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New Orleans Saints didn't have to look far for help at cornerback

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints didn't have to look far for help at cornerback By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune November 24, 2009, 3:00AM Down to just two healthy cornerbacks -- one who was not in good enough playing shape or familiar enough ...

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Old 11-24-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints didn't have to look far for help at cornerback
By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune
November 24, 2009, 3:00AM
Down to just two healthy cornerbacks -- one who was not in good enough playing shape or familiar enough with the defensive system to be activated in time for Sunday's 38-7 win at Tampa Bay -- the New Orleans Saints didn't have to go deep into their rolodex to find some much-needed help.

The Saints brought back veteran cornerback Mike McKenzie, signing him Monday, a Saints official confirmed. To make room for McKenzie, the Saints placed cornerback Leigh Torrence on injured reserve.
McKenzie, who played for the Saints from 2004 to 2008 but missed a good portion of last season with his second knee injury in two years, was released in March.
The move cleared $4.575 million in cap space, but with the sudden mounting of injuries the Saints decided to re-sign McKenzie. Terms of the deal were not available.
The Saints' starting cornerbacks -- Jabari Greer (groin) and Tracy Porter (knee) -- missed Sunday's victory over the Buccaneers and two other cornerbacks -- Randall Gay and Torrence (shoulder) -- suffered injuries in that game. Gay left in the second quarter after tweaking his hamstring, and Torrence was in and out of the lineup with what he called a "stinger."
McKenzie was not available for comment Monday, but his teammates appeared to be happy about him joining the team.
"Everybody knows what he can do," Saints defensive back Usama Young said of McKenzie. "He made some big plays in big games and was consistently doing well. Mike is a good guy. ... I look forward to seeing him in here."
McKenzie, 33, is a 10-year veteran who suffered a fractured right kneecap last November that sidelined him the rest of the season.
McKenzie, who spent his first five seasons playing for the Green Bay Packers before being traded to the Saints in 2004, has 337 career tackles and 27 career interceptions. The 6-foot, 194-pound McKenzie worked out during the summer for Seattle but did not sign with the Seahawks.
McKenzie is the second veteran cornerback the Saints have signed in the past two weeks. They also signed Chris McAlister, who was inactive for Sunday's win, last week.
McKenzie's signing comes on the heels of a solid performance by a makeshift secondary. Greer, whose status for Monday night's game against New England is still uncertain, said he understands management's need to bring in new cornerbacks.
Porter is expected to be out with a sprained MCL, and Saints Coach Sean Payton would not give an injury update on Gay.
"With the things that have been happening with our corners we realize that if our guys can't go then we will have to do some things," Greer said.
Despite finishing the game with rookie Malcolm Jenkins as the only available cornerback, the Saints managed to hold Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman to just 126 passing yards and a 33.1 passer rating. The Saints also intercepted three passes, including one by Jenkins and another by reserve safety Chris Reis.
"I thought they played well," Saints Coach Sean Payton said. "We did a good job of containing some threats -- (Kellen) Winslow specifically, who I think is an exceptional player, and Antonio Bryant and those guys.
"We kept the ball in front of us. They had the touchdown on the long scramble where (Josh) Freeman made a real good play. It's tough -- when you extend a pocket three seconds or four seconds or five seconds -- it becomes harder on a secondary, but I thought they played well."
But the secondary likely will have to play even better Monday night against the Patriots and All-Pro quarterback Tom Brady.
Unlike Freeman, a rookie who was making only his third professional start, Brady is a wily veteran with three Super Bowl rings and the ability to be as accurate and explosive as any quarterback in the NFL.
The Saints' defensive backs said they expect to be tested more against the Patriots than they have against any other opponent this season.
"I'm real cool with Vontae Davis (a rookie cornerback) from Miami and I saw how they went at him when he was out there so I am pretty sure I am going to get some balls thrown my way," Jenkins said. "But that comes with the territory."
Greer agreed.
"I believe you have to raise your game every Sunday, but this is a team and this is a game that really brings your talent to center stage," Greer said. "I would call this an opportunity game."

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Old 11-24-2009, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints didn't have to look far for help at cornerback

Another move that shows the team is committed to making it happen this year. I hope Mike and McAlister are both healthy and in shape for Monday.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints didn't have to look far for help at cornerback

MM=Picks!

Here's to us widening the turnover ratio further!

Perhaps let him play "Center Field" a'la Sharper or Sammy Knight.
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