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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Articles tagged: New Orleans Saints

Reggie Bush tells amazing draft story about Sean Payton

Reggie Bush looks on

Jan 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Reggie Bush at NFL Network press conference at Georgia World Congress Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the 2006 NFL Draft process, Reggie Bush and his representations were certain the running back would go No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans. However, the night prior to the draft, plans changed when reports said Houston intended to select Mario Williams instead.

That decision set in motion a flurry of activity which included Bush’s agent calling New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. The agent informed Payton that Bush wanted to go No. 3 overall to the New York Jets and asked that New Orleans pass on the running back.

As Bush recalls, Payton did not receive that request well.

“So my agent called Sean Payton and was like, ‘Don’t draft us. We not coming. Don’t draft us, all right?,'” Bush said on the I AM AN ATHLETE Podcast. “And Sean’s like, just verbatim, ‘F–k you. I’m drafting Reggie Bush.’ And hung the phone up. Swear to God, hung the phone up.”

Although Bush was intrigued by the marketing opportunities in New York, a post-draft call from Saints quarterback Drew Brees helped him feel more at ease. Then, after seeing the city as they recovered from Hurricane Katrina, Bush realized he was in the right spot.

“When I look back on it,” Bush said, “Thank God I went to the New Orleans Saints.”

Bush spent five seasons in New Orleans before stints with the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco, 49ers and Buffalo Bills. He retired following the 2016 season and inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2019. Maybe things worked out just fine for him.

Video: Ugly Buccaneers-Saints fight leads to key player ejections

Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore fight

An ugly brawl broke out during the second half of Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, and two key players were ejected for their roles.

The fight began after Tom Brady complained about what he felt should have been a pass interference penalty. As Brady was letting the officiating crew hear it, Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore appeared to say something that the 45-year-old quarterback did not appreciate. Brady then began jawing at Lattimore, and the situation escalated from there.

Leonard Fournette stepped in to stand up for Brady. He and Lattimore exchanged shoves before Mike Evans came flying into the mix and leveled the Saints defensive back. You can see the scrum below:

Even if he was defending his quarterback, Evans’ actions were inexcusable. He should have been more aware of the situation and known that the Bucs were without both Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, who missed Sunday’s game with injuries. That made it even more crucial for Evans to stay on the field.

Of course, it is hardly a surprise that Evans went after Lattimore. The two have a history with one another and have gotten into similar altercations in the past.

Jameis Winston playing through painful injury

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 spent the offseason working his way back from a torn ACL, and the New Orleans Saints quarterback is unfortunately dealing with another injury.

Winston suffered a back injury in the Saints’ 27-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons last week. He started Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he will have to endure a significant amount of pain. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Winston has been diagnosed with four fractures in his back.

Glazer said Winston is “dealing with an awful lot of pain,” though he has been assured he cannot make the injury worse. He experimented with several types of padding prior to Sunday’s game to see which helped the most.

Winston went 23/34 for 269 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while leading the Saints to victory against Atlanta last week. The former first-round pick has done a great job of establishing himself as a leader in the post-Drew Brees era for the Saints. His teammates will likely appreciate his willingness to play through pain as well.

Saints reuniting with former Pro Bowler

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

While the New Orleans Saints are moving past the Sean Payton era, they are not doing so entirely.

The Saints announced Tuesday that they are signing veteran running back Latavius Murray to their practice squad. Murray previously played in New Orleans from 2019 to 2020.

Now 31, Murray got fairly significant work last season for the running back-needy Baltimore Ravens. He rushed for 501 yards and six touchdowns in 14 total appearances. Prior to that, Murray was a Pro Bowler with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2015.

The Saints’ reunion with Murray comes as starter Alvin Kamara battles a rib injury suffered in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. While there is nothing at the moment to suggest that Kamara will miss time, Murray will serve as another break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option along with fellow 30-something Mark Ingram II, Dwayne Washington, and Tony Jones.

New Orleans could also be protecting themselves with Kamara still facing an uncertain off-the-field situation as well.

Ex-Notre Dame QB waived by Saints

Ian Book running

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Book (16) walks to the locker room after the game against Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday marked roster cut down day in the NFL, as teams had to reduce their active roster to 53 players. Plenty of players were let go by their teams but are hoping to get picked up elsewhere or join the practice squad for their former team.

One player who may have to look for a new home is quarterback Ian Book. Book, a fourth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints last year, was waived by the Saints.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says that Book could end up on the Saints’ practice squad if the quarterback clears waivers.

Book starred at Notre Dame in college and got forced into surprise starting duty last season. Book went 12/20 for 135 yards and two interceptions in the Saints’ 20-3 Monday night loss to Miami in Week 16.

The Saints have Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton as their top two QBs. From there, it’s unclear whether Taysom Hill is the No. 3, or whether a practice squad quarterback would fill that role.

Eagles make huge addition in surprise trade with Saints

Howie Roseman speaks with the media

Jul 28, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman speaks with the media at training camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have made a huge move to bolster their defense with fewer than two weeks to go until the start of the 2022 NFL season.

The Eagles acquired starting defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in a trade with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday. Gardner-Johnson is in the final year of his contract and had been seeking a new deal.

The official terms of the deal involved Gardner-Johnson and a 2025 7th-round pick going to the Eagles in exchange for a 2023 5th-round pick and 2024 6th-round pick.

Gardner-Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2019, should immediately step into a starting role with the Eagles. The former Florida star had three interceptions and two sacks in 12 games last season. He is listed as a safety but played mostly as the Saints’ top slot cornerback over the past two years. Gardner-Johnson is projected to be a starting safety in Philly, which could lead to him landing a bigger contract.

Some of you may be familiar with Gardner-Johnson from the nasty fight he was involved in two years ago. He also trolled Tom Brady last season after Brady threw a tantrum on the sideline.

Report reveals latest on Alvin Kamara’s status for 2022 season

Alvin Kamara smiling in his New Orleans Saints uniform

Nov 7, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) during the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Kamara is facing a serious charge in Las Vegas following an incident earlier in the offseason, and the expectation is that the New Orleans Saints star will be suspended at some point. The big question is when.

Kamara was accused of assaulting a man while the victim was on the ground during a fight on Feb. 5, which was the day the Pro Bowl was played in Las Vegas. The running back is facing a felony charge of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. Kamara’s hearing has been rescheduled multiple times, most recently earlier this month when his attorneys requested an additional 60 days. Where does that leave his NFL status?

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained Monday, Kamara is unlikely to be suspended until after the legal process plays out. If the case drags on for several more months, it may not impact Kamara’s status at all in 2022.

“I think the league is gonna be looking into this, but it’s gonna be a little while, it seems, before this legal case is settled. If we’re talking about Alvin Kamara from a fantasy (football) standpoint, there’s a real chance that the status of that case is not going to affect his availability this season,” Schefter said. “At some point in time — depending on what the investigation shows — he could be disciplined. In terms of this season, it looks more and more unlikely that it’s going to be this season.”

The NFL typically waits until after criminal proceedings to hand down discipline. We saw that with the Deshaun Watson situation. Though Watson did not play at all for the Houston Texans last season, he was eligible.

Kamara and his friends are facing troubling allegations. The NFL can suspend the five-time Pro Bowler even if he is not convicted, but no decision is likely until after the conclusion of the case.

Kamara, 27, rushed for 898 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games last season. He added another 439 yards and five touchdowns receiving.

Saints 1st-round pick kicked out of practice after latest fight

Trevor Penning looking ahead.

Mar 4, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Northern Iowa offensive lineman Trevor Penning (OL38) goes through drills during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints gained a physical and aggressive player when they selected Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning with the 19th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Penning has lived up to that billing so far during training camp.

On Wednesday, various reports from Saints training camp indicated that Penning and defensive tackle Malcolm Roach were kicked out of the team’s practice for getting into a fight.

The fight was the third after-the-whistle altercation in as many days for Penning this week.

On Monday, Penning and 2021 first-round pick Payton Turner threw multiple punches at each other during what looked to be a scrimmage. In Tuesday’s practice, Penning and last season’s special teams captain J.T. Gray were involved in some extracurricular shoving after a play.

Speaking to reporters after practice, Saints first-year head coach Dennis Allen explained his decision to remove both players.

“We’ve got to learn as a team how to compete and how to play and how to practice and push ourselves to the limit,” Allen said. “But yet not take it over the edge.”

Penning was the only college offensive lineman in 2021 to be named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. The award is given to the national offensive player of the year.

While playing with an edge and a bit of a mean streak is a solid quality for a lineman to possess, Penning will likely have to learn to save that extra aggression for game days.

USFL star reportedly working out 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

Chris Odom has not been with an NFL team since the 2019 season, but the veteran defensive end managed to attract plenty of attention during the inaugural United States Football League season earlier this year.

Odom has a workout scheduled with the New Orleans Saints, Nick Underhill of reports. Odom’s agent recently said the 27-year-old has workouts lined up with three teams.

Odom racked up 12.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss during the 10-game USFL season. The sacks were 3.5 more than any other player. He also led the league with six forced fumbles and four blocked kicks. All of that was enough to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors.

An undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State, Odom has played for numerous teams across multiple leagues. He spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins. He also played for the Salt Lake Stallions of the Alliance of American Football in 2019 and the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders last year.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Might Alvin Kamara avoid suspension?

Alvin Kamara smiling in his New Orleans Saints uniform

Nov 7, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) during the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

As recently as late June, New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara was expected to receive a six-game suspension for a battery arrest in Las Vegas on the day of the 2022 Pro Bowl.

Kamara has been accused of assaulting a man while the victim was unconscious on the ground. He and two others, all of whom were arrested, allegedly stomped and punched the victim, leading to bodily harm and a subsequent hospitalization.

However, it now appears that Kamara may avoid NFL discipline. At least for now.

Nick Underhill of NOF Network recently appeared on the “Establish the Run” podcast with Adam Levitan and Evan Silva and reported that Kamara could escape a 2022 suspension entirely.

“It doesn’t seem to be moving in the direction that Alvin Kamara is going to be suspended before the season. And I doubt anything is going to happen during the season at this point,” Underhill said.

“It’s kind of stalled in the court process,” Underhill added. “The expectation is that there will be another continuance. So, as long as this goes on and the longer it plays out, the better it is for his odds to get those 17 games without that suspension.”

The 26-year-old Kamara has a hearing scheduled for early August. But as Underhill notes, that may be pushed to a later date.

Ultimately, Underhill says, the case won’t just “disappear” but may slowly begin to fade as time passes. And the longer things get delayed, the more likely it is that Kamara doesn’t miss a single game this season.