As we count down the last 50 days until the New Orleans Saints begin their regular season in Atlanta, on September 7th, we're getting to know a little bit about those players who have signed on to bring home another Lombardi trophy.
Today, we take a brief look at wide receiver Robert Meachem and defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick!
So, with no more ado:
17 DAYS UNTIL ATLANTA!!!
#17 WR Robert Meachem (8th Year)
Having played both football and basketball since elementary school, Robert Meachem was drafted out of the University of Tennessee by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. After undergoing knee surgery, he was unable to play during his rookie season. However, over the next four years, he had 141 regular season catches for 2,269 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also played in six playoff games and had 14 receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown.
A significant part of the 2009 championship season, Meachem has been a solid contributor as a pass catcher and blocker for New Orleans. Impressed with his performance with the Saints, the Chargers picked him up in 2012, expecting him to replace Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson. However, they were underwhelmed by his first year in San Diego and released him at the end of the 2013 preseason. Two days later, New Orleans had signed the veteran receiver back to the Saints roster.
Pleased with his performance last season, the Saints signed Meachem to another one-year contract in April. This preseason, he is competing with Joe Morgan, Nick Toon, and UDFA Brandon Coleman for roster spots behind Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and rookie Brandin Cooks. His 16.5 yards per catch average as a Saint ranks second in club record books, and is an explosive element in the team’s passing game with his combination of size, speed, and hands. Meachem's blocking ability and experience in the system may give him an edge in the roster competition, but that will only hold true until enough younger guys prove themselves as reliable as the 30-year-old veteran.
1 yr(s) / $920,000
#67 DE/NT Brandon Deaderick (5th Year)
The New Orleans Saints signed Brandon Deaderick this June, in order to add depth to the position when John Jenkins and Moses McCray were sitting out for undisclosed reasons. He was originally drafted out of the University of Alabama by the New England Patriots, in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He earned a spot on the gameday roster his rookie year, got a sack in his first NFL regular season game, and became a staple of New England's defensive line over the course of the three years he played for them. Then, in May of 2013, the Patriots released him unexpectedly, when he was about to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked him up the next day.
Last season, Deaderick played in 13 games (one start) as part of the Jaguars defensive line rotation, and was credited with nine tackles, 0.5 sack and one pass defensed. He also forced and recovered a fumble. In December of 2013, he missed the final game of the season after suffering a dislocated elbow, and was not signed again by Jacksonville. During the free agency period, he tried out for a couple of teams before being picked up by the Saints in June.
Over the course of four seasons in the NFL, Deaderick has started 15-of-47 career NFL games, logging totals of 50 tackles (36 solo), 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed. The veteran has been solid at times during training camp and preseason games with the Saints, but he is unlikely to make it on to the final roster with the current lineup of healthy defensive linemen.
1 yr(s) / $730,000