Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: Saints WR Coach Ellard likes his core of receivers
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jun 6 2013 7:57AM
If anyone knows a thing or two about being a wide receiver, it’s a former NFL wide receiver, right? Now entering his second season over the Saints wide receivers, Coach Henry Ellard is pleased with what he has seen thus far out of pass catchers.
“We’ve got a real good group. Obviously Marques (Colston) and Lance (Moore) are the veteran leaders and we have some very good young guys in this group too,” Ellard told me and Bobby Hebert on Sports Talk.
Ellard played in the NFL for 17 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins and New England Patriots. He finished his outstanding career with 814 catches for 13,777 yards and 65 touchdowns. Once known as “Grasshopper” back in his playing days in college at Fresno State, now Coach Ellard is just trying to put together the best possible group of receivers that he can.
Coach Ellard was hired as the Saints wide receiver Coach in March of 2012, taking over for current Tulane Football Coach Curtis C.J. Johnson. During our conversation with Coach Ellard, Bobby asked the Coach which player in the NFL reminded him of the way he played the game.
“I’d have to say Gregg Jennings. His suddenness and what he does with the ball after the catch kind of reminds me of myself,” Ellard said of the Minnesota Vikings star.
Ellard has his top two receivers returning again this season in Marques Colston and Lance Moore. Colston led the Saints last season with 83 receptions, 1,154 yards and 10 Td’s while Lance Moore was not far behind with 65 grabs for 1,041 yards with six scores. Currently several players are in the mix to round out the remaining roster spots at the WR position.
Currently on the Saints Roster at Wide Receiver include #11 Jarred Fayson, #13 Joe Morgan, #14 Andy Tanner, #17 Chris Givens, #18 Saalim Hakim, rookie draft choice #84 Kenny Stills, #86 Brent Leonard, #87 Preston Parker and second year player #88 Nick Toon. You can also count #15 Courtney Roby into the mix. Roby has excelled as a special teams player with the Saints and Roby adds depth at the receiver position.
So how do some of the younger players make the Saints roster? “They have to be consistent in their play. Make plays when you are called up. And the players have to know our offense and they have to know what to do,” Ellard said.
Coach Ellard said in his spare time he loves to spend time with his family and likes to visit the French Quarter.