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WhoDat!656 05-07-2013 08:46 AM

Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
METAIRIE — New Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills has a connection with New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees going back to high school, but he needs to watch his step.

“I’m going to be the first one in the building and the last one to leave,” Stills said last week after being selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft out of Oklahoma. “I’m going to go out there and work my tail off every day.”

“I don’t know about that,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He better be riding with him if that’s going to happen.”

First in, last out at the Saints facility belongs to Brees and has since he became New Orleans’ quarterback in 2006. Stills, who grew up in Carlsbad, Calif., near San Diego, got to catch passes from Brees in 2005 when Stills was in eighth grade and Brees was in his last season with the Chargers.

“They just needed extra bodies to go catch balls at one of the local high schools,” Stills said. “So I caught some passes from him. Definitely the best quarterback I have worked with and been around. I can remember hearing the ball whistle coming from his hands to my hands and just smacking me in the hands.”

Stills held on then and continued to hold on. He went on to catch 109 passes for 2,188 yards and 27 touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons at La Costa Canyon High and was a top 150 player in the nation according to when he signed with the Sooners. His 3,041 receiving yards in his prep career set a San Diego area record. He finished his three-year Oklahoma career as the No. 3 receiver in school history with 2,594 yards and fifth in receptions with 204 despite being smallish for a receiver at 6-0 and 190 pounds.

“He runs crisp routes and has some of the best hands in the entire country,” wrote in 2010. “Runs effortlessly, and his deceptive speed allows him to run by defenders.”

Payton likes his receivers taller. Marques Colston, the Saints’ career leader with 58 touchdowns and the club's top wide receiver in 2012 with 83 catches for 1,154 yards, is 6-foot-4. Nick Toon, a fourth round pick in 2012 out of Wisconsin who missed all of last season with a foot injury, is 6-4. But there is 5-9 Lance Moore, who finished second on the team among receivers last season with 65 catches for 1,041 yards.

“I just prefer bigger receivers. Now, it is not a mandate, though,” Payton said. “If the player is exceptional in some different areas, then that won’t eliminate him. Lance Moore plays an important role for us, and he’s under that benchmark. Kenny is fluid, fast, has been productive, has played at a high level of competition and can run. He has good transition with his speed.”

The Saints did not go into the draft looking for a speedy wide receiver, but when they saw Stills with his 4.3 time in the 40-yard dash was available at pick No. 144, they could not resist.

“That was not necessarily a must, but I think when we got to that selection, we valued his skill set,” Payton said. “He has good transition with his speed. A lot of times when you get someone that can run as well as he does, maybe he doesn’t transition as well. His speed and his production are things – the two immediate things – that came to mind.”

Stills, likewise, was not thinking Saints on draft weekend.

“I definitely didn’t expect New Orleans to pick me,” he said. “So when I got a call from them I was definitely excited. It’s amazing. I caught some passes from Drew Brees when he was in San Diego, so I know what he is capable of. I watch him every year. It’s a prolific offense and a huge opportunity for me to go in and play with veterans, learn and be a sponge.”

Unlike many from San Diego, Stills will get a chance to reconnect with Brees, whom the Chargers let go of in favor of Philip Rivers after the 2005 season.

“It’s always been a thing around here in San Diego that us getting rid of Drew Brees, or letting him go, has been one of the worst things we have done,” Stills said. “But Rivers is good, too. I knew Drew was great back when I got to catch with him, and it just proved that day even more. I’m excited to be around him now and want to learn as much as I can from him and go out there and get open for him.”

halloween 65 05-07-2013 09:24 AM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
Great story. Hope nothing but the best for him.

FinSaint 05-07-2013 11:43 AM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
If anything should happen to Moore, Stills could step in and fill for him quite nicely I suppose.

Not that Stills is the exact same player as Moore skill-wise, but he seems have to have good hands with good quickness and decision making when it comes to route running.

homerj07 05-07-2013 05:31 PM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
Lets hope it's a sign from Breesus!!! :bng:

Rugby Saint II 05-07-2013 09:35 PM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
These roster spots are gonna' be tough to get!

SaintnDE 05-08-2013 06:48 AM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
The question is: Who drives?

SaintsBro 05-08-2013 12:16 PM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
It's safe to say that nobody is going to push or challenge Brees on the field at QB. But the coveted "first in, last out" claim and bragging rights to who works the hardest? I definitely don't want to see Brees get soft or lose his edge! So try and beat him to the compound! I like it!

darksoul35 05-08-2013 05:13 PM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
Good attitude to have. I hope he becomes the steal of the draft.

thebdj 05-09-2013 07:09 AM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
Liking this a LOT especially when the rumours are that the only thing likely to let Stills down is his attitude. This attitude will go a long way towards him becoming a real star!

Cruize 05-09-2013 04:31 PM

Re: Saints WR Stills may have to carpool with Brees
Brees will make him buy the gas. :) He's got kids to support.

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