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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: New Orleans Saints

Jameis Winston goes viral for practice speech

Jameis Winston with the Saints

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints showed that they believe Jameis Winston can be an effective NFL starting quarterback when they signed him to a new two-year deal, and the veteran is trying to prove them right.

Winston has clearly made an effort to take on a leadership role this offseason. Some Saints players held an unofficial training camp this week, and Winston went viral for a great speech he gave after one of the sessions. He sounded more like a coach than a 28-year-old quarterback. Here’s a portion:

Winston spoke to his teammates about the importance of taking care of their bodies. The speech ended with everyone huddled up and shouting “family!” on three. You can see the full speech below:

One of the reasons the two-minute was so noteworthy is that Winston does not exactly have a reputation for giving great speeches to his teammates. In fact, he was ruthlessly mocked over one attempt to do just that (video here) when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers several years ago.

Winston is still working his way back to full strength after he suffered a torn ACL midway through last season. It is a good sign that he was able to practice with his teammates all week. He appears to be on track to start in Week 1.

Jameis Winston takes step forward in his recovery

Jameis Winston with the Saints

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston has been rehabbing for several months after he suffered a torn ACL in Week 8 last year, and the New Orleans Saints quarterback took another big step forward this week.

Winston shared a video on Instagram Tuesday that showed him working through some throwing drills without a brace on his left knee. He took two-step drops and threw passes in the rain. You can see the clip below:

Winston had surgery on his knee last November. He had been wearing a brace during OTAs and minicamp and will likely wear it throughout the 2022 season. Still, it is a positive sign that he is able to work through drills without the brace.

In seven games last season, Winston threw for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdown passes, and just three interceptions. The 28-year-old played well in place of the injured Drew Brees.

The Saints signed another veteran quarterback this offseason, but the plan has always been for Winston to start. If he continues on his current path, he may be ready for Week 1.

Alvin Kamara responds to report about his looming suspension

Alvin Kamara wearing an Atlanta Braves hat

Feb 9, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara watches a game between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara appears to be miffed at a Thursday report containing details of his expected suspension for the 2022 season.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that Kamara will likely face a six-game suspension for an incident in Las Vegas during the Pro Bowl weekend. Kamara was accused of punching a man at a Las Vegas nightclub. While charges are pending, it’s expected that Kamara will have to miss time once criminal proceedings conclude.

Kamara responded to Florio Thursday via Twitter shortly after the report came out. The running back posed a likely sarcastic question for the NFL reporter.

“@ProFootballTalk can you tell us when Jesus gon return to earth?” Kamara wrote.

The 26-year-old has a hearing scheduled for early August. The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy contains a six-game minimum suspension in the event of a felony battery, which is the charge that Kamara is facing.

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report of the incident, Kamara allegedly punched an unconscious victim while the victim was lying on the ground. Kamara and three other men were also accused of stomping on the victim dozens of times, leading to an orbital fracture on the face of the victim.

If Kamara is indeed suspended for six games, the Saints will have to rely heavily on veteran Mark Ingram II and second-year back Tony Jones Jr. The team worked out veteran running back David Johnson during minicamp, but did not sign him to a contract.

Michael Thomas gives hint about his rehab in Instagram video?

Mike Thomas holding a ball

Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Thomas did not play at all in 2021 due to a foot injury. New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen said last month that he expects the star wide receiver to be cleared at some point this offseason, and Thomas may have dropped a hint on Friday that he is getting closer.

Thomas shared a video on his Instagram story that showed him doing one-legged box jumps on his left leg. The 29-year-old has undergone two surgeries on his left foot, so that seems significant.

Allen said the plan was for Thomas to be ready for training camp, which is still more than a month away.

Thomas and the Saints had a disagreement last offseason over how Thomas should handle his foot injury. He reportedly blew the team off after doctors suggested he undergo surgery. That may have delayed his recovery time, and he ultimately sat out the entire season.

Thomas had more than 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first four NFL seasons. He had a whopping 149 catches for 1,725 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2019 before the injury issues popped up.

Former Pro Bowl RB visits with Saints

Dennis Allen in a headset

Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen serves as head coach as Sean Payton has Covid-19 during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints are looking to add depth at the running back position, and could do so in the form of a former Pro Bowler.

The Saints are hosting running back David Johnson for a visit on Monday, according to Saints reporter Nick Underhill. The 30-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Houston Texans.

Johnson would be a depth addition at this point in his career. He has not been able to replicate his dominant 2016 season, which saw him tally 2,118 yards from scrimmage on the way to an All-Pro nod. He suffered a wrist injury in 2017 that cost him nearly the entire season, and never recaptured the same form again. His two years with Houston were mostly a bust, as he tallied 1,458 total yards and nine touchdowns across 25 games.

The Saints have Mark Ingram as insurance behind Alvin Kamara, but the 32-year-old has injury concerns. Kamara himself is facing potential NFL discipline over offseason legal issues, which could motivate the Saints to add insurance.

Chris Olave draws comparison to Hall of Fame WR

Chris Olave looking ahead

May 14, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) during rookie camp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints moved up in this year’s NFL Draft to take Chris Olave, and the team has high expectations for the receiver.

Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland spoke about Olave with Nola.com’s Jeff Duncan on Saturday. Ireland said that Olave’s route-running ability was reminiscent of Marvin Harrison and other players like him.

“[Olave] reminds me of some players who have played in our league, the Marvin Harrisons, who were just silky smooth and effortless,” Ireland said. “And same body type. It doesn’t look like they were running fast, but when we turn on the clock, it’s like 4.3 (seconds). So there’s some really good aspects to that player.”

The Saints took Olave with the No. 11 pick in the draft.

On Thursday, Saints quarterback Jameis Winston called Olave a “smooth” route runner, and noted his football acumen.

In 2021, Olave caught 65 passes for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final year at Ohio State.

Harrison had 1,102 catches and 128 touchdowns in 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. A 2016 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Harrison’s 14,580 career receiving yards are good for the ninth-best mark in NFL history.

While expectations are high for the first-round pick, Olave has a long way to go to get to Harrison’s level.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Saints coach hints at timeline for Michael Thomas’ return

Michael Thomas during a game

Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Thomas missed the entire 2021 season with an injury that caused tension between him and the New Orleans Saints, but it sounds like he is still a part of the team’s plans.

Thomas has been rehabbing this offseason after he underwent a second foot surgery. Head coach Dennis Allen was asked on Thursday about Thomas, and he said the three-time Pro Bowler is “doing well.” Thomas is not yet ready to practice, but Allen believes the veteran will be cleared by training camp.

Thomas and the Saints had a disagreement last offseason over how Thomas should handle his foot injury. He reportedly blew the team off after doctors suggested he undergo surgery. That may have delayed Thomas’ recovery time, and he ultimately sat out the entire season.

It looked for a while like Thomas may be done in New Orleans, but obviously the two sides have worked things out.

Thomas had more than 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first four NFL seasons. He had a whopping 149 catches for 1,725 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2019 before the injury issues popped up.

Thomas has never played with a quarterback other than Drew Brees. That adds another element of intrigue to his impending return.

Reporter provides update on Jameis Winston’s rehab

Jameis Winston with the Saints

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston tore his ACL during Week 8 of the 2021 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has continued to make significant progress towards returning for Week 1 of the 2022 season.

ESPN senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler on Wednesday reported that Winston recently began planting and throwing off of his surgically-repaired left ACL while running play-action.

“Saints QB Jameis Winston is progressing on his ACL rehab,” Fowler wrote on Twitter. “Saints will likely take it easy with him this offseason but he’s working as if he’ll be a full go for training camp.”

This is nothing but good news for the Saints, who re-signed Winston to a two-year deal this offseason to be the team’s starter.

Winston proved to be a serviceable heir to Drew Brees before his knee injury. In seven games last season, the 28-year-old threw for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdown passes, and just three interceptions.

If Winston experiences a setback, the Saints can turn to another veteran quarterback they signed this offseason.

With a stacked wide receiver group featuring Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave, Winston is poised for a big comeback season.

Jarvis Landry signs with NFC team

Jarvis Landry in Browns gear

Aug 20, 2020; Berea, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) during training camp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have signed another key veteran with Louisiana roots.

Jarvis Landry announced on Friday that he has agreed to a deal with the Saints. He did by sharing a hype video that he captioned “WHO DAT.”

Landry was released by the Cleveland Browns this offseason, mostly so they could save salary cap space. He has since drawn interest from several teams, but he chose New Orleans.

Landry grew up in Louisiana and played college ball at LSU. The same is true for Tyrann Mathieu, who also signed with the Saints recently. The safety was among the first to welcome Landry to the team.

The 29-year-old Landry had a down season last year with just 52 catches in 12 games, but he battled injuries and poor quarterback play. He has three 1,000-yard seasons in his career. Landry should have an opportunity to play a big role in New Orleans.

Tyrann Mathieu reportedly lands with NFC team

Tyrann Mathieu at the Pro Bowl

Feb 3, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during AFC practice for the Pro Bowl at Las Vegas Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrann Mathieu has been deliberately patient throughout the process of making a free agent decision, but the All-Pro safety has finally found a new team.

Mathieu is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. A deal will likely be finalized at some point this week.

The Saints did not address their safety need in the draft and instead intensified their pursuit of Mathieu. The 29-year-old is from New Orleans and still has family there. He said his visit with the Saints last month was more about seeing family than anything. Other NFC teams were been mentioned as more likely suitors for Mathieu, but the Saints obviously stepped up after the draft ended.

Mathieu had 76 tackles, a sack and three interceptions in 16 games with the Kansas City Chiefs last season. The three-time Pro Bowler will be set up for success under new Saints coach Dennis Allen, who previously served as the team’s defensive coordinator.