Saints cut roster down to 75

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  Saints receiver Nick Toon hauls in a pass during training camp. Toon was among 15 players cut Tuesday to drop the Saints roster to the NFL limit of 75.

The Saints let go of a handful of familiar names in their effort to trim 15 names from the roster. Wide receiver Nick Toon’s name will likely resonate the loudest with fans of the team, but fullback Erik Lorig, linebacker Ronald Powell, and pass rusher Anthony Spencer and cornerback P.J. Williams, both of whom… Continue reading →

Saints trade Jalen Saunders to Patriots for conditional draft pick

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Saints kick returner Jalen Saunders (18) returns the opening kickoff 99 yards to set up the Saints' first touchdown Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The return was one of the few highlights in the Saints' 30-14 loss to the Falcons.

On a day when teams spend most of their time releasing players without an immediate return, the New Orleans Saints were able to get a little something back from one transaction Tuesday. New Orleans traded kick returner Jalen Saunders to New England for a conditional seventh-round pick, meaning the Saints will get an extra selection if Saunders plays for… Continue reading →

Saints reportedly place rookie P.J. Williams on injured reserve with torn hamstring

. The New Orleans Saints placed rookie cornerback P.J. Williams on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday with a reported torn hamstring, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Williams, a Florida State product who battled injuries throughout training camp and played in only one preseason game against the New England Patriots, was the second of the team’s two third-round picks. New… Continue reading →

Saints claim Dolphins cornerback Sammy Seamster off waivers

The New Orleans Saints claimed former Miami Dolphins cornerbackSammy Seamster off of waivers on Tuesday. Seamster, a 6-foot, 205-pounder from Middle Tennessee State, played in two games for the Dolphins as a rookie in 2014. Claiming a player like Seamster at the 75-man cut-down essentially offers the Saints a chance to get an extended evaluation of him. “To claim a player to your… Continue reading →

Saints trade Jalen Saunders to New England Patriots for conditional pick

. The New Orleans Saints have traded Jalen Saunders to the New England Patriots for a conditional draft pick, according to a source. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news first. The conditional pick would depend on Saunders’ playing time with New England. Saunders emerged as a return option for the Saints late last season, taking a kickoff back 99 yards… Continue reading →

Subject to review: Saints’ Willie Snead makes his case for a roster spot

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Saints wide receiver Willie Snead  stiff arms Houston Texans safety Lonnie Ballentine and makes a 23-yard -- 18 after the catch -- on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Willie Snead’s performance against the Houston Texans could have been even better. The receiver took advantage of his opportunity to work higher in the receiver rotation and caught four passes for 56 yards. It was a solid performance for a player who enters the final week of the preseason on the roster bubble. But some yards were left… Continue reading →

Garrett Grayson still learning to play at Saints’ speed

. Garrett Grayson still has a lot to learn. Even the basics. The third-round pick from Colorado State played nearly the entire second half of Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Texans, and the first thing that popped into Sean Payton‘s mind after the game had little to do with a misfired throw or a bad read. Grayson is still… Continue reading →

Saints defense still has a long way to go

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Saints defensive tackle Bobby Richardson, left, and linebacker Jerry Franklin put pressure on Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

After Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Saints coach Sean Payton cracked that he told his team he was going to put on a second line to celebrate their first sack of the preseason. There was obvious sarcasm in his comment. It took the Saints far too long to record their first sack of the preseason. Coming… Continue reading →

Rabalais: Saints not happy with 0-3 start, but more concerned with 16 games down the road

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  New Orleans Saints tight end Orson Charles (81) is hit by Houston Texans defensive back Darryl Morris (21) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

Scurrying down from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s treehouse press box to Sean Payton’s postgame postmortem, I overheard a snippet of a discussion about the Saints in the wake of Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans: “So, you think we’ll win six games this season?” Summer’s still here and the time is right for panic in the… Continue reading →

Houston running back Alfred Blue gets better result this time at Superdome

Associated Press photo by Jonathan Bachman -- Houston Texans running back Alfred Blue leaps over the goal line in front of Saints inside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) for a touchdown in the first half Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Facing a second-and-goal from the New Orleans Saints 1 on Sunday afternoon, former LSU and Houston Texans running back Alfred Blue thought back to the only other time he had played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It came on Jan. 9, 2012: LSU vs. Alabama for the BCS National Championship. Truth be told, he’d like to… Continue reading →

Lewis: Edwin Baker hanging on to the dream

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Saints running back Edwin Baker breaks loose for a 45-yard touchdown against the Houston Texans on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Unfortunately for Saints running back Edwin Baker, it’s probably “been there, done that,” time again. Even after a day when he scored his team’s only touchdown. In his brief NFL career, Baker has been cut for three straight years, the past two in the first round when rosters are trimmed from 90 to 75.… Continue reading →

Three big observations from Saints' loss to Texans

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--  New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) outruns Houston Texans inside linebacker Akeem Dent (50) to make a 17 yard gain in the second quarter as they play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015.

1 Bad sign? It could be a bad sign that QB Ryan Griffin didn’t get on the field until there were less than 50 seconds remaining on the clock. There were only so many pieces of the pie to split up Sunday, and the coaching staff decided to serve Griffin… Continue reading →

Sean Payton says Saints penalties still 'troublesome' after loss to Houston

Two weeks after a penalty-marred preseason opener in Baltimore, the Saints couldn’t stay ahead of the law against the Texans. New Orleans was flagged 11 times for 148 yards, frustrating Payton once again. At one point, rookie punt returner Marcus Murphy had a 13-yard return nullified by offsetting penalties that included an illegal block by Davis Tull, then Murphy returned the ensuing… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton says backup quarterback Ryan Griffin will get more playing time in last preseason game against Green Bay

The battle for the backup quarterback job took a surprising turn against the Texans. Drew Brees only got one series, leaving what seemed to be ample time to get all three backup quarterbacks time against Houston. But Luke McCown played the rest of the first half and rookie Garrett Grayson played almost the entire second half, leaving Ryan Griffin only 42 seconds… Continue reading →

Hard knocked: Texans defeat Saints 27-13 in key preseason tune-up in Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  New Orleans Saints running back Marcus Murphy (48) is tackled by Houston Texans defensive back Andre Hal (29) in the first half of action  at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

Willie Snead was given a bigger opportunity during Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. He stepped up and took advantage. Working as the No. 4 receiver, the second-year player caught four passes for 56 yards to build on the momentum he's created throughout camp. The Saints lost the game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 27-13. The Saints fell into an early hole when the defense… Continue reading →

Photos: Saints struggle against the Houston Texans in big preseason prep in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Houston Texans running back Jonathan Grimes (41) is tackled by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha (45) and nose tackle John Jenkins (92) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

In theory Sunday's Saints-Houston Texans preseason game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was supposed to be the team's last chance to play most of their starters before their season openers in a couple of weeks. In reality it turned out to be a Texans 27-13 victory in a Saints game marred by mistakes and penalties. See photos of how the action went… Continue reading →

Saints backup safety Vinnie Sunseri carted off sideline in Texans game

Backup Saints safety Vinnie Sunseri, in the midst of a battle for a roster spot, was carted off the sideline during the second quarter of Sunday’s preseason game. Sunseri went down on punt coverage, was helped to the side by trainers and later carted off to the locker room. With three spots at safety occupied by Kenny Vaccaro, Rafael Bushand Jairus Byrd,… Continue reading →

Welcome to the Superdome for today’s game between the Saints and Texans

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Saints RB Marcus Murphy (48) is congratulated by team mate TE Kevin Brock (85) after Murphy scored the go-ahead TD before the Ravens came back in the final seconds of Baltimore's 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints Thursday in the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

The big questions today is who plays and how much do they play.

Saints coach Sean Payton already addressed his quarterback rotation earlier this week, saying that Drew Brees would only see a handful of snaps and then be spelled by Luke McCown. Ryan Griffin and Garrett Grayson will play the second half.

The Houston Texans have rested their stars… Continue reading →

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints: what to watch, three and out, four roster battles to watch, predictions

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton yells at a referee in the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the New England Patriots in New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

This, they say, is the one that counts. The third preseason game is typically the one that teams treat as a dress rehearsal. The starters typically play longer, there’s more attention paid to the opponent and teams have most of everything installed by this point. In most cases, it’s the closest thing… Continue reading →

Saints notebook: Trip to Yulman Stadium ‘kind of weird’ for ex-Tulane standout Ryan Griffin

When Ryan Griffin pulled off his pads Friday night to talk to the media, he revealed his old Tulane workout shirt underneath. Perfect for the setting. New Orleans practiced in front of 3,507 fans at Yulman Stadium, a spot that looked quite a bit different when Griffin was at the controls of the Green Wave… Continue reading →

Saints’ Dennis Lauscha: No complaints about Falcons’ stadium naming rights deal with Mercedes-Benz

The Saints are saying they view Mercedes-Benz’s 27-year naming rights deal for the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium not so much as an affront but a reflection on how successful the German automaker sees its 10-year deal for the Superdome’s rights. “From our perspective, Mercedes-Benz realized just how beneficial and positive their naming rights deal was in… Continue reading →

Sean Payton says Willie Snead is ‘in the thick’ of battle for roster spot

. Willie Snead’s odds of making the roster have improved throughout the course of training camp. The wide receiver has been on of the more productive and consistent performers during camp, and he capped things off by catching at least four passes during Friday’s practice at Yulman Stadium. After the session concluded, coach Sean Payton praised Snead for his… Continue reading →

No changes to roll call for Saints’ final open practice at Yulman Stadium

The list of Saints available for practice hasn’t changed as New Orleans hits Benson Field at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium for its final open practice of training camp. Cornerback Brandon Browner is on the field, but not wearing pads. Browner has been out at practice most of the week. C.J. Spiller, Jairus Byrd, Khiry Robinson, P.J. Williams, Ronald Powell, Dannell Ellerbe,… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints’ Kasim Edebali keeps his head while he keeps shifting positions

Associated Press photo by CHRIS TILLER -- Kasim Edebali, right, goes head to head with tackle Antonio Johnson during the Saints' training camp Aug. 1 in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Kasim Edebali has spent the past two weeks trying to learn a new position on the fly. Edebali, an outside linebacker/defensive end “tweener” who has almost always been used as a pass rusher, opened training camp as a defensive end. Then the defensive staff saw something in Edebali’s skill set. “Coach told me, ‘You can move in space. You… Continue reading →

A FEW MINUTES WITH: Rafael Bush

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  New Orleans Saints defensive back Rafael Bush warms up before game against the Dolphins on Sept. 30, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Veteran Saints safety Rafael Bush, now in his fourth season in New Orleans, knows the NFL game well. Bush met with the media following the Saints’ practice in Metairie on Thursday and talked about football’s most popular show. What’s the difference between a pass breakup and an interception? Football is a game of inches. One false… Continue reading →

Saints trying to find out where Kasim Edebali best fits in their defense

Kasim Edebali has spent the last two weeks trying to learn a new position on the fly. Edebali, an outside linebacker/defensive end ‘tweener who has almost always been used as a pass rusher, opened training camp as a defensive end. Then the Saints’ defensive staff saw something in Edebali’s skill set. “Coach told me ‘You can move in space, you can move around,… Continue reading →