawyer.)

The last couple of years I’ve been on the road more and try to stay off strange WiFi. Which means I use my phone as a hotspot for my tablet. Not always the most reliable internet, even in big cities. So others on the board pitched in. Inside job was the first. Last year I threw doing the pics to the board. That led to the biggest improvement the Countdown has seen when SaintLuke took over the task. He’s got some real skills, and Luke has graciously agreed to be my partner again this year. I am so glad to have him. So a big thanks to Luke, who you will come to appreciate if you haven’t already.

We’ve got some really intriguing additions to this roster, and we are going to cover them one at a time. Before you know it (somewhere in the 50’s or 40’s) it’ll be training camp.

We have a rule here on the Countdown, and it’s one that I intend to enforce. We do not call players camp bodies. These are talented, trained athletes who are working hard and performing at a level that most of us can only ever dream about. And the fact that the Saints think they might play a role on the roster, that makes them our guys. And the ones who are not roster shoe-ins are pursuing a life long dream. We want them to succeed. Like remember a guy named Pierre Thomas? UDFA who beat out a fourth round RB for a roster spot, and proved forever that Sean Payton runs a meritocracy. Plus, the term is dismissive and therefore rude. We are not rude on saintsreport. Andrus set up a family atmosphere where we can disagree but do it in a respectful way. So you are not just free, but welcome to post your legitimate doubts or questions about any player. Just don’t call him a camp body. If you do, you will be asked point blank why you think so. And you will be shunned. You won’t feel it because it’s the internet, but you will still be shunned, and somehow you will not like it. I don’t know how that works. But it does. So play nice.

Now let’s start where we always do, with the big numbers and the big guys.

99 Geneo Grissom 6’ 4” 265 DE Oklahoma

We signed Grissom in the middle of May. He is reported to play all over the line. Our line, especially at DE is set, so it looks like Grissom will be using his versatility (which Payton loves) to make it onto the roster as rotational player on the line. Welcome to New Orleans, Geneo. Can’t wait for you to show us what you can do.
 

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The interior line roster logjam might mean the end of Clapp as a Saint. Then again, one of the other center/guards might not make it. It's going to be a tough competition.
 
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Saint Tex

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63 Cameron Tom 6’ 4” 300 C Southern Mississippi

Tom was Unger’s backup at center last year, and he will be in the mix again, likely for the same job. I’m thinking McCoy has the center position to lose, but we need strong backups on the line. Tom’s play last year was a bit up and down when he got into games, and we are accustomed to consistency on the line. Still, he’s a young player and he knows the system. This will be an interesting training camp for the o-line.
 

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The interior line roster logjam might mean the end of Clapp as a Saint. Then again, one of the other center/guards might not make it. It's going to be a tough competition.
Quoting myself. Just substitute Tom for Clapp.
 

SaintLuke

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Quoting myself. Just substitute Tom for Clapp.
It is going to be a battle, but they might both loose out to the guy we feature tomorrow.
Along with him, (Nick Easton), and the fact we drafted McCoy, plus we brought in Newhouse, they might both be gone.
I wonder if Tom has anymore practice squad eligibility left(I forgot the rules)
I am sure Clapp does.
 
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Saint Tex

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62 Nick Easton 6’ 3” 303 C Harvard

We picked up Easton pretty quickly after Unger announced his retirement. He was the presumptive replacement until the draft when McCoy was available. The Vikings wanted to re-sign Nick, but we gave him a good contract, plus a great chance to play in such a solid line for a HOF QB. Then McCoy gets drafted. So we’ve got some really good talent at starter and some really good backups. Nice problem.
 
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61 Marcus Henry 6’ 2” 303 C Boise State

Henry has been with the Saints back in 2016, and spent some time last season on Seattle’s practice squad. We signed him again in May. This is such a crowded position going into camp, we must have seen something we liked. There is not much out there about Henry since his college days, but he is managing to hang around with a couple of talented teams.
 
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Saint Tex

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60 days left. There is no number 60 on the current roster, so we are going to use the day to celebrate and thank Max Unger.

Unger came to us in the Jimmy Graham trade. He is from Hawaii, spent his college and pro careers on the west coast, had never lived in the south and was very surprised that his team traded him. It was easy to see that he wasn't that thrilled about it at the time, but he has come to love and appreciate New Orleans, and when he retired, he thanked Payton for bringing him here.

Unger played great for us for four years, and has been such a solid guy and great teammate. But he feels that he is not able to play at the level he has in the past. Be clear that we are talking high standards here. Like he's a former All Pro and he just made the Pro Bowl. I have so much respect for a guy who feels that way. He is walking away from the game on his own terms--he apparently could have chosen surgery and kept playing, but this is his decision, and I'm happy for him. And happy we've had him. A shining star on a stellar line.

We wish you all the best, Max, like you gave us every play. And even though you weren't expecting the trade, I am so glad that you ended up happy with it. Because you have made a ton of Saints fans very grateful for such incredibly reliable play at center, whether protecting Brees or road grading ahead of Kamara. We love you, and are so glad are a Saint. You will always be one to us.
 

saints4eva

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60 days left. There is no number 60 on the current roster, so we are going to use the day to celebrate and thank Max Unger.

Unger came to us in the Jimmy Graham trade. He is from Hawaii, spent his college and pro careers on the west coast, had never lived in the south and was very surprised that his team traded him. It was easy to see that he wasn't that thrilled about it at the time, but he has come to love and appreciate New Orleans, and when he retired, he thanked Payton for bringing him here.

Unger played great for us for four years, and has been such a solid guy and great teammate. But he feels that he is not able to play at the level he has in the past. Be clear that we are talking high standards here. Like he's a former All Pro and he just made the Pro Bowl. I have so much respect for a guy who feels that way. He is walking away from the game on his own terms--he apparently could have chosen surgery and kept playing, but this is his decision, and I'm happy for him. And happy we've had him. A shining star on a stellar line.

We wish you all the best, Max, like you gave us every play. And even though you weren't expecting the trade, I am so glad that you ended up happy with it. Because you have made a ton of Saints fans very grateful for such incredibly reliable play at center, whether protecting Brees or road grading ahead of Kamara. We love you, and are so glad are a Saint. You will always be one to us.

Hear hear and Amen! :clapbig:
 
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Saint Tex

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59 Vince Biegel 6’ 3” 246 LB Wisconsin

Here’s one to watch. He played last year for us, but didn’t get reviewed in the Countdown because we added him right after the season started. He spent right at 3 weeks on the practice squad in September, and then got activated. Saw good playing time on special teams. He’s a very athletic guy, and he has played all three linebacker spots. Payton sees him playing special teams again, but also as a quality sort of utility backer. He’s a former fourth round pick, and he’s playing behind some really outstanding linebackers right now, but he just might keep hanging around and honing his craft while making a living on special teams. Belated welcome to the Countdown, Vince. We want you to do well.
 

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Isn't he the guy that has a beef with another Saints LB?
I remember somebody leaving the field after a great play and went high five Biegel and he totally dissed him?
Maybe it was goldilocks?
 

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