Saints owner Benson honored with statue at Superdome

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--A statute of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson holding the Vince Lombardi trophy for Super Bowl XLIV where the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts is seen after an unveiling ceremony in Champions Square by the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson was honored on Tuesday with a statue of himself on the steps of the Superdome overlooking Champions Square. The statue, of Benson in suit smiling and holding the Lombardi Trophy aloft, is to serve as a lasting reminder of his longtime commitment and contributions to the New Orleans community and the people of… Continue reading →

Sources: Saints sign seven players to practice squad

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints kicker Derek Dimke leaves the field in a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The dream of representing the Saints in a regular-season NFL game in 2014 lives on for a few players left off the first 53-man roster the team finalized Saturday. New Orleans began signing players to its 10-member practice squad Sunday, according to sources, though the team did not release its official list. League sources… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: Top 5 MVP candidates*

Associated Press photo by MICHAEL PEREZ -- Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy

* not named Peterson, Rodgers, Brady, Brees or Manning LeSean McCoy, RB Eagles coach Chip Kelly knows how to get the most out of McCoy, who finished with 2,146 yards from scrimmage last season. The scary part is that Kelly has had several months to figure out new ways to use his speedy running back.… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: 5 teams that could rise

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) makes a touch-down catch against Carolina Panthers strong safety Quintin Mikell (27) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

HOUSTON 2013 record: 2-14 Why the optimism? The Texans should not have been a 2-14 team. The play of former quarterback Matt Schaub lost the team several games it should have won last season. The defense is stacked with talent, and that alone will help them rise. The question is whether they… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: 5 teams that could fall

In this July 29, 2014, file photo,  Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly (59) directs the defense during an NFL football practice at their training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. The APs Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, Kuechly is considered by Panthers coach Ron Rivera the teams defensive quarterback on the field. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CAROLINA 2013 record: 12-4 Why the pessimism? The Panthers came out of nowhere to improve by five games and win the NFC South. The defense should remain solid, but they lost a lot of pieces on offense and are suspect at the receiver position. This is an aging roster that will go… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: 5 rookies to watch

Associated Press photo by L.G. PATTERSON -- Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks, Saints The hype is real ... we think. Cooks has looked good from the first day of camp and hasn’t slowed down. The expectations might be too high — NFL Network recently predicted a 1,000-yard season — but the Saints receiver should pick up plenty of yards. Sammy Watkins, Bills Watkins… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: Coaches on the hot seat

Associated Press photo by WILFREDO LEE -- Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin

MIKE SMITH Record: 60–36 overall in six seasons with Falcons Why the heat? If last year was a fluke, fine. No harm done. Consider it a hiccup. If the Falcons miss the playoffs again or fail to compete in the NFC South, then that should be it for Smith. The Falcons have… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: AFC predictions

Associated Press file photo by JOHN BAZEMORE -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

AFC EAST 1. NEW ENGLAND (predicted finish: 12-4) The Patriots remain the standard in the AFC East and should be back in the final four once again. 2. N.Y. JETS (6-10) They could make a playoff push if everything breaks right. The issue is that things rarely break right for… Continue reading →

2014 NFL preview: NFC predictions

Associated Press photo by JOHN FROSCHAUER -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

NFC EAST 1. PHILADELPHIA (predicted finish: 10-6) Is Nick Foles as good as his numbers? The answer to that question will determine how far the Eagles go. 2. WASHINGTON (8-8) The Redskins have talent. But there are too many questions surrounding this team to feel confident about anything. 3. N.Y.… Continue reading →

A chart of the Saints' 53-man roster

New Orleans Saints hold their hand to their hearts during the National Anthem, before  an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)

Linebacker Kasim Edebali and cornerback Brian Dixon are the undrafted rookies to crack the roster. Five of the six 2014 draft picks made the team: receiver Brandin Cooks (first round), cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste (second round), linebacker Khairi Fortt (fourth round),… Continue reading →

Saints release Robert Meachem

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Baltimore Ravens defensive back Brynden Trawick (28) can't stop a long reception by New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem (17) in a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

The Saints are siding with youth on offense. In paring down its roster to 53 names, New Orleans parted ways with veteran wide receiver Robert Meachem Saturday afternoon. Meachem was engaged in a battle with Joe Morgan and Nick Toon for the final roster spots at wide receiver. Both Toon and Morgan made the cut.… Continue reading →

Saints release Champ Bailey

Associated Press file photo by MICHAEL CONROY -- Saints cornerback Champ Bailey

The Saints made a splash this offseason by adding Jairus Byrd and Champ Bailey to their secondary. Byrd has lived up to his billing and appears ready to solidify the New Orleans secondary. Bailey, meanwhile, leaves town after only having logged a handful of snaps during the preseason. The Saints parted ways with the 12-time Pro… Continue reading →

Saints rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks adjusting well to NFL

Associated Press photo by L.G. PATTERSON -- Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks

So much for the rookie wall. Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks said Friday he’s avoided a mental or physical slump during his initial NFL experience. Neither two-a-days during training camp in West Virginia and Saints headquarters nor the Saints offense’s thick playbook has dampened his summer of professional football, despite missing all of OTAs and minicamp because… Continue reading →

Saints release Greg Jones

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --New Saints acquisition FB Greg Jones participates in drills during Saints samp Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

The New Orleans Saints have begun chopping down their roster to 53 men. The team released fullback Greg Jones in the first known move, according to a league source. The 11-year veteran was signed by the Saints in early August after Erik Lorig suffered a leg injury. However, Austin Johnson has been working with the first-team… Continue reading →

Saints QB Luke McCown, WR Joseph Morgan solid as preseason closes

Associated Press photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS -- Saints quarterback Luke McCown passes against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The fourth preseason game is for the dreamers and schemers. It’s typically a time for the starters to rest and for the backups to make one last push to claim a roster spot. The Saints didn’t completely hand over Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the backups. Several players, including guards Ben… Continue reading →

Saints’ Derek Dimke gets his kicks — and makes them

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH Saints kicker Derek Dimke follows through on one of his two field goals during Thursday's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints appeared serious about giving 24-year-old kicker Derek Dimke a chance to separate himself in the race with incumbent kicker Shayne Graham, 36, in their 22-13 defeat against the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday night. New Orleans let Dimke take three kickoffs, an extra point and a pair of field goals it had… Continue reading →

Saints starters see limited action in preseason finale vs. Ravens

Advocate photo by John McCusker-- Drew Brees talks to Jimmy Graham as they warm up at the Superdome.

For most of the Saints starters, including new papa Drew Brees, the most action they got Thursday night was running on the field for introductions — and that was just the offense. Besides Brees, whose inactive status for the team’s final preseason game was announced beforehand, other listed offensive starters who did not at least line up for their… Continue reading →

Three and out: Ravens 22, Saints 13

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Saints coach Sean Payton talks with linebacker Ronald Powell after a play against the Baltimore Ravens in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

1. What we learned Off the field we found out Drew Brees’ new daughter’s name is Rylen Judith Brees. On the field, not so much. The proud papa, like many Saints starters, sat this one out. For those demanding something for their preseason dollar, Luke McCown looked… Continue reading →