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Saints 2013 season

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Vote for Drew Brees!

The Saints quarterback has been nominated for the FedEx NFL player of the week after his strong performance against the Cardinals on Sunday.

Along with Brees, hometown favorite Peyton Manning and the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford are up for the weekly honor.

The winner will be announced Friday.

Click here to vote:

Well, I guess leadership does count.

In his first real NFL game in 20 months, Saints head coach Sean Payton had his team very well prepared. And so did defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Ryan came up with a terrific game plan against the falcons and his players executed it.

The Saints got pressure with exotic looks, but blitzed sparingly. It was the perfect recipe: pressure on the quarterback without yielding too many big plays.

Payton’s draft is already contributing. First round pick Kenny Vaccaro has a chance to be an outstanding safety and wide receiver Kenny Stills, a fifth round pick, had two catches for 86 yards.

If the Saints have an Achilles heel it is the running game. Mark Ingram carried nine times for 11 yards. Not good. Pierre Thomas deserves more carries. Perhaps he will get them Sunday at Tampa Bay.

An NFL season is a marathon, but the Saints, who responded to Sean Payton and Rob Ryan, are off to a very good start.

News with a Twist

What a great way for the Saints to start the regular season

Wow.  What a treat.  What a great way to start the new football season.  The Saints won their season opener, their home opener, and they did it against the dreaded Atlanta Falcons: a division rival and conference foe.  That’s a nice thing.

Sean Payton is back and his presence could be felt.  New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, ad the Saints defenders actually playing defense. Besides 3 quarterback sacks of Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, the “D” also had a memorable goal-line stance to preserve the 6 point win.

There’s a lot of football left, no doubt, but with the return of Sean Payton, combined with the way the new defense played, along with the fact that the Saints just beat a quality opponent – one that just missed last year’s Super Bowl and was the consensus pick to repeat as NFC south champions – yesterday’s start in the sold out Mercedes-Benz Superdome was exactly what the team and fans needed.

The Saints did it with a mix of old and new players like defensive tackle Akiem Hicks making his presence known and rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro wreaking havoc all over the field.

Drew Brees was up to his usual, playing at an incredibly high level at one of the toughest positions in sports, his starting quarterback spot.  You figure there are only about 15 or 20 of these guys that are very good to excellent.  Brees obviously falls into the “excellent” category.

And the biggest part of yesterday, besides the big win over the Falcons was the re-emergence of the Saints Super Bowl-winning coach, Sean Payton.

The Saints stand alone atop the NFC south at 1-0.  1 down, 15 more to go.  What a great way to start the new football season.


Saints best Falcons, again

The Saints continue to find a way against their archrivals.

Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro tipped a fourth down pass that was intercepted in the endzone by Roman Harper as the Saints held off the Falcons 23-17 in the regular season opener for both teams.

Vaccaro tipped the pass intended for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez on fourth and goal at the three with under one  minute to play.

The Saints beat Atlanta for the 7th time in the last 9 tries.

Vaccaro said the play was “the biggest of my life.”

“In a situation like that, a rookie in his first NFL game. At home, division rival, my biggest play,” said Vaccaro.

Atlanta jumped to a 10-0 nothing first quarter lead. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw a 7 yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez. On the next series, the Saints went it for on fourth and one from their own 47. Mark Ingram was stopped for a one yard loss. Atlanta’s Matt Bryant then kicked a 23 yard field goal.

The Falcons had 123 yards in the first quarter, but only 244 the remainder of the game.

The Saints answered with 13 second quarter points. Drew Brees threw a 25 yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston to give tie the game at 10. The reception was Colston’s 533rd, a new franchise record.

The Saints took a 20-17 lead in the third quarter on a 7 yard Drew Brees touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham.

The Saints play at Tampa Bay Sunday.

The Saints have been working for months, but on Sunday, Sean Payton starts to truly earn his sizeable paycheck.

The Saints are paying Payton what is believed to be $8 million per season. Why? To win games like the upcoming Saints-Falcons matchup.

High pay, high expectations — and fair or not, expectation on Payton’s return is thru the roof.

How will it all turn out? Who knows?

But one things for sure: Payton has re-injected confidence in the locker room. In the taped piece you heard Zach Strief say, ‘We always seem to play well in big games under Sean.’

Payton’s edginess plays well with his team.  Last season – especially early in the year – there were too many nice guys. Everyone, including the coaches, were walking around, making sure they didn’t step on anyone’s toes.

Payton has no such quandary and the players know it.

And payton knows this: he’s paid to win the big one, and Sunday is it.

When the Saints take on the Falcons Sunday, what advice would you give Coach Payton?

We’re asking fans to put on their coaching caps in this Grab the Mic.

meachem-277×177Wide receiver Robert Meachem has returned, and he says he’s the same player he was when he left before the 2012 season.

Meachem signed with the San Diego Chargers in a deal that included $14 million guaranteed. He was waived on the final cut by the Chargers. He re-signed with the Saints Tuesday.

Meachem said chatter that he had somehow lost some footspeed has motivated him.

“All that negative talk about my body’s broken. I heard all of those things,” said Meachem. “That was flattering because now I get a chance to go show the world my gift, again.”

Meachem had 2 touchdown receptions last season, both in the Superdome against the Saints.

In 2009, Meachem caught 9 TD passes as the Saints marched to victory in Super Bowl XLIV.

The Saints released their injury report approximately one hour after head coach Sean Payton addressed the media.

The Saints say linebackers Junior Gallette and Martez both practiced full. Both had missed the entire preseason due to injury.

All three Saints quarterbacks threw at least one touchdown pass, including two from backup Luke McCown as the Saints beat the Texans 31-23 Sunday in Houston.

The Saints are 3-0 in the preseason. They can clinch their first ever unbeaten preseason with a win Thursday night at Miami.

Houston led 10-0 before Drew Brees tossed a short pass to Pierre Thomas. The Saints running back broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and raced 51 yards to the endzone.

The Saints took a 17-13 lead on a 14 yard pass from McCown to rookie draft choice Kenny Stills. New Orleans led 17-16 at the half.

In the second half, free agent Andy Tanner made a huge bid to make the club.

Tanner caught an 8 yard td pass from McCown and a 15 yard touchdown pass from Ryan Griffin. Griffin, a free agent from Tulane, is trying to make the club as the Saints third quarterback.

The Saints defense was unimpressive. New Orleans allowed Houston 496 total yards and 30 first downs. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub completed 15 of 26 passes for 213 yards. Ben Tate rushed 11 times for 74 yards and a touchdown.

On Thursday, August 15, LBJ and Susy made their predictions for the Saints 2013 regular season. LBJ believes the Saints will win 12 games and lose 4, while Susy says they’ll be 13-and-3.