If you caught my other "Name Dropping" story about the defense you know what to expect. If not, the idea here is to pick through some of the press conference material and find out what the coaches are saying or thinking about specific players.
The main difference is that the defense turned out to be quite a long read so I'll focus on certain positions on offense to keep this shorter. Plus, it gives me more stories to turn in, and you guys don't have flashbacks of junior high homework assignments.
I read between the lines with some of my speculations, but I try to be fair to the evaluation process. I am not making roster predictions this early on in the offseason but it is nice to know who's being talked about.
Since I'm talking about offense I'm going to skip the QB and RB positions because 1) the QB situation is frustrating and 2) we're pretty sure who we can expect on the field for the season at RB. However, I'm thinking there is some serious competition at receiver, but of course this excludes Colston and Moore because they are obviously locked into their spot.
Saints draft pick Nick Toon is turning heads at practice and it seems he will have earned a roster spot by the end of training camp. I'm just not sure if he'll be ahead of or behind Devery Henderson. I'd imagine since Henderson has shown improvement each season he'll still be the favorite; however, if Toon has a great Preseason showing he may overtake Henderson. Here's what Carmichael has to say about Toon's practice performance so far:
"I’m still impressed with his hands and he runs good routes, so we are excited about him." Carmichael also says, "He’s got great hands, focus and concentration."
In regard to replacing Robert Meacham, Carmichael talks about some of the other WRs in the same press conference.
"When you go back and look at it, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem both filled a similar role. I’ve been pleased with Joe Morgan. He’s shown the speed, so he is someone that can step in there and do that."
So is Joe going to be our new deep threat receiver? Well let's see where he'll fit . . . Colston, Moore, Henderson, and Toon are pretty much guaranteed roster spots. So the guys still competing are Adrian Arrington, Malcolm Beyah Derek Moye, Chris Givens, Kevin Hardy, Joe Morgan, Courtney Roby, and Andy Tanner. So Joe has speed and can return a punt for a TD (2011 PreSeason NO vs SF), but that doesn't mean he'll make the cut. Naturally, some of these guys aren't going much further than training camp but one guy was specifically mentioned by Joe Vitt.
In his press conference interview, Joe Vitt said, "Chris Givens, makes plays in the red zone everyday." This doesn't mean he's in either, but he'll probably survive the next round of cuts as long as he doesn't get injured. His chances are slim but for some reason I like him, and I truly cannot explain why (probably my mancrush on Vitt).
So hmm ...maybe Roby, Arrington, and Morgan have the benefit of being familiar with the Saints' system right? Wrong! Because the Saints always go with the best players they can find. Roby is the only one who has had any real experience and that was mainly on ST.
In fact while I was writing this story the Saints dropped Malcolm Beyah and claimed Derek Moye on waivers from the Dolphins. The best chance some of these guys have of making the actual roster is through special teams performances. Greg McMahon, the Saints' Special Teams Coordinator, said it best in his press conference interview.
"We tell our guys hey it’s rare to have a guy who can be a punt returner, kick returner, and cover kicks so those guys are rare and Courtney’s a great example and so no different than Joe Morgan. Joe knows that he has to be versatile. Certainly he’s got values as a returner but he’s also got to be able to cover kicks and so our job as coaches is to put those guys in positions where we can teach them, train them, and then see if they can do it or not. That’s a key deal, because at the end of the day, we’ve got 53 guys on the roster, and 46 of them will be active on game day."
The next story will cover the TEs and OL players, but it depends on how much I can fit in because this got a lot longer than I had hoped. Regardless I think we are well covered for the WR position with 11 showing on the current roster if I'm correct in my count.On the poll, I didn't include the guys I think will be on the roster. The only one I'm on the fence about is Courtney Roby because with Sproles in the return game his fate may even be uncertain. Please be sure to support your voting logic in the comments section.