We trust that you had a good weekend Who Dat Nation! Let’s get you caught up on some good news items for today.
Mike Triplett | ESPN | Saints draft prediction: CB Jason Verrett
Although Verrett is “undersized” for a cornerback at 5-foot-10, 189 pounds, I like what I’ve seen and read about his physical and feisty nature. He’s blazing fast, strong in man coverage and an asset in run support. He’s the kind of player that could fit well in Rob Ryan’s versatile defense, which usually features five or more defensive backs on the field at once.
Triplett goes on to provide some other potential predictions at pick #27. Verrett hasn’t exactly appeared on the vast majority of mock drafts for the Saints, but keeps impressing. It would appear that the team will likely side with a cornerback or wide receiver with their first pick of the draft, but with a recent signing of Robert Meachem, it’s looking as though cornerback is emerging as a more pressing need.
Peter King | Sports Illustrated | Monday Morning Quarterback
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is donating $5 million to help former Saints special-teamer Steve Gleason, who now is wheelchair-bound with ALS, and his Team Gleason foundation build and operate Team Gleason House for Innovative Living. The gift, Gleason said, will be used as an endowment for annual operating expenses for the home. The house, in New Orleans, will allow 18 ALS patients to live fairly close to self-sufficient lives in rooms where the operation of everything will be controlled by patients’ eyes. The home is scheduled to open in June, and Gleason doesn’t want to stop at just one in New Orleans.
Nothing warms the heart more than seeing things like this happen. Tom Benson displays a true display of character by making such a considerable donation to the Team Gleason House. Anyone that suggests Gleason has not spread tremendous awareness around ALS is living under a rock. Be sure to check out Team Gleason. No White Flags!
Ramon Antonio Vargas | The Advocate | Early road trips on Saints minds
The Saints’ road doldrums — perceived or real — will almost certainly be a dominant storyline early this season. They’ll visit Atlanta, Cleveland and Dallas during Weeks 1 and 4; and they’ll travel for a fourth time to Detroit in Week 7 after the off week.
“It’s one after the other,” Brees said about the tests his team will have to navigate this season. “We are going to see what kind of team we are after these road games.”
Vargas is spot on with his assessment. This opening stint in September is going to be a true test, and it won’t matter who the opponent is. The bottom line? It’s a road game. In almost every road affair last year, the Saints did not get off to a strong start in any of the games, especially the losses. The team would trail early, and it seemed that there was always one play that changed the momentum of the game.
Katherine Terrell | NOLA.com | New Orleans Saints 2014 draft outlook
Saints position priority: Medium
What the Saints might do in the draft: There’s a big priority placed on flexibility in the Saints’ system, and that’s obvious with Junior Galette and Akiem Hicks, who often switch positions depending on what scheme the Saints are using. Galette plays defensive end and outside linebacker.
As Terrell suggests in her article, a DE/OLB to fit the 3-4 system of Rob Ryan is a likely need that is addressed through the draft. Where exactly? We’re not sure. There are great prospects out there, and getting some defensive line help for the team will won’t be a bad thing at all. The Saints had a great deal of success last year from the undrafted pool of rookie free agents. One of those players, defensive end Glenn Foster, appeared in twelve games last year. Foster finished with only seven tackles, but had three sacks.
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