Fleur-de-Links: Saints Camp Day 20 - Place Your Betts!

The Saints added veteran RB Ladell Betts to the roster yesterday in a move that most saw coming. He's still recovering from knee surgeries underwent almost eight months ago, so they plan on easing him into the lineup. Don't expect to see him this weekend vs. the Texans.

In other news, the Saints practiced in the Dome today, Jonathan Casillas was held out due to a not-so-serious shoulder injury, and the Texans are arriving tomorrow for the start of joint practices. More after the jump.

TWEETS:

scottshanle Practiced in the dome this morning. Can't wait to see that superbowl 44 champions banner hanging from the rafters!

HeathEvans If u have ever seen the movie Groundhog Day, u know what it is like to be n a NFL Training camp! Same thing everyday, day after day! #fb

larrybeave Whats up New Orleans i love u guys but i guess it wasnt enough!!!

BillyMiller83 Dude from UCLA just moved next door to me and put up a banner so I sent over my Rose Bowl ring & asked when's the last time he saw one!

BillyMiller83 Never thought I would follow a kicker on twitter but now I follow 2 @GHartley5 @thomasmorstead

jeffduncantp Ladell Betts will wear jersey No. 40 for the Saints, by the way.

jeffduncantp LB Jon Casillas sat out today's workout because of an aggravated shoulder injury. Payton said it was not serious.

jeffduncantp Payton said Betts would not play this week vs. Houston. Said they will ease him back into things while coming off the ACL injury.

alexbrown96 Lol u know it camp is going good @JerryAzumah: "Come on Legs"! Every now and then you have to scream at them. How's camp?

reggie_bush "You never see it coming you just get to see it go" -Drake

reggie_bush Haven't even made it to the second preseason game yet and my body already feels like we are in week 8 of the regular season!

reggie_bush Let's put a fan through training camp, two-a-day practices for 2 weeks straight, 100+ heat everyday, full pads, live contact, etc! Yeah!!!!

JonVilma51 practice in the dome let's me know its about that time for some football baby!!! i get so hype jus thinking about it!!!

LanceMoore16 The weather isn't very nice out, but we got some good work in today. Walk-thru and meetings later. Texans in town tomorrow

thomasmorstead Had a great practice, can't wait for Saturday! Get to see the family, missing them a lot

 

WELCOME TO NEW ORLEANS, LaDELL BETTS:

New Orleans Saints add veteran RB Ladell Betts
The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms on a one-year, $755,000 contract with veteran free agent Ladell Betts, who has made his living the past eight seasons primarily as a third-down running back with the Washington Redskins.

Deke: Betts Adds Depth To Saints At RB - WWL - Sports

2theadvocate.com | Sports | Saints to rotate RBs — Baton Rouge, LA
If Sean Payton plans to employ his "three-headed monster" at running back for a second year in a row, and there’s no reason to think he’s not, there’s only one thing to figure out before the season starts in 23 days.

New Orleans Saints agree to terms with running back Ladell Betts | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton predicted after practice Monday the team would make a roster move at running back, "sooner rather than later," and hours later the team came to terms with Ladell Betts, according to Saints officials.   The contract has not yet been signed, according to the team. Betts had come in for a workout...

Sean Payton's prediction came true when New Orleans Saints reached an agreement with Ladell Betts | NOLA.com
He said the team would look for a veteran

New Orleans Saints release WR Larry Beavers to make room for RB Ladell Betts | NOLA.com
Beavers had good and bad moments in practice, games

New Orleans Saints tailback Ladell Betts won't be ready to play yet this week | NOLA.com
He'll be 'eased' into action while recovering from major knee injury

 

AUGUST 17th PRACTICE:

Saints shift practice to Dome in preparation for season | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
For the first time since that historic night in late January when Garrett Hartley hit the game-winning field goal in the NFC championship game, the Saints returned to the Superdome.

Saints’ Casillas misses Tuesday's practice at Dome | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Newly minted starting weakside linebacker Jonathan Casillas sat out practice Tuesday with a shoulder injury. However, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton said the injury wasn’t serious.

Deke: Saints Practice In Dome - Productive - WWL 

Saints Go Dome And Betts Joins In - WWL - Sports

Preparing for Texans

Tuesday Practice Moved to Superdome
The next scheduled practice open to the public will be at 8:50 am on Wednesday, August 18th against the Houston Texans in Metairie, weather permitting.

New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Casillas not in pads Tuesday morning; Jo-Lonn Dunbar runs with the 1s | NOLA.com
Just days after being elevated to the starting unit, New Orleans Saints weakside linebacker Jonathan Casillas was out of pads Tuesday when the team practiced in the Superdome. When the first unit defense was on the field, the Saints left Scott Shanle at strongside linebacker, where he moved when Casillas was promoted, and put Jo-Lonn Dunbar on the weakside....

QB Chase Daniel and CB Patrick Robinson have rough days as New Orleans Saints practice in the Superdome | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams proclaimed first round draft pick Patrick Robinson would be his, "whipping boy," after a lackluster performance against New England last week, and Robinson had some sour moments Monday when the Saints held their first training camp practice in the Superdome. Robinson appeared to get the wind knocked out of him on one...

Superdome Practice
New Orleans Saints official website

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

Training Camp Postcard: New Orleans Saints on Sports Pickle
Running back Reggie Bush hasn't washed his undercarriage since breaking up with Kim Kardashian, hoping her remnants will be enough to secure another championship.

Anthony Hargrove hopes his New Orleans Saints experience is the beginning of a new life | NOLA.com
"I'm still starving. I want more. I want this team to be great, and I want to be a part of something special here," Hargrove said of the football aspect of his life, where he should be better in his second year with the Saints.

New Orleans Saints mailbag: Is Randall Gay tradebait? | NOLA.com
A: This trade scenario is a long shot for several reasons. One, the Saints like Randall Gay and have no plans to trade him. Moreover, they need him. Robinson has been slow to come around and is in no way ready to start the season as the nickel back. Jenkins is the starting free safety. The Saints have no other option at nickel other than Gay. Until Robinson gets his feet under him in the defensive scheme, Gay is the starting nickel.

Leading Off: Saints provide salve for battered fan base - Sacramento Sports - Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee
In February, I rooted against the Saints during their Super Bowl XLIV victory. After spending my honeymoon last week in New Orleans, I know now it was the wrong thing to do. No city and no team deserved to win the title more than New Orleans.

Brady Quinn, Curtis Painter, backup QBs don't inspire confidence - Don Banks - SI.com
The Patriots, Saints and Bengals might keep the train rolling if Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Carson Palmer go missing, but they'd strike no fear in any opponent's heart if Brian Hoyer, Patrick Ramsey and J.T. O'Sullivan were suddenly under center.

A Look at Seattle’s Schedule (Part Three) " NFL Gridiron Gab
WEEK ELEVEN: Seahawks at New Orlenas (Last year’s record and finish for NO: 13-3, first place in NFC South) Known for the better part of two decades as the ‘Aints, New Orleans cast its alter ego aside with a Super Bowl Championship in 2009.

NFL ANNOUNCES "KREWE OF NFL KICKOFF PARADE"
Parade to take place in New Orleans before regular season opener For the first time in NFL Kickoff history and in the spirit of New Orleans, the NFL will host a parade to ring in its 91st season and celebrate the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV championship.

New Orleans Saints have present, past undrafted gems to remember
The New Orleans Saints have had a propensity for signing undrafted free agents that have proved to be wise investments. The current roster is dotted with players that fell through the cracks of NFL teams during past drafts.

2theadvocate.com | Football 2010 | The quest begins anew — Baton Rouge, LA
Long before the New Orleans Saints won their first game in 2009, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden looked into his crystal ball and picked them to play in Super Bowl XLIV.

Camp 2Dat: Cornerback Reggie Jones turning heads at New Orleans Saints training camp

Saints find a backup punter in Hartley | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
For the past few Augusts, Head Coach Sean Payton has brought in two punters to Saints training camp. This year, it turns out he didn’t need to bring in an extra punter. His backup already was on the roster.

New Orleans Saints offense ends 2 minute drill on disputed call Monday morning | NOLA.com
Drill ends with all in fun trash talk between offense and defense

Monday Through The Lenses
A Look at Monday's Action at Saints Training Camp

Fantasy football preview: Breaking down the running backs | NOLA.com
A look at the most important position in fantasy football -- the running backs

 

VIDEO:

What do the New Orleans Saints expect from Ladell Betts: video
New Orleans Saints practice at the Dome

Ladell Betts says he's honored to be with the New Orleans Saints

 

TRANSCRIPTS:

From New Orleans Saints official website.

Sean Payton

Opening Statement: 

Yesterday, we waived Larry Beavers and signed Ladell Betts. We wanted to get over here (Louisiana Superdome) at some point this week, and we chose to do it this morning. We were going to do it in the afternoon yesterday and we changed that schedule around. This afternoon, we will just have meetings and we will get ready for Houston tomorrow beginning in the morning.

What do you think Ladell Betts brings to the team? 

He is a veteran player. He is someone who we think has pretty good balance and understands protections well. He worked out well for us. He is coming off an injury, so we need to monitor and be smart about how we practice him, especially in the first couple of weeks back with his ACL. His experience was something that we valued and his workout was good.

Will he play this weekend? 

No. He has an ACL injury. He hasn't been involved in football. We don't see him playing this weekend.

Can you talk about the performance of Will Smith in camp? 

He is doing well. He has been solid. He is one of those guys that plays the run and pass equally well. He is certainly one of our leaders on defense. He has been very consistent.

Would you ever consider flipping his position? 

No. We will move guys around but it is safe to say his natural position is over there at the right end. That's where we feel he best fits our scheme as well. That would be how we normally align, and anything other than that might be a changeup.

Can you talk about moving practice to the Superdome today? 

We wanted to get a feel for number one, the new surface. Every year, we try to get in here once because they change the surface out every year. Each year it is a new turf. We got a chance to move around on it. They can harden it if we wanted. We will see how today went. I thought it went pretty well. The locker rooms and some other things are different including where the coaches are on game day. They are going to walk through those logistics and try to have that covered before we come in here on Saturday night.

When you look at a guy like Ladell Betts, do you look at how he is going to fit in to this locker room? 

A lot goes in to that. He is a veteran. With all the research we have done on him, he is a guy that is popular with his teammates. He is a good, all around football player. He's versatile in that he can play in the base. He is a guy that helped on special teams. The main thing is getting his rehab done and monitoring that he hasn't been in football for a while. Mainly, his conditioning and his ACL injury. Bringing him along like we have had to do withJimmy Wilkerson or Heath (Evans). He is a little further behind with just getting him.

You cut Larry Beavers after he had a great play in the last game. Do mistakes stay with you longer than success?

 You have to evaluate the player and have a vision for what the player can be. There are a number of things that he has done well because he can run. There are a lot of areas that we feel he has to catch up on. That was one example of a player who has done some good things but was behind in some other areas.

What are your thoughts about Patrick Robinson's play the last couple of days?

So far, the key is consistency. He shows good speed and cover ability. One thing, more so than anything else, like a lot of rookies, is being able to transition and handle the whole entirety of the defense and what he can do. The same thing applies for what he can do in the kicking game. Can he cover? Can he be a gunner? With him being healthy now, we are anxious to see his progress. You see the ability, but the key is how quickly they can put that on the field.

 

Ladell Betts

What was the process that brought you here and what are your thoughts about being with the Saints? 

I am honored. I have a lot of respect for this organization. They won last year, so when they asked me to be a part of this organization, it was a no brainer. I am just going to do my part and help this team win some more.

How quickly do you think you can acclimate with your injury? How quickly can you get back on the field full speed? 

I hope as soon as possible. I haven't played football since November so it's going to be a work in progress. I need to test it out with pads on, but I feel pretty good running around and making my cuts. Hopefully we will keep progressing with my rehab and I will get back on the field soon.

What did they tell you after your tryout a couple of weeks back? 

It went really well. They basically wanted to see how my knee would hold up during the workouts, planting and cutting. I am assuming that they liked what they saw. I was able to get in on my cuts and they said I looked pretty good. They decided to bring me on.

Coach Payton said you won't play in the game this weekend, so when do you think you will be able to play in a game? 

I am not sure. That is something that Coach and I will have to discuss. Right now, I am just focusing on getting out here to practice and get back in to football shape.

How do you feel like you will fit in to this running back rotation? 

Those guys are established. They have been here. I am just trying to fit in wherever I can. I like to consider myself a between the tackles runner, so hopefully, once the coaches see what I can do, they will use me to my strengths.

Were you concerned that you weren't signed by another club immediately?

No. I knew for a while because I had to rehab the knee. A lot of teams wanted to see me run and cut before they signed me. I knew it would take a little while.

Do you remember the game you had against the Saints in the Superdome in 2006? I did. I think that was the last time I was here. That was a good day for us, but this is a new chapter. I am excited, I am with the Saints now. The Redskins stuff was great while I was there, but now it is on to a new chapter.

Are you concerned about starting at a new place? 

No, not at all. I have been in one place my whole career, for eight years. It's a new start and a new beginning and I am excited to see what happens.

Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton, the guys you are replacing, are considered thumper type of backs. Is that a role you are comfortable being? 

I think so. Like I said, I consider myself a down-hill between the tackles runner. Once my knee gets up to speed and the coaches see what I can do, I am sure they will use me for my strengths.

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