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In 2nd-to-Last Practice of 2019 Saints Training Camp, “T-Rex” Continues Push for Starting Role

Tomorrow is the final day of the New Orleans Saints’ 2019 Training Camp, as the team now stands a little less than 2 weeks away from the start of their upcoming 2019 NFL Regular Season opener at home against the visiting Houston Texans on ESPN Monday Night Football on September 9th.

But if the season were to start today, then no one Saints player might be more ready to play than back-up 3rd year defensive end Trey “T-Rex” Hendrickson.

After back-to-back stellar performances in the Black and Gold’s first two Pre-Season games against the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Chargers. the former FAU (Florida Atlantic University) star edge pass rusher continued his push to overtake 2nd year defensive end and last season’s top draft pick Marcus Davenport for a starting role on the side opposite of All-Pro Cam Jordan; with yet another high-strung performance that saw him nearly dominate his fellow Saints teammates on the offensive line.

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The  6-foot-4, 270-pound Hendrickson’s outstanding Camp performance continued in today’s practice. as the 24-year-old Orlando, Florida native nearly destroyed veteran Saints offensive left guard Andrus Peat with a monster bull rush from his right defensive end spot. and pushed the former Saints #1 draft pick from 2015 all the way back into the pocket for what would have been a sack of #2 QB Teddy Bridgewater.

He then followed that up with would have been a 2nd sack in a row (against right tackle Ryan Ramczyk), topping off what has been an incredibly prolific period of pass-rushing success for the team’s 3rd round pick from the now-famous 2017 NFL Draft class that yielded current starters Marshon LattimoreAlvin Kamara, Alex Anzalone, and Ryan Ramcyzk.

Today’s practice was just further vindication for a young man who very sparingly at times since the team drafted him over two and a half years ago, has now been given more of a full opportunity to do what is that he does best: sack quarterbacks.

Perhaps that lack of opportunity during his first two seasons with the team — “T-Rex” has only played in a grand total of 17 games, logged 501 regular season snaps and has only managed to record 2 sacks in his time thus far with the franchise — is what has led recently to Hendrickson’s increased intensity during Training Camp, in which he’s been in two separate fights with offensive teammates after the whistle.

Clearly, “T-Rex” is poised to have a break-out season in 2019, and all eyes undoubtedly will be upon #91 when the Saints visit the New York Jets this Saturday Night at MetLife Stadium in their 3rd game of the Pre-Season.

While he’s not what you’d consider a “great athlete” by any means (he only runs a 4.65 40-yard dash), he definitely qualifies as a ‘pure’ pass rusher (in the classic sense) with a “high motor” who can create a whole ton of pressure — something that other than the very obvious and notable exception of Jordan, the Saints haven’t been able to do very much of in recent seasons.

“T-Rex”, in his very own unique and distinctive way, is redefining the term ‘edge’ for the Saints defense. And with a big-time chip on his shoulder and a bit of an attitude along the way.

OTHER NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:

Photo courtesy of Layne C. Murdoch

Other stand-out performers at today’s 2nd-to-last Practice of Training Camp included star veterans WR Michael Thomas, RB Alvin Kamara, and TE Jared Cook (not much a surprise, to be honest).

The “play of the day” belonged to Kamara, who during 11-on-11 team drills was lined up in the slot with CB PJ Williams guarding him. and linebacker A.J, Klein helping Williams provide coverage over the top. Kamara then very deftly utilizing his superior foot speed, BLEW PAST both of them and got wide open down the seam as Saints veteran QB Drew Brees hit him in stride for what would have been at least 60-plus yard TD completion.

The team made two roster moves. as they signed former Washington Redskins LB Will Compton and free agent OL Fisayo Awolaja for depth purposes. They also released long snapper Nick Moore and placed OL Chris Clark on injured reserve.

And as expected, Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Brees will in fact start against the Jets on Saturday Night…..

 

Saints News Network featured columnist and Big Easy Magazine contributing writer Barry Hirstius is a 52-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 45 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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