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  1. Sports Here's what you don't see about Drew Brees and the Saints' reascension up the NFL hierarchy The news came as a shock. In 2015, one year removed from a Super Bowl victory and only a few weeks removed from what should have been a successful defense, the Seattle Seahawks made what the local paper called “one of the bigger blockbuster trades in Seattle history.” They added star tight end Jimmy Graham, swiping the 28-year-old from the New Orleans Saints for a first-round pick and an offensive lineman who played only six regular-season games the year prior. New Orleans had dealt away Drew Brees’ favorite target in his prime and one of the most popular players in the city. Why? “It was a hard thing as a player,” says Zach Strief, then an offensive lineman for the Saints and since retired. Strief is still close with Graham. Three years later, Graham is out of Seattle and the first-round pick, Stephone Anthony, is out of New Orleans. What remains, though, is Max Unger, the center who was reportedly not long for Seattle even if he weren’t dealt. Unger has become the literal centerpiece of an offensive line rebuild that now has the Saints looking like the best team in the NFL. Since the start of October, Brees has 13 touchdowns and 30 incompletions. So if the pectoral injury to left tackle Terron Armsteadis a matter of only a few weeks as reported, the group should be very dangerous in December and after. “We do the yard work, the dirty stuff,” Armstead says. “We take pride in it.” The Jimmy Graham trade was one of the best deals of the decade – for the team that gave away the superstar. Here’s a look at why the Saints’ offensive unit is so special. Drew Brees is still playing at a high level, but there’s much more to the Saints’ success than him. ( Getty Images) Max Unger If Brees is the brain trust, Unger is the nerve center. He has never been a big name, of course, but he’s seen it all. He was the third-longest-tenured player for the Seahawks when they traded him, having been drafted in 2009, so he has been on Super Bowl runs and he knows the league as well as any center. Teammates say he’s a wizard in meeting rooms, spotting tendencies as if he were a longtime coach. “He’s an extremely smart person and player,” Armstead says. “Always identifying defenses and fronts. He’s probably the most cerebral player I’ve ever been around. His preparation is unreal.” He has missed only one game since his arrival. Terron Armstead Maybe the key to Armstead’s success was the “Fat Man Relays.” He was a shot-putter in high school but his track coach in Cohokia, Illinois, Leroy Millsap, used to run him in an exhibition race after meets, with pizza and hot dogs going to the winners. “Pizza will make kids run when they’re hungry,” Millsap said with a laugh. Something worked: Armstead ran an offensive-line record 4.71 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL scouting combine. Millsap says Armstead’s speed was less about the pizza and more about “a whole lot of power cleans.” Either way, now he’s a freak with size and speed. He hasn’t been healthy for long periods – and he is now dealing with that injury – but when he’s in there, good luck getting around a 6-foot-5, 305-pound blocker with 4.71 speed. Andrus Peat He is one of the trio that cemented the line after the Unger deal. Peat was the Saints’ top pick in 2015 – weeks after they acquired Unger – and he was only 22 in his first full season. He’s now coming into his own as a tackle, and he was a key to slowing Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh two weeks ago. “We needed to keep somebody in [Donald’s] face at all times,” Armstead says. “So that he would not know who was going to approach. Keep his head on a swivel.” Donald and Suh combined in the Superdome for zero sacks and two solo tackles. Larry Warford Remember when the Saints were so pass-dependent? Well, consider that the team ran the ball 44 times in Sunday’s win against Geno Atkins and the Bengals, and averaged more than 5 yards per carry. “We are getting enough production early on to be able to carry the momentum,” says Unger, “and being able to run the ball later in the game.” Some of that is because of Warford, the guard who signed a free-agent deal in 2017 and then made his first Pro Bowl. Being able to win road games on the ground will be a key to the Saints’ postseason, although right now it doesn’t look like they’ll have to leave New Orleans. Either way, it’s hard to travel anywhere against Warford. Unger calls him “a monster.” The New Orleans offense is now one cohesive unit. (AP) Ryan Ramczyk He was the team’s first-round pick in 2017, and he was a natural. He could take coaching and put it into practice faster than most linemen. “Some people, when you say you have too much weight on your outside foot, they have a lot of trouble transferring that into physical action,” Strief says. “It might take 500 reps or three years.” Ramczyk could do it right away. The tackle is so technically apt that Strief says, “You cannot push Ryan backwards.” Drew Brees What? You thought the offensive line was just about the blockers? Brees is a huge key to his own protection. “If it’s a five-step drop, I know he’ll be at 6.5 yards,” Strief says. “Every time. I know when I pass set, at 6.5 yards I’m getting to the point where I don’t have to keep this guy anymore.” That preserves energy for a lineman and it also prevents needless holding calls. “Drew’s not going to get up eight yards on a five-step drop,” Strief says. “As a lineman, that couldn’t be more valuable.” Mark Ingram Yep, the running backs help too. And it’s not just picking up the blitz and finding the gaps. Ingram is uniquely valuable for something else: his screens. “A running back, on a screen play, has to get open in a way that’s tight enough so that he doesn’t out-leverage his linemen,” Strief explains. “As the running back gets wider, the MIKE linebacker is already gone – he’s already out-leveraged you. Mark Ingram is as good as there is at staying in that phase so we can keep our leverage.” Want to see it in action? Here’s a video of Ingram lingering just long enough for Peat to get ahead of him and make a key block on a touchdown against the Bengals. Alvin Kamara A common perception is that Ingram is the power back and Kamara is the scat back. To the blockers, though, they’re pretty interchangeable. Kamara can bulldoze and Ingram can play in space. So the offensive linemen know what’s coming and the defensive lineman cannot be sure. “Defenses get no keys,” Strief says, “which makes life so much easier.” The payoff The cementing of the Saints’ offensive line in the years since the Unger trade has allowed the group to meet defensive hesitancy with offensive certainty. The group has only allowed nine sacks all season. Ingram has come back from suspension fresh, and Kamara is now in his second year in this offense. Adding “Swiss Army knife” Taysom Hill has stretched the playbook even more. Then there’s the rock, Brees, who is always the same. Unger is his mental match. They don’t show nerves, no matter the situation, because they’ve seen it all. So every huddle is the same, whether in preseason or postseason, because they are both in there. Brees is arguably the best NFL player never to win MVP honors. That could change this year, finally. Part of the reason is because of the less visible players who are most valuable to him. https://www.yahoo.com/sports/heres-dont-see-drew-brees-saints-reascension-nfl-hierarchy-213313166.html
  2. U.S. The Latest: Judges hear arguments for killer of ex-NFL star The Associated Press 6 hours ago Reactions Reblog on Tumblr Share Tweet Email FILE - This April 10, 2016, file photo provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office shows Cardell Hayes. Hayes was convicted of manslaughter Sunday, Dec. 11, in the fatal shooting of retired New Orleans Saints defensive leader Will Smith. A Louisiana appellate court is set to hear the case of Cardell Hayes, the man convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. In the appeal, Hayess attorneys say the judge in the case should have granted a new trial because a witness who contacted the defense a day after Hayes' conviction said he had heard two guns at the time of the shooting. (Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office via AP, File) NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Latest on an appeal court hearing in the case of Cardell Hayes, convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith (all times local): 4:30 p.m. A lawyer says a manslaughter conviction should be overturned for the man who fatally shot retired New Orleans Saints Star Will Smith in 2016. Louisiana's 4th Circuit Court of Appeal heard arguments Wednesday in the case of Cardell Hayes. Hayes is serving a 25 year sentence for killing Smith and wounding Smith's wife during a confrontation following a traffic collision. Hayes insisted he fired in self-defense. Among defense attorney Paul Barker's arguments is that someone living in the area of the shooting contacted the defense after trial to say he believes he heard two guns fired at the time Smith was killed. Prosecutors say there were no witnesses or physical evidence to indicate Smith ever held or fired a gun. The appellate judges did not indicate when they would rule. --- 8 a.m. A Louisiana appellate court is set to hear the case of Cardell Hayes, convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. Hayes insisted he shot Smith in self-defense after Smith grabbed a gun and fired as the two argued following a 2016 traffic collision. No one else testified Smith held a gun. A handgun was found loaded but unused in Smith's car. Hayes is serving a 25-year sentence. Arguments before Louisiana's 4th Circuit Court of Appeal were set for Wednesday afternoon. An immediate ruling was not expected. Hayes's attorneys say a judge should have granted a new trial because a witness who contacted the defense a day after Hayes' conviction said he had heard two guns at the time of the shooting. https://www.yahoo.com/sports/latest-judges-hear-arguments-killer-ex-nfl-star-223341555--nfl.html
  3. They of course serve a valuable purpose, but there are few sounds more annoying than a malfunctioning fire alarm. And on Sunday, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton took matters into his own hands because of one. ‘I just needed the noise to stop’ New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton destroyed a malfunctioning fire alarm box at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday. (AP) On Monday, Payton told reporters that he had destroyed the fire alarm box in the Saints’ locker room at Paul Brown Stadium before his team went out and smacked the host Cincinnati Bengals, 51-14. New Orleans Times-Picayune photographer Michael DeMocker tweeted proof of the alarm going off well over two hours before kickoff. Payton said it was “sensationalist” to describe his action as destroying the alarm box, but a photograph tells a different story: After about 10 minutes, Payton had had enough. He said on Monday, “I just needed the noise to stop. Gladly, we’ll take care of the repair cost and I consider the Brown family and that organization as close allies and people we have a lot of respect for and the same way with Marvin [Lewis].” Wasn’t a motivational ploy Payton said it wasn’t a motivational ploy by him to destroy the alarm and fire up (sorry) his players before the game against the Bengals. He wanted Saints players focused before they went onto the field for pre-game warm-ups, and the alarm, he felt, was preventing that. Payton could be facing charges While Payton wants to pay for the repair of the alarm, he could have bigger issues: Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters told New Orleans television station WWL that police are investigating the incident and Payton could face charges. “If law enforcement brings that to us after their investigation, we will make a determination at that time,” Deters said. In Ohio, individuals found guilty of criminal damage face a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. https://www.yahoo.com/sports/sean-payton-destroying-fire-alarm-just-needed-noise-stop-194346505.html
  4. Sean Payton smashed fire alarm in locker room before Saints win over Bengals Updated Nov 11, 7:02 PM; Posted Nov 11, 6:52 PM CINCINNATI — Sean Payton surely upset some people in Cincinnati by having an immaculate game plan that helped the New Orleans Saintsbeat the Bengals, 51-14. Meanwhile, some people who work at Paul Brown Stadium will be upset with Payton for something that had nothing to do with the game. Before Sunday’s game, a fire alarm sounded off throughout the stadium for about 15 minutes. Payton, keen on helping his players focus before the game, smashed one alarm in the middle of the Saints locker room. It’s unclear if there will be any penalty for Payton damaging the alarm, but the Bengals have alerted the authorities. “We are aware of this situation and have been in touch with the authorities, but have nothing more on it at this time,” the Bengals said in a statement to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. The Saints declined comment after the game when asked about the situation. It’s unclear why the alarms were sounding throughout the stadium in the first place. The loud distraction before the game clearly didn’t throw off the Saints on Sunday as they thoroughly dominated the Bengals to win their eighth straight game. https://www.nola.com/saints/2018/11/sean-payton-smashed-fire-alarm-in-locker-room-before-saints-win-over-bengals.html This is from another article: While extreme, you can’t blame Payton for what he did. But it’s a string of incidents going back to the Bountygate years where Payton is always in the paper or on the NFL’s radar for something negative. Last year it was making the choke sign at Falcons running back Devonta Freeman. Then it was mimicking the Skol clap in Minnesota. This year it was trash talking Rams cornerback Marcus Peters and now smashing a fire alarm. Don’t get me wrong, I’d have done the same thing. And Payton’s players love the man and this kind of thing. But smashing a smoke alarm might actually be a felony. Certainly it’s a misdemeanor destruction of property or whatever. It’s the kind of thing that could end up being a legal distraction. It’s the kind of thing that might lead to a suspension from the NFL. The incident was reported to the authorities by the snitching Bengals. Kinda feels like we haven’t heard the end of this one. It’s not like this would lead to any jail or prison time, but this thing could come back to bite Sean Payton down the road. We definitely don’t need to deal with a suspended Payton ever again. https://whodatdish.com/2018/11/12/sean-payton-reportedly-goes-rogue-fire-alarm/
  5. The NFL has fined New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas $30,000 for using a cell phone as a prop and having a mobile device in the bench area, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Thomas brought back former Saints receive Joe Horn's memorable 2003 celebration by retrieving a hidden cellphone from around the bottom of a goalpost. Horn was also fined $30,000 for his celebration 15 years ago, but that had been his second violation of the season. Thomas' cellphone celebration followed a 72-yard touchdown catch that sealed the Saints' 45-35 win over the then-unbeaten Rams and gave Thomas 12 catches for 211 yards. Thomas was penalized for the celebration, Michael Thomas pulled a phone out of the goalpost padding. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Asked if someone helped plant the phone, Thomas said, "Um, I think someone... I think Joe Horn left it." "I paid a tribute to him, tried to get the crowd going a little bit more, set the tone, have fun out there, giving people a show," Thomas said. "You gotta have fun. All these guys just catching touchdowns and celebrating with each other, having fun, getting the crowd involved. I felt like I had an opportunity to make it happen, put the game away and make a call." Horn told ESPN the gesture "absolutely" meant a lot to him. Horn said he texted Thomas and "thanked him for doing what most athletes in his position would never do." ESPN's Mike Triplett contributed to this report.
  6. Nine New Orleans Saints players were listed on Wednesday's Injury Report for Week 8 against the Minnesota Vikings NEW ORLEANS SAINTS Position Name Injury Wednesday G Josh LeRibeus Ankle DNP G/T Jermon Bushrod NIR DNP C Max Unger Hand DNP T Terron Armstead Knee LP WR Cameron Meredith Knee LP LB Craig Robertson Hamstring LP DT Taylor Stallworth Ankle LP S Marcus Williams Groin FP G Andrus Peat Concussion FP MINNESOTA VIKINGS Position Name Injury Wednesday RB Dalvin Cook Hamstring DNP S Andrew Sendejo Groin DNP LB Anthony Barr Hamstring DNP CB Xavier Rhodes Ankle DNP G Tom Compton Knee DNP NT Linval Joseph Ankle/Knee LP LT Riley Reiff Foot LP WR Brandon Zylstra Neck FP S Anthony Harris Knee FP LB Kentrell Brothers Groin FP
  7. Seven New Orleans Saints players were listed on Friday's Injury Report for Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens NEW ORLEANS SAINTS Table Extended Position Name Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status DT Taylor Stallworth Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out G Andrus Peat Head LP DNP DNP Out T Terron Armstead Knee LP FP FP WR Cameron Meredith Knee LP FP FP CB Marshon Lattimore Concussion FP FP FP G Larry Warford Back DNP LP Questionable OL Jermon Bushrod NIR DNP DNP Questionable BALTIMORE RAVENS Table Extended Position Name Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status WR John Brown NIR DNP FP FP CB Brandon Carr Knee DNP FP FP G Alex Lewis Neck DNP DNP DNP Out S Eric Weddle NIR DNP FP FP CB Anthony Averett Hamstring LP LP LP Questionable DB/LB Anthony Levine, Sr. Hamstring LP LP FP Questionable CB Marlon Humphrey Thigh LP DNP Questionable
  8. With all this crap that is being said about Brees & his records.......................name me one team in the NFL that would NOT want him on their roster?
  9. its getting to point where I see QB's wearing flags & as long as they are in the box you have to go for the flag not the QB. Once he exits the box than he can be tackled (granted with not helmet to helmet, pile driving to the ground etc). It is past stupid right now & if the NFL keeps it up the sport will be lost.
  10. One Saints player was listed on Wednesday's New Orleans Saints Injury Report for Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS G Andrus Peat Quad DNP DT Wednesday Calf DNP OT Donovan Smith Knee LP G Evan Smith Hip LP CB M.J. Steward Foot LP Position Name Injury
  11. And we lose Mark Ingram for 4 games? This is past stupid.....
  12. 13 - 3 Super Bowl Champs
  13. Wow I remember that!! Dobler was one mean SOB!!!
  14. And us when Archie Manning was playing. He was always running for his life.
  15. https://nesn.com/2018/06/nba-rumors-warriors-still-interested-in-anthony-davis-after-latest-championship/ Very few NBA teams have enough quality trade assets to acquire New Orleans Pelicans superstar center Anthony Davis, but the Golden State Warriors are among them. And while the Warriors are in the midst of celebrating their championship in four seasons, you can bet general manager Bob Myers and his staff already have discussed ways to improve the roster — which means keeping tabs on Davis, as The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami recently explained. “Are the Warriors still targeting New Orleans center Anthony Davis? Sure,” Kawakami wrote. “(Warriors owner Joe) Lacob and Myers love to circle the best names possible years in advance of their potential availability, and figure out how they might be able to land the biggest fish out there. “It used to be Kevin Durant. Now the Warriors’ biggest target is Davis, and they understand that their clearest way to get him was to sacrifice several big parts of their foundation — maybe Klay Thompson and/or Draymond Green — in a trade.” Making a huge splash to acquire Davis after a third title in four seasons would be a pretty bold move for Golden State. If Davis ever did get put on the trading block, many teams, including the Boston Celtics, likely would be involved. When a player that good is up for grabs, every team needs to at least inquire about the chances of attaining him. The Warriors do need to upgrade at center, though. Draymond Green plays the position in their “Hamptons 5” lineup, and even though he’s an elite defender, he’s still undersized for the No. 5 spot. Jordan Bell, a second-round draft pick in 2017, had a nice rookie season, but as a center he’s a non-factor from 3-point range, as are JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney, Golden State’s other two centers who have started games. Like every great team, the Warriors are refusing to be satisfied with recent success. You should assume Myers will look into several avenues that could improve his roster this summer, and that might even include a free-agent meeting with LeBron James. Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Read more at: https://nesn.com/2018/06/nba-rumors-warriors-still-interested-in-anthony-davis-after-latest-championship/