No longer just an undrafted player, Saints tight end Josh Hill is poised for bigger role with Jimmy Graham gone

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Saints tight end, Josh Hill, answers question for the students at Ethel Schoeffner Elementary in Destrehan on Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2015. The Saints Junior Training Camp Program visits schools throughout the Gulf Coast to promote the NFL's "Play 60" campaign and hold football activities for the students.

They told Josh Hill he couldn’t make it. He wasn’t good enough. He was going to fail. No one wanted him. It doesn’t matter that those are old wounds, since healed over as he silenced the doubters. It doesn’t matter that he’s stuck around for two years and has earned the confidence of New Orleans Saints coach Sean… Continue reading →

Saints to have dinner with University of Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett

Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman responds to a reporter's question during a news conference Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, in Shreveport, La. The Hurricanes face South Carolina in the Independence Bowl NCAA college football game on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V.

The Saints will continue their Florida scouting trip by heading to the University of Miami. After checking out Florida State Pro Day, members of the Saints staff will reportedly have dinner with Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett on Tuesday night, according to draft insider Tony Pauline. Miami Pro Day is scheduled for Wednesday.… Continue reading →

Sean Payton, Rob Ryan taking in Florida State Pro Day

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, left, and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan watch from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Sean Payton and members of his staff are taking in the Florida State Pro Day. ESPN reports the Saints coach is at the event with a large staff, including defensive coordinator Mickey Loomis. The Seminoles have several players who could be of interest to the Saints, including cornerbacks Ronald Darby and P.J, Williams. Others taking part in the event: DE Mario Edwards
OL… Continue reading →

Saints fans rejoice: Falcons to lose draft 2016 fifth-round pick, fined $350,000 for pumping in fake crowd noise

Atlanta Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay answers a question during an NFL football Competition Committee news conference at the NFL Annual Meeting, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Falcons will be getting more than a slap on the wrist for skirting the NFL’s rules. The league is expected to take a draft pick away from Atlanta and suspend team president Rich McCay from the competition committee after it was recently discovered the team was pumping in fake crowd noise, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It is not known which… Continue reading →

How Jeff Ireland’s tenure with the New Orleans Saints began with a text message: 'Keep me in mind'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- 2015 LSU Football Pro Day. From left, Jeff Ireland, new Saints asst. GM, chats with Mickey Loomis, Saints GM.

It started with a text message. After Jeff Ireland saw Ryan Pace was leaving New Orleans to become general manager of the Chicago Bears, he shot Saints GM Mickey Loomis a message that simply read, “Keep me in mind.” The seed was planted. A few weeks later, the former Miami Dolphins general manager was… Continue reading →

For the Saints’ Tim Lelito ‘the options are endless’

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Tim Lelito visits students at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in Slidell Wednesday, March 25, 2015, to talk to them about the importance of reading. The visit was sponsored by the Saints and Rotolos Pizza.

SLIDELL — Although the Saints cleared a starting spot for him by trading left guard Ben Grubbs to Kansas City, holdover Tim Lelito is not taking anything for granted. Lelito heard general manager Mickey Loomis’ kind words earlier this week from the owners’ meetings in Phoenix, when he labeled Lelito “a good find for… Continue reading →

With Brandon Browner in the fold, the Saints will look to be more physical at cornerback

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2014, file photo, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline (82) can't catch a pass in front of New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner, rear, in the first half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. Hartline was  released Friday, Feb. 27, 2015,  by the Miami Dolphins in the wake of a severe drop-off in productivity last season. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) ORG XMIT: NY157

Malcolm Butler got all the glory. He took a trip to Disney, was gifted a new pickup truck by Tom Brady, and became a household name after intercepting a pass to seal the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He deserved the spotlight. He made a great read on Russell… Continue reading →

Saints preseason games to move to WVUE in New Orleans and WAFB in Baton Rouge

Associated Press photo by SCOTT KANE -- Saints quarterback Ryan Griffin passes against the St. Louis Rams in the third quarter of a preseason game Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in St. Louis.

The New Orleans Saints announced that Raycom Media will produce and broadcast the organization’s preseason games throughout the Gulf South. The multi-year agreement begins with the 2015 preseason and will be broadcast on Raycom Media stations throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. In New Orleans, this will put the games on WVUE FOX 8, which is owned… Continue reading →

Some might point to the signing of Max Unger along with RBs C.J. Spiller and Mark Ingram as a sign the Saints offense is becoming more run-oriented. Not so, says Sean Payton

Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger (60) talks with head coach Pete Carroll before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Carolina Panthers in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PHOENIX — It’s been suggested that the Saints are in the process of undergoing a philosophical transformation. The team signed C.J. Spiller and re-signed Mark Ingram to a pair of four-year, $16 million contracts and traded tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks for a package that included center Max Unger. More running backs. A stronger interior offensive… Continue reading →

While it might look confusing to observers, Saints offseason has been mapped out with clear plan

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis have had frank conversations about the Saints and offseason solutions to the team's problems.

PHOENIX — Sometimes change brings concern, which creates panic, which creates rumors and speculation. No one really knows what is going on, so they begin guessing. And once enough people start making similar guesses, it’s perceived as fact. This is the reality the New Orleans Saints recently found themselves in. As they read and… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton says guard Jahri Evans is not going anywhere

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans (73) blocks Tampa Bay Buccaneers middle linebacker Mason Foster (59) during the first quarter Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

PHOENIX — Many expected Jahri Evans to either be released or traded this offseason. That isn’t happening. While the Saints entertained trade offers for both Ben Grubbs and Evans, the team ultimately decided to let Grubbs go to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. That means Evans isn’t going anywhere. Coach… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton views defensive end Cam Jordan as an important part of team's future and says team is trying to sign him to a long-term deal

Associated Press photo by BRIAN BLANCO -- Saints coach Sean Payton

PHOENIX — The trade speculation surrounding Cam Jordan appears to be false. Speaking at the owners meeting in Arizona on Wednesday morning, Saints coach Sean Payton said that general manager Mickey Loomis has been discussing a long-term deal with the pass rusher’s representatives. Payton said he views Jordan as an important piece of the team’s future and would like to find a… Continue reading →

In interview, Saints owner Tom Benson relaxed, sharp, confident in wife's ability, optimistic about Saints', Pelicans' futures

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle Benson arrive before an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

PHOENIX — Tom Benson remembers this feeling. He was scared. Frightened. Unsure. When coach Sean Payton came to town in 2006, Benson watched his New Orleans Saints transform from the perennial also-rans they once were. He wasn’t sure it was going to work or where things were headed, but he knew something had… Continue reading →

Rex Ryan says his brother, Rob Ryan, can be an NFL head coach — but he might need a haircut

Rex Ryan is seen at the AFC Coaches Breakfast, on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Rex Ryan is the head coach of the Buffalo Bills NFL team. (Madison Kirkman/AP Images for NFL) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

PHOENIX — Rex Ryan wants his players to believe in him so much that if he says he has the social security number for the unknown soldier, they’ll believe him blindly. And once those words pass through the Buffalo Bills coach’s mouth and hit the air, he’ll believe them himself. That’s how confident he is in his talents… Continue reading →

Saints owner Tom Benson feeling 'great' at NFL owners meetings, welcomes chance to prep Gayle Benson for future role

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle sit in on the press conference as head coach Sean Payton talks about the Saints reporting for 2013 Training Camp including meetings, physicals, and conditioning at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Thursday, July 25, 2013.

. PHOENIX — Tom Benson is keeping busy at the owners meetings this week and has been attending meetings with his wife, Gayle Benson. The two were in another meeting this morning and the Saints owner said he is enjoying his time here this week. “This makes me feel great just to get out. The… Continue reading →

Saints draft prospects: If New Orleans is looking for a new receiver, Devin Smith could fit the bill

Wide receiver Devin Smith catches a pass during a drill at NFL Pro Day at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, March 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Devin Smith Position: Wide receiver School: Ohio State Height: 6-foot-0 Weight: 196 pounds Devin Smith is the best deep ball wide receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft class and he proved it last season in Columbus, averaging an astounding 28.2 yards per reception and catching 12 touchdown passes. Smith, a former Ohio State track star, was clocked at 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash and… Continue reading →

Saints do not receive any compensatory draft picks

PHOENIX –The NFL handed out 32 compensatory draft choices to 14 teams on Monday, of which the Saints received none. The picks are determined through a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors that equals the net loss of free agents from the previous year, up to a maximum of four for each team. The picks this… Continue reading →

Saints owner Tom Benson taking active role at owners meetings in Phoenix

FILE - This is an Oct. 26, 2014, file photo showing New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson sitting on the sideline before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in New Orleans. Currently, Tom Benson has been undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric examination which the judge wants completed by Friday, March 13, 2015. The results, which the judge has ordered to be kept private, could help decide who controls New Orleans major pro sports franchises. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

PHOENIX — Tom Benson is taking an active role at the NFL owners meetings this week in Arizona. The Saints owner attended a meeting pertaining to finances Monday morning with his wife, Gayle Benson, and team president Dennis Lauscha, according to a source, while general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton sat in on a meeting about football operations. Benson, 87,… Continue reading →

Mickey Loomis: Drew Brees will not be traded and there was never a ‘for sale’ sign on the Saints’ players

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees warms up before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

PHOENIX — The image of the New Orleans Saints painted over the past two weeks by media reports was that of a burned-down house with the last surviving belongings sitting in the front yard, free to anyone who wanted to load them up. The Saints were supposedly ripping things down to the studs. Everything had… Continue reading →

NFL suspending TV blackouts for the 2015 season

FILE - in this March 26, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014: "We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. But we were never granted that opportunity." (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

. PHOENIX (AP) — The NFL will not block any games from local television during the 2015 season. The league said Monday that team owners voted for a one-year suspension of the long-standing blackout policy for the preseason and regular season. There were no blackouts last season, because the minimum number of tickets was sold for… Continue reading →