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Fleur-de-Links, August 20: Saints’ Marcus Williams wins Fortnite game

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Saints news and notes for Monday, August 20th.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Word on the Street

News on the New Orleans Saints and from around the NFC South.

How would you grade out Marcus Williams for his Fortnite finish?

Ryan Clark & Michael Thomas - ESPN
Before chatting with Saints WR Michael Thomas about his rise to becoming one of the NFL's elite receivers (28:49), Adam Schefter talks to ESPN's Ryan Clark about his career, his expectations for the 2018 season, his relationship with the late Sean Taylor and much more (:37).

Second-year defensive end Trey Hendrickson making presence felt on Saints line | theadvocate.com
"You feel him," coach Sean Payton said. "There is a physical presence to him. It is not necessarily the feistiness, it is how a player plays between the whistles."

By virtue of his motor, Hendrickson always had a presence on the practice field.

A season of NFL football has given him a body better capable of taking advantage of all that effort.

"He is stronger," Payton said. "Fortunately, right now he is healthy."

Saints TE Ben Watson, the 'Under Armour mannequin' getting better with age | NOLA.com
"He's a specimen, man," said running back Mark Ingram. "He's like the Under Armour mannequin. He's the oldest guy in there, but the most ripped up.

"When you look at him, he doesn't look like he's been playing 15 years. The way he plays, it doesn't look like he's been playing 15 years. Everybody hopes to look like that when they're 36, 37 years old."

GETTING SMASHED IN THE MOUTH DOWN SOUTH: Saints News Network's 2018 NFC South Division Season Predictions | Saints News Network
Bottom Line: I think that this current Saints team as it's configured, is good enough to win 13 games, but with that tough of a schedule (besides playing the Panthers and Falcons each twice, the Saints also play the Eagles, Vikings, Rams, and Steelers this year) an 11-5 record seems more realistic.

Preseason Week 2: Winners/losers for each NFC team - NFL.com
Tre'Quan Smith is coming. The rookie third-round pick could wind up stealing a lot of the production that folks like me thought Cameron Meredith would eat up this season. Smith stole the show at training camp by fighting through contested catches and has translated that into two terrific preseason performances. Could he be the team's No. 2 receiver? ... The Saints' impressive offensive line is completely healthy again for the first time since early last season. ... Former Bills runner Jonathan Williams is the leader in the clubhouse for carries behind Alvin Kamara while Mark Ingram serves his four-game suspension to open the season.

Five things to know about the New Orleans Saints on Monday, August 20
The New Orleans Saints will travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday, August 21 for joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers. Read why the Saints are eager to take on new competition here.

Updated New Orleans Saints 53-man roster projection | SaintsWire
Tight ends (3): Benjamin Watson, Josh Hill, and Dan Arnold.

Plenty of people – myself included – got excited about undrafted rookie Deon Yelder but he’s hardly made an impression this summer. Michael Hoomanawanui hasn’t been able to get on the field due to injuries. This is probably New Orleans’ weakest position group, and I’d watch carefully on roster cuts day (September 1) to see if the Saints poach a tight end or two.

Lagniappe

The latest updates from far and wide around the NFL, and the greater world of sports.

Adrian Peterson finds a new home with the Washington Redskins.

I thought everyone stopped watching the NFL?

Once upon a time, Davis Tull played for the Saints. He’s now with the AAF. There’s a lot of LSU players here too.

Can controversial helmet rule be subject to replay review? Here's why NFL head of officials isn't sure - CBSSports.com
The rule is currently not reviewable, which has only made it more open to criticism. On Friday, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio asked NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron if that might change given the mostly negative response to the implementation of the rule.

Mike Zimmer: Helmet hit rule will cost people 'jobs' - NFL.com
"It's going to cost some people some jobs," Zimmer said. "Playoffs, jobs, the whole bit, I guess.

"We haven't had any called on us so far. It's just hard to figure out. No one has ever said to me, 'Hey. Don't worry about it, we're going to call it less or we'll get it straightened out in the regular season. Or we're going to come up with a revised rule.' No one has ever said that."