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ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer METAIRIE, La. -- There are two situations this summer where center Max Unger has stood out most with his new team, the ...

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Old 08-25-2015, 11:17 PM   #1
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ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field
Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer

METAIRIE, La. -- There are two situations this summer where center Max Unger has stood out most with his new team, the New Orleans Saints.

The first is the one-one-one pass-rush drills that...are actually designed to favor the defense, because the offensive linemen...without help from neighboring blockers or any type of blocking scheme. So it has been impressive to see the way Unger consistently stands up the bull-rushers coming at him -- which continued during joint practices with the New England Patriots last week.

The other came during receiver Brandin Cooks' dazzling 28-yard touchdown on a screen pass against the Baltimore Ravens...If you had eyes only on Cooks, then you missed the nimble 6-foot-5, 305-pound Unger shooting out ahead of the play and delivering a key block against a defensive back 15 yards downfield.

Individually, each of those skills is remarkable. Together, theyíre rare.

"Heís a stud," Saints veteran offensive tackle Zach Strief said. "Seeing a guy that can move like him in the zone game, a guy that can legitimately reach twos, which is not easy to do in this league, and can also stop a bull rush in pass-rush drill, itís pretty unusual. Thereís not a lot of 'em."

Unger plays center -- an ironically named position, because they actually operate in the shadows in the NFL. So itís impossible to expect him to make the same type of dramatic impact former Saints tight end Jimmy Graham did... before they were swapped as part of a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks (the Saints also received a first-round draft pick that became linebacker Stephone Anthony, along with millions in future cap space).

But so far, it looks like the Saints are getting what they wanted out of Unger, a two-time Pro Bowler who was brought in to revamp the interior offensive line while adding some toughness and veteran leadership...

Unger, 29, has repeatedly downplayed the notion that he was brought in to help change the culture of a team or become a new leader...

Behind the scenes, though, teammates say Unger hasnít been afraid to speak up.

Strief brought up an example from this summer when some of the young linemen werenít holding the pads properly in a drill. And Unger let 'em have it...

Armstead, the third-year left tackle who has also been dominating those one-on-one pass-rush drills while emerging as a breakout player, has been equally impressed by Unger.

"Heís ready to go. Heís hard-nosed. He just has that mentality that we canít be stopped," Armstead said. "Run game, he loves running the ball. 'Letís get it going, letís get these guys off the ball.' Thatís Max. He brings that energy, no-quit attitude, and he wonít let anyone else quit."

The emergence of Unger and Armstead this summer arguably has been the most promising aspect of camp. It's an area where they badly needed some rejuvenation...

"I came from a system where we did things a little differently and I had a different role. So Iím trying to adhere to the standards they want me to play to," Unger said. "This offense has been building for 10 years. If you think about that, how intricate 10 years' worth of accumulation of code words and calls and hidden meanings are, itís pretty tough to pick up, so Iím just kinda working on that.

"I mean, Drew gets in that huddle and he rips that play out, man, youíve really gotta know what youíre doing to follow along. So itís more and more comfortable as we go along."


Source: So far, New Orleans Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on, off field - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN

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Old 08-25-2015, 11:26 PM   #2
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

I like trades where it's win-win for two reasons...

First, other teams will be willing to listen and trade when you approach them...

Two, your front office will have confidence to revisit that option rather than be hesitant to make moves...


But I'm already liking what this trade has done for the Saints...

Simple Four Point Analysis...

First, we got an All-Pro Center who looks like he'll have at least another All-Pro Season for us...

Second, we gained cap relief to retain promising developed players (i.e. Terron Armstead) and spread it around to retain others...

Third, we were able to get an impact rookie in Stephone Anthony who looks like a cornerstone middle linebacker for us...

and the Fourth, and for me the most important point...

we get away from being a one-dimensional passing attack and regain a key characteristic to what made our offense the best passing game in the league -

the advantage of being unpredictable...

Remember when the league and it's traveling circus of talking heads use to say they have so many weapons, you never know where there going to attack you?!?

Looking forward to seeing this unfold this season...

ďYour best?!? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home (with) the prom queen.Ē - Sean Connery in The Rock

Last edited by jeanpierre; 08-25-2015 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:12 AM   #3
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

Man this was one exciting read. I think we will look back on this in later years an feel it was a great trade.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:22 AM   #4
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

I still miss JG but Im starting to love max. Im confident in the center and left tackle position and we know we will get consistency from Strief. Ijust hope the guards come to ball this year unlike last.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

I'll take a kick ass offensive line over a pass catching TE any day.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

Take a closer look at Mad Max in this clip from the Ravens game ...

This guy is an ELITE player at his position. STUD is an understatement.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

This was so much more than a simple trade for players. We got the better of this deal though. Jimmy is going to struggle.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

He look like a TE running out there. Amazing. Big picture, a lot more value. Miss Jimmy but protecting Brees and a run game no brainer.
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

Jimmy's apparently doing an awful job having to block over there in Seattle. I've seen multiple clips of him completely whiffing on the most basic blocks a TE should make.

So let's recap... Seattle gives away a Pro Bowl center and their first round draft pick for a TE who doesn't block that they've stated will be expected to block 70% of the time. I'd say we fleeced them!
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:53 PM   #10
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Re: ESPN.com So far, Saints' Max Unger has been 'a stud' on and off field

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
I like trades where it's win-win for two reasons...

First, other teams will be willing to listen and trade when you approach them...

Two, your front office will have confidence to revisit that option rather than be hesitant to make moves...


But I'm already liking what this trade has done for the Saints...

Simple Four Point Analysis...

First, we got an All-Pro Center who looks like he'll have at least another All-Pro Season for us...

Second, we gained cap relief to retain promising developed players (i.e. Terron Armstead) and spread it around to retain others...

Third, we were able to get an impact rookie in Stephone Anthony who looks like a cornerstone middle linebacker for us...

and the Fourth, and for me the most important point...

we get away from being a one-dimensional passing attack and regain a key characteristic to what made our offense the best passing game in the league -

the advantage of being unpredictable...

Remember when the league and it's traveling circus of talking heads use to say they have so many weapons, you never know where there going to attack you?!?

Looking forward to seeing this unfold this season...
great post.
I think you said it all. I would add that the Graham trade looked bad to those who only watch the ball during a game.
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