Tuesday, 31 July 2012 05:11

Is Brees’s pick, Marques Clark in tradition of Colston, Ivory and Jimmy Graham for New Orleans Saints?

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graham-panthersDrew Brees is getting plenty of praise for caring about and finding what could be a diamond in the rough in Marques Clark, a 28-year-old rookie who has spent the last years teaching.

The question is whether Clark will make the team and if so, will he be a keeper as other Saints players have been who have been sleepers.
Doug Ferrar of Yahoo Sports has written, “It would be a great story if Clark could make it that far, and it wouldn't be that unusual for the Saints -- with or without Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis in charge -- to take such a flyer. Marques Colston, the team's current best receiver, was thought to be a tight end prospect coming out of Hofstra. Backup running back Chris Ivory was scooped up from Tiffin after Washington State let him go. Members of the Saints' current offensive line come from schools named Bloomsburg and Towson. Clark has been told that his story reminds some of Michael "Beerman" Lewis, who went from driving a beer truck to unexpected status as a return man for the Saints some years ago.


So, in effect, Brees is carrying on the Saints' long-held small-school underdog approach in Payton's and Loomis' absence.
The issue is not just “small school” but whether the player is not viewed at the time of the draft as one who would make the team or an impact.
Take New Orleans Saints tight-end, Jimmy Graham, for example. Graham went to a big school, Miami, but did not play football until his senior year. In fact, in that year, he only caught seventeen passes but did score five touchdowns. The Saints picked him in the third round and the rest is history.


Drew Brees is still in the national news with more NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell criticism via USA TODAY per the quarterback's interview with Peter King of SI.com.
“Nobody trusts him," Brees said of the commish. "I'm not talking about a DUI, or using a gun in a strip club, which are clearly violations. There're too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a facade. Now, if a guy has ti come in to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think now if a guy has to come in to come in to talk to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think the conclusion has already been reached."

Brees said his team's mentality now is this: "Move on. Find a way. We will."

Suspended linebacker Jon Vilma said he doesn't expect a ruling this week on whether he will be granted a temporary restraining order against the NFL-imposed yearlong suspension

Judge Ginger Berrigan will rule on whether Vilma will be allowed to rehab (knee surgeries) in the Saints practice facility or prevent him from using team facilities during his suspension.

Saints Practice

The Saints have changed practice times to avoid 90s degrees heat and rain and worked out on Tuesday morning. The team will work out from 8:50-11:30 a.m. through Friday. Wednesday's practice will be closed to the public.

The Saints will conduct a walk-through practice on Saturday morning and then depart for Canton, Ohio, the site of their first preseason game against Arizona (Pro Football Hall of Fame Game) on Sunday at 7 p.m, (NFL Network). The Saints are favored by three over the Cardinals with an over/under of 34 1/2.

Following the game, the Saints will depart Foxborough, Mass., where they will work out with New England for two days (Aug. 7-8) before taking on the Patriots ion preseason game at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 6 (6:30 p.m. CST/FOX 8).

SOME hither. others yon: There's a creepy poster (it's not a Rockwell) of Sean Payton on the wall of the Saints' indoor practice facility that reminds the players he is watching even if he's not there in person. Payton will have an open seat on the plane to Boston this weekend for the Saints appearance in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The coach also has an open seat at team meetings. Underneath the poster is "Do Your Job." (I highly recommended a visit to the HOF. I've been twice).

"It was Sean's last message to Mickey Loomis." said Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod. "Joe Vitt passed it on to us. So when we walked in, when you walk in his eyes are on you and everywhere you go, he's looking at you.

"It kind of creeps me out...He was looking at me and then I got all the way on the other end of the field, and he was still looking at me."...Former Saints tackle Willie Roaf, who be inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, was asked was he the best player in Saints history, Roaf said that honor belongs to Drew Brees. No argument there, Roaf will be the second inductee who goes in as a Saints, The other was linebacker Ricky Jackson...Reason linebacker Curtiss Lofton wanted to leave the Falcons and join the Saints was because Atlanta wanted to use him on the first two plays and replace him on passing downs. The Falcons were only going to pay him as a two-down player. The Saints believe in can play three downs and are paying him as a three-down linebacker...

Bleacher Report has ranked college football stadiums. Clemson's Memorial Stadium is No. 1, Alabama's Bryant Denny is No. 2. LSU's Tiger Stadium is No. 6. Tulane in the Dome is No. 104. "The Superdome is great, but for a college team like Tulane playing there, it can seem relatively empty when the game is going on."..Louisiana-Lafayette's Cajun Filed is No. 80. Louisiana Tech's Joe Ailet Stadium is No. 89 and Louisiana-Monroe's Malone Stadium is No. 90...Thought of the day: "Half the lies they tell about aren't true."...

Do you think Marques Clark will make the team?  Talk about this issue, below.


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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