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2018 Saints Rookies

Sure It’s Only Rookie Camp — But Did We Get a Glimpse of the Future for the Saints Offense?

With the beginning of the upcoming 2018 football season for the New Orleans Saints still just a little less than 4 months away, the rabid "Who Dat Nation" fan-base is eagerly anticipating all of the news that they can get regarding the team at the moment; which includes this weekend's Rookie Mini-Camp in Metairie that's been closed to the general public but was open to the media today.

And as luck would have it: Saints fans may have gotten a brief glimpse of the possible future for the Saints offense in the next few seasons, assuming that these two players stick around that long, of course.

We want to extend a special thank you to ESPN New Orleans 100.3 FM Radio's Gus Kattengell and Bryan Bienemy and WWL Radio 870 AM New Orleans host / reporter Steve Geller for their Tweets, video, and analysis of the Rookie Camp Day #2's "stand-out" performers: undrafted rookies QB JT Barrett from Ohio State, and TE Deon Yelder of Western Kentucky.

While #1 draft pick Marcus Davenport was clearly the main focus of everyone's attention and rightfully so, today it was the "connection" that developed between the two players that very possibly could be future teammates and part of the same offensive scheme for the next several seasons ahead, in Barrett and Yelder.

Saints head coach Sean Payton praised both players in his post-practice press conference, noting that Barrett has the leadership qualities and intangibles that you look for in a NFL QB; while also adding later that Yelder looked very impressive with his combination of speed, size, and receiving skills.

Barrett has a sizable portion of Saints fans excited over his potential as a part of the organization's future at the QB position, as the team continues to add depth at the QB position behind starter Drew Brees and perhaps even begins to look for his eventual (and inevitable) replacement.

Photo courtesy of Michael C. Hebert

Yelder meanwhile has captured the undivided attention of the Saints coaching staff, for his outstanding capabilities as a receiver at the tight end position, considered one of the team's remaining "weak spots".

Make no mistake:  both players have a long way to go — Barrett struggles with accuracy and has some difficulties with his reads and progressions or "throwing receivers open"; and Yelder needs to become a much better blocker — traits of play at the next level that both will have to improve upon, if they hope to make the Saints Final-53 man roster in early September.

But there was no denying it: Barrett and Yelder clearly have established a bit of a bond out on the football field, and if each player can continue the stellar performances that they had in front of the media earlier today, it will certainly bode well for Saints fans if these two young men are still wearing the Black and Gold, in the upcoming years ahead.

Sure, it was only Rookie Mini-Camp for crying out loud, and there's no reason to make reservations for the Super Bowl in Atlanta next February, based off of one single meaningless rookie practice in the middle of May.

But if today's practice was any indication, we may have just gotten a glimpse into the future, of the New Orleans Saints offense.........


Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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