Saints vs Rams Post Mortem

After watching the game and rejoicing that football is back…….yep, I was dancing because it’s that time of year again, I took a couple of days to settle down and check out what all of the pundits were saying about the Saints performance in their 1st pre-season game. Below are my thoughts on how it went, let me know what you think…
Offense:
Cooks looked like He's going to be the real deal.

Cooks looked like He’s going to be the real deal.

  • If the running game can consistently produce the same result as we saw in the game against the Rams, the Saints will go very, very, very far in the post season. That said I have to remind myself that this was the 1st pre-season game for both the Rams and the Saints. But on the other hand, the offensive line was not at full strength for the game.
  • Cooks looked good, not great in my opinion, but for a rookie in his first Pro game I was impressed. And to be honest on the touchdown grab that he had, his speed and quickness were exceptional. Okay, he looked very good, but still not great. But boy is he going to be fun to watch.
  • Ryan Griffin was impressive, another outing like that and the competition for the backup QB position is over.
Defense:
  • Defensive line had several highlights, I was particularly impressed with Walker. He and others showed signs that the interior of the line will be impressive.
  • The defensive secondary play for me was so-so. There were some exceptional plays but it will be interesting to see how the play improves when all of the starters are in.
  • The one thing that was missing to me, and it’s something that the coaches have been harping on in training camp, was turnovers, there were none. This is going to have to be addressed, it was a glaring weakness last year and the one thing that the defense has to improve on this year.
WhoDat!!!
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
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Saints And TE Graham Agree To Four-Year Deal

Jimmy Graham

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham wrote the following on Twitter this morning:

“It’s official I’m bleeding black and gold this morning! Thank you WhoDatNation for all the support”

This indicates a long-term deal between Graham and the Saints is done. Various reports on Monday indicated a deal was imminent.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports it is a four-year, $40 million deal that includes $21 million guaranteed, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Brees Wants Graham’s Contract Situation Done By Start Of Season

Jimmy Graham

Quarterback Drew Brees told Ed Werder of ESPN he wants Jimmy Graham’s contract situation to be resolved so he has time on the field with his star tight end before the Saints’ season opens.

“Jimmy’s my guy,” Brees said in a sit-down interview late last month. “I want what’s best for him. I want what’s best for the team. Certainly there’s a way that everybody can be happy coming out of this deal. But it is part of the process, and I went through something similar to this two years ago, so I get it.”

Brees said he’s very confident that the sides will agree on an equitable, long-term deal that pays Graham what he deserves as the premier tight end in the NFL.

“And I think you just hope that it’s as amicable as possible and nothing is taken personal and it’s just the business side of this thing sometimes, and hopefully it gets resolved sooner than later because I’d like to have some time with him before the season,” he said. “But I’m very confident it will get resolved, he’ll get a long-term deal, the one that he deserves, and we’ll be able to move forward.”

Saints Nearing Deal With Center Jonathan Goodwin

The Saints are on the verge of bringing back former starting center Jonathan Goodwin, as the two sides have agreed in principle to a deal, league sources confirmed Monday to Mike Tripplet of ESPN.com.

The sides still are negotiating specifics of the contract, but the deal is expected to be finalized as early as Tuesday, according to the sources.

Goodwin, 35, was a starter for the Saints from 2008 to 2010, including trips to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl in 2009. He spent the past three years as a full-time starter for the San Francisco 49ers.

Goodwin’s return has been long anticipated. But the Saints were apparently waiting until after June 1 — presumably because it might affect the NFL’s formula for calculating compensatory draft selections.

Goodwin obviously is no longer in his prime, as the 49ers decided to let him go as they moved on with younger alternatives.

Jairus Byrd Undergoing ‘Minor’ Back Surgery

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots

Saints free safety Jairus Byrd is undergoing “minor” back surgery on Thursday to correct a disc issue according to Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com.

According to head coach Sean Payton, Byrd would not have undergone the operation were it the regular season. The team is “shooting” for Byrd to be ready for camp.

Although the Saints appear to have dodged a bullet with the injury’s severity, it’s never a good thing when a player has to undergo surgery in May. The Saints have to hope their big-money free agent prize is ready for Week 1 of the regular season.

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Bill Stephens

@SaintsGab

Previewing the 2014 New Orleans Saints Schedule Release

Drew Brees

Sean Payton returned in 2014 and suddenly the New Orleans Saints were back to being, well, the New Orleans Saints. While they can still sling it with just about anyone, they appear to be trying to get more balanced on offense, while getting stingier on defense. If both ring true in 2014, the Saints could easily remain in the mix for the NFC South division title and a playoff spot.

 

The New Orleans Saints schedule looks dangerous on paper for this upcoming season, especially at home. It’s funny to say that, too, considering New Orleans was a perfect 8-0 on their home turf a year ago and the Saints are always known for locking down their own stadium. That could be a little tougher this year, though, as the Saints welcome Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco, Baltimore and Cincinnati and naturally also welcome division rivals, Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa Bay.

 

Oddly enough, the Saints have it somewhat easier on the road, as they have to travel to Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Overall, the Saints still have a brutal schedule for 2014 and will need to be as good as they were last year (if not better) to have a shot at their division.

 

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Saints Come To Terms With CB Champ Bailey On Two-Year Deal

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

The Saints have signed 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey to a two-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. This according to a source.

Bailey was release by the Denver Broncos earlier in the offseason.