By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on August 6, 2014
With the 2014 NFL Preseason officially underway, the New Orleans Saints are ready to get a good look at all of the talent occupying the organization. From rookies to veterans and sophomore studs, the Black and Gold are ready to play some football. Honestly, we should be watching all 90 of the athletes who make up the roster at the moment, but here are ten players to really keep an eye on during these exhibition matchups.
The former Tulane standout is quickly becoming the favorite to win the backup role over veteran Luke McCown. He looks comfortable in the system and has really limited the mistakes by making excellent reads and accurate throws. With Drew Brees likely out against the St. Louis Rams with an oblique strain, Friday will certainly be the time for Griffin to shine.
Morgan is looking to bounce back after missing all of 2013. The young wideout has been plagued with injury throughout his short career. Look for him to reclaim his role as the deep threat in the New Orleans Saints receiving corps. 2012 was a big year for Morgan; maybe he'll come back to life during these four preseason contests.
Travaris Cadet was held to a very limited role in 2013 as the Saints' fifth running back. However, that is likely going to change this season. With his versatility, downfield speed and hands as a receiver, we could see him evolve into one of Drew Brees' favorite targets out of the backfield. The "Darren Sproles role" is his for the taking along with punt and kick return duties. We're going to see a ton of Cadet during the preseason.
Toon has been testing the patience of the Who Dat Nation for a couple of years now. He'll be fighting this preseason just to keep his spot on the final roster. He better hope his strong performance at training camp thus far carries over into the team's exhibition matchups or we could see his job get snatched up. Regardless, when Toon is playing well, he is extremely fun to watch. With outstanding playmaking ability, the potential is there.
Bush looked excellent as a backup last year. He plays very aggressive, which fits well into Rob Ryan's defense. As relief to Jairus Byrd, we should see plenty of Bush during the preseason. Keep an eye one him, because an extensive role for the young talent is on the horizon. Ryan ran three-safety sets on occasion last season and already said he plans to utilize them much more frequently in 2014. Bush will be that third safety.
Is Terron Armstead the answer at left tackle? "He's a beast. I gave him everything I had today." That's just a little something Junior Galette said the other day as he explained how Armstead is up there with some of the best he's faced in the NFL. Armstead is an athlete -- his quick feet, strength and nimble movements will come in handy when protecting Drew Brees' blind side. Training camp has been great, but let's see how the games go.
The Saints drafted SJB in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft in hopes of him eventually starting on the other side of Keenan Lewis. The 6-foot-3 corner is a former wide receiver just like Richard Sherman and screams shutdown potential. His quickness and downfield speed may need a little work, but he should be fun to watch. He could eventually develop into a great corner.
After coming over with Rob Ryan from the Dallas Cowboys, Butler was projected to be the starter at outside linebacker opposite Junior Galette in hopes of inflicting some added pressure on opposing quarterbacks. However, a knee injury sidelined him for the entire year. Now, he will be battling with Parys Haralson to reclaim his role. The preseason will be his best opportunity to do that.
Khiry Robinson is the talk of town down in New Orleans. He has been by far the best running back at training camp and is now listed second on the unofficial depth chart behind Mark Ingram and ahead of Pierre Thomas. He's quick, explosive and has the power to leave you flattened on the ground like a Looney Tunes character. The preseason will be his chance to breakout and prove that he's the team's best back.
Not only has the Saints' first-round pick been the best rookie at training camp so far, but he has been one of the best players -- that's coming from his teammates. Watch out, because the speedy, quick-footed, versatile wideout is going to light it up this preseason.
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