New Orleans Saints play by play announcer Jim Henderson

The Voice of the Saints thinks they have makings of something special

Jim Henderson gives his take on the team's eight game winning streak

Mark Menard
November 24, 2017 - 4:27 pm

The longtime "Voice of the Saints" Jim Henderson joined Newell Normand on WWL Radio the day before Thanksgiving to reflect on what's surely one of the top items the Who Dat Nation is thankful for - a resurgent New Orleans Saints who has now won eight straight games to vault into the top tier of the NFC.

Henderson began things by highlighting this week's game, a battle of division leaders as the 8-2 South-leading Saints head to Los Angeles to face the 7-3 Rams, the top team in the West.

"It's gonna be a lot of fun," Henderson said. "Two great offenses, although the Rams kind of stubbed their toe against the Vikings... but that's no disgrace. You play in Minnesota and play that defense. It's gonna be difficult for anybody to score. The Saints saw that in the opener."

Henderson highlighted one of the top reasons for the Saints' 2017 turnaround: a stout rushing attack led by the dual threat of running backs Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

"The Saints are running the ball more now than they ever have under Sean Payton," Henderson said. "And there's a good reason for that with Ingram contributing the way he is and Kamara, that's just been a godsend. Kamara's just been so great."

"And one thing I think we fail to recognize about Ingram is what a good receiver he's made himself into," Henderson continued. "He was probably a liability in that way early in his career and now he's such a threat catching screen passes and flares and wheel routes out of the backfield, so he's contributed to it as well. I saw where Sean McVay, the head coach of the Rams, said as recently as today in Los Angeles that preparing for this Saints offense is like preparing for a nightmare, and you'd have to think that it is."

Henderson elaborated on the emergence of Kamara, a Tennessee product who has thrust himself into the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"[Ingram and Kamara] complement each other so well," Henderson said. "I think Kamara is so slippery, and he almost never gets taken down by the first guy who has a chance to. Being elusive, he has that ability to put his hand down and stay alive. He's got terrific balance. Sean Fazende, whom I work with at Fox 8, made the great observation a couple of weeks ago that he's kind of a combination of Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, and the Saints have been looking for a guy like that for a long time."

Henderson said the rediscovery of the run game is not the only reason for the Saints' return to prominence. He also highlighted the team's explosion of top young talent through what has become a transformative 2017 draft class.

"You look at the Saints," Henderson said, "and so many things have gone right for them finally. They finally got the answers in free agency after a number of times they've failed in that regard. They had some tremendous free agent pickups. And this is going to be a draft that'll probably be looked upon as perhaps the best in Saints history, probably even better than the 2006 draft, which the Saints lived off of for about 10 years."

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, safety Marcus Williams, and linebacker Alex Anzalone all joined Kamara as key contributors from the jump, though Anzalone was eventually lost for the season to injury.

"Out of the seven draft choices," Henderson said, "you got five starters and a sixth guy in [defensive end Trey] Hendrickson who is probably going to start this week and has already made an impact. And you don't know about Al-Quadin Muhammad. Eventually, he may as well. So to come out with five starters out of your draft is pretty amazing."

Henderson will provide the play-by-play this Sunday when the Saints travel to face the Rams in Los Angeles. Game time is 3:25pm. WWL's coverage starts Sunday morning at 11.

You can hear the full audio of Henderson's chat with Newell Normand by clicking the audio link below.

On the day before Thanksgiving - Who Dats and Tiger fans - what are you grateful for? 

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