New Orleans Saints linebacker Colton Jumper (51) defends Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Malachi Dupre (8) during the fourth quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park.

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'There was no stopping' Saints LB Colton Jumper after game-sealing interception

Jumper making special teams a priority in training camp

Amos Morale III
August 19, 2019 - 7:11 pm
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Colton Jumper thought he'd sealed Sunday’s preseason win against the Chargers with a pick-six. 

But a low blocking penalty erased Jumper’s touchdown and the New Orleans Saints ultimately knelt out the remaining seconds of the 19-17 victory. 

Jumper’s coaches told him, after the game, they’d wished he’d taken a knee as soon as he secured the interception instead bolting for the endzone. That, however, was not what went through his mind when he corralled Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Easton Stick's pass.

“There was no stopping me…” he said with a laugh. “I was like ‘It’s a preseason game, jobs are on the line, let me go ahead and try and score this thing. Obviously, it came back. But it was fun.”  

Jumper, a former updrafted free agent out of Tennessee, spent the 2018 preseason with the team and said his experience last year in training camp with New Orleans has helped him play a bit faster this time around.

He finished Sunday’s game with four tackles to go along with his interception and played in nearly half of the Saints’ defensive snaps. And while he understands his defensive play was good film, he knows his path to the 53-man roster is with the special teams unit.   

With that in mind, he came into Saints training camp this season with a renewed focus on that aspect of the game, especially after feeling like special teams was something he “took a little for granted last year.”

“In college it’s all offense-defense,” he said. “It’s all you focus on. And everybody always talks about, for undrafted guys, special teams, that’s it. ‘That’s what you’ve got to make it on.’ And you don’t really know how important that is until you get into it and then, kind of, your job’s riding on that.”

So the linebacker has made it a priority this season. And, so far, he thinks the work he’s put in has been worth it. 

“Obviously there’s improvements I need to make everyday,” he said. “I’m just focused on the small improvements — hands and stuff like that. But (it’s) definitely a big improvement from last year.”

 

 

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