Saints rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks adjusting well to NFL

Associated Press photo by L.G. PATTERSON -- Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks scores a touchdown on a 25-yard reception in the third quarter of an Aug. 8 preseason game against the St. Louis Rams.

So much for the rookie wall. Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks said Friday he’s avoided a mental or physical slump during his initial NFL experience. Neither two-a-days during training camp in West Virginia and Saints headquarters nor the Saints offense’s thick playbook has dampened his summer of professional football, despite missing all of OTAs and minicamp because… Continue reading →

Saints release Greg Jones

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --New Saints acquisition FB Greg Jones participates in drills during Saints samp Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

The New Orleans Saints have begun chopping down their roster to 53 men. The team released fullback Greg Jones in the first known move, according to a league source. The 11-year veteran was signed by the Saints in early August after Erik Lorig suffered a leg injury. However, Austin Johnson has been working with the first-team… Continue reading →

Saints QB Luke McCown, WR Joseph Morgan solid as preseason closes

Associated Press photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS -- Saints quarterback Luke McCown passes against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The fourth preseason game is for the dreamers and schemers. It’s typically a time for the starters to rest and for the backups to make one last push to claim a roster spot. The Saints didn’t completely hand over Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the backups. Several players, including guards Ben… Continue reading →

Saints starters see limited action in preseason finale vs. Ravens

Advocate photo by John McCusker-- Drew Brees talks to Jimmy Graham as they warm up at the Superdome.

For most of the Saints starters, including new papa Drew Brees, the most action they got Thursday night was running on the field for introductions — and that was just the offense. Besides Brees, whose inactive status for the team’s final preseason game was announced beforehand, other listed offensive starters who did not at least line up for their… Continue reading →

Three and out: Ravens 22, Saints 13

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Saints coach Sean Payton talks with linebacker Ronald Powell after a play against the Baltimore Ravens in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

1. What we learned Off the field we found out Drew Brees’ new daughter’s name is Rylen Judith Brees. On the field, not so much. The proud papa, like many Saints starters, sat this one out. For those demanding something for their preseason dollar, Luke McCown looked… Continue reading →

NFC South preview: Carolina Panthers try for elusive repeat

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the New England Patriots, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will need to rewrite history if they hope to repeat as NFC South champions this season. It won’t be easy. No team has won back-to-back NFC South division titles since the league realigned in 2002. The Panthers are in a division stacked with formidable foes — not to mention tremendously… Continue reading →

Instant Replay: Ravens 22, Saints 13

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) and wide receiver Charles Hawkins (18) huddle with quarterback Ryan Griffin (4) before an NFL preseason football game in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Here are some highlights from the game: What did we learn? The Ravens can play in a game in the Superdome without worry about the power going out. Saints fans have their priorities, because the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was half full on a school night despite attendance figures. The key players didn't play: Starting quarterbacks Drew Brees… Continue reading →

Saints’ Derek Dimke gets his kicks — and makes them

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Saints kicker Derek Dimke follows through on one of his two field goals during Thursday's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints appeared serious about giving 24-year-old kicker Derek Dimke a chance to separate himself in the race with incumbent kicker Shayne Graham, 36, in their 22-13 defeat against the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday night. New Orleans let Dimke take three kickoffs, an extra point and a pair of field goals it had… Continue reading →

Saints QB Luke McCown, WR Joseph Morgan solid as preseason closes

Associated Press photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS -- Saints quarterback Luke McCown passes against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The fourth preseason game is for the dreamers and schemers. It’s typically a time for the starters to rest and for the backups to make one last push to claim a roster spot. The Saints didn’t completely hand over Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the backups. Several players, including guards Ben… Continue reading →

Roster Watch, Injury Report for Saints vs. Ravens preseason finale

New Orleans Saints defensive back Brian Dixon, right, intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Lenz  during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/AJ Mast) ORG XMIT: NAD123

Here are five players jockeying to be role players on the Saints’ 2014 53-man roster as New Orleans faces Baltimore at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday night in the last of four preseason exhibitions. Both teams are 3-0. —Roster Watch— CB Brian Dixon — Dixon’s preseason debut at St. Louis… Continue reading →

Ravens at Saints: predictions

Associated Press photo by BILL HABER -- Saints coach Sean Payton talks to players on the sideline in the first half of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 15.

RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS: It can’t be stated enough how this game is all about last-minute internal evaluations before the Saints cut their roster Saturday to 53 players from 75 — as well as trying to emerge from it without any major injuries. So, given that winning is not even a secondary focus and the Saints (3-0) have never finished… Continue reading →

Ravens at Saints: Three and out

Associated Press file photo by BILL HABER -- Saints wide receiver Nick Toon works before the first half of a game against the Buffalo Bills last season. Toon is angling for a spot on the roster ahead of Robert Meachem and Joe Morgan.

1. QUARTERBACKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AGAIN The Saints might only carry only two quarterbacks into the season regardless of who wins this job, but it’s also possible that they’ll carry both Ryan Griffin and Luke McCown if McCown wins the job. That means a roster spot will be taken away from another position. 2.… Continue reading →

Ravens at Saints: know your opponent

Associated Press photo by BRANDON WADE -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor looks for a receiver during an NFL preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 16, 2014, in Arlington, Texas.

Joe Flacco will not be under center for the Ravens, but that doesn’t mean this game will be a cakewalk for the Saints defense. Backup Tyrod Taylor has pieced together a pretty impressive preseason. The fourth-year quarterback out of Virginia Tech has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 240 yards with two touchdowns and an… Continue reading →

Saints cut ties with linebacker Victor Butler

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Saints OLB Victor Butler (90) works in drills under the watchful eye of Defensive Line coach Bill Johnson, left,  during Training Camp practice Tuesday at The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Linebacker Victor Butler had assimilated himself with the Dallas Cowboys during his first four years in the NFL, but he yearned for much more than that. So he seized the opportunity in 2013 to sign a two-year contract with the Saints in free agency, even though they’d given up the most yards in NFL history during the previous season.… Continue reading →

Saints camp tidbits from Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Ryan Griffin (4) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

A few minutes with ... Ryan Griffin Q: What’s your review of your training camp/preseason performance so far, and are you pleased? A: “I’m never satisfied. No doubt there have been a lot of good things that have gone on this preseason but (I’m) definitely never satisfied. I’ve got to continue… Continue reading →

Saints quarterback Drew Brees beaming over the birth of his daughter

Photo provided by Drew Brees through Twitter -- Released photo shows New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees holding his newborn baby girl

Drew Brees is now one child short of fielding his own offensive line. The Saints quarterback and his wife, Brittany, welcomed a new baby girl Monday night at 7:43 p.m. The couple declined to share their daughter’s name since a birth certificate has not yet been filled out, but Brees said the 7-pound, 7-ounce, 20-inch child arrived… Continue reading →

Saints will waive Rufus Johnson Jr., source says

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- New Orleans Saints linebacker Rufus Johnson takes a breather during minicamp at the team's training facility in Metairie in June.

Second-year Saints defensive lineman Rufus Johnson Jr. has been informed he will be waived Tuesday, a league source has told The Advocate. New Orleans chose the 6-foot-5, 272-pound Johnson in the sixth round of the 2013 draft out of Tarleton State, where he racked up 15.5 quarterback sacks and second-team Division II All-America honors as a hands-in-the-dirt… Continue reading →

Saints Morning Briefing: Tuesday (Aug. 26)

Advocate staff photo by Rusty Costanza -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham runs with the ball as corner back, Patrick Robinson, right, tries to strip away the ball during practice at Saints Camp in Metairie.

The Saints' 2014 training camp -- which began in West Virginia on July 24 before returning to the area after Aug. 13 -- officially breaks after practice Tuesday morning. Weather permitting, it's free and open to fans and scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the team's practice facility (5800 Airline Drive… Continue reading →