Jay Glazer reported that the deal sends Seattle's first round pick and C Max Unger to the Saints. The Seahawks have been looking to upgrade at tight end for a while now, and they finally got their guy. Graham's value takes a minor hit as he heads to the run-oriented Seahawks, though he'll continue to be a target hog given the current state of the Seattle receiving corps. The move is a big upgrade for Russell Wilson, who was the #3 QB in 2014 despite a serious lack of playmakers in the passing game. Conversely, it's a major downgrade for Drew Brees, who loses his top target in the passing game. Unger's arrival is good news for the recently re-signed Mark Ingram, while the Seahawks will have to find a way to replace one of the best centers in the game. The loss of Unger will have a negative impact on Marshawn Lynch. Also, TE Josh Hill could step into a big role for the Saints.
Monday, December 29, 2014, 10:04am
Marques Colston might be back with the New Orleans Saints next year. But just in case he isn’t, the Saints cherished his game-winning touchdown in Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for all it was worth.
Colston was awarded a game ball after turning a short pass into a 36-yard TD with 1:57 remaining. And the usually-stoic veteran even shed a tear, fellow receiver Robert Meachem told The Advocate.
“You couldn’t have scripted a better ending,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who acknowledged that assistant coach Joe Vitt had made the team aware of certain milestones they could reach in the season finale -- including the fact that Brees and Colston could move into fifth place in NFL history with 68 touchdowns as a duo (they broke a tie with Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne).
Brees, Meachem and receiver Kenny Stills all insisted that they expect Colston to be back in 2014, even though his future is in doubt since he’s due $7 million in salary and bonuses. But the emotion they all expressed made it clear that they’re prepared for the possibility Colston, 31, might be done after nine seasons with the Saints. Colston could take a pay cut to stay, the story pointed out, but Saints may want to move on with a healthy Brandin Cooks back next year to go along with Stills, who emerged this year after injuries slowed his start to 2014.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 8:18pm
The 49ers rank 31st in passing yards, which would be their worst finish in Jim Harbaugh’s four-year tenure, though they were 30th last season.
QB Colin Kaepernick said Tuesday he’s intent on improving his mechanics and all-around game in the offseason.
“It’s hard to break habits in-season,” Kaepernick said. “You don’t want to completely change something because it can throw off everything else you’re doing.”
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett on the team's offensive game plan against the Ravens:
Based on this matchup, I don't expect the Saints to be too stubborn with the run -- especially after their run game was surprisingly shut down by Cincinnati last week. But in general, the Saints have relied on the run game more this season than ever in the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era. They are eighth in the NFL in rushing yards per game, and Mark Ingram had three straight 100-yard games before last week.
But the offense is really stuck in a sort of identity crisis that we haven't seen before. The efficiency stats are up: Brees leads the NFL in completion percentage and the Saints lead the NFL in third-down success. But Brees also has turned the ball over too much (10 interceptions, two fumbles). And the deep ball has been hit or miss -- even before they lost their best deep threat, Brandin Cooks, to a broken thumb. I'm guessing we will see the Saints get pretty aggressive to try to get out of their rut Monday night.
This could mean a big day for Kenny Stills, who was the team's primary deep threat as a rookie. He should see at least 6-7 targets with Cooks out the remainder of the year.
Cox Sports Television first reported the news Monday morning, as did NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.
Cooks, the Saints' first-round draft pick in May, has 53 receptions for 550 yards in his rookie season.
Saints coach Sean Payton will meet with the media later Monday, although he typically doesn't discuss injuries.
Cooks is second on the Saints in receiving yards after tight end Jimmy Graham. His absence would leave Marques Colston and Kenny Stills as the top two WR targets for quarterback Drew Brees. Stills is a guy likely on wires who could see an increase in targets as a result. The Saints play Monday night in Week 12 at home against the Ravens.
Chances are, all of the Saints' receivers and tight ends will see slightly more targets instead of any one player replacing Jimmy Graham's production. That could mean a little more from Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills, Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill. But the player that New Orleans will likely count on most is receiver Marques Colston, who works the middle of the field and the red zone in a similar fashion.
Colston has been up and down all season with some clutch catches but also a costly fumble in Week 1 and several drops. Quarterback Drew Brees will remain confident in him on those crucial third-down throws, though.
"I don't think it affects the receivers with Jimmy being out, other than it gives them more opportunities. I mean, Jimmy's balls have to go somewhere," Brees said. "Listen, that's Ben Watson, that's Josh Hill, the tight ends as a whole. And those guys are certainly capable and will do a great job, I've got so much confidence in them. But as a receiver corps, you just know throughout the course of a game those balls are getting spread out … you don't know how things are going to shake out."
The article identifies Colston as the biggest beneficiary, so owners should be more willing to plug him in the lineup after a rough start to the season. We believe that Josh Hill is the best play of the two tight ends, though it doesn't sound like he's going to see a huge number of snaps with Graham likely sidelined.
Monday, September 8, 2014, 2:34pm
“He’s impressive,” Brees said. “He can do a lot of things. He’s a very smart player. He’s intense, when he’s out there, it’s business. He can do a lot of things for us.
“We’re really excited about him as we go along here, continuing to build packages around him and give him opportunities. Brandin can do some things. He’s explosive.”
Likewise, Cooks sees where there will be myriad opportunities for him to thrive in the Saints' offense. He was one of four players Sunday with at least five receptions and 58 receiving yards.
Although it was probably best to wait-and-see how Cooks was used before putting him in lineups, it's safe to say he'll be inserted starting Week 2. There will likely be up and down weeks for Cooks, however, as there are just too many targets in the Saints lineup. Kenny Stills was out of the lineup which certainly helped Cooks' targets and playing time. He was second among WRs in snaps behind Marques Colston.
Three days after releasing both kickers in their cut to 53 players, the Saints have brought one back.
The team has re-signed kicker Shayne Graham, according to the NFL’s Tuesday transactions.
In a corresponding roster move, the club waived second-year quarterback Ryan Griffin.
Graham, 36, connected on all four field goals (long of 39 yards) and 4-of-5 extra points in preseason play. However, the club parted ways with Graham and Derek Dimke after the exhibition slate.
But now, Graham is back, and seemingly so for the regular season opener at Atlanta.
The move leaves Luke McCown as the lone backup behind Drew Brees. It would not be a surprise if the Saints re-signed Griffin to the practice squad, but he will have to clear waivers first, and it will be interesting to see if he’s picked up after a solid preseason (48-of-77 passing, 530 yards, three TDs, one interception, 90.3 QB rating).
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:06pm
"Everything is going good," Payton said.
Payton said he expected the team to hear something soon.
Payton replaced Brees in early-practice drills with the quarterbacks on Monday at the team's headquarters in Metairie. Luke McCown worked with the first team.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 9:43am
He's the type of weapon the Saints have lacked at receiver since HC Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees came together in 2006. He's an every-down wideout who's lightning fast, has great hands, can play inside and on the flank, and runs every route with precision.
"I feel good," Cooks said. "It's football. I just come out here and have fun and do what I do best and just (try to) be a playmaker, learn from older guys, and stick around guys like Drew. I feel like I'll be alright doing that."
Monday, August 18, 2014, 9:35pm
This season, Saints WR Kenny Stills will team with first-round draft pick Brandin Cooks to give the Saints elite speed at receiver. Their ability to stretch defenses, coupled with Marques Colston and Robert Meachem's knack for finding openings in schemes, should help tight end Jimmy Graham better operate around the field.
Now that he's back, Stills is back to improving on his rookie season where his speed helped him catch 32 passes for 641 yards and five touchdowns.
Stills returns from a quad injury but missed out on team building at The Greenbrier in West Virginia and missed out on getting in better shape. Even missed offensive snaps with QB Drew Brees. Stills and Cooks were close on our WR list at one opint, but now Cooks shot up to 34th while Stills is 44th. Just about anyone in the Saints offense can have value but the downfall is there could be some boom and bust weeks with both Cooks and Stills.
The Saints returned home to practice Sunday, and they had their most important player back on the field.
Via Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, quarterback Drew Brees was back to full participation, his first work in team drills since a left oblique strain that has kept him out of the first two preseason games.
When a player is as central to a team’s fortunes as Drew Brees is to the Saints, his daily practice attire is worth noting. According to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Saints quarterback was back in full pads for this morning’s practice.
He’s apparently not going through a full workload today, but the simple act of wearing pads is a step forward.
Monday, August 11, 2014, 5:31pm
The competition for backup quarterback behind Drew Brees continues to progress, with veteran Luke McCown and youngster Ryan Griffin having submitted an addendum to their respective resumes last Friday in St. Louis.
They’re preparing to turn in another work sample Friday in New Orleans, when the Saints play their preseason home opener against Tennessee at 7 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Griffin was one of the offensive stars in a 26-24 victory over the Rams, completing 16 of 23 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions in five series. McCown, who started in place of Brees, completed seven of 10 passes for 49 yards and an interception in two series.
The Saints are being cautious with Brees' injury. Head coach Sean Payton has maintained they'll continue to monitor his progress and take it "day-to-day."
Brees continues to rehab on the side. He did some light running and agility drills before throwing with injured wide receiver Kenny Stills. It seems like the team is just being cautious with their star QB but we'll continue to monitor in case it's something more. He's considered a top-three fantasy QB option this season.
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