The New Orleans Saints second-year players, Marquez Callaway, Juwan Johnson, and Tony Jones, Jr., and veteran receiver Tre'Quan Smith are continuing their offseason workouts with RouteGod. Each player will be fighting to make the team because of a talented and crowded wide receiver room.
SAINTS PLAYERS PERSONAL WORKOUTS
WHO IS ROUTEGOD?
James Everett, aka RouteGod, hosted the Saints teammates on location in Florida. The football trainer was a star wide receiver and cornerback for Denver's George Washington High School. He played collegiate football for ASA College in Miami, Florida, for the 2016-17 season.
In a recent interview with Steelers Takeaways, Everett described his evolution from player to trainer. "It started off with training myself. I wanted to be better and looked at how others were doing it. I used my phone to video myself and others – watched how they were doing it and built my training that way. Other guys saw how I was doing it and asked to work with me. I said, “Sure, come on. Let’s do it!” Everett said.
BONDING AND CHALLENGES AHEAD
Before the 2021 NFL Draft, we reported Jameis Winston was bonding and working out with wide receiver Juwan Johnson and tight end Adam Trautman in San Diego. The quarterback also had a few sessions with Tony Jones, Jr. in Alabama. In April, Winston and Everett had training sessions.
Callaway, Trautman, Johnson, and Jones, Jr. have connected with Jameis Winston this offseason. Callaway and Trautman expect to have significant roles with the New Orleans offense in 2021 as they did in 2020.
Wide receiver Johnson and running back Jones, Jr. played in a few contests last season. They showed promise, which prompted New Orleans to re-sign and commit to the players for at least one more training camp.
Jameis Winston leading film study with Marquez Callaway and Tony Jones, Jr. (from RouteGod's IG)
These players will face stiff competition at Saints training camp in August. Callaway and Johnson are not yet penciled-in at receiver - even though Callaway performed exceptionally well in 2020. Johnson was elevated from the practice squad and played sparingly late in the season.
New Orleans drafted Kawaan Baker (South Alabama) in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday. They also signed the free-agent receiver out of Tulane, Jalen McCleskey. The team anticipates Baker to fight for time at slot receiver in his rookie season.
McCleskey is a burner and caught 204 receptions and 21 touchdowns in college at Oklahoma and Tulane. McCleskey's father was drafted by New Orleans in 1994 as a defensive back.
Jones will battle for playing time against undrafted free agent rookie running back Stevie Scott and veteran Dwayne Washington behind Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.
It is a positive sign to see the second-year players focused on making the club with these unique training and workout sessions. New Orleans could use the youth infusion to create depth and confidence in Sean Payton's offense sans Drew Brees.
Tre'Quan Smith, 25, is in the third and final year of his rookie contract with New Orleans. He was the Saints third-round draft (No. 91 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. He has totaled 40 games with 80 receptions, 1,109 yards, and 14 touchdowns. New Orleans will rely on Smith to demonstrate consistency and become a factor along with All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas in 2021.
The 2021 New Orleans Saints wide receivers signed to the current roster are Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, Juwan Johnson, Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Jalen McCleskey, Kawaan Baker, Easop Winston, Jr., and Jake Lampman. The receiver position will be highly contested during OTAs and Saints training camp this summer.
Subscribe to the New Orleans Saints YT Channel: https://news.snts.us/saintsnewsyoutube
Subscribe to our Saints News Newsletter: https://news.snts.us/emailsubscribe
▶ Like us on Facebook: https://news.snts.us/saintsnews-fb
▶ Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saintsnews