Delvin Breaux has performed so well this season, there isn’t much to nitpick about his game.
Imported from the Canadian Football League this offseason, the New Orleans native has been one of the bright spots on the Saints. But he isn’t willing to accept being good. He wants to be great, and he’s been watching New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis’ film to help him pick up new techniques.
“He’s got it all. He’s one of those players,” Breaux said. “You can line him up on anybody. He’s going to be aggressive. He changes his game up real well. He’ll back off, come up. His skills — he’s instinctive.”
Breaux said he’s been most impressed with how Revis switches his techniques, and he has incorporated some of those things into his game, such as switching between off, bail and press techniques.
“Just switching it up and studying him has helped me out, especially taking leverages away form receivers,” Breaux said.
Last week, Breaux said he was surprised that Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins was able to make some plays on Revis, and it bothered him to see Revis get beat.
“It upsets me,” Breaux said. “I’m like, ‘I’m looking up to you, bro. Come on.’ I look at Revis as the best in the league.”
Breaux said he goes home around 4 or 5 p.m. each day and tries to get in a few hours of film study each evening. Most of that is spent watching the upcoming opponent, which Breaux says helps him communicate better with his teammates, but sometimes he sneaks in some time watching Revis.
Not that he ever stays up too late watching film.
“No, man,” Breaux said. “Wife got me in bed at 8:30.”
Benjamin Watson‘s work off the field is earning him accolades left and right.
Watson, the veteran tight end who’s having one of his best statistical seasons in his 12th year, has been nominated by his teammates for the NFLPA’s Byron “Whizzer” White Award, given annually to players who go “above and beyond to perform community service in their hometowns.”
The honor comes one day after Watson was nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Watson said. “To be nominated by this team and this organization is amazing, and that name, Walter Payton, a guy who I grew up loving to watch the Bears and loving what he stood for, so for me, it’s humbling to be up for that award.
Watson, who was named one of CNN’s Most Extraordinary People of the Year in 2014 for his willingness to open up about race relations and racial reconciliation, also does a lot of charity work in the community.
The tight end heads the Watson One More Foundation, dedicated to spiritual outreach through meeting physical needs; serves as the spokesman for the All-Pro Dad campaign; and works with victims of domestic violence, youth football camps and several other leadership.
Watson also released his first book, “Under Our Skin,” several weeks ago, taking a hard look at racial reconciliation in America.
“There are a lot of players doing a lot of great things,” Watson said. “This is our job, this is what we come to do, this is what’s mostly what we do in the limelight: What we do on the field. But there are a lot of guys doing things in the community, whether it’s back home or it’s the community where they actually play football. I just consider myself one among them.”
Weakside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who has missed four straight games with a groin injury suffered against the Colts, returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday.
Ellerbe has been a force when healthy. Despite playing just 182 snaps this season, the veteran has 28 tackles in four games, but he’s had trouble staying on the field.
Fellow linebacker David Hawthorne (hamstring) and cornerback Damian Swann (concussion) also practiced on a limited basis.
Four Saints sat out Thursday’s practice: Nose tackle John Jenkins (concussion), wide receiver Willie Snead (calf), right guard Jahri Evans (ankle) and left tackle Terron Armstead (knee). Armstead participated in the portion of practice open to media.
Safety Jamarca Sanford (hip) and wide receiver Marques Colston, who took a veteran’s day Wednesday, both returned to practice Thursday.