Saints News: 5.15.08

Some of these articles came out late yesterday, so pardon me for the delay. I try my hardest to stay on top of it.

The big news of the day is the Saints signing of three players late yesterday. The Sun Herald and Times-Pic both had the story, here and here.

Signed by the team were quarterback Travis Lulay, defensive tackle Marcus Pittman and wide receiver Carlos Robinson. Loomis also announced the signing of rookie free agent offensive tackle Carnell Stewart, who played at LSU. - Times-Pic

That should make local LSU fans happy. Robinson and Pittman were UFAs. Lulay was on Seattle's practice squad last year. For more detailed info, head over to the New Orleans Saints official website.

Sadly, the team waived four players.

  • Nate Mcmanus - OL
  • T.C. Ostrander - QB
  • Akim Millington - OL
  • Evan Moore - WR

The New Orleans Saints official website had a story about the one and only Marques Colston.

When asked this morning about his accomplishments thus far in his career and if the desire to improve is what motivates him, Colston took the question in an entirely different direction.

“The only record I am aware of is that we are coming off a 7-9 season,” Colston said. “Our goal is to get back to the playoffs and be a contender again. I look around our locker room and see players that have their confidence and believe in each other. We’re pushing each other all the time. My motivation doesn’t come from compiling statistics or setting records. My motivation is in finding ways to help this team win.

Nice! He's the man. Oh please Marques, tell us more.

“My approach, I hope, is consistent in regards to the business side as it is to how I approach the game,” he said. “I’m not about going to the press and talking about my contract status or anything little that comes up. I have an agent that I hired and his job is to talk to the front office. My job isn’t to worry about that. It’s my responsibility to come to work everyday and focus on getting better and helping our team win football games.”

He also had some positive words to say about the new players.

“The new guys have fit in great,” he said. “They came right in and fit in immediately by being here and working out next to the players that returned. They have come right in and I see that they are doing the things that they need to do to be successful. They’re all team players and just enhance the good chemistry that is already in here.”

Colston leaves us with some more inspirational wisdom about his first two years in the league.

“It’s been very fast paced, but it’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “I have found out a lot about myself. I think I have come a long way in two years, but I also think there is a lot further I can go and that is really my focus and what motivates me to continue to work hard.”

Colston smiled and concluded, “One of the reasons I suppose I have tasted success early in my career, if you want to call it that, is because I walked into a great situation. I am blessed to have a great coaching staff that has helped me grow as a player and a person, and we have a great quarterback in Drew and I’m part of an offense that gives the players an opportunity to make plays. It’s about learning something new every single day.”

Sports Illustrated released a story yesterday regarding Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis (we need to come up with a nickname for this dynamic duo. If you have a suggestion, throw it in the comment box) and their thoughts and feelings about the upcoming season. This is a good one; positive and refreshing if nothing else. Payton is very excited.

"I like where this team's at," he would say. "The locker room, the environment here, they're both real solid. I like the guys that we've got on this team. The season can't come quick enough. I'm looking forward to it. I like the way it's shaping up."

The rest of the article goes on to explain why the Saints should could be a good team this year. All the same stuff we already know: free agent acquisitions, upgraded defense, Meachem's emergence, Bush's breakout, yada yada yada.

Coach tells us how he will decide who plays and who doesn't.

"Each year, it starts anew," he says. "We've played free agents over draft picks and vice versa, so we're really not biased as to how we got these players. What's most important is, who's playing the best when we start the season?"

Mickey had some words about Jason David.

"We have not by any stretch of the imagination given up on Jason David," says Loomis. "Jason had a tough year, a tough transition period, going from the [Cover 2] defense that the Colts played to the defense that we played. What we asked him to do, in terms of being out on an island and covering guys man-for-man more often than he did with the Colts, it took an adjustment period for him. But he's got the ability to be a good corner for us, and that's what we expect."

We've got another "Talk Saints" with Mike Triplett from the Times-Pic. Here are the highlights. Check out the whole Q&A.

On, of course, Shockey...

Alright, let’s start with the weekly ritual of answering all the Shockey questions first. … I think the bottom line is that the Saints have made it clear that they’re interested in him, and the Giants haven’t decided yet that they want to give him up. Maybe this thing will continue into training camp, and maybe it will never happen. But if the Giants ever change their mind and decide they can live without him, they know who to call first.

 

Remember, both of these teams are trying to win the Super Bowl THIS year, so those future draft picks aren’t any more attractive to the Giants than they are the Saints. … And I don’t think the Saints will overpay with a first- and second-rounder or anything.

On the defense and our secondary...

I think the most important thing the Saints did was upgrade their entire defense, front to back. They will be much more disruptive up front, with the additions of Sedrick Ellis and Bobby McCray, and they should be more athletic in the linebacker corps if Vilma or Morgan can contribute. … That will keep quarterbacks like Marc Bulger, Matt Schaub, Jeff Garcia, Chris Redman, Quinn Gray (the list goes on and on) from sitting back and having career days against the Saints.

 

And I do think the talent was upgraded a little bit at cornerback. Randall Gay is not a superb athlete, but he’s trustworthy in a lot of different formations, either as a starter or a nickel guy. Tracy Porter is a rookie, so who knows what you’ll get. But he’s athletic and fast enough to cover the deep ball. Mike McKenzie should be able to return from an ACL injury, but it’s impossible to know how much speed or explosion he’ll lose until we see him in the preseason. And Jason David has to be better in his second year in the system. … Plus you’ve got Usama Young heading into his second year, and veterans Jason Craft and Aaron Glenn in the mix.

 

It’s not a position of strength. But something halfway decent should emerge from all that depth and competition.

 

I’m sure the Saints have spent a large amount of this offseason figuring out how to adjust their schemes and game plans. And I think they hand-picked the newcomers (Gay and Porter) to fit those ideas. … of course, we don’t get to see the playbook, though. But trust me, the Saints are well aware of their problems, and they’ll try something new.

On the defensive line...

Sedrick Ellis lined up at nose tackle during rookie camp, which is Hollis Thomas’ position. … But I think they’re just going to keep Ellis at one position for a while so he can learn and absorb the defense. Eventually, I think he has the versatility to play both tackle positions, depending on the situation. Obviously you want Hollis in there on running downs (assuming Hollis can stay healthy and in shape this summer). So it might be nice to see Ellis and Hollis plugging the middle together on obvious rushing downs, then see Ellis with Brian Young at other times, then see Ellis with three defensive ends on obvious passing downs. … And I suppose Ellis should get a breather once in a while, too. The Saints are pretty deep at this position now with rookie DeMario Pressley and veteran backups AntwanLake and Kendrick Clancy.

In community news, the Brees Dream foundation in conjunction with the  National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation is donating $670,00 to Lusher High School on Freret St. in my neck of the woods. The money will be used to rebuild the schools athletic fields. Click it here for the whole story.

Note to Drew: CSC and its staff are also accepting donations.

 

 

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