New Orleans Saints News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
Fansided: Are Saints improved or diminished within the NFC South?
On Friday, May 24, Pro Football Focus-New Orleans Saints, or PFF NO Saints if you'd like to follow them on Twitter, posted three graphics on their Twitter feed relating to the NFC South. One showed overall team grades, one offensive team grades and then defensive team grades. The teams were visually ranked within the NFC South along with a ranking, first through 32nd, showing how they came in with the rest of the NFL.
It would be hard to look at the teams of the NFC South and come away not feeling this is going to be one the more competitive years ever for this division.
Saints Wire: Saints planning on big returns from investments to punt return unit
The New Orleans Saints have made a number of investments on their special teams unit, ranging from the revamping of the coaching staff to multiple re-signed veterans and the addition of free agent specialists. One of the biggest areas in need of improvement is punt returner, and it's something at the forefront of head coach Sean Payton's mind.
"Right now, there's only so much you are doing," Payton said following the first week of organized team activities, "so we have candidates, and we get a chance to work on the technique of what we are trying to do relative to (punt) rush, relative to our return game.
ESPN.com: NFL players to race in '40 Yards of Gold' tourney
The title of fastest player in the NFL will be on the line as part of a new competition slated for next month.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara and receiver Ted Ginn Jr. are among a host of NFL players slated to compete in the inaugural "40 Yards of Gold," a tournament-style speed contest set for June 29.
Twelve offensive players and 12 defensive players will compete head-to-head; the winner of each division will face off in the final with the title of fastest player at stake. Twenty-two players have been announced for the event, with two "mystery participants" also involved.
Saints Wire: Saints try out Fozzy Whittaker, other veteran running backs
The New Orleans Saints put several experienced NFL running backs through a workout on Thursday, as first reported by Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune. Katzenstein listed Fozzy Whittaker, Robert Kelley, and Javorius Allen among the free agents who tried out for New Orleans.
Whittaker is the biggest name of the group, having appeared in 72 games (including the playoffs) since 2012 for four different teams. He spent his last five years with the Carolina Panthers, recording 130 rushing attempts and catching 49 passes. But Whittaker tore his ACL last summer and was forced to sit out the 2018 season.
Fansided: Saints work Fozzy Whittaker, two other RBs, but why?
It's not clear why running backs were the feature on Thursday, May 23 at the Saints' most recent OTA. Fozzy Whittaker, Robert Kelley and Buck Allen were in for workouts. The Saints currently have Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington, Devin Ozigbo and A.J. Ouellette on the roster heading into training camp in July. The only obvious takeaway is that tweaking the lineup is the order of the day and fresh bodies are always welcome.
Fozzy Whittaker is a six-year veteran out of the University of Texas where he was never heavily utilized. In four years he put up 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Saints Wire: Drew Brees: 'thunder and lightning' potential in Latavius Murray, Alvin Kamara
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has shared the backfield with Mark Ingram the last eight years, but he's comfortable embracing change with the addition of Latavius Murray. After the first few days of practice with Murray and lead back Alvin Kamara, Brees has already seen how Murray can fit in with what the Saints do best.
"Thunder and lightning," Brees answered when prompted to describe how Murray's skills compliment Kamara's. "Look around the league. You have that running back room that typically brings different skillsets and you are able to mix and match. I think our offense is proven that we do a lot of things with two backs in the game.
Canal Street Chronicles: Fleur-de-Links, May 24: First look of 2019 Saints at OTAs
Mark Ingram, and his energy, no longer around as OTAs start, but Saints know the show must go on | Saints | theadvocate.com
The music blared during the stretching portion of the Saints' organized team activities Thursday, just like it always does during practice.
Quick study Erik McCoy impressing the Saints before he puts on pads - nola.com
Saints OL coach Dan Roushar said of McCoy, "he's very hungry to learn."
Saints news: Sean Payton discusses early impressions of Jared Cook
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton discusses his early impressions of working with veteran tight end signing, Jared Cook.
Drew Brees on having Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray in the backfield #Saints https://t.co/8mEjlusYTZ
Saints Wire: Drew Brees, Sean Payton impressed early by Jared Cook
The New Orleans Saints made a big free agent signing in tight end Jared Cook, who figures to play a big part in the team's offense in 2019. Cook's optimistic outlook should only be reinforced by comments from Saints quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton after the first week of organized team activities.
"Really good. Really impressed," said Brees, reflecting on his early impression of Cook. "Comes across as a real savvy veteran, a real pro. I'd heard a lot of good things about him before he got here, but he's certainly impressed us these first couple of days.
Saints Wire: Alvin Kamara, Ted Ginn Jr., and Mark Ingram to run '40 Yards of Gold' tournament
Here's a fun offseason exercise: which member of the New Orleans Saints is the fastest? To help find out, running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. will join former teammate Mark Ingram in the inaugural '40 Yards of Gold' tournament, which will pit a number of NFL players against each other in the 40-yard dash. The groups are divided by whether they play offense or defense, and fans can vote for bracket seeding by following this link. Voting ends Sunday, May 26, at 12 AM EST, so make sure your voice is heard.
ESPN.com: Saints can't avoid Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan megadeals much longer
METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints should be grateful that wide receiver Michael Thomas and defensive end Cameron Jordan aren't forcing any contract standoffs just yet. Both of the All-Pro stars were back on the practice field this week as the Saints began OTAs.
"I'm a football player first -- I like being at work. So it wasn't really hard to make a decision [to attend OTAs]," Thomas told ESPN -- a similar sentiment that Jordan shared earlier this offseason.
But the Saints should have their checkbooks, calculators and spreadsheets ready nonetheless.
Drew Brees meets with the media after the Saints first week of 2019 OTAs. (2/2) https://t.co/eELfJpfzfx
Drew Brees meets with the media after the Saints first week of 2019 OTAs. (1/2) https://t.co/tQ1czZ50WC
Saints Wire: Notes and absences from the first day of Saints OTA practice
The New Orleans Saints opened their first organized team activity practice session to the media, and we've collected several big observations. These are voluntary practices, and veteran players typically miss them for one reason or another. They may be hosting a football camp in their community, rehabbing an injury, or simply had other plans. It doesn't mean much that they weren't present.
Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune reported that players absent from this first session open to the media include:Cameron Jordan, defensive end
Larry Warford, right guard
Chris Banjo, safety
Sheldon Rankins, defensive tackle
Rankins is still undergoing treatment after his Achilles tendon was surgically-repaired back in January.
Payton speaks with the media and shares his thoughts on the team after the first week of #Saints OTAs 2019 https://t.co/8kq5HQOIEI