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Saturday, 06 August 2011 21:50

New Orleans Saints: Kreutz, Ingram, Chris Ivory, Depth Chart, JaMarcus Russell

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Mark IngramFocus: Olin Kreutz, Matt Tennant, Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram, Saints Depth Chart, JaMarcus Russell

Former Bears center Olin Kreutz, 34, agreed to a one-year deal, replacing Jonathan Goodwin  on the starting offensive line. Second-year player Matt Tennant has worked with the first-team unit in training camp.

Kreutz turned down more money from two other teams to join the Saints. The Bears offered Kreutz $4 million, but the ultimatum he received from Chicago GM Jerry Angelo soured negotiations and he left. Goodwin agreed to a three-year deal for $11 million with the 49ers.

 Kreutz told the Chicago Tribune he was strongly considering retirement, but said a perfect opportunity to continue playing and he found it in New Orleans.

With the signing of Kreutz, the Saints brought in another veteran to "win another Super Bowl."

"This is a unique season." said coach Sean Payton., a different season as you know with free agency and training camp going on and he came in Thursday for a visit. One of the things that is pretty impressive about this  guy is that he played a long time (13 years), he looked at this was an opportunity -- and he left a couple of options on the table that paid a lot more money. His main interest was finding the right fit and the right team, and he felt real good about what he saw.

"He was at practice on Friday, He was scheduled for an early flight on Saturday morning, but he never got on it. He just stayed at the Airport Hilton, and fortunately we agreed on a deal. His experience, his competitiveness, and all those things are important, and certainly will be for us."

How much will he strengthen the Saints' offensive line?

"Each guy is a little different," said Payton. It's just interesting to be around him. We have a lot of respect for him. You watch him play on film, he goes till the whistle. He's a tremendous competitor. He's been to six Pro Bowls, and he's been with a team that has experience winning. We're excited about it and excited about what that brings to our offensive line and our offense in general..

What does that mean for Tennant?

"This is an excellent situation for Matt," said the coach. "He has a chance now to continue his growth. He's going to compete, and he knows he's competing. That being said, he's got a chance to spend time with a 14-year veteran and see things that have allowed this guy to play for so long and play at such a high level. We feel great about about his progress in the short year and a half that we've had with Matt."

Payton said running back Chris Ivory  is in Philadelphia undergoing sports hernia surgery. "He went ahead and had that done," said Payton. "He had some pain and discomfort along with the injury to his left foot.

"Realistically, it's a three-week procedure. The feeling was to get it done now." said Payton. "We could have gone the route where we tried to rest him and have this thing linger throughout the season, so we went ahead and that decision. The report back to us was that it went real well. The tear was clean and he felt this was something that would take three weeks.

'The real question is whether the foot is ahead or behind the sports hernia. They are probably around the same range, which made it an easy decision to have that done now."

The Saints and the Bears play in Week Two.

Saints first-round draft choice Mark Ingram is working with the first-team offense and getting many of the tailback reps. Ingram figures to be the Saints' goal line back and get 260-270 touches.

The Saints cut veteran tailback Lynell Hamilton on Thursday because there were four backs ahead of him on the depth chart. The Saints could bring him back during the season if injuries hit the backs like last season..

Former Packers guard Fuzzy Thurston's Super Bowl ring sold for $50,786 at an auction in Rosemont, Ill...Ex-LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell watched Thursday's Tigers practice from the sideline. Russell was the No. 1 pick by the Raiders in the draft of 2007. Russell was released after the 2009 season He has been out of football since. His rookie contract included $35 million in guaranteed compensation...LSU is  4th in the USA Today Coaches Poll behind Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon...

Saints depth Chart

QB -- D. Brees, C. Daniel 3, S, Canfield

RB -- M. Ingram, P. Thomas, D. Sproles

FB --  K. Hall, J. Collins, 3, K. Hurt

WR -- L. Moore 2, R. Meachem, C. Roby

TE -- J. Graham, D. Thomas, T. Humphrey

WR -- M. Colston,D. Henderson, A. Arrington

RT -- J. Stinchcomb,  Z. Strief

RG -- J. Evans, B. De La Puento, D. Gay

C -- O. Kruetz, M. Tennant, R. Taylor

LG -- C. Nicks, R. Allen

LT -- J. Bushrod, A. Barrios, C. Brown

SS -- R. Harper, P. Prioleau, I, Abdul-Quddus

FS -- M. Jenkins, L. Anaya, P. Oliver

LB -- J. Vilma, M. Wilson, ER. Butler

LB -- D. Clark, W. Herring,  R. Humber

LB -- S. Shanlee, J.. Castillas, J. Dunbar

DE -- W. Smith, G. Romeous, J. Galette

DE -- C. Jordan, A. Brown, T. McBride

DT -- A. Franklin, S. Rogers, S. Miller

DT -- SW. Ellis, M. King, T. Johns

CB -- T. Porter, F. Washington, J. Patrick

CB -- J. Greer, P. Robinson, L. Torrence

K-FG --G. Hartley

K-KO -- T, Morstead

P -- T. Morstead

KR -- C. Roby

PR -- C. Roby

LS -- J. Drescher, K. Nelson

H -- T. Monstead

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.