Prayers go up for Saints at Touchdown Club luncheon

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees signs autographs for fans at the Touchdown Club's 46th Annual Meet the Saints Luncheon on Friday at the Marriott Hotel.

Monsignor Christopher H. Nalty delighted Friday afternoon’s packed crowd at the 46th Annual Meet The Saints Luncheon with his rendition of “O God, Our Help is Ages Past,” a traditional hymn. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home.… Continue reading →

In Indianapolis exhibition, few have more to show than Saints' Toon

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTONNew Orleans Saints wide receiver Nick Toon makes a catch at the Saints training facility in Metairie on Thursday.

Signs of the importance of the Saints’ exhibition at Indianapolis on Saturday evening are everywhere. Franchise quarterback Drew Brees will take his first game snaps this preseason after sitting out victories at St. Louis on Aug. 8 and at home against Tennessee on Aug. 15. Saints safety Jairus Byrd — signed in March to a massive six-year… Continue reading →

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham fined $30,000 for goalpost dunks against Tennessee Titans

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) scores a first quarter touchdown and draws a flag in a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

Jimmy Graham’s act of defiance is going to cost him. The New Orleans Saints tight end was fined $30,000 for throwing down a pair of goalpost dunks following his two touchdowns in last Friday’s 31-24 win over the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, according to a league source. Graham could have been fined a total… Continue reading →

The Saints have plenty of voices when it comes to calling offensive plays

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael, in black center, calls plays during ehfirst session of Training Camp practice Thursday at The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

There have been two voices Saints quarterback Drew Brees has heard through his headset in the nine seasons he’s been in New Orleans, and, if he’s being honest, it has been quite difficult to tell them apart. It doesn’t matter if it’s coach Sean Payton, who dialed up the Saints’ offensive plays from 2006 through the first… Continue reading →

Saints camp tidbits for Aug. 22

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints linebacker Rufus Johnson (59) throws at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

Derrick Strozier Position: Running back Years in the NFL: Rookie Acquired: Singed as an undrafted free agent College: Tulane Career highlights: A converted cornerback, Strozier recorded four career crries for 12 yards while at Tulane. He also had 11 catches for 60 yards. Strengths: Strozier has flashed several times in practices due to his quickness,… Continue reading →

Saints training camp report: Thursday, Aug. 21

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH --New Orleans Saints  quarterback Drew Brees throws the ball during Tuesday's practice.

The first two preseason games are typically approached with more of an internal view. Teams approach those contests looking to tune up their skills and test different things. The third game, however, takes on a more season-like feel. The amount of time spent game planning pales to how teams prepare for the regular season, but… Continue reading →

Drew Brees' passing accuracy highlights Saints' practice

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.

Five observations from the New Orleans Saints' Thursday practice: 1. Drew Brees was sharp -- As far as we could tell, Drew Brees did not throw an incompletion during 11-on-11 drills. The session was held in shorts and shells, so contact was limited, but it was still an impressive feat. He had two near misses to Nick… Continue reading →

Saints waive four players on Thursday

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talks with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

The Saints don't need to cut their roster down to 75 until Aug. 26, but they got a head start Thursday by waiving four players. New Orleans cut WR Tobais Palmer, RB Timothy Flanders, TE Je'Ron Hamm and OLB Chidera Uzo-Diribe, coach Sean Payton said. The waivers brought the size of the Saints’ roster down to 86.… Continue reading →

Podcast: Previewing the New Orleans Saints at Indianapolis Colts preseason game on Saturday

Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck walks past head coach Chuck Pagano during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

In this "Advocate Sports: Saints preview" podcast, Advocate Online Sports Editor Pierce W. Huff talks with Bob Lamey, the long-time voice of the Indianapolis Colts. Lamey gives insight on whether receiver Reggie Wayne will play in the team's game against the New Orleans Saints, the talent of quarterback Andrew Luck and the team's prospects in the AFC. Continue reading →

Saints’ Keenan Lewis back, Jairus Byrd impresses

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis practices Wednesday at Mandeville High.

Under the lights of Mandeville High School’s football stadium Wednesday night, signs were relatively good that the Saints could soon have a full complement of cornerbacks as they sort out how the depth chart will look at that position. Not only did entrenched No. 1 cornerback Keenan Lewis participate in team drills after missing practices Monday and Tuesday with… Continue reading →

Rufus Johnson

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints linebacker Rufus Johnson hits Kansas City Chiefs running back Cyrus Gray during the fourth quarter Aug. 9 of the first preseason game of the year at the Superdome.

Position: Defensive lineman Years in the NFL: 1 Acquired: Draft (2013, sixth round) College: Tarleton State Career highlights: In his final… Continue reading →

Saints Morning Briefing, Aug. 20

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints Jairus Byrd reacts to Mark Ingram cut at the line of scrimmage during training camp.

Things are supposed to be cooler on the North Shore. That, plus a rare evening practice, should be welcome news for the Saints as they take a break from the routine that their Metairie facility with a special practice at Mandeville High School at 7 PM tonight. Working in far hotter conditions than they experienced during… Continue reading →

Even if he’s full-time play-caller, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael says job will be group effort

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNISSaints quarterback Drew Brees chats with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael during Saturday's scrimmage. Brees did not participate.

Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. doesn’t yet know if he’ll call his team’s plays during the 2014 regular season after doing so in recent exhibition wins at St. Louis and at home against Tennessee. But Carmichael does know this: Even if it is his voice that’s being piped into quarterback Drew Brees’ headset before snaps, play-calling for… Continue reading →

Saints’ on the bubble: Travis Beckum

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints S Jairus Byrd (31) jogs off the field after the morning Saints Training Camp practice Saturday in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

On The Bubble Travis Beckum Position: Tight end. Years in the NFL: 5. Acquired: Free agency (2014). College: Wisconsin. Career highlights: The 2009 third-round draft pick caught seven passes for 45 yards in the 2011 playoffs for the Giants, who won the Super Bowl that season. He tore an ACL in the title game and hasn’t played since. Strengths:… Continue reading →

Safety Jairus Byrd expects to play for the Saints on Saturday

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints Jairus Byrd reacts to Mark Ingram cut at the line of scrimmage during training camp.

Byrd had been limited in practice for most of trraining camp prior to Tuesday's practice. However, he was a full go on Tuesday and should see his first… Continue reading →

Saints go through walkthroughs and positional work in Tuesday practice

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS Saints receiver Marques Colston runs a pass route as cornerback Patrick Robinson defends during training camp last week.

A handful of observations from Tuesday's practice: Senio Kelemete worked with the first-team offense with Ben Grubbs missing from practice. Kenan Lewis spent some time on a rowing machine. He exited Friday's game with an undisclosed injury and has not practiced since.… Continue reading →

Saints morning briefing (Aug. 19)

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Saints wide receiver Seantavius Jones (15) strikes a pose after making touchdown while New Orleans Saints tackle Thomas Welch (60) and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman (16) watch  in a NFL preseason football game between the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans in the Superdome in  New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

The Saints are doing their best to say out of sight. After holding the first three weeks of camp in West Virginia, the team returned to its practice facility for Sunday’s session, but practice was moved indoors Monday. Weather permitting, the Saints should practice before fans Tuesday morning. ABOUT YESTERDAY: The Saints held practice indoors due… Continue reading →

Saints' defense prevails in 2-minute drills and rookie Brandon Coleman rebounds in Monday practice

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Saints wide receiver Seantavius Jones (15) strikes a pose after making touchdown while New Orleans Saints tackle Thomas Welch (60) and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman (16) watch  in a NFL preseason football game between the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans in the Superdome in  New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

The first- and second-string Saints’ defenses won the day Monday by foiling their offensive counterparts in a pair of simulated two-minute drives to end practice. On the first drive, Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed his first seven passes of the drive for 60 yards, positioning his team at the defense’s 20 before clocking it with 21 seconds… Continue reading →

Saints rookie Brandin Cooks out with stomach virus

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) can't grab a catch in the end zone in a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

A stomach virus sidelined rookie Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks from training camp practice Monday, coach Sean Payton said. Cooks, who through two preseason victories has six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, had a light fever before it was decided he would sit out the practice. Cornerback Keenan Lewis also missed practice Monday. Lewis… Continue reading →