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Video – A Saints Belief: The Story of the 2018 New Orleans Saints

The 2018 season was the New Orleans Saints’ 52nd in the National Football League, their 43rd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and their 12th under head coach Sean Payton.

Three Questions About the Saints as Training Camp Gets Closer

It was one of the most painful moments in Saints history when the Los Angeles Rams escaped the NFC Title game with a win that clearly should have went the Saints way.

A pass interference call that wasn’t called killed the Saints, and a turnover in overtime did not help matters as the team simply did not get the job done.

The team has to put the postseason of 2018 behind them, and start to re-install the confidence of what good things the team did to put them in a position to host the NFC Title Game in January.

Today we take a look at three questions about this team as camp closes in at the end.

1. Will There Be a NFC Title Game Hangover?

The team did not show any ill effects of the NFC Divisional Title game loss to the Vikings on the last play back in January 2018, and now they have to do the same from last year’s NFC Title game against the Rams.

There has to be the same intensity that the team showed early in the year, not showing any give or allowing the loss to the Rams and the poor non-call late in the game to sit in their heads.

The start of the 2018 season was a loss to the Bucs, but after that they reeled off 10 wins before another loss. They need to do that again in 2019.

2. Will Brees be Able to Play as Well as in 2018?

You can’t help but wonder now at 40 years old if Drew Brees will be able to have the same physical capabilities as he had 2-3 seasons ago.

He was outstanding in 2018, finishing second to Pat Mahomes for the league MVP, throwing 32 touchdowns to just five picks.

He’s the leader of the team, and there’s no doubt that he’s doing his part with his strict training regimen, but here’s hoping that he won’t break down and that the line will keep him upright.

3. Can the Defense Be Better?

The Saints defense ranked 14th in points allowed as well as in yards allowed, and while they stepped up at times in big games, they can be even better in 2019.

Cam Jordon is one of the best defensive players in the NFC, last season putting up 12 sacks and having some excellent games.

While he will be the leader on the line, there were some moments when the backfield could have played better, including the NFC Title game when the Saints built an early lead only to not finish it off.

More turnovers, not allowing big plays, those are the types of things a championship team does, and to win a title the Saints D needs to turn it up a notch in 2019.

Check Out the Madden 20 Rankings for All the Saints Players

Monday was a day that many gaming fans wait for each year, the day that the most popular sports series of all-time puts out their player rankings.

That game of course is Madden football, and this year Madden 20 is once again going to be a game played by millions who are into the NFL and video games.

One aspect of the game is player rankings, and the top Saints player on the list is wide out Michael Thomas who comes in at 95.

Quarterback Drew Brees is at a 91 ranking, while defensive end Cam Jordan sits with a mark of 91.

Check out all the Saints Rankings by clicking HERE.

Video – Football Gameplan’s 2019 NFL Team Preview: New Orleans Saints

00:47 – 4-Minute Offense

2:28 – Positional Breakdown

9:43 – Hunt’s Playbook

14:50 – Fantasy Focus

18:18 – Best Bets

18:56 – Training Camp Quick Takes

22:30 – Road to the Super Bowl

Saints Coach Sean Payton Feels Coaches May Be More Careful with Challenge Flags

After his team was robbed of a chance to go to the Super Bowl following an egregious non-call in the NFC Championship Game, Sean Payton spearheaded the campaign to get pass interference reviewable this offseason.

NFL owners ultimately agreed, changing the rule to allow coaches to challenge such plays, and the review booth to look at PI under two minutes.

One concern about the new rule is that it could bog down play, with tedious reviews elongating contests even further.

Joining NFL Network’s Total Access from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe Thursday, Payton suggested that the looming ability to challenge PI calls and non-calls could push coaches to be more judicious with their challenge flags early in contests, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

“Let’s start with the very first premise for the fans: It’s still just like all the other challenges that we have in place,” Payton said.

“Remember we only have two to start with. So, I don’t think you’re going to see more challenge flags. Probably you’re going to be a little bit more judicious knowing that you want to have at least one left and if you feel like there’s something you see clearly and it’s outside of two minutes as a coach you can challenge it.

“And of course, inside of two minutes, it goes upstairs to replay. And we’re all, in this day and age with our technology and with the fans getting a chance to see real-time, we’re wanting those calls, especially in games like that, to be officiated correctly.”

Saints Rookie DE Carl Granderson Sentenced to Six Months for Sexual Battery Case

Saints rookie defensive end Carl Granderson was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to his pending sexual battery case according to Davis Potter of CS Tribune.

The Saints knew about the case when they signed Granderson as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming in April. Coach Sean Payton claimed the team was “real comfortable” with everything it knew about the case but we suspect Granderson’s roster spot is in serious jeopardy in light of the jail sentence.

Granderson was a three-year starter on the Cowboys’ defensive front but his sack production dipped from 9.5 as a junior to 3.0 as a senior, he fell from first- to second-team All-Mountain West, and he underwhelmed at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Drew Brees High on the List of NFL.com’s ’25 Best All-Time QB’s’

NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison has published a piece on the ‘Top 25 All-Time QB’s in the NFL’ and as one would expect Drew Brees of the Saints has made the list.

The one-time Charger and now Saints QB who is a sure fire Hall of Famer five years after he steps away from the game comes in at number six of all-time.

You can read what is written about Brees below, and you can check the entire list clicking HERE.

Much like Marino, Brees has made a living producing gaudy numbers. Many in the football business think he’s been underrated, partially because his record 74,437 passing yards have come in workmanlike fashion. Brees is not the imposing presence Cam Newton is. He doesn’t have Aaron Rodgers’ arm. Although a nice-looking athlete, Brees has never been the GQ cover-boy-type like Tom Brady or a young Joe Namath. All he does is produce, year after year. Brees is pro football’s version of duct tape: good for every occasion, durable, and the most reliable (football) thing on the planet. Just as my neighbor Elmer could cure all manner of ills with a bit of duct tape, think of all the Saints’ deficiencies Brees has masked over the years. Now that New Orleans has a squad, and head coach Sean Payton can call on the run game for more than just a dash of paprika, Brees missed throwing for 4,000 yards last season for the first time since 2005. Of the 11 5,000-yard seasons in NFL history, he has posted five of them. Brees’ career has been about unmitigated, unstoppable production. He’s like the Ford Motor Company of the 1920s. If Brees is not as slick as Namath in pantyhose, he’s easier to root for. Considered too short to go in the first round, and allowed to walk out of San Diego without a contract to make way for Philip Rivers, all Brees has done is provide a steady current of wins, Pro Bowls, and now, NFL records. While Payton has played a massive role in Brees’ development as a future Hall of Famer, the latter’s ability to move within the pocket has been the secret to his success. Marino, Brady and Brees are the all-time Jedi masters at feeling pressure, then making the subtle movements to ensure the ball finds its intended recipient.

Stat you need to know: The fact that Brees has finished ahead of all comers in passing yards seven times, a league record, doesn’t validate the uniqueness of his production. Rather, it’s how often Brees has reached numbers that other greats either never do or rarely do. For example, while he has passed the aforementioned 5,000-yard-barrier five times, no other player has managed that total more than once. He has completed over 70 percent of his passes four times, and no other player has surpassed that number more than one time.

Can the Saints Pull Off Getting Michael Thomas What He Wants in a New Deal?

The last two seasons New Orleans Saints fans have seen just how good Michael Thomas can be. He’s the best wide out on a team with Super Bowl dreams, and the Saints and their fans know they just cannot afford to lose him.

If you check a BetAmerica promotions you can see that the Saints are still one of the heavy favorites to be in the Super Bowl hunt in the NFC, and along with the Los Angeles Rams it could be the same NFC Championship Game from a season ago.

But back to Thomas, who last season caught 125 passes for 1405 yards and nine scores, there is a huge issue for the team and that is trying to get their best pass catcher under contract.

Thomas has earned it without question, as over the last three seasons he has caught 321 passes for 3787 yards and 23 touchdowns.

He’s a short threat, a downfield threat, and even a guy that has shown he can break tackles for big gains. Which puts him in a position for a big gain in terms of a new contract.

Thomas though is not going to come cheap, as in a recent tweet form the New Orleans Times-Picayune it stated that Thomas wants big money, money that the Saints are going to have to find somewhere in their payroll.

The article states that Thomas wants a deal that will pay him an average of $22 million per season, which is huge considering that no NFL wide out currently makes an average of even $20 million per year.

New Cleveland Browns wide out Odell Beckham is the highest paid receiver currently in the NFL, and his deal pays him an average of $18 million per season.

It is tough to think that the Saints are going to be able to give Thomas $22 million an average per season, but it could be done by the Saints getting creative.

Look for the Saints to look to get a huge signing bonus for Thomas, which will help out with the annual salary.

If you can see the team looking at a four-year deal worth say $75 million with a very high guarantee, it is likely that the two sides at some point this summer will be signing on the dotted line.

The issue – can the Saints pull it off, and will Thomas be willing to not be the highest paid in the league?

Those are questions only he can answer, and ones that will have to come soon with the team wanting to get this deal done so they can move on to other ventures.