NFC South: Harry Coleman

Analyzing Saints' roster moves

October, 12, 2010
The New Orleans Saints, reeling from a slow start and a bunch of injuries, made a pretty major series of roster moves Tuesday afternoon.

We’ll summarize the moves first and then we’ll analyze them. The Saints signed running back Julius Jones and safety Matt Giordano while releasing kicker John Carney and waiving running back DeShawn Wynn.

The Jones signing easily is the biggest of the moves. The Saints have struggled with running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush sidelined in recent weeks. They’ve been using veteran Ladell Betts and rookie Chris Ivory, but haven’t gotten a lot of production. Jones is a veteran and is in his seventh season. He played for the Cowboys from 2004 to 2007, before landing with Seattle. Jones has started 75 of his career 85 games and rushed for 4,875 yards and 22 touchdowns on 1,232 carries. He’s the kind of player who could move ahead of Betts and Ivory very quickly and still fill a role when Bush and Thomas return.

The release of Carney is a sign the Saints are ready to turn their kicking duties back to Garrett Hartley. The Saints signed Carney, 46, after Hartley missed an easy field-goal attempt in an overtime loss to Atlanta. The Saints said they were bringing in Carney to help Hartley get his accuracy back.

Giordano also fills a need at a spot where injuries have been prevalent. Safeties Roman Harper and Pierson Prioleau have missed time with injuries and Chris Reis is out for the season. A sixth-year player, Giordano has spent time with the Colts and Packers and was in Atlanta’s training camp this year. He’s played only sparingly in the secondary, but has played extensively on special teams, which means he could fill Reis’ role.

The Saints also tweaked their practice squad a bit. They signed cornerback Reggie Jones, who was with the team previously, and released linebacker Harry Coleman.

Saints bring back Bobby McCray

July, 22, 2010
There have been some early reports out there about the New Orleans Saints making some moves. The team just made it official, announcing they have re-signed defensive end Bobby McCray to a one-year contract and signed fifth-round draft choice Matt Tennant.

The Saints also waived linebackers Harry Coleman and Sam Maxwell, defensive end Brandon Sharpe and cornerback Marcell Young.

McCray wound up starting late last season after Charles Grant was injured. Known as a pass rusher, McCray didn’t have great production last season and a contract that included a big bonus made him expendable in the offseason. His new contract is for one year and it’s believed to be for a lot less than his old deal.

The Saints added defensive ends Alex Brown and Jimmy Wilkerson in the offseason. With Will Smith as the other starter, McCray is likely to be used in some sort of rotation with Brown and Wilkerson, who are known as solid run defenders, but not prolific pass rushers. It may come to a situation where Brown or Wilkerson play in run situations and McCray comes in on passing downs.

Tennant is expected to provide depth behind center Jonathan Goodwin and also could get some work as a backup guard. Still nothing official on the Saints signing quarterback Patrick Ramsey to serve as the backup to Drew Brees, but all indications are that will happen sometime in the next few days.