Roster set for Regular Season

Saints Cut 12; Set Roster for Regular Season

by Dave Lawrence, NewOrleansSaints.com
Saturday, September 01, 2007 – 5:00 PM

Reaching the NFL-mandated active roster limit of 53, the New Orleans Saints waived 12 players Saturday and terminated the contract of defensive end Anton Palepoi, Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced. The 12 players waived were safety Curry Burns, guard Tim Duckworth, fullback Kevin Dudley, defensive end Willie Evans, wide receiver Tramain Hall, cornerback David Jones, linebacker Marvin Mitchell, quarterback Tyler Palko, cornerback Anwar Phillips, running back Antonio Pittman, safety Chris Reis and guard Dave Yovanovits.

Burns re-signed with New Orleans this spring after spending time on the Saints’ practice squad in 2006. The Louisville product is a second-year pro who made 11 tackles on defense and four more on special teams during the 2007 preseason.

Duckworth is a rookie out of Auburn who signed with New Orleans just before the opening of the preseason. The 24-year-old guard saw action on offense and on special teams during the team’s summer slate.

Dudley first came to the Saints as a practice squad signee during the 2006 postseason after previously spending time with the Atlanta Falcons. The fullback from the University of Michigan had a productive preseason for the Saints, carrying the ball five times for 15 yards and catching eight passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Evans signed with Saints in January and was allocated to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europa. The former Mississippi State defensive end made eight tackles in the preseason, including three sacks against Miami in the preseason finale.

Hall joined the Saints following the conclusion of the NFL Europa season this spring, where he played with Cologne. A product of North Carolina State, he caught one pass for 15 yards for New Orleans this preseason and also returned five punts for 19 yards and averaged 13.7 yards on three kickoff returns.

Jones was the team’s fifth-round selection in April’s draft. The youngster out of Wingate played in all five preseason contests for the Saints and recorded six tackles, two pass defenses and intercepted a pass against Miami.

Mitchell was the selected by the Saints in the seventh round of the NFL Draft this spring after playing collegiately at the University of Tennessee. The rookie linebacker played in all five preseason games and recorded nine tackles on defense and another on special teams.

Palepoi joined the Saints as a free agent following a spring mini-camp workout. The fifth-year veteran lineman played in all five games as a reserve defensive end, making seven tackles and deflecting four pass attempts.

Palko was a rookie free agent signee out of the University of Pittsburgh. The left-handed passer saw extensive playing time in three games this preseason, completing 27 of 48 passes for 271 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. He also showed some play-making ability, gaining 59 yards rushing on nine attempts.

Phillips was in training camp with the Saints for the second time in 2007. The former Penn State defensive back first came to New Orleans as an undrafted free agent a year ago and spent the 2006 season on the team’s practice squad. He played in all five games this preseason, recording three tackles and a pass defense.

Pittman was drafted by the Saints in the fourth round this spring. The running back from Ohio State led the team in carries this preseason, rushing 55 times for 173 yards and a touchdown. He also caught six passes for 35 yards in five games.

Reis signed with the club as a free agent in January and was allocated to the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europa, where he earned all-league honors. The former Georgia Tech defensive back tallied 13 tackles in preseason action and picked off two passes against Miami in the finale.

Yovanovits is a fourth-year pro who signed with the Saints in the offseason following prior stints with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. The former Temple lineman worked at both guard spots and saw action at center while battling a knee injury this preseason.

The Saints head into the regular season with 17 players on the 53-man roster that were not on the active roster for January’s NFC Championship game (two were on injured reserve and one on the practice squad).

Beginning Sunday, the Saints and all 32 NFL teams may establish a practice squad of up to eight players. The Saints will open the regular season Thursday night in Indianapolis against the Colts at 7:30 pm CT.

One Response to “Roster set for Regular Season”

  1. admin says:

    Coach Peyton has proven that it does not matter where a player is drafted, the only thing that counts is performance.

    Congratulations to Pierre Thomas!!