Much was made over the “down” year Marques Colston had a year ago. It was only the 2nd time in his career he did not record 1,000 yards or more receiving, though the “Quiet Storm” did start to turn it up toward the end of the season though the playoffs.
He has said that a nagging foot injury is finally behind him, so #12 could be in store for a very productive season.
“It’s a totally different experience for me”, said Colston. “Just being able to really rest and come into the season healthy. It’s a totally different ballgame.”
Colston is also the elder statesman on the team now, as he enters his 9th NFL season.
“It’s kind of a funny position to be in for me”, said Colston. “But these young guys have come in and really absorbed the offense pretty well. They’re always looking to get better, so they ask a ton of questions and I’m glad to answer them. I’m really enjoying watching these guys come to work and be professionals.”
The temperature may not be so intense in West Virginia, but the competition sure is. Saints players were getting after it today as the team looked hyped up after having yesterday off.
Defensive end Cam Jordan explained later what transpired between him and rookie Tavon Rooks.
“He was wearing a white jersey at the time, and just got in the way”, said Jordan. “I was just trying to make him better. He’s part of the team and part of that is just teaching him. It’s all about lessons.”
Big left tackle Terron Armstead is entering his 2nd season in the NFL and as the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert told me, “looks like a man-chld” out there.
“Coming off that day off, we wanted to speed up the temp, so we got after it a little bit”, Armstead said. "Camp has been very productive for me. I worked on my technique, I learned a lot over the offseason. I think I have a pretty good 4 practices in pads.”
This undrafted defensive back turned wide receiver was signed by the Saints after a tryout during the team’s rookie minicamp. After three injury-filled seasons at safety, Steve Hull enjoyed a breakout season at receiver for the University of Illinois during his senior campaign.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder actually led the nation with 46 catches for 712 receiving yards during the last five games of 2013.
Hull finished the year with 59 catches for 993 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 16.8 yards per catch during his final season, and also contributed on special teams.
The WR position is stocked with a ton of talent, so special teams is likely Hull’s best bet at making the roster. You have Nick Toon, Robert Meachem, Joe Morgan, Seantavoius Jones, Brandon Coleman, Charles Hawkins, and Andy Tanner all fighting for one of those coveted receiver spots.
Hull had very solid 4.54 40-yard dash time at the Illini’s pro day. He also registered a vertical jump of 36 1/2 inches and a 122-inch broad jump.
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds this 21-year-old undrafted rookie free agent has good size with room to bulk up. Seantavius Jones began to turn heads during Saints OTAs and minicamp and hasn’t let that interest wane, with a strong start to training camp.
The wide receiver had a solid Pro Day at Valdosta State, posting a 38 ½ inch vertical jump and a 6.96 second three cone drill time. So with his size and talent, why wasn’t Jones selected in this year’s NFL draft?
“He had an injury that limited his production his last year compared to his junior year,” Coach Sean Payton said. “He’s a player that might have been drafted had he not had the injury that set him back a little bit in his final year. I like his size. We have a couple of those young receivers that are long and they give you a good throwing radius.”
Jones helped lead the Valdosta State Blazers to the NCAA Division II National Championship, and finished his college career with 149 receptions for 2,374 yards and 33 touchdowns. He received first team All-Gulf South player honors in his senior year and even caught six touchdown passes in one game against Delta State.
We’ve seen plenty of undrafted rookies make this team in the past, and I feel Jones has a great shot to be another. Sure, he played ball at a small school where the competition wasn’t elite, but that didn’t stop a kid from Mississippi Valley State from becoming the greatest receiver in NFL history. No, I’m not comparing Jones to Jerry Rice, just emphasizing the fact you don’t have to be from a big college to make a big impact in the pros. He is one of the players I am anxious to see more of when preseason action starts for the Saints, August 8th in St Louis.