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Sideline Steve: 5 Saints to keep an eye on at training camp

Steve Geller
July 19, 2019 - 11:32 am

Horrifying images from the NFC championship were seared into our memory after the Rams got a little help from the refs to beat the Saints to advance to the Super Bowl. But, now is really the time to move on and focus on 2019 since the first practice of training camp is Friday, July 26th.

This year’s Black & Gold squad is expected to be right back where they were a year ago. They finished last season 13-3 and were the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs.  A super talented roster remains intact and while everyone wants to talk about Drew Brees being a “40 year old quarterback”, he has shown no signs of a decline in production and continues to shatter NFL records. You don’t have to worry about #9 heading into camp, but here are 5 guys that do have question marks around them:

Center Erik McCoy

Will the 2nd round draft pick be the Saints starting center week 1? The consistent and reliable Max Unger retired at the end of last season which leaves a massive hole up front.  Putting that responsibility on a rookie could be too much to handle, but he’s got a pretty good support system around him with Terron Armstead, Larry Warford, Ryan Ramczyk and Andrus Peat on the o-line. Of course McCoy won’t just be given the job, he will be competing against Cameron Tom and free agent addition Nick Easton. 

Defensive end Marcus Davenport

A toe injury dampened Davenport’s rookie season, but the Saints 2018 first round pick still finished with 4.5 sacks, 12 hits on the QB and 28 pressures in 13 games.

The question of if the DE from a small school can make it in the NFL is out the window.  Now, we just want to know is Davenport can stay healthy.  He had surgery on his thumb before training camp a year ago, then played through pain after hurting his toe week 7 in Minnesota. He underwent surgery on that once the season ended and is feeling good heading into his sophomore season.  

Cornerback Patrick Robinson

P-Rob’s return to the Black & Gold lasted just 3 games last season.  The Saints 2010 1st round pick was placed on injured reserve after breaking his ankle in Atlanta.

Robinson looked to be fully back and ready to go during OTAs and mini-camp, but will the 31 year old hold up when the pads are on? He was the top rated slot corner by Pro Football Focus following 2017 when he won a Super Bowl in Philadelphia. P-Rob has plenty of competition for the job as PJ Williams is back along with 4th round pick Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.   

Wide receiver Cameron Meredith

Will we even see Meredith on the field for training camp? He appeared in just 6 games for the Saints last year as the WR never fully recovered from a devastating torn ACL that occurred in the preseason of 2017.  The 26 year old had his knee scoped in the offseason and was held out of OTAs and minicamp, which only heightened concerns over his playing status. The Saints will be cautious with him, but Meredith needs to show he can stay on the field or else he may end up out the door before the season even begins.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater was in New York Jets training camp in 2018 before the Saints traded for him prior to the final game of the preseason.  So, the biggest sample of his abilities in Black & Gold was seen in the final game of the regular season against Carolina when he was 14 of 22 passing for 118 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Did he look the heir apparent to Brees? No, but that was also in a game that didn’t mean much to the Saints who had locked up the #1 seed and were resting some starters, especially along the offensive line. This year’s camp and preseason in New Orleans will give us a better idea if Bridgewater can be the future. We do know he may have the best dance moves on the team right now.

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