Author Topic: s of different personnel on the field in different situations,  (Read 28 times)


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METAIRIE, La. - As Drew Brees examined the box score from New Orleans latest victory, he was struck by how equitably the Saints distributed the ball among players at various skill positions.For a quarterback trying to lead his team through a late-season playoff push, it was a re-assuring sign that defences — starting with Atlantas on Sunday — will have a hard time anticipating what New Orleans is about to throw at them.We feel good about it. It was interesting coming off this last game, just looking at the stat book, Brees said, noting that four players tied for a team-high five receptions, while another had four. It just goes to show you weve got a lot of guys that we spread the ball around to.Relatively good health and the emergence of younger players have combined to give the Saints a wider range of options for moving the ball than theyve had for much of the season.The timing is fortuitous. Despite being 6-8, the Saints will win the NFC South Division and host a playoff game if they win their final two games against Atlanta and Tampa Bay. They could even seal up the division this weekend with a victory combined with a Carolina loss to Cleveland.I like to think that were mixing it up quite a bit now to the point where were trying not to allow defences to key on us, Brees said.The Saints now rank second in the NFL in total offence, averaging 422.6 yards. The passing game ranks third (301.8 yards per game) and the running game ninth (120.8 yards per game).During a 31-15 victory in Chicago on Monday night, tight end Jimmy Graham; receivers Marques Colston and Kenny Stills; and running back Pierre Thomas each had five receptions for between 65 and 87 yards apiece. Third-year receiver Nick Toon, who didnt have a single catch until the 11th game of the season, caught four passes for 43 yards.Second year tight end Josh Hill, who still covers kicks and punts, and leads the Saints in special teams tackles, caught two touchdown passes and now has five this season, second only to Grahams nine.Falcons coach Mike Smith said the Saints possess one of the top offences in all of football, and that the unit is getting healthy at the right time.I was very impressed with the performance of (New Orleans) on Monday night offensively, Smith said.The Falcons wont have to concern themselves with first-round draft pick Brandin Cooks, who caught seven passes for 77 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta in Week 1 and was among the Saints top receivers before breaking his hand against Cincinnati on Nov. 16. But other players have combined to compensate for Cooks absence.Stills has averaged about 88 yards per game during his past four games. Toon is gradually becoming more of a factor. Colston is not having his best season but has been solid, with 771 yards and four TDs receiving.The Saints top three tight ends are healthy and have combined for 16 touchdowns. New Orleans top three running backs, all of whom have missed between three and six games at various points in the season, are now healthy as well.Power runner Khiry Robinson last Monday finally touched the ball for the first time since breaking his forearm in the sixth game of the season, getting three carries and even catching two passes.Ingram, despite missing three games early this season, is 131 yards away from his first 1,000-yard rushing campaign and ran for a 15-yard score against the Bears.Ingram said Saints coaches are adept at getting lots of different personnel on the field in different situations, giving defences a lot of different things to prepare for.Brees, meanwhile, was pleased to see the Saints getting Ingram, Thomas and Robinson all involved in the same a game for the first time in nearly two months.Each guy brings a different skill set to the table, but Im confident at all times with any of those guys in there, Brees said.Notes: Coach Sean Payton gave the Saints extra rest on Wednesday. The club was still required to submit an estimated injury report, which stated that left tackle Terron Armstead (neck), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) and strong safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) would have been held out of practice. ... New Orleans has added a kicker, Dustin Hopkins, to its practice squad.___Online:AP NFL websites: and Tramaine Brock Jersey . -- LeGarrette Blount wasnt satisfied with three short touchdown runs, not against a team coming off the second greatest comeback in playoff history. DaeSean Hamilton Broncos Jersey . Which is to say, the top of this years draft class is not as dynamic or exciting as the 2013 class of Nate MacKinnon, Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones and its not as strikingly promising as the highly-anticipated 2015 slate of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin. . -- The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a $25 million, five-year contract Saturday. Bradley Chubb Broncos Jersey . Despite Arsenals financial firepower, the 31-year-old midfielder was the only arrival in the January transfer window. Signed until the end of the season as injury cover, Kallstrom might not be fit until mid-March after arriving Friday at Arsenal having injured his back earlier in the week while training with Spartak Moscow. Josey Jewell Jersey . Noah finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 34 minutes. He was headed for his fourth triple-double of the season, but sat down with about three minutes left because of the lopsided score. Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points for Chicago, going 5 for 6 on 3-pointers, Carlos Boozer added 18 points, D.DENVER -- Prosecutors filed a misdemeanour assault charge Friday against Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov after his girlfriend said he attacked her last month. Varlamov, 25, faces one count of third-degree assault. His attorney, Jack Rotole, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. His agent, Paul Theofanous, has said the player is innocent. Varlamovs girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, told investigators he attacked her on Oct. 30 in her apartment. She said he knocked her down with a kick and stomped on her chest, according to an arrest affidavit. She also accused him of dragging her by her hair and telling her that he would have beaten her more if they had been in Russia, authorities said.dddddddddddd The Avalanche said in a statement that team officials were informed of the district attorneys decision, but would "have no further comment until the entire legal process has concluded." Varlamov is free on $5,000 bond and has been travelling and playing with the team. He is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 2. The judge who allowed his release ordered Varlamov to stay away from his girlfriend and told him he could not drink alcohol or possess firearms. If convicted, he could face a sentence ranging from probation to two years in jail, prosecutors said. 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