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WhoDat!656 08-03-2013 12:10 AM

Lance Moore far from 'old man' on heels of best season
Saints receiver Lance Moore would prefer not to be called the old man on the team. But at 29, he's already earning that distinction.

"I don't really like it," he joked. "I don't want Sean (Payton) to come up to me and call me one of the old guys.

"He has done it a couple times already during camp, and I don't want to get that label."

But joking aside, Moore doesn't really mind when he considers where he came from -- an undrafted rookie who made the team by way of the practice squad. Now he's one of quarterback Drew Brees' favorite and most reliable targets.

"It is definitely a credit to the way that I work and coming from where I came from to get to this point," he said. "This is my ninth training camp and about seven days in, it feels like it's my 15th.

"I feel good and I'm just trying to continue on forward."

Perhaps it's another credit to Moore that his name is constantly brought up by the younger receivers as an example of a player they admire.

"Lance, in my opinion, is one of the best route runners there is," said receiver Joe Morgan. "To have a guy like that trying to teach you how to run routes, it's something that you have to listen to.

"To get better, you want to learn from the best. He has taught me a lot since 2011, and I'm just going to try to keep listening."

Moore had the best season of his career in 2012, catching 65 passes for 1,041 yards and six touchdowns. He was first on the team in yards per catch , averaging 16.0.

Off the field, he was the team nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

And with Marques Colston sidelined with a foot injury, Moore is the go-to guy in the receiving corps.

Even now, Brees still marvels at the way Moore came up through the league.

"Look at Lance's career," Brees said. "(Director of pro personnel) Ryan Pace has told me some of the stories. ... He saw him in a scrimmage one time, snatched him in '05, I believe, during the Hurricane Katrina year, when the team was displaced, and he was on our practice squad in '06 and then kind of worked his way in, a little bit, in '07, and then now he has been a mainstay since '08, and has really done a phenomenal job.

"There is not a guy I trust more out there than Lance. The road that he has traveled to get where he is, he has earned it all. But we have a lot more good years together, but that experience is a good thing for him."

But just don't call them old, joked Brees, who's 34.

"I do not mind being called tenured," he said. "Not old, but tenured. It is good."

Rookie blues: Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro has made some headlines for his aggressive style of play, prompting him to fire back on Twitter that he wasn't a dirty player.

Vaccaro drew some heat for a play that almost turned into a scuffle after he and tight end Jimmy Graham both went for the ball.

"I was just trying to get it from him and at the end I kind of flicked it and it hit Jimmy in the head and he turned back and it almost turned into a brawl," Vaccaro said. "We're both cool. We understand sometimes things get a little heated."

But Graham said he's not too concerned about it.

"He's a good player," he said. "He's aggressive, which is good at the safety position. He's been doing very well and been showing what he has and I'm excited to see his progress. I'm excited to see him in a game."

"Just as long as he's not aggressive with me, we'll be fine," he added jokingly.

Fellow safety Roman Harper said Vaccaro has "things that you can't teach" and welcomes the toughness and aggression.

"You don't want to have to tell your players to be aggressive," Harper said. "It's always good to have to tell them to come on back a little bit. If we keep him in the yard, he is going to be really good for us."

Harper said he has never told Vaccaro to dial it back. If the aggression needs to be toned down when the season starts, it'll be dealt with then.

"Right now, he is too young for me to be telling him what to do and I coach him up on football stuff, but aggression and things like that I just let him go and if he has got to fight, then fight," Harper said. "It's like (a) playground out here, you got to get it done."

Scrimmage: Saturday's scrimmage, will be outside and open to the public from 8:50 a.m. to 11 a.m. The scrimmage won't be streamed live.

"It will be very similar to what you have seen us do in the past," Payton said. "It will be a series of eight to 12 plays. We'll put the ones versus the twos, the ones versus the ones. We'll put some special teams in there.

"It's going to be outside, weather permitting. It's kind of a controlled scrimmage. We'll stay off the quarterbacks and stay away from cutting, blocking below the waist. We'll try to stay healthy and pretty much what we've done before."

Pro Bowl: Brees was surprised to hear about the new changes to the Pro Bowl format, which will eliminate the NFC vs. AFC format and do away with kickoffs.

In a media session following practice Thursday, he said it was the first time he'd heard the news.

"I was not aware of that," he said. "Does that mean they're not going to kick off anymore?"

He added: "Every guy who is over there at the Pro Bowl, who gets to be the lucky individuals who get to be on the kick off team, they probably haven't done that in 10 years, or maybe ever. (It's) not something they look forward to. It is obviously a high-risk, high-injury proposition on the kickoff team and kickoff return. So, I do not know.

"It stinks for the return guys, who certainly deserve that opportunity. Guys like (Darren) Sproles, and (Chicago's Devin) Hester, and some of these other guys who have been those return guys in years past, but I guess I can see why they did it. No one wants to go over there and play special teams."

As for the new fantasy-draft type format of the Pro Bowl, Brees just said it's interesting and he'll wait to see how it plays out.

"I just want to throw to my guys," he said, smiling. "That's all."

Etc.: Keenan Lewis was on the sideline giving pointers to defensive back A.J. Davis ... Garrett Hartley and Jose Maltos both kicked three field goals each of 39, 42 and 44 yards. Hartley made all three, while Maltos' 42-yarder was wide left. ... Hartley also lined up from 60 yards twice so Sproles could work on taking missed kicks out of the end zone.


rezburna 08-03-2013 01:05 AM

Re: Lance Moore far from 'old man' on heels of best season
Light skin Lance! Most underrated receiver in the league.

SloMotion 08-03-2013 06:13 AM

Re: Lance Moore far from 'old man' on heels of best season
"an undrafted rookie who made the team by way of the practice squad" ... you gotta' respect that, :).

homerj07 08-03-2013 08:09 PM

Re: Lance Moore far from 'old man' on heels of best season
Here's to another great year for Lance.

Rugby Saint II 08-03-2013 09:48 PM

Re: Lance Moore far from 'old man' on heels of best season
I love me some Lance Moore! :bng:

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