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Saints rookie Sheldon Rankins adjusting to 'chess match' of NFL

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; First-round pick Sheldon Rankins played with the first-team defense in his second practice of training camp with the New Orleans Saints, but the rookie doesn't seem to care. "I know I'm going to get reps, so (I'm) just maximizing the ...

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Old 07-30-2016, 10:21 AM   #1
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First-round pick Sheldon Rankins played with the first-team defense in his second practice of training camp with the New Orleans Saints, but the rookie doesn't seem to care.

"I know I'm going to get reps, so (I'm) just maximizing the reps when I get out there, whether it's with the ones or the twos," the defensive tackle from Louisville said after practice Friday.

Whether Rankins is a starter from Day 1 or not, he's likely going to play a critical role for a defense the Saints hope will improve drastically after ranking 31st in the NFL in 2015.

Throughout the draft process this year, Rankins talked about external motivation. Some people have said he's too short at 6-foot-1. Then, there was the lack of big-time college offers coming out of high school.



Of course, as the 12th overall pick, it's hard to say nobody believes in Rankins, but the Saints' poor defensive performance recently can drive him now.

"I've always been a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder," he said. "I always find something that kind of drives me, pushes me, so coming into this, it's no different. No matter where I was drafted, I'm always going to have a chip on my shoulder. I'm always going to push to be the best. I'm always going to feel like someone's looking at me saying, 'He's good but.'

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