The Times-Picayune: Saints Edition

Discussion in 'Game Summaries & Team News' started by ThaBayouChef, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Chasing A Second Ring

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    With Drew Brees at 35 years of age, the time has to be now for the New Orleans Saints. Since 2009, the Saints have been fighting to "Two Dat" and bring New Orleans another Superbowl championship, unsuccessfully. This year, however; they may have their best team since QB Drew Brees and HC Sean Payton have landed in New Orleans. The defensive side of the ball is by far, on paper, the best this team has seen since the Dome Patrol days. They are filled with youth, speed, and athleticism. The line is anchored by DE Cameron Jordan, as well as DE/OLB Junior Galette. The LB core is dangerous with Curtis Lofton, Victor Butler, and David Hawthorne all playing in their second year under DC Rob Ryan. The secondary may be the best in Saints franchise history. Keenan Lewis, Champ Bailey, Patrick Robinson, Stanley Jean-Baptiste (rookie), and Corey White will most likely all see playing time. Lewis was a top 5 DB last season and should only get better in his second year in this defense. Kenny Vacarro and Jairus Byrd will hold the back end down, and they have loads of hype surrounding them. Offensively, look for Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson to be in a battle for the starter's role. (I'm planning to use Ingram, but we'll see what the ratings come out like). Having signed TE Jimmy Graham last week will definitely let me breathe easier heading into the first Madden season. Thankfully, I won't be responsible for having to resign him!! The WR's are headed by veteran Marques Colston, but rookie Brandin Cooks is all the buzz. He's already making big time plays in training camp, and I can't wait to see what he looks like in-game. Second year pro, Kenny Stills, will either play on the outside or in the slot (wherever Cooks does not), and WR Nick Toon will get valuable playing time as well.

    We'll have a window of about 3-4 seasons, hopefully, with Drew Brees under center in this franchise. I feel like we have all the pieces in place for me to make a run at the Lombardi. I'm looking forward to bringing a second (and possibly more) Superbowl trophy to our city and franchise! WHO DAT!! ​

     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
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  2. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Old Faces, New Places

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    The Saints acquired perennial pro bowler Champ Bailey in the 2014 offseason. Bailey will be competing for a starting DB role with rookie Stanley jean-Baptiste and 5 year veteran Patrick Robinson. Whether he starts or not, Bailey will see plenty of field time in DC Rob Ryan's defense.

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    When the Saints signed unrestricted free agent Jairus Byrd this offseason, it sent a shockwave through not only the NFL, but through the Who Dat Nation as well. No one, including myself, saw that move coming. But how thrilled we were once it happened. Byrd will play along side second year pro Kenny Vacarro, and combined they may form the best safety duo in all the league. They are perfect compliments to one another, as Vacarro is a hard hitter and Byrd plays the ballhawk role. This tandem will be very fun to watch for years to come as the Saints inked Byrd to a 6 year contract.

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    When the Saints won the Superbowl back in 2009, Jonathan Goodwin was under center. When his contract expired, Goodwin left New Orleans and signed with the San Francisco 49ers. He did a serviceable job there, but after being cut this previous offseason he is back in New Orleans. Goodwin will be competing with Tim Lelito, who is trying to break the roster as the starting center for the first time in his career. Goodwin has the experience and the knowledge of the position, but will it be enough to beat out the younger, quicker Lelito? Either way, the Saints organization is glad to have Goodwin back on their side.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  3. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    2014 Rookie Spotlight

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    1. WR Brandin Cooks - In the first round of the draft the Saints jumped up 8 spots to select Cooks, the 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner for college's best WR. Cooks is a very explosive receiver, as well as return man. Last year for Oregon St. he caught 128 passes for 1730 yards and 16 TD's. So far through training camp, Cooks is building a great name for himself and living up to all of the early hype.​
    2. DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste - Baptiste was the team's 2nd round selection out of the University of Nebraska. Baptiste played WR in his high school days and was thus recruited by Nebraska as such. It wasn't until 2012 that Baptiste really started to shine at his converted DB position. In 12 games that season Baptiste recorded 24 tackles, 9 pass breakups, and 2 INTs; all huge improvement from his 2011 season. In 2013 Baptiste really started to shine. He forced 12 pass deflections and 4 interceptions to go along with his career high 41 tackles.​
    3. ILB Khairi Fortt - Fortt's career has been plagued by injury. He's a natural athlete who both ran track and also played lacrosse in high school. Originally a member of the Penn St Nittany Lions, Fortt transferred to Cal following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He recorded 64 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2013 before tearing his bicep, which ended his senior campaign. Fortt has the talent, but his injury issues may just be too much to overcome.​
    4. SS Vinnie Sunseri - If there's one position the Saints do not lack players at, it's safety. With Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vacarro firmly entrenched as the two main guys, the Saints enter camp with 6-7 safeties on the roster. Vinnie Sunseri had a pretty nice career at Alabama. His college career, however; would come to an abrupt end when he tore his ACL in an October game in 2013. Evenso, the Saints selected Sunseri in the 5th round and hope that he can be an immediate special teams contributor.​
    5. OLB Ronald Powell - Powell has all the physical tools. Coming out of high school he was the consensus number 1 defensive end recruit in the country. He eventually transitioned to an OLB at the University of Florida. Injuries have also plagued his career, which is why he dropped all the way to the 5th round of the draft. Powell will be a project for the Saints, but has a lot of potential in an area the Saints need some help and depth at, OLB.​
     
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  4. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    2014 Saints Schedule Breakdown: Key Games

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    • Week 1 - @ Atlanta Falcons: What better way to start your season than against your most hated division rival? The Saints will invade Atlanta and do just that. It should be a great matchup, and the Saints secondary will be tested big time early as they face two of the game's best wide receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White. It will also be our first viewing of Saints rookie Brandin Cooks. Look for the Brees-Cooks connection early, as these two are already showing great chemistry.​
    • Week 3 - vs Minnesota Vikings: The Saints will finally play their home opener in week 3 when rookie Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings come to town. Bridewater will most likely be named the starter, but will still be very unproven. The key for the Saints in this one will be stopping Adrian Peterson and the Vikings ground attack.​
    • Week 8 - vs Green Bay Packers: Sunday Night Football live from New Orleans, Louisiana; it doesn't get much better than that. Add in the high powered offense of the Packers, and this has "Game of the Week" written all over it. The Packers are full of weapons on offense and they can hurt you both through the air, as well as on the ground with 2nd year pro Eddy Lacy. The Saints will have to be at their best to come away with a 'W' in this one.​
    • Week 13 - @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Typically a cross conference game wouldn't make a team's "key game" list, but these two owners go back to their AFC South days which makes for a lot of intrigue. Additionally, the Saints stole DB Keenan Lewis from the Steelers in free agency a year ago, and long time Saints wide receiver Lance Moore decided to sign with the Steelers after being cut by the Saints in the 2014 offseason. Two more reasons why this game will be key for a Saints team entering the last quarter of the season.​
    • Week 14 - vs Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechley will lead the stout Carolina defense into the Superdome late in the season. This division could very well still be up for grabs, and these two teams most likely will be involved. The Saints will have to score and score often to take this Carolina D out of the game. They'll also have to contain Cam Newton and make sure they do not let him beat them with his feet.​
    • Week 17 - @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs may have the most defensive talent on paper in the entire NFC South. They have a very quick and young defensive line, paired with one of the league's best young linebackers, Lavonte David. David can make plays all over the field, and finally has the secondary to back him. The Bucs offense is also loaded with weapons and youth. This will be a very tough late December matchup, which could have division/playoff implications tied to it.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
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  5. thafuture3886

    thafuture3886 Power Rankings Analyst

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    i just can't avoid you lmao..looking forward to it!
     
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  6. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Mark Ingram Finally Named Starting RB

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    Mark Ingram's career in the NFL has gotten off to a very slow start. Stuck in one of, if not the deepest backfields in the league, Ingram has seen limited playing time to this point. With Darren Sproles departing for Philadelphia, Ingram has stepped up better than expected on passing downs. He's always been his biggest advocate in that he can be an all-purpose back. Now, he has the chance to prove it. In high school, Ingram was a starting WR. It wasn't until his days at Alabama that he became the Heisman Trophy winning RB that he is today. So for him, there's no doubt in his mind that he can not only be an effective runner, but can catch the ball out of the backfield as well. He's shown great field vision through this training camp and even caught his first NFL receiving touchdown in a preseason game vs the Titans. Ingram is clearly the best runner on this football team heading into the 2014 season, and come week 1 three years after being drafted in the 1st round, he will finally be suiting up as the starting RB for the New Orleans Saints.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
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  7. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Saints Eager to Play Infront of Home Crowd for First Time in 2014

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    Through two weeks of the 2014 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints have played in two different cities. They opened in the rival city of Atlanta, and then traveled this past week to Cleveland where they faced Johnny Football and the Brownies. Both matchups were certainly difficult for a Saints team that has looked, at times, notoriously flat away from the friendly confines of the Superdome. With victories in each of those games though, the Saints sit atop the NFC South as the only undefeated team in the division heading into week 3. Another undefeated team, the Minnesota Vikings, now head to New Orleans for the battle of unbeatens. The Vikings are led by All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson and rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. Both players have came out firing on all cylindars in 2014, and Bridgewater has already proven most of his naysayers wrong. We caught up with QB Drew Brees as he was heading out after practice on Thursday and asked him how excited he and the team are to be playing at home. "We're home", Brees smilingly said. "We feed off of our crowd and we use their energy to really get after teams. I feel like our offense plays to it's full potential anytime we step foot in the Superdome. And we should. These are great fans we get to play in front of. We make it a point to put our best foot forward each and everytime we get the opportunity to play in front of them". The Saints and Vikings game has officially been slated as the Daddy League's "Game of the Week" and is scheduled to kickoff tonight around 11/et. It can be viewed live in it's entirety here, twitch.tv/thabayouchef .

    Post Game Update: It was all Saints in this ball game as they dismantled the Vikings in all three facets of the game. Their defense forced 4 turnovers and seemed to be flying all around the football field. Offensively, Drew Brees was Drew Brees and tossed 3 TD passes en route to a 38-3 victory over the Vikings. It was a great home opener for the team and the Who Dat nation. Next week the team will travel to Dallas to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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  8. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Saints Enter Bye Week Atop NFC South

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    The Saints were perfect through 4 games of the 2014 NFL season. They started red hot beating their division rival Atlanta in the Georgia Dome, and then reeled of wins against Cleveland, Minnesota, and Dallas. All was good in New Orleans, until Tampa Bay came to town. The Buccaneers entered the Superdome looking fearless and sent a major gut check to this Saints team. They were brought back down to reality, and maybe thankfully so. They entered this bye week with a 1 game lead over those Bucs, but after the Ravens beat Tampa in week 6, New Orleans will have a 2 game division lead coming out of the bye. The loss to Tampa should be looked at as an eye opener by both the team and the fans. Anything can happen in this league on any given Sunday and the team must stay focused throughout the remainder of the schedule. Coming out of the bye the Saints will take on two tough NFC North opponents when they travel to Detroit and then host the Packers on Sunday Night Football. Two tough, but hopefully winable games that will show and tell where this team really is approaching the midway part of the season.​
     
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  9. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Breaking News Has Saints Acquiring MLB Derrick Johnson

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    Breaking news this morning out of New Orleans as the Saints are supposedly on the verge of acquiring All-Pro veteran MLB Derrick Johnson from the Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson would be an immediate upgrade over David Hawthorne, as well as starter Curtis Lofton. He would also add a boost to the Saints pass defense which has been shaky at best through 5 games. Johnson and Lofton would seemingly play great compliments next to one another as Johnson has always been great against the pass and Lofton conversely great against the run. Johnson will be a perfect fit for Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme. Saints fans should be thrilled to have this ball player headed to the Big Easy. In return, the Saints will trade to Kansas City their 2nd round pick in the 2015 draft, and also their 3rd round pick in the 2016 draft.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
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  10. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Saints Sign RB Mark Ingram to 4 Year Deal

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    Prior to their big week 8 victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Saints and RB Mark Ingram reached terms on a new 4 year deal worth roughly $4.6M. Ingram is quietly turning heads this season as he has rushed for 518 yards and 5 touchdowns through 7 games. He's currently rushing for 4.6 ypc and sits 5th in the entire league in rushing yards. Ingram is finally coming into his own as an NFL running back and he's doing so in an offense that is notorious for passing the ball. He's on pace to become the first Saints running back to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark since Duece McAllister did it back in 2006. As long as he can stay healthy, Ingram looks as though he'll finally be playing a vital role in this offense.​
     
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  11. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Cam Jordan Signs Mega-Deal

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    A week after the team signed Mark Ingram to a 4 year deal, the Saints have inked DE Cameron Jordan to a 5 year deal worth $73M. Jordan has had a slow start to the 2014 season, but there is no denying his ability and staple on this defensive line. Having their biggest "free agent to-be" finally signed up through the 2020 season, the Saints can now turn their focus elsewhere. The team is said to be in a signing war with DB Patrick Robinson, and it looks like Robinson is intent on leaving the ball club after the 2014 season. If that is the case, the Saints will have to immediately turn their focus to rebuilding their secondary; one that has been one of the best in the league this season.​
     
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  12. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Saints Reportedly Mulling a Switch at ROLB

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    In the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft the Saints selected OLB Khairi Fortt out of the University of California. Fortt has loads of athletic talent, but to this point has been stuck behind veteran Parys Haralson. Haralson, a 30 year old veteran, had a very poor showing against the San Francsico 49ers this past week. He failed to cover the 9ers receivers and tight ends on multiple occasions, primarily on slant and drag routes. Haralson has alway been more of a run stuffer/pass rusher, and in this New Orleans Saints defense they ask their LB's to drop into coverage very often. Fortt will be a big upgrade to the Saints linebacking core in that aspect. He's got better coverage skills as well as better hands than the veteran Haralson. Nothing is official as of yet, but as Fortt has been exceling in practice he may finally be close to seeing significant play time in week 11 when the Saints host the Bengals.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
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  13. ThaBayouChef

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    Daddy Leagues POW Honors for Saints Pair

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    The Saints, as a whole, played lights out in their week 11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The offense put up 35 points while the defense held the Bengals to a goose egg. Two individual performances were so good though that they have been awarded with the 'Daddy League Player of the Week' awards. The first was RB Mark Ingram. Ingram amassed 175 yards rushing, a long of 63 yards, including 2 touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass that went for 24 yards. Defensively, it was DB Corey White that stood out. White was all over the field in this game. He erupted for 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 3 tackles. It was by far White's most impressive game in the NFL.

    Coming off of a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, this was exactly the type of game the Saints needed. The Saints will host the Baltimore Ravens in week 12, a tough team that will no doubt be another big test for this Saints ball club.​
     
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  14. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Saints Waive Tyrunn Walker, Sign Former LSU Standout Lavar Edwards
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    Lavar Edwards will now backup LE Akeem Hicks. He was inked to a 1 year deal after being cut earlier in the day by the Tennessee Titans. Edwards called it a "dream come true" to be signed by the New Orleans Saints. Edwards, born and raised in New Orleans, will play 90 miles from where he starred in college at LSU. To make room for Lavar, the Saints cut LE Tyrunn Walker.​
     
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  15. ThaBayouChef

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    Saints Dealt Huge Blow, Brees Fractures Toe

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    The Saints suffered their 3rd loss of the season at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. But it wasn't the loss itself that has this team and city in a frenzy. QB Drew Brees was injured on a play where he rolled to his right and eventually took a sack and fumbled the football. That would be returned for a touchdown and put the Saints in an early hole. Brees was sent to the locker room for an immediate MRI which revealed that he indeed had a fractured toe. The injury will sideline the team leader for 7 weeks, and presumably the rest of the season. It's a very tough loss for a team that now finds themselves in a division battle with the Tampa Bay Bucs. The Saints hold a 1 game lead in the race heading into week 14.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
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  16. ThaBayouChef

    ThaBayouChef Walk On

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    Saints Sign Bryan Hoyer as Potential Brees Replacement

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    The Saints signed QB Bryan Hoyer as a potential replacement for the injured Drew Brees. Following the injury, Ryan Griffin, also known as RG4 around New Orleans, came into the game and performed admirably. He had two costly interceptions, but other than that he went 15 for 23 for 130 yards passing as the Saints took the Steelers deep into overtime. Hoyer just brings more experience to the position than what Griffin can offer. The Saints host division foe Carolina in week 14 and we expect there to be a battle in practice this upcoming week for that starting QB position. If Hoyer can learn some of the playbook by then, he may get the nod over the younger Griffin..​
     
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  17. ThaBayouChef

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    Saints Sign Matt Cassel to Compete with Bryan Hoyer

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    After Drew Brees went down with a season ending injury, the New Orleans Saints signed Brian Hoyer to backup the young Ryan Griffin. That was to be the plan, until Griffin himself went down with a season ending injury last week. Now the team signs journeyman Matt Cassel after Hoyer was not impressive in his week 16 performance once Griffin went down. Heading into their week 17 matchup with the Bucs, a game which will be played for the NFC South crown, the team has a massive question mark at it's most important position.​
     
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  18. ThaBayouChef

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    New Orleans Saints: 2014 NFC South Champions

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    The Saints have captured the NFC South crown once again! Led by Matt Cassel in a winner-take-all matchup for the division, the Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-13 to bring the division title back to New Orleans. Cassel, who was signed by New Orleans earlier in the week, put together a picture perfect 8 minute 4th quarter drive which gave the Saints a 20-13 lead with just 9 seconds remaining. The win clinches the 3rd seed in the playoffs for the Saints and they'll most likely take on the Arizona Cardinals in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in the Wild Card round.
     
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