2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
2d

Schefter: Thomas On Rise, Clark On '18 Expectations

Before chatting with Saints WR Michael Thomas about his rise to becoming one of the NFL's elite receivers (28:49), Adam Schefter talks to ESPN's Ryan Clark about his career, his expectations for the 2018 season, his relationship with the late Sean Taylor and much more (:37).

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints CB Marshon Lattimore easily had his best practice to date in training camp with two interceptions against Drew Brees in full-team drills -- including one on the final play that shut down a 2-minute drill. Lattimore almost had a third pick, wrestling the ball away from WR Michael Thomas after he was considered down by contact. Sean Payton credited Lattimore for getting his hand on the ball a lot throughout the day.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Some great lines from Saints veterans after Sunday's practice. RB Mark Ingram said 37-year-old TE Benjamin Watson looks like the “Under Armour mannequin,” saying he's the oldest guy here and still the most ripped and cut. (The ageless Watson made a nifty one-handed catch Sunday in 1-on-1 drills). Meanwhile, DE Cameron Jordan said S Marcus Williams has “worked his … arsenal off” this offseason. And Jordan said second-year OT Ryan Ramczyk has “learned how to play chess” as he has come strong with counter moves and a more unpredictable approach in Year 2.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints DE Cameron Jordan, who has been critical of President Donald Trump on social media, referred to him as "45" and "that guy" when asked about the views he has expressed. Didn't want to go into detail but said it is a shame that he "affects our daily life as a community, as a nation."

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

The Eagles are the best team in the NFL, per ESPN's Football Power Index. Changes to the vig on Philadelphia's season win total earlier this offseason bumped the defending champs over New England. However, the Patriots (17%) and Steelers (13%) remain more likely to win the Super Bowl than the Eagles (13%) because there are fewer contenders in the AFC. Note: these numbers were run before AJ McCarron's injury, which will affect the Bills' rating.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints safety and special teams hopeful Rickey Jefferson suffered a torn ACL in Friday's preseason game, a source confirmed (first reported by the New Orleans Advocate). Jefferson was a roster long shot after he just re-signed with New Orleans two weeks ago. He went undrafted out of LSU in 2017 and spent last summer with the Raiders before being released. He signed a reserve/futures deal with the Saints in January but was released in May.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints rookie DE Marcus Davenport was back doing some individual drills in Saturday's practice after missing nearly three weeks with an unspecified minor injury. And Sean Payton said he expects the first-round draft choice to practice this week and make his preseason debut against the Chargers next Saturday in L.A. ... Meanwhile, second-year DE Trey Hendrickson has been playing very well during this camp while both Davenport and veteran Alex Okafor have missed time with injuries.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The New Orleans Advocate caught a nice moment on the sideline Friday when Saints owner Gayle Benson and safety Chris Banjo held hands on the during the national anthem. Banjo told The Advocate that it was a spur-of-the-moment gesture during Benson's first home game as owner after her husband, Tom Benson, passed away earlier this year. "Any time she's there, one, it's a reminder of him, and two, I just think it shows true strength for her to continue to be here with something he gave birth to, and continues to support us the way she does," Banjo said.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Sean Payton acknowledged the obvious Friday – that QB Taysom Hill had a “rough night” with his two interceptions and three fumbles (two lost). “I mean, you can't get stuck holding onto the ball and taking the sack-fumbles like that,” Payton said. “Obviously when you turn the ball over as much as we did offensively, you're gonna have trouble playing well – or even getting the sense of how you do as a team.” Payton added, however, that he thinks Hill will “rebound and be better.” And he was equally hard on the Saints' WR group. “Now, we didn't help him either,” Payton said. “(WR Ted) Ginn's running the wrong route twice, we're aligned wrong. I think our receiver play has been average at best.”

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Second-year Saints DT Devaroe Lawrence and veteran DT Jay Bromley continued to flash in Friday's loss as they both continue to make a strong push for a roster spot. Lawrence had both a tackle for loss and a pass defense Friday, and Bromley forced his way through the middle of the line to force an intentional grounding penalty. The Saints have room for a fourth defensive tackle on the roster, and both have made compelling cases so far.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Rookie WR Tre'Quan Smith continues to be a bright spot for the Saints this summer. He led the team in receiving yardage for the second straight preseason game Friday, catching three balls for 60 yards -- and he has consistently flashed with big plays throughout training camp. Coaches have still stressed that the third-round pick from Central Florida needs some polish with assignment and alignments, etc. But it's hard to imagine that the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder won't be a contributor early with his combination of size, speed and hands.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Veteran Tom Savage surged ahead of second-year pro Taysom Hill in the Saints' backup QB battle Friday – but mostly by default after Hill had an extremely rough night. Hill threw two interceptions and fumbled three times (losing two of them) while playing the entire first half in the loss to Arizona. The dual-threat QB did show off his legs with a 43-yard scramble – and the Saints will likely keep him on the roster because of his potential and his special teams ability. But it's hard to imagine the Saints can trust Hill enough to be Drew Brees' backup just yet. Meanwhile, Savage also fumbled (and recovered) on his opening drive in the second half. And he has been more solid than spectacular this summer. But he had the much better night, completing 6 of 7 passes for 53 yards with no TDs and no interceptions.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Jonathan Williams still appears to be in the lead for the Saints' backup RB job behind Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram (who is facing a 4-game suspension to start the year). But fellow Saints RB contenders Boston Scott and Terrance West also showed flashes late in the game. ... Williams was the first RB off the bench after Ingram started Friday night's preseason game. And he had 37 yards on 8 carries (including a fourth-and-1 conversion at the end of the third quarter). Meanwhile, the rookie Scott had a 16-yard run among some other nice plays. And West entered the game late and busted loose for a 21-yard run. Williams and Scott appear to be in the lead for roster spots, but veterans West and Shane Vereen can't be ruled out in one of the tighter roster battles on the roster.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Taysom Hill's bid for the Saints' backup QB job couldn't have gone much worse in the first half Friday. He threw two interceptions and fumbled three times (losing two of them). Saints coach Sean Payton has been excited about the potential of the second-year athlete from BYU. And he did show off his running ability with a 43-yard scramble Friday night. But it's hard to believe the Saints will be ready to make him their No. 2 QB while he's still showing so much inconsistency. Hill will likely still make the roster, though, especially since he has become a special teams standout. ... Meanwhile, veteran Tom Savage is now the clear favorite for the backup QB job -- though he'll also need to play well enough to keep New Orleans from considering another free agent veteran.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Good news: WR Cameron Meredith is making his preseason debut with the Saints on Friday night after missing more than a week of practice with an unspecified minor injury. Bad news: He let a ball bounce off of his hands in traffic and get intercepted by the Cardinals on the opening drive. ... Saints QB Taysom Hill is getting the start Friday as he competes with veteran Tom Savage for the backup job. He can't be blamed much for the pick, but he also sailed a deep ball, so he'll look for a cleaner second drive.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints CB Marshon Lattimore said he is itching to get into the regular season — and that his mental game is way ahead of where it was heading into last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints DE Alex Okafor was injured during Wednesday's practice — though the extent remains unknown. He was able to limp off the field under his own power, but practice halted for a couple minutes while trainers tended to him and teammates looked on. Okafor is returning from a torn Achilles that he suffered last November, and his health is key for the Saints since he was such a big part of their defensive turnaround before the injury last year.

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