2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule

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.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Drew Brees counts Nolan Ryan among his influences. He said he was a big fan of Ryan's while growing up in Texas – and loved both him and Ted Williams when he and his brother would watch the video “Golden Greats of Baseball” on the VCR. Then he later talked to Ryan about his approach as he extended his career to the age of 46. Brees has spent years working with throwing coach Tom House, who was one of Ryan's pitching coaches with the Texas Rangers. “He didn't stop pitching because he couldn't still throw strikes and get people out. He stopped pitching because it became more and more difficult to turn around every five days and pitch like those guys are required to do in a starting rotation,” Brees said. “So you look at his career and the way he trained and the things that he did to prepare himself to play with the longevity he played with and the level he was able to play at. And I think there's just a lot of things about his psyche and his mentality and his toughness, both physical and mental, that are to be admired.”

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints now have two Marcus Williamses in their secondary. They signed veteran cornerback Marcus Williams to join their second-year safety of the same name. The new Williams is a fifth-year veteran who spent the past four years with the Jets and Texans, with 14 career starts and 10 career interceptions. They also signed veteran safety Robert Nelson and released undrafted rookie guard Trevor Darling.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

We've seen some nice runs from Saints RB Jonathan Williams in recent days, including the preseason opener, which he talks about here. But Drew Brees was even more complimentary of his pass-protection ability (which Sean Payton also praised). That could give Williams an edge in the Saints' crowded competition at backup RB.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints released third-year cornerback De'Vante Harris, who appeared in 21 games over the past two years as a backup and special teamer. Harris, who was undrafted out of Texas A&M flashed potential every summer but battled inconsistency. Two penalties in Thursday's preseason opener didn't help his roster case.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Third-year RB Jonathan Williams has been flashing for the Saints over the past three days (including his 13-yard run and 4-yard TD run in Thursday's preseason opener). Up until Thursday's game, I probably would have ranked Williams' odds of making New Orleans' roster behind those of rookie Boston Scott and veterans Terrance West and Shane Vereen. However, that battle for the backup RB job during Mark Ingram's four-game suspension to start the season is about as hard to handicap as any position battle on the roster right now.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints WR Michael Thomas was the dominant figure in Saturday's practice, with a heavy dose of catches in full-team drills. The third-year Pro Bowler has been terrific throughout camp. And even though he set the NFL record for most catches in the first two seasons of a career (196), there is a sense that he can keep raising the bar in Year 3.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints safety Marcus Williams said it meant a lot to him to hear that Drew Brees compared him to Ed Reed — as does getting to compete against Brees and learn from him every day in practice.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints QB Taysom Hill's legs are an obvious weapon for him, as he showed in Friday's preseason opener — both on scrambles and designed runs. In practices when he's not being sacked, he said he takes the opportunity to go through more of his reads and try to find receivers downfield on scramble drills. But taking off running when the opportunity is there in a live game, "that's just playing football." Obviously Hill will continue to develop as a passer, but his dual-threat ability could give him a shot to win Drew Brees' backup job.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The backup QBs took center stage in New Orleans' preseason opener while Drew Brees took the night off – but the competition remains wide open after a 24-20 win over the Jaguars. Veteran newcomer Tom Savage was just OK as he started and completed a conservative 10 of 14 passes for 70 yards with no TDs and no INTs. Second-year pro Taysom Hill was more dynamic, completing 8 of 9 passes for 72 yards and running seven times for 52 yards and a TD. But he started a little shaky and may have relied on his legs a little too much.

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