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Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Lelito earns game ball in emotional week November, 22, 2013 By Mike Triplett | ESPN.com ATLANTA -- Perhaps the most remarkable performance in the New Orleans Saints’ 17-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons came from undrafted rookie guard Tim Lelito. ...

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Old 11-22-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

Lelito earns game ball in emotional week
November, 22, 2013

By Mike Triplett | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- Perhaps the most remarkable performance in the New Orleans Saints’ 17-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons came from undrafted rookie guard Tim Lelito. He held up well in place of injured starter Jahri Evans -- and he did it during an emotionally-wrenching week after the death of his grandmother, who adopted him at a young age and raised him.

Lelito flew home to Michigan late Tuesday for the funeral on Wednesday before joining his team in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

After the game, Coach Sean Payton awarded Lelito with a game ball.

When asked if it was an emotional game, or if he was able to block out his emotions and focus on football, Lelito said, “A little of both.”

“It was, ‘Block it out, I have a job to do.’ But at the same time, I knew that she was going to be with me and help me along the way,” Lelito said.

“Unbelievable,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said of the performance. “Tim Lelito, undrafted free-agent rookie. Obviously in a week where you really have very little time to prep -- for a young guy to get one walk-through, basically, and then get the news that his grandmother who raised him passed away and go back and take care of her and the family and then meets us here last night. Obviously an emotional deal for him, a roller coaster and yet, comes out, starts and plays phenomenal. He got a game ball in the locker room, and it’s well-deserved.”

Technically, Lelito’s performance wasn’t perfect. He allowed one sack and drew a holding penalty that was declined. But his positive plays far outnumbered the negatives -- even more impressive under the circumstances.

Lelito, an undrafted rookie from Grand Valley State, has shown growth since he struggled as Evans’ replacement in a Week 3 game. Last week, the Saints used Lelito as an extra up-back blocker in a 23-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, and he thrived in the limited role.

“It’s not going to be a perfect film. But for him to fly in after the funeral, watch some extra tape last night and then play like he did tonight, it was pretty strong. And pretty emotional I’m sure, for him,” Payton said.

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Old 11-22-2013, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

His grandmother raised a man. She would be proud.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

He played really well with nothing but a two hour walk-through!
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

I watched him on numerous plays. Good and bad. But the good was really good. I salute him for standing in there and playing. He needs to get better but this is a great learning experience for him I'm sure.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

I thought he was just so so. I'll be happy to get Evans back.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

Wow.
Gut performance.
I was close to my grandma, and this hits home.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #7
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

Originally Posted by exile View Post
I watched him on numerous plays. Good and bad. But the good was really good. I salute him for standing in there and playing. He needs to get better but this is a great learning experience for him I'm sure.
Learning experience all around. Fans - We now know he is not a headcase. Teammates - Learn he is a man with loyalty and will watch their back. Coach - Learn he is a man worthy of developing into a Leader. Everyone - Remember, actions speak louder than words and this is priceless. He is worthy of being called a Saint.

Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
I thought he was just so so. I'll be happy to get Evans back.
This the type of thread to exploit the positive and good in the heart of mankind. Allow me to reword Dude's post: He did a good job. Of course, we miss Evans.

Originally Posted by skymike View Post
Wow.
Gut performance.
I was close to my grandma, and this hits home.
Exactly, how many of us can identify with his actions.
I can, Mike can, anyone else?
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Snap, placement, kick by Hartley, and it is — AND IT'S GOOD!
IT'S GOOD! IT'S GUH-HUH-HOOD! Ha ha ha! Pigs have flown! Hell has frozen over! The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

I can appreciate what he dealt with. I lost my Dad the Tuesday before the Cowboys game a couple of weeks ago. It was his time after a three year battle with cancer. He wanted us all to move on. We left Saturday afternoon after his memorial service that morning to go down to New Orleans since we had tickets to the Cowboys game on Sunday night. It honesty helped being able to get into the game.
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

we ran okay, and Brees wasn't harassed much
and the 'sacks allowed' stat is too arbitrary- Brees pumped and then brought it down, and then got clobbered. Hard to pin that one on one guy

bottom line, he did what we needed him to and definitely deserved a game ball
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: Triplett: Lelito earns game ball in emotional week

Originally Posted by MaggieMayTB View Post
Learning experience all around. Fans - We now know he is not a headcase. Teammates - Learn he is a man with loyalty and will watch their back. Coach - Learn he is a man worthy of developing into a Leader. Well Said.

...the positive and good in the heart of mankind. ... He did a good job. Of course, we miss Evans.
-- Exactly. The guy lost his grandmother. Lets take off our fan glasses for a moment & see the guys as a person. Aside from X's and O's, it was a commendable performance, especially considering the lack of prep time.

Good to hear your 2 cents, Maggie.
I think Payton made a good choice. Nothing but positive can result from this. In case his players
wonder if he cares about them as people, they can refer to this.
--which also helps your football team. Character Matters.
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Last edited by skymike; 11-24-2013 at 02:00 PM..
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