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And we are live!by SB Nation NFL on August 11, 2020 at 7:10 pm
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Welcome to Coral. Hello, all. Today, we’ve launched our new commenting platform, Coral, on this site. You can try it out below, or on any article here. As the pre-launch article said, we know it’s missing a few key pieces that might be important to you, and we’re continually evolving and improving it. Just like when we launched the previous platform, on day one it wasn’t perfect (in fact, almost everyone told us they hated it), and so we’re asking for a little patience as we grow. We’re launching here first to learn what matters most to you, to help us learn and develop the next set of features. We already have a bunch of improvements in the pipeline, which will be released before the season begins. And do keep tell using what you like and what you want to see more of (respectfully, please) – we’re here and we’re listening. There are a bunch of new things we think you’ll like: you can change the default sort across articles (Newest, Oldest, Most Recs, Most Replies), ignore annoying commenters (just click on their name), you can embed Twitter and YouTube really easily (just drop in the URL, no need to find the embed code), and we even allow you to Rec yourself (be sure to check yourself first.) Also, don’t panic: comments are only temporarily disabled on FanPosts – they’ll be back –and your old comments will return too, we’ve just archived them for now. This is all part of a big investment in SB Nation communities, and we will continue to evolve the platform over the coming months and years to support you, the best fan communities on the internet. We’ve written an FAQ to cover most of the common questions about how the system works, and we know you’ll let us know below what you think. Also, here’s an update on the features and improvements we’re already working on. This site is great because you are. Thank you for being here.
All eyes on Week 10’s NFC showdown between the Saints and 49ersby Chris Dunnells on August 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Our friends from Niners Nation help preview our Week 10 showdown against the reigning NFC Champs We’ll continue a series of opponent preview posts for the New Orleans Saints opponents in 2020. Next, we’ll look at what our high-profile rematch in the Dome against the reigning NFC South Champion San Francisco 49ers. Our friends over at Niners Nation took some time to give us Saints fans the scoop on the San Francisco 49ers. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Week 10: vs the San Francisco 49ers Notable free agent additions: Does Trent Williams count? He should. The Niners added one of the best left tackles in the past decade to an already stacked roster. Instead of relying on a rookie tackle or unproven player, San Francisco has a seven-time Pro Bowler that is familiar with Kyle Shanahan’s system. The 49ers kept Jimmie Ward, Arik Armstead, Ben Garland, and Ronald Blair. Each of those players were all key to the Niners’ success last season. San Francisco also added Joe Walker, Tom Compton, Kerry Hyder, and Travis Benjamin as additional depth. Over/Under: 10 wins — Over. Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance and returning the majority of the roster, 2020 would be a major disappointment if the 49ers won fewer than 10 games. The roster had enough talent where they could overcome over 15 players going on the injured reserve last year. The 49ers get all of that talent back off the IR, and a few of those players are expected to make contributions right away. San Francisco had several young players made an impact last year—from prominent draft picks like Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa to less-heralded names such as Kendrick Bourne and Emmanuel Moseley—and those players should be even better this year. Even without an offseason, there are fewer question marks headed into the season, and Jimmy Garoppolo could concentrate on throwing instead of rehabbing. Most exciting rookie: Brandon Aiyuk. We don’t know the status of Deebo Samuel or how much time he’ll miss, and the other receivers most people mention on the roster don’t have anywhere near the ceiling/talent that Aiyuk does. He went in the first round for a reason. Aiyuk fits the 49ers offense like a glove, and that’s why we’re so excited to see what he can do. He feels like the type of player the 49ers were missing last year on a few different levels. There is a lot of pressure on Aiyuk to perform early on during his career, and I’m fascinated to see how he handles said pressure. Position battle to keep an eye on: Who will get more snaps, Kwon Alexander or Dre Greenlaw? Both players played at a high level in 2019, but one did so during the first half and the other during the second half. Because Greenlaw had more highlight, memorable plays, the common theme seems to be let him play among fans. Kwon has a bigger contract, more experienced, and quietly played better, in my opinion. Statistically, Alexander’s average depth of tackle against the run was 3.5 yards, while Greenlaw’s was 5.5 yards. Kwon’s success rate in coverage was also 10% points better than Greenlaw’s on two fewer targets. Alexander also allowed a full yard less than Greenlaw against the pass. Dre was a Day 3 rookie, though. Those stats aren’t an indictment on Greenlaw, but more of a compliment to Alexander. Greenlaw will take another step in his development, however, and make this battle interested. Biggest storyline heading into training camp: It’s always wide receiver. Will Trent Taylor stay healthy? Is Jalen Hurd ready to contribute? Will Dante Pettis return to his rookie form? Can Jauan Jennings steal the spotlight? Is Aiyuk as good as Shanahan thinks? There are questions for about every wideout you can think of on the roster. The talent is there, but the young guys on the roster need to step up. There isn’t one position that is set in stone if Deebo misses time, which opens the door for everyone. Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Will George Kittle play without a new deal? Nobody knows. A little birdie told me that Kittle’s deal is done, and his contract will look like an absolute steal. That deal would likely be announced sometime over the next week. If that happens, the focus may shift to whether or not Raheem Mostert will be traded, which seems unlikely, too. Notable injuries heading into training camp: The status of Jerick McKinnon, Deebo Samuel’s foot, Richie James’ wrist, Trent Williams’s health, Jullian Taylor and Ronald Blair may start on the PUP list, while Weston Richburg and D.J. Jones are returning from season-ending injuries. Taylor projects to be Garoppolo’s security blanket, but he has to show he can stay healthy. So what says you, you unbiased Saints fans? Can the Saints beat the 49ers? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisDunnells.
Why Trautman can be the first tight end to win Offensive Rookie of The Yearby Jake Rajala on August 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman has the makeup and ideal situation to be the next elite tight end. The two best tight ends in the NFL over the past three seasons were George Kittle and Travis Kelce. What does Adam Trautman have in common with these incredibly prolific tight ends? These three tight ends were overlooked coming out of college and recorded fantastic measurements at the NFL combine. Yet, all three dynamic players were selected in the third-round or later (Kittle was a fifth round draft pick). Furthermore, Adam Trautman and Travis Kelce were both star quarterbacks in high school before transitioning to tight end in college. Trautman won’t be the first New Orleans Saints rookie to strive for stardom as a third-round draft pick. Alvin Kamara was indeed a third round draft. Similar to Kamara, Sean Payton traded up to get Trautman in the third-round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Similarly, Saints fans might remember another tight end drafted in the third-round by the name of Jimmy Graham, who only made three pro bowls and recorded 16 receiving touchdowns in a single year. It’s safe to say that the genius play caller will have a plan ready for Trautman. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images Adam Trautman will fit the Saints offense very well and be more than a third-round steal in his rookie campaign. Trautman doesn’t only separate himself from the other tight ends drafted in his class, but he possesses characteristics that make him special in the league. The tight end who was the first player drafted out of Dayton in 43 years, could put on a show in his first year. Trautman has the traits and situation to be the first tight end in NFL history to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Trautman has insane physical attributes Here is a list of the tight ends to run a sub 7.00 second three-cone time at the 2020 NFL Combine (three-cone is a test for quickness and agility): Adam TrautmanThat’s it. That’s the entire list. Trautman ran a 6.78 second three-cone time, which placed him first at the position by a landslide. The next closest time was 7.00. His time compares favorably to other All-Pro offensive players on his team and in the league. Michael Thomas ran a 6.8 which was slightly faster, while Vernon Davis ( ran a 4.38), who’s the most athletic tight end to ever take the field, posted a 7.00 time. Trautman brings that size and athletic combination to the next level. He’s not only very explosive, he’s all 6-foot 5-inches 250 pounds. George Kittle is standing at 6-foot 4-inches, while Vernon Davis comes in at 6-foot 3-inches, and every inch makes a big difference in their annual jump balls, blocking frame, and one handed catches. What else does this small school tight end bring to the table? Serious college production that can help him translate year one There are few reasons why a tight end has never won Offensive Rookie of the Year. For starters, they play a position where they block a lot and don’t get sought out to be the main receiving target in a game plan. The biggest reason is because the elite tight ends today, were very raw and didn’t dominate in their rookie season. For instance, George Kittle: Pro Football Focus’s No. 1 overall player in 2019 - First Team All-Pro in 2019, -Set the receiving yards record for a tight end in 2018 with 1,377, Rookie season: 515 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Travis Kelce: Two time first team All-Pro, SB champion, and voted No. 26 on the league’s 2019 top 100 list. Rookie season: 862 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images The two best tight ends squared off in the Super Bowl, leaving fans to wonder if an elite tight end makes a drastic increase in team success. Kelce and Kittle both had four receiving touchdowns in the playoffs. These two elite tight ends took time to develop their all around play-making skills, particularly receiving skills. Not every tight end who’s 6’4+ and exceptionally quick had years of well-rounded receiving production before entering the league. George Kittle and Travis Kelce both had 10 career receiving touchdowns in college to have a combined 20 receiving touchdowns between both of their collegiate careers. Adam Trautman recorded 31 receiving touchdowns in his career. Granted, he played at a smaller school, but he had worse offensive skill around him and he still managed to triple Kittle’s and Kelce’s numbers. Receiving skills can be a bit rough for a tight end in a rookie year, even elite professional wide receivers can drop 10 passes in a season. When a rookie tight end has the potential to garner 60-70 targets in their rookie season, having years of dominant hands at the NCAA Division I level can still add up to serve it’s purpose. Trautman can have elite athletic ability and college production to make him an attracted reason to dominate in his first year. The biggest reason for him to stand out among the league’s best as a rookie tight end, lies in the hands of his supporting cast. Saints have had a top 5 scoring offense every year from 2016-2020 Saints WR Michael Thomas came into the league as a second-round draft pick. In the fourth year of his career, he became the second receiver ever to win Offensive Player of The Year. As mentioned, Alvin Kamara entered the league as a third-round draft pick and just made his third straight pro bowl. Let’s not forget recent Saints Hall of Famer Marques Colston who was undrafted, undrafted Super Bowl champion featured running back Pierre Thomas, and undrafted WR Lance Moore who had a 1,000 yard receiving season. There is no better coach than Sean Payton at utilizing a player to their highest ability. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images Drew Brees deservedly earns his spotlight for his “likely last season”. Michael Thomas might be the best WR in football, Emmanuel Sanders was signed this off-season to have a career year in Sean Payton’s offense. They even have a TE named Jared Cook who’s a Pro-Bowler in 2019 and clearly is fitting in well, but everybody is sleeping on the rookie Adam Trautman. This all bodes well for the rookie tight end of out “Dayton” college to step in and excel. Teams have to prepare with their elite defenders for Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, there’s no doubt about it. When Kamara is in shotgun or in the slot, they need a quality cover player there for sure. I’m intrigued to see how teams will account for a tight end who might be near physically gifted with his size/athletic combination to Michael Thomas. It would be a gift on a silver platter if Drew Brees could link to Trautman with a team’s fourth best cover player defending the highly talented rookie. Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The Saints were very fortunate to scoop up arguably the best tight end in this year’s rookie class. The Saints coach saw loads of potential when he traded up in the the third-round to draft him. Sean Payton has taken a lot of heat in the past for trading up in the third-round to draft offensive skill players that weren’t seen as a dire position need. He traded up to snag Alvin Kamara in the 2017 third-round, when there was Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram on the team. Those two are both gone and Kamara has filled in as the feature back. There’s a method to Coach Payton’s madness. Trautman can see the field and earn lots of playing time, even with their surplus of receiving talent. Outside of that statement, TE Jared Cook who may very well start and will sure ably see his fair share of snaps, turns 34-years-old next April. Trautman will fit in well with the tight end talent on the team. Trautman will presumably steal more of Taysom Hill’s snaps at the tight end position. Taysom Hill is a great athlete, but he might be the rawest receiver in the whole league. The undrafted quarterback/every position on offense except O line, attracted lots of passing targets last year and had seven receiving touchdowns. I’m excited to see what the highly touted tight end, Trautman, can do filling in at tight end under Sean Payton’s aerial attack.
Announcement: We have a new commenting system coming todayby SB Nation NFL on August 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports Coral will launch on Canal Street Chronicles this afternoon. Today is a big day for Canal Street Chronicles commenters: we’re going to be moving our comments to a brand new platform. This site is part of the first series of sites in the rollout. Yeah, we hate change too. Here’s why we’re doing it: we’ve been using the same commenting platform for more than a decade, and the tools from our earliest days aren’t built for the modern web. Making fixes and improvements to the original system gets tougher every year, and it’s not sustainable moving forward. And so we’re starting out with a new tool, called Coral. It’s not complete yet, but it does have many custom features that have been on many of our wish lists for years. We know it’ll take a bit of getting used to. We ask only that you give it a chance, try it on a few articles, and then tell us honestly what you think. This is a constant work in progress – we know it’s missing a few key pieces that might be important to you, and we’re continually evolving and improving it. Check out the latest about those coming improvements below. Just like when we launched the previous platform, ten years ago, on day one it wasn’t perfect, so we’re asking for a little patience as we grow. We’re going live now to learn what matters most to you, to help us learn and develop the next set of features. We already have a bunch of improvements in the pipeline. Tell us what you like and what you want to see (respectfully, please) – we’re here and we’re listening. This is part of a big investment in SB Nation communities, and we will continue to evolve the platform over the coming months and years to support you, the best fan communities on the internet. Some important information about the launch: Your old comment history won’t be migrated on day one, but we’ve kept it safe and will be bringing it back. We’ll be temporarily removing comments from FanPosts and FanShots, as well. We appreciate your patience through these changes. The new platform will be on all our articles on this site starting this afternoon, using the same login as always. Thanks as always for being here.
New Orleans Saints Post-cutdown 2020 53-man roster projectionby Ross.Jackson on August 11, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Now that the roster has been cut to 80, which 53 Saints look to be in the best position to secure a roster spot before hitting the practice field? With cutdowns complete and the New Orleans Saints sitting at 80 on the roster, despite two players starting on the PUP list, it is the perfect time to start to look at the roster. The intent of this 53-man roster is to begin a process through which we can continue to evaluate the talent throughout the team. Right now, things may be skewed to returning Saints and veteran players, but can some UDFAs or younger newcomers breakthrough and find their way to the day one roster? So to start, we’ll look with the lens of familiarity and continuity as we have yet to see any of the black and gold take the field and will not for another week. While the Saints focus on strength and conditioning as well as simply staying healthy for now, these are the players that sit at the top of the roster for me right now. So think of this not as a final projection, but the landscape as I see it for now that is sure to be shaken up as players get on the practice field. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports Quarterbacks (3): Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, and Taysom Hill The biggest “surprise” here is the omission of Tommy Stevens. The Saints clearly have a vision for him as they traded back into the draft to select him, but let’s be real: he’s still a seventh-round draft pick. That means, until he hit the field and proves himself, he is on the outside looking in at a future Hall of Famer, a 5,000 yard, first overall selection passer, and the offensive weapon Taysom Hill who could also be the future at quarterback. If the intent with Stevens is to indeed be a Taysom-clone, we just need to see it before making room for him on the roster. Running Backs (4): Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Ty Montgomery, and Michael Burton (FB) Adversely to the conversation about Stevens, Montgomery is in position to overtake incumbent RB3 Dwayne Washington. The difference for Montgomery is that he already has five years of NFL experience and is a proven commodity in both the backfield and slot. With Ricky Ortiz cut to trim down to 80, Michael Burton’s fullback spot is his to lose. The Saints still use a fullback in their system marching one out for 21% of their offensive snaps not including the times a tight end or Taysom Hill assumed the role. This is also a key special teams piece for the team as well. Zach Line blocked a punt last year and Burton has a propensity for special teams both in coverage and the return game as a solid blocker with an understanding for the special teams game. Wide Receivers (6): Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Bennie Fowler Did I mention familiarity at the top of this piece? That is what reigns supreme in the wide receiver projections. Your top four guys are pretty solidified, though there are concerns of inconsistency with Tre’Quan Smith. But the coaching staff is high on him. Wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson predicted this would be a breakout season for the third-year receiver. Lil’Jordan Humphrey outlasted both Krishawn Hogan and Maurice Harris as a split end option for the Saints. The big-bodied blocking receiver will face some push from Juwan Johnson, though I can see Johnson getting some work at tight end after Cole Wick and Jason Vander-Laan opted out of the 2020 season. That, and his injury history, may skew the perception of his chances at a roster spot. I originally had the final slot reserved for Emmanuel Butler. But then fellow Emmanuel, Emmanuel Sanders, shared during his Zoom conference last week that Fowler had been signed after Sanders brought him to a workout he was participating in with Drew Brees. It seems Brees liked him enough to potentially have played a role in getting Fowler signed in New Orleans. If that’s truly the case, I have to buy in on Fowler. Brees’s word was enough to keep Austin Carr around previous seasons, why not for Fowler? If Butler can show the improvements where the Saints coaching staff mentioned they’d like to see them - blocking and special teams - then perhaps Butler could push for a spot still in place of Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Keeping six receivers may feel like a lot, but the Saints have done so on the opening day roster each of the last two season and tend to do so when their return specialist is also a wideout. Tight Ends (3): Jared Cook, Josh Hill, and Adam Trautman Duh. Offensive Line (9): Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Cesar Ruiz, Erik McCoy, Ryan Ramczyk, Calvin Throckmorton, Will Clapp, Nick Easton, Ethan Greenidge, and James Hurst* Greenidge stuck around all season in 2019 albeit on the inactive list on game days. But clearly the Saints like him to have had him taking a spot on the roster despite not getting any live reps. The rest come down to familiarity and smarts. Throckmorton was one of the more intelligent offensive linemen in this year’s draft that also displays a ton of versatility. Those are two traits the Saints will throw the bag at. James Hurst is suspended for the first four games, so just keep him on the roster to start the year and make a decision when he’s reinstated. Helps with injury insurance as well as allowing the team to respond to any concerns with depth. Nice to have a focused back up tackle on the roster finally. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Defensive Line (9): Cam Jordan, David Onyemata, Malcom Brown, Marcus Davenport, Sheldon Rankins, Margus Hunt, Carl Granderson, Trey Hendrickson, and Shy Tuttle Run it back for the most part. Onyemata got a nice pay day this offseason and the Saints clearly believe in his development - I certainly do. Rankins looks like he will be back and ready to go for the transition from Covid not-camp to Covid-camp next week. The only big change here was inserting Margus Hunt in place of Mario Edwards, Jr. Hunt’s veteran experience, size, and versatility feel like the type of resume that could usurp an incumbent player. Notable omission to watch: UDFA lineman Malcolm Roach out of Texas. Everyone loves the guy and he is certainly one I’ll be tracking to take a spot if he pans out immediately. Otherwise, a great practice squad option considering the importance of that squad this season. Linebackers (6): Dermario Davis, Alex Anzalone, Kiko Alonso, Nigel Bradham, Zack Baun, and Kaden Elliss This is assuming that Alonso is ready to go at the top of the season. If for any reason he is not, veteran Craig Robertson would likely be added to this list. Though not in Alonso’s starting position now that Bradham is in the facility. Joe Bachie, the UDFA linebacker out of Michigan State is also worth your attention. Craig Robertson complimented both he and third-round selection Zack Baun’s intelligence in a recent visit with the media. A bonus to Bradham, who is expected to sign with New Orleans, is that you have a potential starter if needed or an excellent depth piece at worst. This also allows the team to not rush Zack Baun on the field while learning a new position during a truncated camp. He may be better served with a situational and third-down pass rush role while slowly rolling him into the off-ball backer role. I give Kaden Elliss, who was recently added to the Reserve/Covid-19 list, the special teams role previously held down by Robertson if he happens to not make the squad. Though, the Saints would then look for a new Special Teams Captain. Roberson could easily hold this role, but Elliss may have more value as an athletic depth option on defense. Defensive Backs (10): Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, P.J. Williams, Justin Hardee, and Keith Washington, Marcus Williams, Malcolm Jenkins, J.T. Gray, and Saquan Hampton Familiarity is a big factor here as well. The Saints have a really solid starting five (including C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the slot) along the secondary. Now the question is: who steps out of the shadows as the top boundary depth option? Every Saints fan seems concerned about this and while it isn’t unwarranted at all - not a lot of teams around the NFL have a known commodity at that spot. For now, P.J. Williams can serve as depth at the slot, safety, and [gulp] on the outside. But I include Keith Washington and his 4.38 speed here specifically to fill that boundary depth while also holding down some special teams capability alongside Justin Hardee, J.T. Gray (Second-Team All-Pro), and Saquan Hampton. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Special Teams (3): Thomas Morstead (Punter), Wil Lutz (Kicker), and Zach Wood (Long Snapper) More duh. Blake Gilliken, the UDFA punter out of Penn State is outstanding, but should not, or at least I can’t imagine he will, push Morstead for his job. But they have kept him around potentially to give Morstead some rest and serve as insurance should something happen. These positions will be among some of the most interesting to watch for teams during this pandemic season as most only carry one of each specialist on the roster. If one is out unavailable due to a positive test or exposure, who on the roster steps into their roles if someone can’t be signed? Spoiler: all three answers are Taysom Hill. But seriously, practice squad specialists may not be the worst idea. Don’t forget that the practice squad will look a lot different for the 2020 season. The squad limit has increased from 10 to 16. While the original 10 spots will have the same eligibility requirements as before, the six new spots can be populated by veterans with no limit on NFL experience. Four slots can also be protected weekly, protecting them from being able to be poached to another team’s active roster. Check back for another updated projection after full-contact practice has been in session long enough to yield some information. That phase of camp begins August 17th while the deadline to cutdown to 53 is set for September 4th. Agree? Disagree? Have a player you expect to crack the roster for now? Let us know in the comments below. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints.