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METAIRIE , La. (AP) Patrick Robinson spied Drew Brees stepping up to throw deep down the middle, sprinted back toward his own end zone and made an outstretched interception of a ball that initially lo
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 Impressive,” was how Saints coach Sean Payton described the play by Robinson, a cornerback who is one of several recent additions aimed at strengthening a club that nearly advanced to the NFC title game last season.The Patrick Robinson Jersey onset of offseason practices this week has provided Payton and his staff a chance to begin forging roles for players such as Robinson, as well as fellow newcomers such as linebacker Demario Davis, safety Kurt Coleman, receiver Cameron Meredith and first-round draft choice Marcus Davenport.It’s also a chance to see if any of the club’s younger running backs – such as rookie Boston Scott – might fill the void created by Pro Bowl rusher Mark Ingram’s four-game suspension for use of a banned substance.”Obviously, we hate to miss a guy like that. He’s such huge part of what we do and such a great teammate, too,” Brees said of Ingram after Thursday’s non-padded practice, the first open to reporters this offseason. ”We’ll manage.”Alvin Kamara is on track to emerge as New Orleans’ top running back after being selected as the Offensive Rookie of the Year last season.But while Kamara played a more versatile running and receiving role that Payton calls a ”Joker back,” Ingram was a force on more traditional runs.At only 5-foot-7, Scott is smaller than Ingram, but Payton won’t discount the rookie’s ability to compete for snaps Ingram might otherwise have gotten.”He’s shorter Austin Carr Color Rush Jersey , but he’s built pretty well. He is someone who has good instincts,” Payton said.”It’s early, but he’s done some really good things. There’s a running ability he has as well. I wouldn’t look at him as a ”Joker” back, if you will. He’s got some of those traits, but he does a pretty good job with some of the in-line runs.”The preseason performance of Scott, a sixth-round draft choice out of Louisiana Tech, as well as that of Trey Edmunds, a second-year pro out of Maryland, could determine how the Saints cope with Ingram’s suspension.”I’m going to work, do everything I can to learn the playbook and just grind,” Scott said. ”By the time preseason rolls around, I’ll be ready.”The Saints hope they’ve bolstered the passing game by adding receiver Cameron Meredith during free agency. Meredith led Chicago in receiving two seasons ago, but is coming back from a major knee injury that wiped out his 2017 season.Meredith did some route-running and catching on Thursday, after which Payton pronounced him ”way ahead of schedule.””He’s going to factor in this year https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com ,” Payton said.Meredith, meanwhile, discussed his motivation to regain his 2016 form.”It was a major injury. I’m not going to downplay it,” Meredith said. ”I’m excited to go out there and prove people wrong.”On defense, the Saints cannot yet be sure how well 2017 starting end Alex Okafor will come back from his torn Achilles.In the meantime, Davenport is expected to get a lot of offseason work as the Saints try to refine his pass-rushing skills in time for the fall.”He’s a tremendous worker,” Payton said. ”He’s coming along really well. There’s a strength element you feel.”The Saints expect the linebacker group to be strengthened by Davis, a former defensive leader with the New York Jets, as well as the return of second-year pro Alex Anzalone, who started four games as a rookie before the rest of his season was cut short by a shoulder injury.Both can play multiple roles.”I’m down with whatever my coaches want me to do,” Davis said. ”I’m here to win.”Robinson, Payton said, has returned to the club that drafted him in 2010 a more confident and capable player after winning a Super Bowl with Philadelphia last season.Robinson ”has played on the biggest stages and had success,” Payton said. ”It’s good seeing him back in our building.”Notes: Ingram was not at practice New Orleans Saints Customized Jerseys , even though the terms of his suspension allow him to participate in all offseason and preseason work. Payton said he disagreed with Ingram’s decision, but respects it and has had friendly phone conversations with Ingram about it. Brees said he also has spoken with Ingram, adding, ”I know Mark’s doing what he needs to do to get himself ready to play this season. He’s doing what’s best for him and therefor what’s best for the team.”— New Orleans put a considerable amount of effort into fixing their 3rd down defense during the offseason.They gave significant contracts to defensive backs Patrick Robinson and Kurt Coleman in free agency, and then payed a trachea and kidney to move up and select DE/OLB Marcus Davenport during the NFL draft.These acquisitions were supposed to solidify the Saints nickel and sub package.As of today, Robinson is on IR with a leg, Davenport is questionable for today’s game with a with a hip injury, and Coleman has only appeared in roughly 40% of the defensive snaps in arole that seems to shrink weekly like my checking account.Currently, the Giants boast the 8th best third down conversion rate in the league at 44% with Eli Manning completing 80% of his throws in those scenarios.New Orleans, on the other hand, is allowing 3rd downs to be converted on them a whopping 48% of the time.Giants strength versus Saints weakness…something gotta Harlem shake.6 degrees of separationPhoto by Daniel Shirey/Getty ImagesPayton pointed out that the Saints should expect to see more man coverage this week against the Giants.This presents a challenge for No. 9 and the offense in that it’s pitch and catch when the receivers just have to find soft spots in the zones and sit.Versus man coverage, it will be paramount that all receivers not named Michael Thomas do a good job getting off the line of scrimmage and creating space in their routes versus Giants DBs so Brees has clean windows to throw into.The ability to make contested catches will be huge in this one.Bayou BlitzThe Giants have a trio of pass-catchers in Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., and Sterling Shepard who can make things happen once they get the ball in their hands.The secondary New Orleans Saints T-Shirts , on the other hand, has been awful at contesting passes thus far in 2018.If you don’t trust your coverage to hold up for long, then you need to make the QBs hurry his throws.New Orleans has been relatively passive as far as the blitz this season and that needs to change because receivers are only as effective as the player getting them the ball. If the throw is difficult so is the catch.Stop the BleedingJason Getz-USA TODAY SportsIf the Saints defense can come out and limit the explosive plays in this game, it could lead to the big plays they are seeking.New Orleans plays a style of bend, don’t break D when it’s functioning properly that can lead to an offense having to take the long way down the field.So long as the secondary keeps things in front of them they can then come up and rally to make tackles.Good things happen when you populate the ball, and Sean Payton spoke about making, forcing, and recovering fumbles a point of emphasis this week in practice. The Giants offensive line should not be able to stand-up to the Saints front seven, but this D-line is also notorious for not being as effective for away.If what Landon Collins said is true, then the Giants may look to keep this game as close as possible while relying on the run to shorten the game.If the Saints can generate a bunch of 3rd and longs, they’ll have a chance to harass Manning with some well timed blitzes.Saints 27, Giants 24
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