The Advocate Blog Network

Search
Banner image

Saints place veteran cornerback Kyle Wilson on IR, sign veteran defensive tackle

Saints_Football

Another veteran defensive back who made a significant contribution to the Saints’ secondary in 2015 will not be available in 2016.

Veteran cornerback Kyle Wilson, who carved out a role in both the nickel and as a free safety after injuries hit the cornerback position last year, was placed on injured reserve Friday.

New Orleans also placed safety Jamarca Sanford on injured reserve earlier this week.

Wilson made 25 tackles, broke up four passes and picked off a pass against the Colts last season.

With Wilson out, New Orleans will likely turn to young corners P.J. Williams, Damian Swann and Brian Dixon to fill the nickel role.

New Orleans filled Wilson’s spot on the roster by signing veteran defensive tackle C.J. Wilson to provide additional depth on the line.

Wilson, who spent last season with Detroit and also has stints in Green Bay and Oakland to his name, has 6.5 career sacks.

Used mostly as a block-eater, Wilson made eight tackles and a sack last season.

Drew Brees voted No. 30 on NFL’s Top 100 list

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) takes part in a drill during the NFL football team's minicamp in Metairie, La., Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) takes part in a drill during the NFL football team’s minicamp in Metairie, La., Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Drew Brees might be turning 37, but the New Orleans Saints quarterback still has plenty of respect around the NFL.

Brees was voted No. 30 in the NFL Network’s top 100 poll for the second straight year, giving the Saints two players among this year’s list.

Defensive end Cameron Jordan checked in at No. 99 on the list.

Despite missing one game due to an inflamed rotator cuff and playing the final two and a half games with a torn plantar fascia, Brees still led the NFL with 4,870 passing yards last season, tossed 32 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions, tied for his lowest mark in any year with the Saints.

Brees still garners plenty of respect in New Orleans and around the NFL.

“It’s always good playing against Drew because I’m from New Orleans, and everybody in New Orleans loves Drew,” Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu said on the NFL Network’s reveal of the top 100 Tuesday.

Brees also drew praise from multiple defensive backs for his pump fakes, which are sometimes as simple as a shoulder fake, to get defensive backs off their game.

“You can’t go for that pump fake,” Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael said. “He’ll get you with those shoulders moving and everything. … I’ve played him twice now. That pump fake is dangerous.”

New Orleans Saints release training camp schedule

New Orleans Saints Sean Payton walks through stretches during the NFL football team's minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

New Orleans Saints Sean Payton walks through stretches during the NFL football team’s minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The New Orleans Saints have released their 2016 training camp schedule, a slate that includes trips to West Virginia, to Foxboro, Mass., back to West Virginia, down to Houston and finally to Metairie.

New Orleans will have 22 practices open to the public, including five in Metairie after the Saints return home from the Aug. 20 preseason game against the Texans.

By setting up two joint practices against the Patriots and Texans, the Saints will have two showcase sessions against other teams, sessions that often bring out the best in players and break up the monotony of training camp.

Date Practice Times Location Status For Fans/Media
Wed., July 27 Reporting Day   The Greenbrier (WV) Closed to Public/Media
Thur., July 28 Practice (Jerseys) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Fri., July 29 Practice (Jerseys) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Sat., July 30 Practice (Pads)* 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Sun., July 31 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Mon., Aug. 1 Practice (Pads)* 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Tues., Aug. 2 OFF Closed to Public/Media
Wed., Aug. 3 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Thur., Aug. 4 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Fri., Aug. 5 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Sat., Aug. 6 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Sun., Aug. 7 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Mon., Aug. 8 OFF TRAVEL TO NEW ENGLAND
Tue., Aug. 9 Joint Practice With Patriots (Pads)* TBD Gillette Stadium

(Foxboro, Mass.)

Open to Public/Media
Wed., Aug. 10 Joint Practice With Patriots (Pads) TBD Gillette Stadium

(Foxboro, Mass.)

Open to Public/Media
Thur., Aug. 11 Saints at Patriots 6:30 p.m. CT Gillette Stadium Preseason Game #1
Fri., Aug. 12 OFF   Closed to Public/Media
Sat., Aug. 13 Practice (Pads) 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Sun., Aug. 14 Practice (Pads)* 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Mon., Aug. 15 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Tues., Aug. 16 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. The Greenbrier (WV) Open to Public/Media
Wed., Aug. 17 OFF TRAVEL TO HOUSTON
Thur., Aug. 18 Joint Practice With Texans (Pads) TBD NRG Park Public TBD/Open to Media
Fri., Aug. 19 Joint Practice With Texans (Pads)* TBD NRG Park Public TBD/Open to Media
Sat., Aug. 20 Saints at Texans 7:00 p.m. CT NRG Stadium Preseason Game #2

RETURN TO NEW ORLEANS

Sun., Aug. 21 OFF     Closed to Public/Media
Mon., Aug. 22 Practice (Pads) 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Saints Facility (Metairie) Open to Public/Media
Tues., Aug. 23 Practice (Pads)* 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Saints Facility (Metairie) Open to Public/Media
Wed., Aug. 24 Practice (Pads) 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Saints Facility (Metairie) Open to Public/Media
Thur., Aug. 25 Practice (Pads) 3:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m. Saints Facility (Metairie) Open to Public/Media
Fri., Aug. 26 Saints vs. Steelers 7:00 p.m. CT Mercedes-Benz Superdome Preseason Game #3

BREAK CAMP

Saints place Jamarca Sanford on injured reserve

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) his hit by New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) as strong safety Jamarca Sanford (33) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)  ORG XMIT: AZMY135

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) his hit by New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) as strong safety Jamarca Sanford (33) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) ORG XMIT: AZMY135

The Saints placed safety Jamarca Sanford on injured reserve and signed defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil.

The veteran Sanford joined the Saints in 2014. He did not participate in minicamp due to an undisclosed injury.

Virgil, who spent time with the Saints in 2014 and spent last season on injured reserve, tried out during minicamp.

Sanford served predominantly as a strong safety. New Orleans recently signed Roman Harper to provide more depth at that position behind Kenny Vaccaro.

New Orleans also has Jairus Byrd, Vonn Bell, Erik Harris and Alden Darby at safety. Byrd and Bell are free safeties. Harris served in both roles during the offseason program.

Bobby Richardson on his way back after offseason procedure on his hip

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints defensive end Bobby Richardson runs a drill with New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (99) at the Saints training facility during minicamp in Metairie, La. Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON–New Orleans Saints defensive end Bobby Richardson runs a drill with New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (99) at the Saints training facility during minicamp in Metairie, La. Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

Bobby Richardson returned to the practice field this week as he continues to work his way back from a hip injury that required offseason surgery.

Richardson, an undrafted free agent who earned a roster spot and started 11 games, missing only the Eagles game due to an injury.

After the season was over, Richardson had to clear up some issues.

“Some stuff was bothering me, so I had to get a couple operations,” Richardson said. “I’m coming back, so I’m doing OK.”

Richardson, who is going to get time at both three-technique defensive tackle and closed end in Dennis Allen‘s defense, has been happy with the way he recovered.

“I missed OTAs, but I got out there in minicamp to see what I can do, and I felt pretty good,” Richardson said. “I’m getting back to it.”

 

 

Saints have discussed adding fourth quarterback, but plan to stick with three

New Orleans Saints quarterbacks Drew Brees (9), Luke McCown, center, and Garrett Grayson, right, takes part in a drill during the NFL football team's minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

New Orleans Saints quarterbacks Drew Brees (9), Luke McCown, center, and Garrett Grayson, right, takes part in a drill during the NFL football team’s minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Drew Brees, Luke McCown and Garrett Grayson have taken all the snaps on the Saints’ practice fields this summer.

For the moment, the plan is to continue that workload when New Orleans returns to the field for training camp in West Virginia, although the Saints have discussed adding another passer.

“Right now, the plan’s to be at three, and yet, we were just in a meeting last night discussing a fourth,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “Don’t ask me who (the fourth) is because we didn’t come to a conclusion, but we were discussing the possibility of having a fourth quarterback.

If New Orleans added another quarterback, the Saints would be bringing in a player who could take some of the workload off of the other three during training camp.

“There are some parameters—numbers-wise—that you want at certain positions, and yet, you don’t want to bring a player in to get your number count right, and (have to part ways with) a player thatmight be a decent prospect,” Payton said. “Our numbers right now are close to where we want them. The fourth quarterback would be someone that would allow us, obviously, reps and drills.”

 

Saints report to training camp July 27

New Orleans Saints Sean Payton walks through stretches during the NFL football team's minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

New Orleans Saints Sean Payton walks through stretches during the NFL football team’s minicamp in Metairie, La., Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The New Orleans Saints will report to training camp at the Greenbrier on July 27, Sean Payton said at the close of the team’s summer schedule on Thursday.

New Orleans will bring its players back in three stages. Rookies return to the team facility in Metairie first, injured players return the week before training camp begins and the rest of the roster reports to West Virginia on July 27.

Training camp opens on July 28, and the Saints will travel to New England on Aug. 9 for two practices with the Patriots before their preseason game on Aug. 11, and a week later, New Orleans will practice with Houston before the second preseason game on Aug. 20.

“I had talked to Bill O’Brien, and we had set up a tentative date,” Payton said. “We had to wait until the schedule came out. I had talked to Bill Belichick as well, but you aren’t guaranteed those games.”

New Orleans will return to West Virginia between the two joint practices.

“If you’ll notice the space, we play New England on a Thursday, and we don’t play the next game until Saturday,” Payton said. “That gives us a chance to be right back into our schedule for a good four days and then travel. When we travel to Houston, essentially, camp leaves West Virginia and comes to New Orleans.”

For the moment, though, the players have more than a month off before the grind of the season begins.

Payton held a team meeting with the Saints before they left the facility on Thursday to remind them to enjoy their offseason with one eye on training camp.

“We’ll just talk about being smart here, we’ll give them the calendar, conditioning test, their assigned weight, a number of things we will discuss, just making sure these next four or five weeks we’re making good decisions,” Payton said. “When you work really hard like this, it’s important that you continue a routine and you have a plan today for how the next four or five weeks are gonna go and that, all of a sudden, you don’t go two weeks without having done anything.”

New Orleans has been happy with the offseason program that began in April and concluded on Thursday.

“>I think we’re coming off a really good offseason, it’s just being smart during this down time,” Payton said. “Each day we’ve got a p.m. meeting. One day it’s media training, the next day it’s league security. The month of July is always a challenging month with regards to making sure guys stay out of trouble and stay healthy so I think more towards that. Being smart with the decisions that we all make here and getting ready to build on what we started.”

Notes and observations from Thursday’s minicamp practice

Attendance: Hau’oli Kikaha and Avery Young were both not spotted at practice again. Linebacker Stephone Anthony was also missing.  Safety Jairus Byrd, cornerback Kyle Wilson, defensive end Kasim Edebali, safety Jamarca Sanford, punter Thomas Morstead and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe did not participate in team drills.

Shorter day: The Saints ended practice early on Thursday after going through just minimal team drills. The players will now head home to prepare for training camp, which should begin in late July.

Kicking work: It hasn’t been a strong minicamp for kickers Connor Barth and Kai Forbath. It’s looked like the players have missed a number of kicks, but coach Sean Payton gave the pair a vote of confidence and explained the set up at minicamp is not favorable to kickers.

Grayson watch: It’s been a mixed minicamp for second-year quarterback Garrett Grayson. He’s made a handful of mistakes but littered them with some smaller bright moments. He missed on a slant and then connected with Kyle Prater on a fade for a touchdown on Thursday.

Receivers: It might or might not be notable, but the top three receivers on Thursday were Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks.

Gibbs: Legendary offensive line coach Alex Gibbs was at practice on Thursday. He’s been spotted at a few other practices this offseason. His presence is notable. He’s a zone-blocking guru and helped shape the potent running games of the Denver Broncos in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Brees passing: Drew Brees was 2 of 3 in team drills. He completed passes to Willie Snead and Tim Hightower. His third pass, to Cooks, was broken up by Delvin Breaux.

McCown passing: Luke McCown completed 2 of 4 passes. He connected with Reggie Bell and Josh Hill. One pass to Michael Thomas was broken up by Tony Carter. It would have been a tough play for Thomas to complete.

Grayson passing: Garrett Grayson was 2 of 4 passing. He connected with Tommylee Lewis and Prater.

Saints and Patriots to conduct joint practices

The Saints and Patriots will conduct a pair of joint practices during training camp.

The practices will take on the field behind Gillette Stadium on Aug. 9 and 10. The teams then play a preseason game on Aug. 11.

The two teams conducted joint practices last season. Saints coach Sean Payton said he also expects the Saints to practice with the Houston Texans during training camp.

Notes and observations from Wednesday’s minicamp practice: Defense wins again

Saints026

 

The New Orleans Saints’ defense has turned in two very solid days of work during the mandatory minicamp, largely led by a secondary that has forced all three quarterbacks to work hard for anything they can get.

And the defense might have turned in its best day of the open sessions so far on Wednesday. New Orleans racked up seven unofficial “sacks” in team drills, picked off two passes and repeatedly forced the quarterbacks to check it down over the middle.

There were also at least three drops by the receivers.

Attendance: Hau’oli Kikaha and Avery Young were both not spotted at practice again. Robert Meachem missed the second day of his tryout with a foot injury. Safety Jairus Byrd, cornerback Kyle Wilson, defensive end Kasim Edebali, safety Jamarca Sanford, punter Thomas Morstead and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe did not participate in team drills.

Tull’s a terror: Davis Tull, the 2015 fifth-round pick who was essentially forced to take a redshirt year due to two separate shoulder surgeries, flashed a couple of times working off the right edge of the defensive line. Tull has a very quick first step, and he blew past Ryker Mathews for a pair of sacks.

P.J. persistent: The other redshirt member of the 2015 class, P.J. Williams, is putting together a very strong summer. Williams, who plays a physical brand of cornerback and likes to pattern his game after Delvin Breaux, broke up two more passes in team drills and nearly picked off Brees for the second straight day.

Linebacker leaps: Nate Stupar and Dillon Lee came up with the interceptions. Stupar picked off a Drew Brees ball that bounded off of Tim Hightower‘s hands to end a two-minute drill at the end of practice, and Lee snagged a ball thrown a little behind the running back by Garrett Grayson during team work.

Harris hops: On a fairly rough day for the offense, R.J. Harris came up with another big play to burnish his summer credentials. Harris leaped to make a catch down the sideline between two defensive backs. Harris is really good at making contested catches and difficult catches down the field, and it’s shown up during the summer sessions.

Fringe flashes: Former Air Force tight end Garrett Griffin and Metairie native Chris Bazile have made the most of limited chances so far. Both players  made nice catches on Wednesday.

Brees joke: On the first play of team drills, Brees faked a handoff to Mark Ingram, pulled the ball down and boot-legged around the outside into space. A fan yelled out that Brees needs to stay away from doing that, because he could get hurt. Rest assured, the Saints likely aren’t turning Brees into Randall Cunningham.

Brees stats: During team drills, Brees completed 9-of-16 throws with an interception — on one of the incomplete passes, he likely would have been sacked. Brees completed throws to Mark Ingram (2), Coby Fleener (2), Reggie Bell, R.J. Harris, Brandon Coleman, Brandon Cooks and Willie Snead.  Brees would have been sacked twice.

McCown stats: McCown completed 2-of-8 throws in team drills, hitting Willie Snead and Tommylee Lewis on the completions. McCown would likely have taken three sacks.

Grayson stats: Grayson completed 5-of-8 throws, including the interception to Lee — one of the completions came on a fumbled snap and likely would have resulted in a sack. Grayson completed passes to Chris Manhertz, Jake Lampman, Chris Bazile, Tommylee Lewis and Garrett Griffin.

Defensive stats: “Sacks” — Davis Tull 2, Bobby Richardson, Obum Gwacham, D.J. Pettway and one that included Nate Stupar and another player. Pass breakups — P.J. Williams 2, Kenny Vaccaro, Tony Carter, Vonn Bell, Damian Swann.