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SmashMouth 08-07-2010 07:03 PM

New Orleans Saints defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson stands out during scrimmage
 
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Newcomer Jimmy Wilkerson was officially initiated as a member of the New Orleans Saints defense Saturday when he scooped a loose ball off the ground during the team's Black and Gold scrimmage, then took off running toward the end zone for about 30 yards before being whistled down by contact.

Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune
New Orleans Saints DE Jimmy Wilkerson had a good game in the Black and Gold scrimmage on Saturday.
"He did a great job," said linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who had stripped the ball loose from tight end Jimmy Graham after a dump-off pass from Patrick Ramsey behind the line of scrimmage. "I wanted to go for that ball, but (Wilkerson) was coming with a full head of steam. I though, 'I'll back up and just be happy that we got the ball.'"
Though he didn't score on the play, Wilkerson said it felt great to take off running down the field - both mentally and physically.
"Just being out there with the guys, participating and not standing on the sideline, that's really the most important thing," said the 29-year-old defensive end, who is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament he suffered in Week 16 last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"You know, Coach (Gregg) Williams and really the whole defensive staff, they really harp on always picking the ball off the ground, whether it's an incomplete pass, fumble, stripped ball, whatever," Wilkerson said. "We're always gonna pick the ball up and run, so it has to be something that comes natural to us. And really that was something that came natural to me.
"And at the same time I didn't even think about my leg when I was trying to split those two offensive linemen."
Wilkerson, who also broke inside for a sack later in practice against rookie quarterback Sean Canfield, said he's never dealt with a major injury before. And he admitted that he's still trying to "get over the mental hump" of not worrying about the knee and how it will hold up.
He has been limited to one practice per day during training camp, with an occasional full day of rest, but he seems to be ahead of schedule after having surgery so late in the season last year.
"Being that this is the first serious injury I've had, the mindset of the long process and not being out there on the field and not being able to practice two times a day with the guys, you know it's frustrating," Wilkerson said. "Mentally you're beat up, then it just sets in a lot of mental fatigue. So I've just got to keep getting over that hump and just be patient, and your time's gonna come.
"I've just got to keep progressing on every down, every play, so my memory, my leg and my mind can start working together again."
Wilkerson (6 feet 2, 270 pounds) spent five seasons in Kansas City, mostly as a backup, after being drafted in the sixth round out of Oklahoma in 2003. Then his career took off when he joined the Buccaneers in 2008. He had 11 sacks over the past two seasons, becoming a full-time starter for the first time last year.
For now, he is working at defensive end, where the Saints added both Wilkerson and veteran free agent Alex Brown to help replace longtime former starter Charles Grant. Then once the Saints get through their installations, Wilkerson will also start to work as a pass-rushing defensive tackle in third-down situations.
Wilkerson admitted that he had doubts about heading into free agency with the injury concerns this year and asked himself questions like, "Am I gonna play next year? What team is gonna come pick me up with this injury?"
"I just had to take it all in stride, continue to work hard, and hopefully the things I did that they saw on film would help me get with a team," Wilkerson said. "And, shoot, I landed with the Super Bowl champions. I couldn't ask for anything better."

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QBREES9 08-07-2010 11:14 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson stands out during scrimmage
 
"Just being out there with the guys, participating and not standing on the sideline, that's really the most important thing," said the 29-year-old defensive end, who is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament he suffered in Week 16 last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I hope he stay Healthy

Saint_LB 08-08-2010 06:28 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson stands out during scrimmage
 
Wow...we're stacked at DB, now we're getting stacked at DL. We already got JV. Everybody knows about our offense...nothing more need to be said there.

Are we just a couple of stud LB's away from being the next dynasty...or are we already?

Rugby Saint II 08-09-2010 01:45 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson stands out during scrimmage
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Saint_LB (Post 235468)
Wow...we're stacked at DB, now we're getting stacked at DL. We already got JV. Everybody knows about our offense...nothing more need to be said there.

Are we just a couple of stud LB's away from being the next dynasty...or are we already?

This season will determine that. Personally, I believe we are built to be a long term dynasty. Understandably people were scared to talk dynasty last year and stayed focused on the Lombardi. Now that that is done we need to establish ourselves as a dominant franchise that is going to win more Superbowls and stay committed to winning. Our coaching staff, the FO, the scouts and the type of players we bring in are all reasons to be hopeful that in the near future we will be rightfully called a dynasty.


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