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#pounditTuesday, September 21, 2021

Articles tagged: New Orleans Saints

Video: Superdome roof was on fire, burning for a while

Superdome roof fire

A frightening scene unfolded in downtown New Orleans on Tuesday, as the roof of the Caesar’s Superdome caught on fire.

Numerous videos and photos on social media showed black smoke and flames coming from a section of the roof of the Superdome. Fire and emergency crews were shown arriving at the scene in some of the clips. You can see some of the different angles below:

Fortunately, the fire was quickly extinguished. An executive for the company that manages the Superdome told Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune that the fire began when workers were pressure washing the roof. A damage assessment is underway, but the integrity of the building was not compromised.

New Orleans is still being rebuilt in the wake of Hurricane Ida last month, so you hate to see another setback. The Saints have not practiced at their facility in weeks and are scheduled to return to the Superdome in Week 4. We’ve already shown you some incredible examples of the damage that was caused by the storm.

Drew Brees reveals how closely involved he still is with Saints

Drew Brees hair

It’s no secret that Drew Brees has a great affinity for the Saints and the city of New Orleans. However, few might have known just how strong Brees’ ties to the organization remain.

Brees, now an analyst for NBC, appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” Friday and revealed just how closely he keeps in touch with the team. He admitted he is in regular contact with quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, and when pressed, he even revealed how much he knew about what the team planned to do against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1.

“I’m in touch with (Winston) and Taysom quite a bit throughout training camp, preseason, and during the season,” Brees said.

The quarterback then had a telling response when asked by Patrick if he was an unofficial assistant coach.

“I will say this: I did have the gameplan for the game in my hand,” Brees admitted.

The gameplan worked, as the Saints beat the Packers 38-3, so if Brees gave any input, it certainly didn’t hurt.

It’s always an issue when a player goes directly to the broadcast booth, as some will inevitably accuse them of bias relating to the team they closely identify with. That hasn’t been a problem for another prominent ex-quarterback, and Brees seems willing to fill the same role. That said, Brees might have to be a little bit careful if he ever has to work a Saints game given how much information he still appears to get.

Drew Brees took hilarious shot at himself over Jameis Winston TD pass

Drew Brees hair

Drew Brees likely felt mixed emotions on Sunday as he watched the New Orleans Saints dominate the Green Bay Packers, but the future Hall of Famer provided some great commentary of his replacement’s performance.

Brees was working as an analyst for NBC’s “Football Night in America” on Sunday night when he shared his thoughts on the Saints’ 38-3 win. A clip was shown of Jameis Winston completing a deep touchdown pass to Deonte Harris, and Brees had the perfect comment.

“I guess, apparently, this is what the Saints have been missing those last few years,” Brees joked.

Brees’ colleagues Mike Tirico and Tony Dungy loved the self-deprecating humor, with Tirico joking that Brees “took our comment.”

The joke was perfectly timed, but there was certainly some truth behind it. No one is going to argue that Winston is a better quarterback than Brees, but Brees’ arm strength was clearly an issue the last two or three seasons he played. Winston should allow the Saints to do some things that they couldn’t do toward the end of Brees’ career.

Between the funny deep ball joke and his hair making an epic comeback, Brees has managed to create plenty of buzz in the first week of his new job.

Video: Za’Darius Smith called for terrible roughing the passer on Jameis Winston

Za'Darius Smith Jameis Winston

The New Orleans Saints surprised many people with the way they dominated the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but they got some help from the officials on one particularly bad call late in the game.

The Packers were desperately trying to get back in the game down 24-3 late in the third quarter, and it appeared they finally came up with a big play when they intercepted Jameis Winston in the end zone. The play did not stand, however, as Za’Darius Smith was called for roughing the passer for this hit on Winston:

That was certainly a hard hit from Smith, but it looked clean. He basically tackled Winston with his arm and made no contact with the quarterback’s head. Smith also did not lead with his helmet.

The Saints took advantage of the bad call and scored a touchdown on the drive to increase their lead to 31-3.

Bad roughing the passer penalties have been an issue in the NFL for the past several years. We saw some horrendous ones last season, and we’d hate to see that theme continue in 2021.

New Orleans mayor sets target date for Saints return

New Orleans Saints logo

The New Orleans Saints won’t be playing at the Superdome in Week 1, but it sounds like it won’t be too long until they can return home.

On Wednesday, New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell revealed that the Saints should be able to play their second scheduled home game in the city as scheduled, meaning the team’s absence will last just one game.

The Saints are scheduled to play road games in Weeks 2 and 3. This would put them in line for a Week 4 return to New Orleans.

The Saints are currently displaced due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida. While they’ve come up with some clever strategies to try to maximize their relocated home game, there’s no doubt they’ll be eager to play in New Orleans once again.

Bradley Roby traded to Saints from Texans

New Orleans Saints logo

The New Orleans Saints have been searching for cornerback help ahead of the start of the regular season, and they have finally found it.

The Saints acquired Bradley Roby in a trade with the Texans on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Roby was suspended for six games last season after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He will have to serve the last game of that ban in Week 1, but he will be eligible to play for New Orleans in Week 2.

Roby, a former first-round pick, will give the Saints a solid second cornerback behind Marshon Lattimore. The Texans are clearly in total rebuild mode, so it is no surprise they traded Roby. The 29-year-old signed a three-year, $32 million deal with Houston last year.

There had been some talk about the Saints potentially acquiring a different star cornerback, but Roby should fit in nicely with them.

Saints had great reasons for choosing Jacksonville as location for Packers game

TIAA Bank Field

The New Orleans Saints will face the Green Bay Packers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. during Week 1 of the NFL season. The game was supposed to be held at the Superdome in New Orleans, but that plan was changed due to the Hurricane Ida-caused damage throughout the state of Louisiana.

Jacksonville was an interesting location for the game, and there are several excellent reasons why that venue was selected.

Nola.com’s Jeff Duncan wrote a great column breaking down how the Saints chose Jacksonville.

For starters, the game needed to be played at an NFL stadium because those stadiums are properly set up for the NFL’s replay and review system. Dallas would have been a natural fit since the Saints are practicing nearby, but it was booked for a concert.

Next, the Saints looked to the state of Florida. Florida made sense because there are three NFL cities in the state, and all the stadiums were available: Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa. The Saints also liked that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a 3-4 record playing in Florida during his career.

But the best reason of all for their choice to play in Jacksonville had to do with the fans.

The Saints reasoned that Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans might show up at Raymond James Stadium to cheer against their division rivals. The Saints didn’t like Miami, because they figured that would be an attractive destination for Packers fans to travel. They ended up on Jacksonville because they researched and saw that a flight to that city was much more expensive than the other Florida cities.

In essence, the Saints wanted to pick a destination that would make it as difficult as possible for Packers fans to turn it into a “home” game for Green Bay. They sure used a great thought process coming up with their decision.

The entire column is worth a read.

The game is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 4:25 pm ET.

Photo: Excel23/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 4.0

Look: Hurricane Ida moved massive trailer at Saints’ practice facility

New Orleans Saints logo

Hurricane Ida did unthinkable damage in the state of Louisiana and has caused six direct deaths and four indirect deaths. The hurricane was the second-most intense to strike Louisiana, behind Hurricane Katrina. It did billions of dollars of damage to the state.

To give you an idea of how powerful the winds were during the storm, take a look at this. The New Orleans Saints have a 6.5 ton cold trailer at their practice facility in Metairie, La. that players enter to cool off. Hurricane Ida moved the trailer 10 feet.

That’s a trailer that weighs 13,000 pounds. And it was moved 10 feet. That’s what 150-mph winds can do.

The Saints are practicing at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas currently. Their Week 1 game against the Packers has been moved to Jacksonville. Hopefully the damage to their facilities wasn’t too extensive.

Saints to practice at TCU before ‘home’ game in Jacksonville

Sean Payton

The New Orleans Saints will not be able to use their home facilities for an indefinite amount of time after Hurricane Ida pounded the area this week, and teams from both the NFL and NCAA are stepping up to help them out.

The NFL announced on Wednesday that the Saints will “host” the Packers at TIAA Bank Field in their season opener. That game will be played on Sunday, Sept. 12. They will practice at TCU’s football facility leading up to the game.

Sean Payton’s team evacuated to Dallas before the hurricane, where they have been practicing at AT&T Stadium. Their preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals was canceled. The Saints are expected to begin practicing at TCU’s football facility next week. Payton’s son is a student at the school.

The death told from Hurricane Ida rose to six on Wednesday. More than 1 million homes have been left without power. Payton and his team will have some obstacles to overcome in the early part of the year, but they understand that there are things far more important than football in the New Orleans area at the moment.

Sean Payton thinks Saints returning to New Orleans this week is unlikely

Sean Payton

It’s not clear when the New Orleans Saints will be able to return home following Hurricane Ida, but coach Sean Payton thinks it could be a bit.

Payton said he was not aware of any damage to the team’s practice facility in Metairie. However, due to infrastructure damage the storm caused, he anticipates remaining out of town for at least the rest of the week. He is also unsure of the status of the scheduled Week 1 game against Green Bay at the Superdome.

“Obviously we’ll have a Plan B,” Payton said, via Mike Triplett of ESPN. “There are a lot of other things probably from a priority standpoint that are more important for our city. But that all being said, we fully anticipate starting the regular season with Green Bay, and then the question would be where that game is at. [But] I don’t see it being in Green Bay.”

According to Entergy, over 888,000 customers in Louisiana are without power after the hurricane, including the vast majority of New Orleans.

The Saints are currently scheduled to practice in Dallas through Wednesday. Plans beyond that have yet to be announced.