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Five New Orleans Saints training camp battles to watch

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; We're more than two weeks and two preseason games into New Orleans Saints training camp. There are some battles you anticipated and some battles you possibly didn't see coming. MICHAEL DeMOCKER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE New Orleans Saints running back Travaris ...

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
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We're more than two weeks and two preseason games into New Orleans Saints training camp. There are some battles you anticipated and some battles you possibly didn't see coming.


MICHAEL DeMOCKER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE
New Orleans Saints running back Travaris Cadet (39) vaults a defender during the preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Thursday, August 9, 2012.
And within the battles you anticipated, some of those names may not have been the names you would have thought could have been contenders. The names and positions could change in the next couple of weeks considering the Saints still have three preseason games remaining before the roster shrinks from 90 players to 53.

For now, here's a look at five position battles, in no particular order that actually matter:Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re: 5 training camp battles to watch

Ivory vs. Cadet - If Cadet keeps up the preseason like he started I see him winning that battle
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: 5 training camp battles to watch

Originally Posted by |Mitch| View Post
Ivory vs. Cadet - If Cadet keeps up the preseason like he started I see him winning that battle
And since he appears to be capable of playing multiple roles, it may not be a battle of Ivory vs Cadet, it may be Cadet versus our 2nd FB, or our 7th LB, or our 9th O-lineman, or our 4th TE...

If Cadet keeps shining, I can see us keeping Ivory AND Cadet.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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Re: 5 training camp battles to watch

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
And since he appears to be capable of playing multiple roles, it may not be a battle of Ivory vs Cadet, it may be Cadet versus our 2nd FB, or our 7th LB, or our 9th O-lineman, or our 4th TE...

If Cadet keeps shining, I can see us keeping Ivory AND Cadet.
That would be cool.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #5
 
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Five New Orleans Saints training camp battles to watch

We're more than two weeks and two preseason games into New Orleans Saints training camp. There are some battles you anticipated and some battles you possibly didn't see coming.


New Orleans Saints running back Travaris Cadet (39) vaults a defender during the preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Thursday, August 9, 2012.
And within the battles you anticipated, some of those names may not have been the names you would have thought could have been contenders. The names and positions could change in the next couple of weeks considering the Saints still have three preseason games remaining before the roster shrinks from 90 players to 53.

For now, here's a look at five position battles, in no particular order that actually matter:

1. Running back - Chris Ivory vs. Travaris Cadet

The conventional thought entering training camp was how on earth could the Saints be able to share the running game wealth among the stable of running backs like Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Ivory. Who would have thought another undrafted rookie free agent would make you think twice about one of the four backs?

Actually, it shouldn't be as much of a surprise as this scenario seems to occur every year during and after training camp.

Here are the abilities Cadet has displayed through the last couple of weeks: he can run the ball, he can catch out of the backfield (his 14 preseason catches leads the Saints), he has decent pass protection skills and he can be used as a returner (a 21-yard punt return and a 28-yard kick return). Cadet has shown the Saints that he can be more diverse than Ivory and he even saw carries with the first-team offense before Ivory.

Ivory probably still stands as the favorite to hold onto the fourth running back spot with Cadet being a practice squad candidate. But Ivory also struggled with holding onto the football at times during training camp practices with multiple lost fumbles. Don't look past this battle.

2. Wide receiver -- Adrian Arrington vs. Nick Toon vs. Courtney Roby vs. Joe Morgan vs. Andy Tanner

Arrington made many onlookers ooh and ahh with his stellar training camp practices. Then a knee injury unexpectedly sidelined Arrington for the Hall of Fame Game against the Arizona Cardinals and he hasn't touched the field since. It sounds like he'll need some sort of surgery to repair his latest ailment.

Toon injured his foot during his best practice more than a week ago and interim coach Joe Vitt said Toon may not be ready to return for this weekend's preseason home opener against Jacksonville. So it's become open season for the fourth and fifth receiver spots.


New Orleans Saints wide receiver Andy Tanner (14) stretches for yards after a reception during the preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Thursday, August 9, 2012.
Morgan hasn't been the same kind of player that seemed on his way to making the 53-man roster last season before a knee injury landed him on injured reserve. The speedster has hauled in more than his fair share of deep balls during camp, but he hasn't been as consistent on special teams as he was last preseason. Catching punts and kicks have sometimes been an adventure.

Conversely, it wouldn't be a stretch at all to say Roby and Tanner have the other three wide receivers beat. Both have been consistent in practice and in games catching passes.

Roby has nine catches for 139 yards in the first two preseason games, while Tanner has eight grabs for 120 yards. Both are averaging at least 15 yards per reception. Roby's special teams skills have kept him on roster since 2008. Tanner has been on and off the practice squad more times than one could count the last two seasons. But so far, they've made their best cases to date to be included in the passing game.

3. Defensive tackle - Remi Ayodele vs. Tom Johnson vs. Akiem Hicks vs. Tyrunn Walker vs. Swanson Miller

Ayodele and Johnson entered training camp penciled in with the second-team defense. That's before Hicks returned healthy and Johnson returned to the training table with another injury.

Hicks took his first significant snaps against the Patriots and opened some eyes. The third-round pick penetrated through New England's offensive line, including longtime starting guard Dan Koppen, to make several plays. Hicks' big hit on Patriots third-stringer Ryan Mallett caused an interception. Hicks' quick start may lead the Saints to think twice about hanging onto Johnson.

Albeit against Arizona's backups, Walker came out of virtually nowhere to muster five solo tackles and one sack. Walker didn't follow up with a bang against New England with only one tackle.

4. Kicker -- Garrett Hartley vs. John Kasay

This race will be won during preseason games and not the practice field as both players are proven veterans, even though Kasay is much more veteran than Hartley.

They've rotated on every kick during the preseason regardless of situation. But it's ended up with Kasay seeing the vast majority of field-goal attempts so far. The lefty is 2 of 4 on field goal tries in his first two games as he made kicks from 22 and 46 yards while missing from 41 and 54 yards. Hartley connected on his only attempt with a 27-yard kick.

Even though both kickers are listed as No. 1 on the depth chart, Kasay probably will have to beat out Hartley considering age and that Hartley has four years left on his latest contract. So it's Hartlry's job judging by the early numbers.

5. Interim to the interim head coach - Pete Carmichael vs. Steve Spagnuolo vs. Aaron Kromer

Vitt continues to say there's been no decision made about who will replace him when the NFL sits him down for six games because of his alleged role in the bounty scandal. It's hard to imagine that a decision hasn't been made, though, knowing how well prepared the Saints organization handles things.

The Saints probably want to hold their choice in-house until the last possible moment as to not have any sort of unnecessary added pressure before that coach takes over for Vitt.

Kromer seems like the most logical choice. He's similar to Vitt in that he's a position coach rather than a coordinator. It could be smart to leave Spagnuolo's focus on defense considering Spagnuolo has never coached a game for the Saints and is installing a new defense. Carmichael is running the offense for the first time for a full season without Sean Payton's mentoring. So it seems like keeping Carmichael's focus on the offense would be a logical choice.

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Re: Five New Orleans Saints training camp battles to watch

Legit battles I'm interested in...

Our 6th LB
Our 5th CB
Our 6th WR
Our Kicker

My camp favs...
Cadet
Morgan
Tanner
Higgins
M. Johnson
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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Re: Five New Orleans Saints training camp battles to watch

I will be closely watching the DT play in the next few games. That is where I believe we need the most improvement at this point.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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Re: 5 training camp battles to watch

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
And since he appears to be capable of playing multiple roles, it may not be a battle of Ivory vs Cadet, it may be Cadet versus our 2nd FB, or our 7th LB, or our 9th O-lineman, or our 4th TE...

If Cadet keeps shining, I can see us keeping Ivory AND Cadet.
I agree- and I'll add 6th WR or 2nd kicker to your list

As for the other 'battles', DT will be a rotation, as always, wideout will come down to last cuts, Kasay will be our kicking consultant again, and as for HC, I think Loomis and whoever it is already know.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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Re: Five New Orleans Saints training camp battles to watch

Trade Ivory if Cadet keeps it up
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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Re: Five New Orleans Saints training camp battles to watch

Originally Posted by homerj07 View Post
Trade Ivory if Cadet keeps it up
Noooooooo hes such a success story we should keep him on the roster even if hes not the best guy at the position just because hes an underdog.
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