First off, we have a change in number. Sedrick Ellis went from #90 to #98. I can prove it here.
The Sun Herald had an article today about what five positions and players to watch for this upcoming mini-camp. Check out the whole thing for more info, but this is a synopsis.
1. Running back conundrum
By kicking the tires on former league MVP Shaun Alexander, the Saints indicated they aren't fully confident in their running back situation.
2. Cornerback competition
Don't be surprised to see Jason David begin the weekend lined up with the first team and end the weekend in the same position. Mike McKenzie will be a no go until at least training camp and probably longer after recovering from ACL surgery.
3. Health at linebacker
The revamped linebacking corps glows on paper. But no one really knows the full health of Jonathan Vilma and Dan Morgan and you can't help but wonder if the Saints acquired damaged goods.
4. Defensive tackle rotation
Brian Young, now injury- and illness-free, should take open minicamp atop the depth chart at the other tackle. With Ellis in primary competition with Thomas, it will leave Kendrick Clancy, Antwan Lake and fifth-round pick DeMario Pressley vying for Brian Young's job.
5. Tight end scenario
Read between the lines. Payton stills wants New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey. The deal might not happen in time for minicamp, but don't be shocked if it goes down before or during training camp.
Eric Johnson had an up and down season and Payton said Johnson had a minor setback when he had a scope performed on his ankle during the offseason.
Already looking toward the 2009 NFL draft? Well you are in luck! NEPatriotsDraft.com, who claim to be ranked 4th out of 94 mock drafts in 2008 by the Huddle Report, released their 2009 Mock Draft, using this years draft order (don't know how that makes sense, but we'll go with it). So who are the Saints getting next season?
10. New Orleans Saints - Andre Smith - OT - Alabama
Any team could use a big talent like Smith, especially a pass-happy Saints team.
And in other random news, local NBC affiliate WDSU announced they will air three primetime Saints games.
Viewers will be able to watch the Saints in their first pre-season game of the year. The team will travel to Arizona and face the Cardinals on August 7.On October 6, the Saints host the Minnesota Vikings in a Monday Night Football match-up at the Louisiana Superdome. The Black and Gold return to primetime on November 24, when they meet the Packers at the Dome.
Because of NFL's flex schedule, they may also broadcast additional prime time games.
I was at the Hornets game last night, (I was the guy in the gold shirt), and I think I can honestly say that the loudest the New Orleans Arena got last night was when they put Drew Brees, in attendance, up on the big screen wearing his Fan Up Hornets t-shirt. The scouting report is good. After autographing a football, he hurled a perfect spiral all the way from floor level into the upper bowl. Definitely the highlight of my night.