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www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.com/
01-12-2019, 06:51 AM
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www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.com/
Saints coach Sean Payton said it's too early to judge New Orleans' last-ranked running game.New Orleans managed only 43 yards rushing on 13 attempts in a Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay http://www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.co...son-jersey , but Payton said that was more about the nature of a game because the Saints had to lean on the pass after falling behind. And though the coach was more critical of the running game following the Saints 21-18 victory over Cleveland, he stressed: "We're talking about one game here. We're not talking about a crisis."The Saints' surge to the NFC South title last season was fueled to a large degree by a rejuvenated running game that ranked fifth in the NFL.The addition of Alvin Kamara, who became the 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, to Mark Ingram, who had his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season, gave New Orleans an elite tandem.Heading into Sunday's game against Atlanta, the Saints are averaging an NFL-worst 52.5 yards rushing during a 1-1 start.Ingram is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Falling behind early also has compounded matters for New Orleans. Payton has had to lean heavily on Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas, who has an NFL-record 28 catches through two games."We definitely miss Mark," Thomas said. "He adds value to this offense."New Orleans' 36 rushing attempts are third-fewest in the NFL, but the Saints also have struggled when they have run the ball, averaging only 2.9 yards per rush. That ranks second-to-last, ahead of only Tampa Bay.When Ingram's suspension was announced in the spring, Payton said the solution would not be to just give his carries to Kamara. Yet, Kamara's workload has increased. He has averaged 10.5 carries and 7.5 pass receptions after averaging 7.5 rushes and five receptions per game last season.The Saints spent much of the offseason http://www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.co...ams-jersey , training camp and preseason looking for a complementary running back to Kamara.The turnstile of rushers hasn't worked out.New Orleans signed veterans Terrance West and Shane Vereen and drafted Boston Scott in the sixth round to join holdovers Jonathan Williams, Trey Edmunds and Daniel Lasco.West and Edmunds were released, Vereen and Lasco wound up on injured reserve and Scott was released and later signed to the practice squad.The Saints wound up signing Mike Gillislee after he was released by the Patriots at the end of the preseason and bringing up Williams after briefly placing him on the practice squad.After two games, Gillislee has 11 rushes for 27 yards and he lost a fumble that Tampa Bay returned for a pivotal touchdown in the Saints' 48-41 loss in the season opener. Williams has rushed just twice minus-1 yard.Payton said communication and blocking were the main issues against the Browns, who held the Saints to 62 yards on 23 rushing attempts."We just didn't run as effectively against (Cleveland) as we would have liked," Payton said. "It's one of those teams that's going to give you some tough run looks. There's just a number of things that we have to get cleaned up."Brees cited two important runs that helped the Saints rally from a 12-3 deficit in the fourth quarter.Kamara had an 18-yard run that started a touchdown drive which pulled them within two points. He also gained five yards on a third-and-2 to extend another touchdown drive that gave New Orleans its first lead."When we rushed better in the latter part help of the game it helped," Payton added. "When we review with our players where we stand in terms of what's important to winning and losing, (running effectively) certainly sits at the top."Notes: Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison (foot), receiver Tommylee Lewis (knee) and linebacker Manti Te'o (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. ... The Saints listed three players as limited in practice: left tackle Terron Armstead (knee), receiver Ted Ginn (knee) and left guard Andrus Peat (ankle). At the very least, Eli Apple didn't have to worry about whether he'd be welcomed warmly in the corner of Saints headquarters where the defensive backs' lockers are clustered.Apple's former Ohio State teammates, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Vonn Bell, took care of that."We're glad to have him," Bell said, smiling widely.Added Lattimore Womens Sheldon Rankins Jersey , "I know what he's capable of. I know the skillset. He's a great player, a big player, strong. He's got good feet. He's going to get it right."For the Saints' sake, he'd better.New Orleans enters its Week 8 test at Minnesota ranked 28th in the NFL against the pass, allowing nearly 276 yards per game through the air. Making matters worse has been the timing of some the Saints' coverage busts, most recently at the end of Sunday's victory at Baltimore , when Ravens receiver John Brown caught what should have been a tying touchdown pass in the final half-minute with no defender near him. Baltimore's extra point kick sailed wide, however, and New Orleans (5-1) escaped with another victory.In Week 2 against Cleveland , the Saints gave up a game-tying, 47-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Calloway with 1:16 to go and would have fallen behind if kicker Zane Gonzalez hadn't missed an extra point. New Orleans then needed a field goal with 21 seconds left to clinch that victory.Lattimore said New Orleans has been "terrible" in 2-minute defense.So when the Saints had an opportunity on Tuesday to acquire Apple , who was a 2016 New York Giants first-round draft choice, in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round draft pick and 2020 seventh-rounder, they seized it."We felt like it was in our best interest," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "We felt like it was going to help us this year."Apple Womens Mark Ingram Jersey , 23, practiced with New Orleans for the first time on Wednesday. And while his status for this Sunday's game remains unclear, he said he was "very excited" to be traded to New Orleans from the languishing Giants, a team with which he has struggled at times and come under public criticism from teammates and staff."It's a great organization here, a lot of great players, too," Apple said after his first Saints practice. "I just can't wait to come in and contribute."Apple's future in New York seemed tenuous since the 2017 season, when Giants safety Landon Collins called Apple a "cancer," and when Apple also was suspended for confrontational behavior toward coaches during practice.This season, however, Apple seemed to be following through on his pledge that his attitude would be "all business." In five games with the Giants this fall, he'd made or assisted on 22 tackles, defended five passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.Asked in New Orleans if he needed a change of scenery, Apple responded www.neworleanssaintsteamonline.com , "I wouldn't necessarily say I needed it, but it's great to have one right now.""A lot of juice around here," Apple added. "A lot of excitement."Payton, who normally emphasizes the importance of character in the players he acquires, said he was comfortable Apple could help after speaking with the defensive back's former teammates who now play for the Saints."It's not uncommon that we would visit with certain players on a roster about guys they might've played with in college or maybe with prior to (on) another NFL team," Payton said. "We felt good on the information. We like the skillset and we're excited."In addition to Lattimore and Bell, Apple was Ohio State teammates with receiver Michael Thomas and often competed against him in practice."It was a heavy-weight fight every day," Bell recalled, adding that both players practiced so intensely they had to be physically separated a few times. "It was competing at its best."Notes: Left guard Andrus Peat, who sat out Sunday's game in Baltimore with a head injury that had occurred in practice the previous week, returned to practice on Wednesday and said he expects to play this week. ... Center Max Unger (hand) and reserve guard Josh LeRibeus (ankle) sat out practice. ... Safety Marcus Williams practiced, but was listed on the Saints' injury report with a groin injury. cheap football jerseys
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