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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Saint Tex

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55 Kaden Elliss 6’ 3” 240 LB Idaho

On the surface, Elliss is a linebacker who has great athletic ability. Coach Payton said we need to look at a player who can rush the passer from a sub package, either standing or with his hand on the ground. Elliss definitely fits that. But you don’t even have to scratch the surface on this one to find the added attraction. Elliss played QB in high school and has played tight end. So yes, we grabbed him in the 7th round to make sure he’s ours. This should be fun. Competition with Taysom Hill for the Inspector Gadget position.
 

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elliss really is gonna need to add muscle and I bet he looks ripped by next training camp
 
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Saint Tex

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54 Chase Hansen 6' 3" 222 LB Utah

Chase Hansen (we have a Chad Hansen as well--no relation) was originally signed right after the draft, then released, then signed again, then put on IR. He apparently is recovering from surgery in the offseason, and wasn't ready to participate in OTAs. Chase is a tweener. He has played safety and linebacker, and last year had 22 tackles for a loss. That's from a guy playing behind the line. Nice stat and nice nose for the ball. And interestingly enough, he played QB his freshman year in college. Another one to compete with Taysom.

No word on how rehab is progressing, but we may get to see Chase in training camp. Without the OTA snaps, he will be a bit behind, and he is probably planning to show his stuff on special teams. We will see very, very soon. Rookies report on Thursday.
 
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Saint Tex

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53 A.J. Klein 6’ 1” 240 LB Iowa State

Funny that before last season Klein was named by one publication as the Saints player most likely to tank. They had another name for it, but that’s the gist of it. Instead, at the end of the year, he was a standout as one of the most improved. Having Anzalone back had to help, but Klein still worked hard and it showed. He can cover the pass and the run, and he’s smart. Good for you, A. J., to show the naysayers. He’s going to add to our great linebacking corps again this year. Love having him.
 

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elliss really is gonna need to add muscle and I bet he looks ripped by next training camp
One of my GUYS! If he can show some STs ability, I think he has a has an excellent shot to make the 53!


Here are his Pro Day numbers:


One of the aggravations of Pro Day numbers is the 40 time, because they’re “hand held” timed. So the numbers can be screwy.

That said, I also found this on Twitter:


Seems plenty strong to me too!
 
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Saint Tex

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52 Craig Robertson 6’ 1” 234 North Texas

Robertson has been a solid backup lineman, but the place he shines is on special teams. He’s the ST captain, and last year was responsible for recovering a blocked punt, and for sniffing out and stopping a fake field goal and a fake punt. Nice alertness there, drawing on some football smarts and quick mental reactions. Saints gave him a new two year contract to come back and do it some more.
 
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Saint Tex

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51 Colton Jumper 6’ 2” 229 LB Tennessee

Jumper was with us last preseason but was cut before the season started. He played in the American Alliance of Football in the offseason, and we gave him a contract after a tryout in May. He reportedly did well in OTA’s and he’s got a good background in the D already, so watch this one during camp.
 

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52 Craig Robertson 6’ 1” 234 North Texas

Robertson has been a solid backup lineman, but the place he shines is on special teams. He’s the ST captain, and last year was responsible for recovering a blocked punt, and for sniffing out and stopping a fake field goal and a fake punt. Nice alertness there, drawing on some football smarts and quick mental reactions. Saints gave him a new two year contract to come back and do it some more.
Here are Robertson’s career stats:


Robertson posted some really nice numbers as a starter in 2016 n 2017. Despite giving up his starting spot in 2018, because of his experience n versatility to play nearly any LB spot, his STs play, n leadership, he remains a highly valued player for us! Solid move by the Saints in resigning him!

Keep up the good work Craig! :9:
 
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Saint Tex

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50 days. Number 50 is Wes Horton. We covered him at 88 when that number was not yet assigned and Horton did not have a number listed. Both of those situations have been remedied, so the logical thing to do (thanks, Luke, for pointing this out), is to cover number 88. So….

88 Chad Hansen 6’ 2” 202 WR California

Hansen was a 4th round pick by the Jets in 2017. He did not get a lot of playing time his rookie year, and was released in 2018. He bounced around a bit last year, and we signed him in May. He had good numbers his junior year at Cal, and then declared for the draft early. We’ve got a lot of wide receivers on the squad, and it’s hard to tell what Chad can do, but the Saints are a meritocracy, and if he’s got the chops to show what he did as a junior in college, he just might stick around for the season.
 

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