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L Train gaining steam with Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; L Train gaining steam with Saints Deke Bellavia Reporting There are so many great feel good stories about the New Orleans Saints. Many of the Black & Gold players were once considered "long shots" to make a team, much less ...

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Old 06-06-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
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L Train gaining steam with Saints

L Train gaining steam with Saints

Deke Bellavia Reporting

There are so many great feel good stories about the New Orleans Saints. Many of the Black & Gold players were once considered "long shots" to make a team, much less play in the NFL and be contributors on a Super Bowl championship squad.

Just a few years ago a young, unknown running back from Illinois was the story of the 2007 season. Pierre Thomas came out of nowhere to become one of the most reliable players on the Saints roster.

Now, another running back is developing into another feel good story. Lynell Hamilton is becoming a player, who is climbing the depth chart…and he"s doing so by working hard and making plays, when his number is called.

After latching on as an un-drafted free agent in 2008, Hamilton did not make the Saints active roster, but was placed on the practice squad. Lynell dressed out in the Saints final game of the season against Carolina.

Hamilton used his time with the team wisely and elevated his role in 2009, becoming a key member of the Saints backfield. "I can"t think of many times when I walk through the locker room and I don"t see either him (Lynell) or his street clothes hanging in his locker," said Saints head coach Sean Payton.

"He"s spent a lot of time getting himself ready for this opportunity, and he is someone we have a lot of confidence in," continued Payton. Hamilton proved to be a very versatile running back and he made a good impression on the Saints coaching staff during the 2008 preseason. Lynell rushed for 76-yards on 24 carries in 3 pre-season games, and grabbed 3 passes for 29-yards.

From there, Lynell kept working hard to make the Saints 2009 roster. He eventually became a good all around back, who was called upon in short yardage situations during the Saints Super Bowl season.

Hamilton's best game was the ‘09 season finale against the Carolina Panthers. He rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Hamilton scored the Saints" first touchdown of the post season with a one-yard touchdown against Arizona in the Saints 45-14 win over the Cardinals in the NFC Divisional playoffs.

Lynell has gained the respect of his coaches and teammates through his tremendous work ethic. Hamilton says he"s learned so much from teammates, who play his position. "I learned a lot about the game from some great guys. Deuce, Aaron Stecker, Reggie, Pierre and Mike Bell have all given me great advice and helped me learn so many things. I have just tried to listen as much as possible and then keep working hard every day," said Hamilton.

Lynell played in nine games in ‘09 with one start. He finished the season with 125-yards rushing on thirty-five carries for an average of 3.6 yards per carry. Hamilton also hauled in five receptions for 48-yards.

Hamilton gained the trust of the Saints head coach not only by his work ethic, but his reliability. Hamilton has not fumbled the ball in the regular season and he"s been a good contributor on special teams.

Lynell totaled four tackles on special teams last season with the Saints. "I just want to help the team win games. If that means running the ball, if that means playing on special teams…I"ll do it," Hamilton explained.

But the hard nose "L-Train" could be used more in short yardage situations this season. "We've seen him now for two seasons," said Coach Payton. "We've really not hesitated putting him in short yardage or putting him in goal line, and we do have a confidence level in what he can do."

So, another great story continues to unfold about a "long shot" making strides and developing into a solid player for the New Orleans Saints, a team that is not only coming off their first title…but a team that"s becoming known for playing the best players regardless of how they arrived in the "Big Easy."

Join Bobby Hebert, Hokie Gajan and DekeBellavia with Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic and reporter Steve Geller for complete coverage of Saints Mini Camp today until LSU baseball at 7:45pm. Sunday"s coverage of Saints Mini Camp starts at noon here on the home of your World Champion New Orleans Saints, WWL 870am, 105.3 WWLfm and WWL.com.


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