All Things Saints: Your Daily News 3/5


 

Photo Courtesy of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

I hope everyone is recovering from Mardi Gras, for those who have never experienced the phenomenon that is the historic celebration, you definitely have to try it!

Jed Lipinski | NOLA.com | Rob Ryan, Saints’ defense coordinator, stars in Krewe of Argus parade

“Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?! Who dat?! Who dat?!”

These words trailed Rob Ryan as he led the Krewe of Argus parade through the pouring rain in Metairie Tuesday morning. 

Ryan, the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, was named Grand Marshall of the parade in February. Commonly impersonated by fans at Saints’ games, Ryan was also the inspiration for a crew of dancing Rob Ryans (flowing grey-blond hair, Saints caps, fake pot bellies) during the Krewe D’Etat parade on Friday night, Feb 28.

There’s few things better than seeing any member of the Saints organization in a Mardi Gras parade. It’s just a boatload of fun. Of course, as many pointed out, despite the rain, Rob Ryan’s hair still glistened beautifully.

Mike Triplett | ESPN.com | Free-agent spotlight: LB Jonathan Vilma

Projection: Vilma has said he would like to keep playing, and he has had ample time to recover from his latest clean-up surgery last summer. But the combination of his age and his injury history puts his future in jeopardy.

I don’t see him as an every-down starter at this stage. But I could see a team bringing Vilma in to vie for a rotational role. His experience and leadership will boost his appeal.

Back in November, when Vilma first announced his return. He stated that he will go ‘as long as his knees let him’. The reality set in after Vilma played in only one game after his injury, surgery, and rehab. It doesn’t look so good for Vilma, but I believe his leadership and presence in the locker room is something the Saints will miss most.

Mike Triplett | ESPN.com |  Free-agent spotlight: Defensive backups

Projection: Humber is even more likely to re-sign with the Saints or find work elsewhere. He looked very solid in his cameo appearances on defense last year – especially as a run defender. Plus, he’s still young without too much wear on the tires.

Triplett has Coleman, Herring, Humber, and Pugh on this list. Honestly, Humber has the best chance of being back, and I’ve previously stated that Humber should be a priority for the team. Herring will be the odd man out with Kevin Reddick and Humber backing up Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne.

Mike Triplett | ESPN.com | Offseason Blueprint: Saints

Joyner listed five free agents the Saints should target — current starters Jimmy Graham, Zach Strief and Brian de la Puente, plus San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (a young, solid starter with good experience who won’t break the bank) and Minnesota Vikings deep threat receiver Jerome Simpson. I’m not sure the Saints can afford everyone on that list. But I think that’s a very good estimate of both the positions and caliber of players the Saints may target.

I guess this is a best case scenario the ESPN Insiders came up with regarding the Saints free agency. I’d love to say we will lock up Strief and de la Puente, but I wonder where all of that money is coming from with Jimmy Graham’s price tag. I believe the Saints will have to search for a cornerback that is on the cusp or ready for a larger role in a defense, and could really evolve into a gem for the team. As for Jerome Simpson? I wouldn’t want to touch him. His off the field issues are not needed.

Larry Holder | NOLA.com | New Orleans Saints free agency outlook: quarterback

McCown went as far as to call his only season in New Orleans one of the most enjoyable of his 10-year NFL career despite his concrete role as a backup behind Brees. Also don’t forget McCown serves as the holder on field-goal attempts, an underrated yet important role on special teams.

If for some reason McCown lands elsewhere, there’s no doubt the Saints would be in the market for a veteran along the same level, possibly McCoy or Flynn. But re-signing McCown would be the optimal route.

I guess this would just be one last season to have a veteran backup. I have stated that I am not exactly in favor of bringing back McCown because I believe that money is better spent elsewhere. However, it would give another year for Ryan Griffin to develop.

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