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JOESAM2002 08-10-2003 09:19 AM

Tory Woodbury article......

No more Jet lag for Woodbury

N.O. signee impresses with his versatility

Sunday August 10, 2003

By Brian Allee-Walsh
Staff writer

After two forgettable seasons with the New York Jets, quarterback Tory Woodbury found himself floundering at the bottom of the roster.

His few contributions had not come under center but on special teams (eight tackles, one fumble recovery) and at wide receiver (one catch for 13 yards).

In fact, the next pass Woodbury throws in an NFL game will be his first.

So on July 29, after the Jets' morning practice at Hofstra University, Woodbury walked into Coach Herman Edwards' office and asked for his release.

Within 24 hours, Woodbury was on a plane for New Orleans after being claimed off waivers by the Saints.

"It was time for me to get away from there, so I took a chance and put it in God's hands," Woodbury said. "All I need is an opportunity. All I need is for somebody to crack the door open for me and I'll do the rest. I like my chances here. Destiny is in my hands. I'm going to take care of my part."

Going into Monday night's exhibition opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Woodbury is battling quarterbacks J.T. O'Sullivan and Chris Finlen for the No. 3 job, behind Aaron Brooks and Todd Bouman.

Woodbury, 25, made a good first impression at the team's Black and Gold scrimmage Aug. 2 in Lafayette. After just three days in the system, Woodbury led the offense to its only points, a 27-yard field goal by John Carney.

Woodbury completed four of 10 passes for 37 yards and scrambled once for 12 yards. Afterward, he gave himself a D-plus grade, saying he would not make the same mistakes during the exhibition season.

"He's hungry and he wants to be on this football team," Saints wide receiver Joe Horn said. "He's opening some eyes around here, not only with the media but with (Saints offensive coordinator) Mike McCarthy and other guys, too.

"Hey, we'll see Monday night. If he gets in there and throws two picks and throws the ball out of bounds and misses open receivers, everybody's going to put their chin back down on him again. But if he does what he did in the scrimmage he's going to turn some heads, not only on this team but around the league."

Woodbury, 6 feet 2, 208 pounds, is a compelling figure because of his "slash"-like talents. In addition to playing on special teams, he can play quarterback, wide receiver and safety.

Woodbury's role Monday night has yet to be determined.

"He has a good chance of making the roster because in this business it's a plus to have the ability to do more than one job," McCarthy said. "His flexibility and athletic abilities play to his advantage.

"I really liked his disposition at the scrimmage in Lafayette. There was a play or two when he wasn't clear what to do but he went out and played. There was no panic in his body language, and there was no panic in his play. I really liked the way he handled himself in that situation."

Coach Jim Haslett also likes what he has seen of Woodbury, who played in the same West Coast system in New York that McCarthy runs in New Orleans. Haslett has even brushed up on league rules that deal with the "emergency" quarterback on game days.

"The rule is if your third quarterback enters the game in the first three quarters, the Nos. 1 and 2 quarterbacks are done for the day," Haslett said. "They can't play anymore. If the No. 3 quarterback enters the game in the fourth quarter, then the Nos. 1 and 2 can come back in.

"If he's the No. 2 quarterback he can be used on all special teams. If he's the No. 3 quarterback he can't participate in anything."

Woodbury, who answers to the nickname "Hollywood" and sports a vanity license plate that reads "Playmaker," said he is thankful for the opportunity in New Orleans and plans to make the most of it.

"This is like a breath of fresh air for me," Woodbury said. "I was doing a lot of standing around up there and I didn't know which way I was going. Since I've been here, these are the most snaps I've taken at quarterback for a long time.

"They don't know what they're getting here in me. They're getting a ballplayer, a playmaker and an athlete. Right now, my favorite number is 53. I just want to make this roster."

tweeky 08-10-2003 01:11 PM

Tory Woodbury article......
I look for them to develop this guy fast. Bouman is a free-agent and if he comes in and looks good, he\'ll be too pricey for us to keep. Much like Delhomme did. I\'m wondering if the Saints decided not to let Delhomme replace Brooks last year to try and keep Jakes price tag and interest low enough to get him to re-sign with us. It didn\'t work but I wonder????
Brooks/Woodbury may be our 2004 1-2 punch.
Just a hunch.

ssmitty 08-10-2003 05:48 PM

Tory Woodbury article......
as i said, i look for tory to be #3 and as for bouman, we shall see........i really am starting to lose faith in the coaching staff with the, \"tell em one thing, and , then the, \"say what\" attitude they need for it.........tell it like it\'ll have my respect...please get this message to the coaching staff and tell em to stop blowing smoke up people\'s\'s a turn off.......if i could believe it was all for the good i still would not wanna be lied to........time to grow up people, remember, what comes around, goes around........other than that, i remain a true saints fan.........smitty

saint5221 08-10-2003 07:38 PM

Tory Woodbury article......
I\'m looking forward to seeing him play more. He\'s looked good so far ,hope he continues to shine as the test gets tougher.

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