Obviously we should expect that today will be all about him and how he looks out there. For his sake, he better look pretty sharp out there. Ed Orgeron's reputation is also slightly on the line. He has been vouching for this kid since day one. The five-year deal is reportedly worth $19.5 million guaranteed.
Do we have a possible problem on our hands? He spent most of yesterday evenings practice on the sideline after injuring himself on a passing play.
Shockey dropped a pass and said to a Saints official on the sideline immediately that "that might be it," talking about it being the end of the evening for him. He said it was a groin pull, and a trainer soon came over. - Times-Pic
Not sure what his status is at this point, but this wouldn't surprise me at all. You could add him to the ever growing list of injured players. One of the downsides of having the powerhouse that is Shockey is that he is very injury prone. This one really doesn't seem too serious. I would think the media would be making a much bigger deal if it was.
A few people, including the reporter doing the live blogging for Fox 40, was quite confused and a little upset about the Oklahoma coach's presence at training camp this morning. What the heck was he doing here?
"Our policy always to college coaches is that our camps have always been open, and we encourage it, " Payton said. "Well, if college coaches aren't coming, that means they're not really interested in studying what you're doing, so that's not a good thing." - Times-Pic
This is a position battle I didn't think would even need to be discusses. Steve Weatherford is pretty solid and he was pretty much the Saints MVP of the first half of last season, being the only consistent talent on the team. Waylon Prather has been creating a bit of a buzz with his funky, weird kick that he does by kicking the nose of the ball giving it backspin like a kickoff. Weatherford has been respectable in his own right.
Gramatica was reported to be the winner of the day as far as the kicking battle is concerned. He nailed all of his kicks out of the end zone on the kickoff drill, knocking them further than Mehlhaff, who is known for his distance. I still think Mehlhaff will win this one, though today makes me a little uncertain. With some fans already upset about wasting a draft pick on a kicker, Payton will lose even more favor if the pick gets cut and winds up being a waste.
More random notes from camp:
- The morning was very uneventful. Boring walk through's and special teams work.
- Todd Blythe returned to practice this morning.
- Aaron Stecker looked good in special teams drills. No surprise there.
- Reggie Bush continues to show commitment. He stayed a few minutes after practice for more work.
- Devery Henderson and Tracy Porter are expected to miss a week of practice. At least.
- Lance Moore, surprisingly, had a few drops in the evening and didn't look so great.
- Jason Craft and Chris Reis knocked the crap out of Lance Moore simultaneously high and low for the biggest hit of training camp so far.
- Arrington isn't showing signs of slowing down.
- Chris Barclay needed to be carted off the field last night. No word on the seriousness of the injury.
- Usama Young has continued to step it up and looks great. The secondary on a whole seems improved.
- Tyler Palko threw back to back bombs to Skyler Green and Todd Blythe for the plays of the day.
Just your luck. It's more of me! This time talking with the guys at Pigskin Podcast. I come in toward the middle. Joel and Brian were awesome and I had a lot of fun doing this. For general football info, you should definitely check out their site. Thanks to those guys for having me. Disclaimer: Man, I can freakin' ramble on!
More pictures of yesterday from the Clarion Ledger.
Here's an audio clip of the guys from Sports Talk speaking with the big man himself, Sean Payton.
More video's for you guys. Again, they are from Cox Sports TV.
Here's more on the Sedrick Ellis signing from WWLTV.com.
"It’s about time," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. "It took a little longer than it should have. It is what is it is. We’re glad he got it done and glad he’s in the fold.
"We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in tomorrow afternoon."
"These are complicated contracts," Loomis said. "It’s not like the old days when it was like, ‘Hey, here’s the signing bonus check and here’s what you’re making.’ There’s a lot of things the rules create and the magnitude these contracts makes."
More quotes from Mickey Loomis on the Sedrick Ellis contract from The Advocate.
“There were some structural issues and some difference in opinion as to the structure of the deal. It probably shouldn’t have taken this long and I’m disappointed in that. But I’m excited that is done and agreed to.”
“It (the holdout) is going to set him back, he’s got some catching up to do,” Loomis said. “He’s missed 12 practices, so that’s a lot of catching up to do.”
The Times-Pic must have read what I said about Bobby McCray yesterday, because they now have their own article about the new guy.
"I knew they had an All-Pro end (Will Smith) and one who had just gotten a big contract (Charles Grant). I knew they didn't give all that money to them and then not use them. But I came here to make plays, nothing else. If I make plays, everything else will take care of itself."
"They told me that I wouldn't have to worry about covering the running back or dropping into pass coverage. I liked that, " McCray said. "We have a lot of keys to this defense, with the new guys coming in and the ones we have."
"I've done it before, " McCray said. "I started my first four years in Jacksonville. I can play on those downs, too."
"I'm going to go out every day to make plays, " he said. "Sure, everyone saw what the Giants did. That's the reason I'm here. I have play-making ability."
Here is what linemate Will Smith said.
"Bobby gives Charles and me a chance to come out, and we couldn't do that, " Smith said. "He can really rush the passer, and he gives us a chance in a nickel situation to come in with Charles and me and Sedrick Ellis, when he gets in here, to really get after the quarterback.
"The coaches told me we were going to do something with our depth on the defensive line. That's kind of broad. It could have meant defensive tackle or defensive end.
"With Bobby, we've added to our depth. We haven't had (first-round draft pick defensive tackle) Sedrick (Ellis) in, but we saw what he could do in the OTAs. We know what (tackles) Hollis Thomas and Brian Young can do. We have plenty of depth so that we can keep after the quarterback."
Speaking of Bobby McCray, here is a video from Mike Nabors and Cox Sports TV with an interview with the man himself. I swear, I talk about someone and then everyone else starts talking about him. I am so cool.
Haven't heard about this guy much so far. The Sun Herald had a piece about safety Kevin Kaesviharn.
"I try not to get in that mix," Kaesviharn said. "That's for the coaches to decide. Obviously I have a role that I'm playing out there and the better I do, the more confidence they'll have putting me out there. I plan and prepare to start and that's all I can do. I let them do the rest."
"Obviously I feel very capable that I can play and you've got to feel that way," Kaesviharn said. "But like I said, it's their decision to make and I'm going to continue to go out there and play hard every day and get better and just see what happens."
Yet another "getting to know you" type article from the Times-Pic. This time around, its about Skyler Green.
"I've just been working hard at it, and hopefully that opportunity comes, " said the receiver/return specialist, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 and has since joined the Cincinnati Bengals and now the Saints. "And when it comes, I won't let it get away from me."
"The numbers are a little bit better on special teams, " said Green, who is lower on the receiver depth chart. "But I think I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing and worry about Skyler and let things fall into place.
"I think I still have a little bit in the tank. But I'm definitely going to lay it on the line and show the coaches that I still have it."
Our defensive line is going to be sick! That's all I'm going to say. The Advocate has an article about our d-line including some quotes from the members of said d-line.
“We’re leaner, but it’s not like we’re not meaner,” said Thomas, who reported to camp weighing substantially less, according to him, than last season. “We’re just trying to become a unit that’s a force to be reckoned with.
“We did some good things last year, but obviously, it wasn’t enough to get us where we need to be,” he said. “We need to be the catalyst in this game of football and for the Saints to try and get where we want to go.”
“I feel a significant amount of difference in my endurance and my ability to be out there more and run a little bit faster,” said Thomas. “Obviously, without the weight, comes quickness.”
“The pressure and sacks are going to come,” Grant said. “One of the problems last year was we started 0-4. Nobody comes back from that. If you start 0-4, you’re playing catch-up all year.
“So the key is to start fast. If we do, we’ll get a lot of sacks because we’ve got the guys to get it done.”
“I think we can be good. Our opportunities are unlimited,” said Smith, a Pro Bowl pick in 2006. “They know what me and Charles can do, and we know what Bobby can do. Hollis and B.Y. (Young), we know they can make plays. So, we think our success can be unlimited.”
“It’s a great thing to have all four of us out there,” McCray said. “You never know who’s going to be in there. We have a lot of guys we can mix into the rotation.
“That will be good to keep the guys fresh because we’re going to try and dominate offensive lines,” he said. “We’ll keep rotating players in and pound them and pound them.”
Three reasons we will be much better on the line:
- Coach O
- Much more depth and talent added
- Players are in shape, came in under weight and are significantly more serious
Here is another one for the gamblers out there. Its from Sports Memo. If you like getting your sports info from Vegas bookies, check it out.
On paper, at least, this team probably deserves the respect they’ve been getting both in the national media and the betting markets.
New Saints coach Ed Orgeron aka "Coach O" speaks in this Clarion Ledger article. When Coach O speaks, you listen.
"ATTA BAY-BEE! WAY TO WORK! THAT'S IT! THAT'S IT! THAT'S WHAT WE WANT! NOW LET'S DO IT AGAIN! JOG, DON'T WALK!"
That's it. That's all he said. I'm just kidding...sort of. Read the article if you want more.
There will be no practice this morning, only the afternoon session.
Thanks for those of you who listened to what I had to say and started FanPosts and put up FanShots. It will pick up eventually. Keep up the good work.