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What you missed this week with the New Orleans Saints

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A look at some of the biggest Saints news and notes from the week of November 12th.

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New Orleans Saints v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It’s been anything but a quiet for week for the New Orleans Saints, and it doesn’t figure to slack off anytime soon. Sean Payton mentioned that the team has been getting way too many national media requests, so there’s that. Here’s some things you might have missed.

Quick Hits

  • The Saints will be in blackout mode for Sunday’s game against the Redskins. Kenny Vaccaro and A.J. Klein are questionable.
  • Daniel Lasco suffered a bulging disc from Week 10 in a scary looking scene went went on injured reserve. Jonathan Williams was signed off the Broncos practice squad to fill the void, and there’s a cool story how the Saints beat out the Falcons for him.
  • Drew Brees doesn’t plan on leaving New Orleans talk has surfaced again.
  • The NFL flexed the matchups for Week 12 and 13 for the Saints, which means the Rams game will be 20 minutes later, which means more of an audience will get to see that game - hello Jim Nantz and Tony Romo. The Week 13 home game against the Panthers will now be at 3:25 p.m. CT, and likely draws Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.
  • The Saints are 3rd in the NFC Playoff picture entering Week 11. Should the Saints win and both the Eagles and Vikings lose, the top spot goes to New Orleans.
  • Alvin Kamara won Pepsi Rookie of the Week, and Mark Ingram won two NFL awards this week (Castrol Edge Player of the Week and FedEx Ground Player of the Week).
  • We came up with Sheldon Rankins as the best Saints defensive lineman that no one is talking about. Some may or may not have agreed with that.
  • Drew Brees was nominated as the team’s representative for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
  • Shameless marketing plug, as you can get you a Boonk Gang t-shirt.

Junior Galette might be a little excited to play against his old team.

Definitely check this podcast out. It’s a good 45 minutes of Michael Rapaport and Sean Payton talk. Payton talks about a whole bunch of stuff fans would appreciate, including how much he hates turtle soup. It’s NSFW, by the way.

This Freezing Cold Takes video was fun.

Mel Kiper Jr. NFL Rookie Big Board 2017 - Marshon Lattimore best first-year player in league so far, New Orleans Saints class is top
1. Marshon Lattimore, CB, New Orleans Saints

Previously ranked: 4 | Final 2017 Big Board rank: 9 | Where he was drafted: 11

Lattimore has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and he's my pick to be Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has two interceptions (one for a touchdown), eight pass breakups, 36 tackles and a forced fumble, and he has been a huge part of the Saints' defensive improvement. New Orleans' 2017 draft class looks really solid. Lattimore is a ridiculous athlete. He ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash and had a 38½-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump at the combine. He also has a high ceiling. Remember: He started only one season at Ohio State.

Full article needs ESPN Insider (insert grumblings here), but Alvin Kamara was 3rd and Ryan Ramczyk was 5th.

Alvin Kamara: The one who got away from 31 NFL teams (and Alabama) - ESPN
Kamara's breakout rookie year with the New Orleans Saints never should have been this big of a surprise. He signed with the Crimson Tide in 2013 as one of the top-rated recruits in the country (No. 32 overall on ESPN's 150 list and No. 2 among all-purpose backs by Rivals.com). He probably should have left there as a national championship star.

But Kamara's freshman season was derailed by a minor knee injury and some disciplinary issues, which buried him on a depth chart that also included current NFL backs Derrick Henry, T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, among others.

Great read here from Mike Triplett. Are people still upset that the Saints forked out a 2018 2nd rounder for Kamara?

Back to Basics: How Sean Payton Learned from History and Resurrected the Saints | Bleacher Report
But what Payton's done in 2017 has been as impressive as anything he's accomplished with Brees or the Saints before. After a handful of lackluster seasons, Payton in one year has transformed what looked to be an aging group destined for a major rebuild into a younger, dynamic Super Bowl contender.

You can definitely tell this is a different Sean Payton out there. Winning solves a lot, and I think some of the best decisions made were getting rid of his long-time assistants. As long as the team keeps winning and gets into the postseason, no one will doubt his future in New Orleans.

Saints’ Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas make ESPN’s Top 25 under 25 player list - Canal Street Chronicles
ESPN Senior Writer Mike Sando has gathered up rankings involving several NFL talent evaluators and has included others to compile a Top 25 list for players under the age of 25. Two New Orleans Saints, Marshon Lattimore and Michael Thomas, have made the list, with an honorable mention to Alvin Kamara included.

The Saints rookie class has been very strong, to say the least. Marcus Williams should soon enter some of these conversations, and Trey Hendrickson has been a nice role player for the defense. Al-Quadin Muhammad’s time will come, and we can’t forget about the undrafted rookies making an impact like Trey Edmunds and Justin Hardee.

Saints have moved on from the Junior Galette mistake | NOLA.com
I vowed never to write about Junior Galette ever again.

Yet here I am.

Galette will make his return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday to face his former team as a member of the Washington Redskins. I’m sure he’s hoping to annihilate Drew Brees for multiple sacks. I’m sure he’s hoping to stick it to Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints for releasing him in July 2015, a release eight months in the making that he never saw coming.

(Funny story: Galette, unprompted, confirmed his departure by sending me a text message saying the Saints released him and that I “got my wish.”)

Let’s not live in the past.

What if I told you there were 11 Saints players either tied or ahead of Junior Galette in sacks? Sure, I guess that’s not that impressive considering Galette has just 1.0 sack on the year, but still it’s there.