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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Is it just me, or does Hansen's pic look like a 1st drivers license for a teen?
I know I'm old, but damn!
 
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Saint Tex

Saint Tex

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49 Zach Wood 6’ 3” 255 LS SMU

Wood has been our long snapper since 2017. No major mistakes here, which is what you want to see with a long snapper. Just perfection every time. Over and over and over. Never off even a little. Payton likes to check out others at the position, so we will have a bit of competition during training camp. But Zach has made our punter and kicker look good for a couple of years now. He will be hard to displace.
 
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Saint Tex

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48 J. T. Gray 6’ 202 DB Mississippi State

Gray made the final 53 last year because of his play on special teams. Payton likes the way he runs and hits. He has played safety and LB in college, but his pro game so far has been on special teams, and he’s happy to contribute however he can. Not many can make the team solely on ST play, so good on you, J. T. Keep running and hitting.
 
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Saint Tex

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47 Alex Anzalone 6’ 3” 241 LB Florida

Ahhh. That’s what I thought last year when Alex was back on the field where he belongs. His rookie season was cut short by injury, but boy did he show last year how valuable he is. He is sort of listed at MLB, but he plays wherever he’s assigned on a given play. He is smart, athletic, and he adjusts quickly. He can rush the passer and drop back in coverage—two sacks and an interception last year. Going forward, backward, side to side, Anzalone is so solid and special. Love to see him out there, and he is growing as a player. Started out so good, and he’s getting better. He’s another one I’m glad is ours.
 
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Saint Tex

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46 Michael Burton 6’ 240 FB Rutgers

We signed Burton in May, and he will compete in training camp with Zach Line for the FB position. There will only be one FB. Line has played well, but we have had such dynamic backs, we are not using the FB position for receiving much these days. So blocking is what will get you this job for the Saints. Burton is reported to be good at it. Very good. We can check out this competition at camp.
 
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Saint Tex

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45 Garrett Griffin 6’ 4” 240 TE Air Force

Our Air Force guy has been on the practice squad for three years, and last year he actually made his first TD when he was brought in as an injury replacement. Nice to see these military academy guys make it. They give up so much to serve their country. (Read the rest of us.) Griffin will have some competition this year at the TE spot, so watch how he plays in camp. I love having this brand of dedication and mental toughness combined with a service ethic in the locker room.
 

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