Following a heartbreaking and, more importantly, controversial loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2019 NFC Championship Game, the New Orleans Saints have their sights set on next year, looking to bounce back from what could have been a Super Bowl-winning season.
To make the most of their offseason, the Saints will have to put blown calls behind them and focus on taking advantage of the market. However, the team’s draft capital is not much to work with. New Orleans owns just one draft pick in the first four rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft following the mid-season acquisitions of some big-name players like Eli Apple and Teddy Bridgewater. That being said, trading seems like the logical way to go in order for the Saints to fill the gaps and acquire both draft picks and more players. Here are a few scenarios.
A.J. Klein to the Oakland Raiders
Since trading away the phenomenal Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, the Raiders have struggled at the linebacker position, allowing the most yards per play by their opponents with an average of 6.3. For the Saints, A.J. Klein has proven himself as an underrated defender, leading the team in tackles for loss or no gain with 16. Additionally, New Orleans’ roster boasts linebackers Demario Davis and Alex Anzalone, giving them some wiggle room with this position.
Should the Saints trade Klein to Oakland, could acquire a potential 4th round draft pick and save $4 million by opting out of his contract. The Raiders have quite a bit of high draft picks this year thanks to the trading of Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper, so giving up a 4th round pick for a player that fills a positional gap they so desperately need filled makes sense.
Andrus Peat to the Houston Texans
Peat has showcased his offensive lineman abilities in New Orleans since being drafted in 2015, though this past season was a slight dip in performance following a string of injuries. He was far from the strongest lineman this year, though still played at around a league-average level. The Texans are in desperate need of a competent lineman, as they allowed a whopping 65 sacks this past year on their young franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. Protecting him is currently their biggest priority.
Sending Peat to Houston (along with a late round pick of their own) could potentially give the Saints a 3rd round draft pick. While linemen Cameron Tom, Jermon Bushrod, and Will Clapp stepped up in Peat’s absence during his stint of injuries, they don’t seem like long-term replacements just yet. If New Orleans does trade Peat for an additional draft pick, they will still need to address this position in free agency, or the draft itself.
2nd and 6th Round Picks for George Kittle
On the opposite side of the spectrum, New Orleans could analyze this year’s draft class and realize that no player worthwhile will be available with their 62nd overall pick, and for that reason, offer the pick for an already-developed NFL starter. The tight end position is not the strongest on the Saints’ roster, so taking a chance on a rookie in the 2nd round is a risk, especially considering the fact that they’ll need to develop which is not in the team’s best interest behind the 40 year old Drew Brees. George Kittle, who had a remarkable season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, is a proven tight end with only two years left on his rookie contract.
Kittle ranked third in receptions among tight ends in the league with 88, 20 of those being 20 yards or more, and racked up an impressive 1,377 yards receiving. While the 49ers will not give him up so easily, it’s worth a shot. Giving San Francisco additional draft picks could allow them to build more strongly around a promising young quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, drafting younger stars or moving up and down the board as they please with even more pick trading. Again, this would be a long shot, but one that could be mutually beneficial if the 49ers’ front office knows how to draft well.
New Orleans is a city is steeped in history, lore, charm, an abundance of culture and paranormal tales, leading many to call New Orleans the most haunted city in the United States. A great way to experience the city and its spirits is to go on one of the many famed ghost tours. There are plenty of options to choose from, whether you want a family-friendly, or adults-only tour with alcoholic beverages, there’s an option for you. Here are five ghostly tours for you to check out.
- Witches Brew Tours 4-in-1 Walking Tour
If you want to explore the spooky side of the French Quarter, the Witches Brew Tours has you covered with their 4-in-1 walking tour of the city. Taking place at night, you’ll get a chance to explore the city’s history of voodoo, witches, ghosts, and vampires all in one tour.
- French QuarTour Kids
Catering to kids between the ages of 4 and 18, this is the perfect family tour. You can take the Spooky Tour, where children will learn about the past while exploring the French Quarter, complete with a ghost hunt. It’ll be a trip your family won’t soon forget.
- French Quarter Phantoms’ St. Louis #1 Cemetery Tour
Take a step inside the oldest above-ground cemetery in New Orleans and view the tomb of famed Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau. The cemetery is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in New Orleans, and you just might spot a ghost or two. It is only accessible with a licensed tour guide, but is an adventure not to be missed.
- Ghost City Tours Haunted Pub Crawl
Have a few drinks while you explore and hear tales about the ghosts of places such as Tujague’s, the second oldest restaurant in the city. You’ll also visit Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop to hear about famous pirate Jean Lafitte and his crew. As well as other haunts on this walking tour.
- Bloody Mary’s Tours
Bloody Mary, who is a native of the city, a priestess, medium, and paranormal investigator, will give you all the chills you’re looking for. Her tours come with a large variety of routes to choose from, like a midnight ghost hunt, or a moonlight graveyard tour, and even a seance. You’ll find the eerie side of New Orleans on this tour.
When touring some of the most entertaining and culturally unique cities in the United States, the Big Easy is one of the most popular and fascinating. Though New Orleans has certainly had its share of difficult times since Hurricane Katrina, the tenacious spirit of its residents has brought this city back to life.
New Orleans’ French Quarter has something for everyone. Unlike other cities that compete for tourists, New Orleans offers activities for everyone at prices that can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a family vacation at the right price–not sparing the fun—look no further.
- Bourbon Street—This infamous road is the heartbeat of New Orleans. Regardless of the time of day, Bourbon Street offers great food, good music, and people looking for a good time. The night offers adult fun into the wee hour of the morning. Enjoy being able to transport your alcoholic beverage down the street as you pop in and out of the bars. If you’re looking to party without the drama, head to Bourbon Street with your posse.
- Jackson Square—This historic landmark is spread out over 2.5 acres and is a popular creative space for artists, musicians, and filmmakers alike. Whether you are interested in the annual French Quarter Festival or you are looking for a regal setting for your wedding day, the monumental beauty that Jackson Square offers can’t be beat.
- Preservation Hall—Musicians can be found on nearly every corner in New Orleans, but real music lovers will appreciation of the jazz clubs that host some of the most talented musicians around. Preservation Hall is a central location for Jazz lovers that offers live concerts every night of the week. This club is a great gathering place regardless of age. Just bring your love of music, sit back, and relax.
This is only a handful of the unique New Orleans flavor that overflows within the city. These must-see attractions make great stops on your tour and give you a well-rounded experience. Very few places can boast about an overwhelming spirit of community, fun, and friendship that New Orleans possesses. You may come for a few short days, but you leave as a member of a family. No vacation is long enough to see the whole city, but start here and you can’t go wrong.
New Orleans is world-renowned for its food and the French Quarter is where you’ll find the city’s finest, celebrated restaurants. If your time is limited, and it’s a quick meal you’re after, follow the city natives and try the food where they eat. If you want to experience the best the city has to offer, enjoy the cuisine of the following must-visit eateries.
Brunch at Angeline is a meal not to be missed. If you can arrive at 10 AM at Angeline on any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you’re in for a treat. A classic Southern brunch is served featuring everything from hearty omelettes of all types to “Gulf Shrimp and Country Ham.”
Café du Monde
If you’ve ever wanted to try an authentic beignet, you can grab a bag of the delicious, deep-fried choux pastries and enjoy them with a cup of coffee, freshly-squeezed orange juice, or milk. The beignets served at Café du Monde are among the best to be found anywhere. They are served 24 hours a day for enjoyment at the outdoor façade, or you can get them to go.
The rich flavors of the bayou can be savored and enjoyed at this French Quarter favorite. Just get there early because they don’t accept reservations. Their “Cajun Fried Chicken” is a must-try served with rabbit and sausage jambalaya, and a secret mix of spices. The menu is filled with the culinary classics the city is famous for and it’s so good you might find yourself at Coop’s Place more than once during your visit.
Offering classic Creole-Italian cuisine, Irene’s is so popular that there’s always a wait. Yet between the lively waiting area with live music on the piano and the delectable dishes served there, it’s definitely worth the wait. Offering favorites like “Meuniére Amandine” and “Lamb a’la Provence”, Irene’s is dining experience you really must have during your French Quarter visit.
Stanley may be an unassuming name but there’s nothing commonplace about the gumbo they serve there. Rich and flavorful filled with Andouille sausage, chicken, Gulf shrimp, oysters, and more, it will quickly become one of your culinary favorites. The menu at Stanley offers many of the dishes that made the city famous like their “Red Beans & Rice” and their “Cajum Spiced Ribs.” Be sure to try the “Classic Banana Split” made with their rich, homemade ice cream because it’s a delight.
Tucked into the back of a modest grocery store on a quiet French Quarter street, Verti Marte has a chalkboard menu, glass display cases, and serves generous portions. You can enjoy a po-boy or any of their delicious, ample deli sandwiches for a casual meal in a welcoming place.
The New Orleans Saints are focusing on the next steps to rebuild after their heartbreaking loss to Minnesota in the 2017 NFC divisional playoffs. Reinforced by an excellent draft class, the Saints are putting exciting young players on both sides of the ball, giving future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees a chance to reach for that second Super Bowl win. The roster is holding onto 21 starters from the team that claimed the NFC South title a year ago, and motivation is high for redemption.
The coach-quarterback team of Sean Payton and Drew Brees is one of the most successful in the game today. Similar to Tom Brady, 39-year old Brees shows no signs of slowing down. He knows Payton’s complex plays by heart, and remains one of the most accurate passers in NFL history, proven by his NFL-record breaking 72 percent completion rate last year. His arm strength may have diminished, but he makes up for it with a quick release and anticipation of other players. Few quarterbacks are better at identifying and targeting opponent’s weak spots than Brees.
But this team isn’t just counting on Brees to move the ball. The backfield team of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara is one of the best in the league. The Saints also signed seasoned Terrance West to hold down the fort during Ingram’s 4-game PED suspension. Ingram and Kamara each have their own style – Ingram does the majority of work between tackles using his low center of gravity, powerful legs and balance. Kamara excels in open space and is effective on screen and slip passes out of the backfield. Wide receiver Michael Thomas’ 196 receptions are the highest made by anyone during their first two years in the NFL. His leaping skills and 6’3″ frame have made him Brees’ go-to man in the red zone as well as on third down. Forever youthful 31-year-old Ted Ginn Jr. still has the speed to take the top off of defenses. The Saints are also counting on former Chicago Bear Cameron Meredith to bounce back from his knee injury. If he’s healthy, the Saints might have a steal. Third-round draft pick, rookie Tre’Quan Smith, is there for insurance in case Meredith fails to meet expectations.
Offensive left tackle Terron Armstead can block rushers easily, and second-year pro Ryan Ramczyk started 16 games as a rookie and will be playing right tackle. Guards Andrus Peat and Larry Warford can form a solid pocket for Brees.
The Saints overhauled their defense with an flurry of high draft picks and free agents in 2016 and 2017, and the results are beginning to show. Although the defense ranked No. 17 overall last season, it was still among the league leaders with 42 sacks and 25 takeaways.
Cameron Jordan has been in the left end position for the last seven seasons. He is considered one of the most complete ends in the NFL, as well as the undisputed leader of the defense. The Saints have spent years trying to complement Jordan on the right, and have decided on rookie Marcus Davenport. He will compete with veteran Alex Okafor to start opposite Jordan.
Sheldon Rankins had a quiet sophomore campaign, but the Saints are still high on the former first-round pick. The Saints would like to see him make more plays of his own. The same goes for Tyeler Davison, who completes the front four at the other tackle spot.
Demario Davis was signed to captain the defense on the second level. A.J. Klein has been moved to where he’s more comfortable. Alex Anzalone has potential as long as he stays healthy, and depth is solid with veterans Mike Mauti, Craig Robertson, Nate Stupar and Manti Te’o.
Marshon Lattimore started all 13 games he was in previously and became the first Saints corner to make the Pro Bowl since Eric Allen in 1995. Ken Crawley, P.J. Williams and Patrick Robinson are all capable starters as well. Crawley plays with confidence but needs to cut down on penalties. Robinson is expected to man the slot position, a weak spot in defense in previous years.
Free safety Marcus Williams’ solid rookie season was overshadowed by his now infamous missed tackle in the NFC playoffs against Minnesota. Vonn Bell is an excellent blitzer and big hitter, but his limitations can be exposed. The Saints are confident that veteran safety Kurt Coleman can still make plays on the back end and were excited to sign him in free agency. He brings much-needed experience and savvy to the position group. He’ll be employed often in coordinator Dennis Allen’s three-safety packages.
Punter Thomas Morstead and kicker Wil Lutz are both reliable veterans, ranking among the best in the field. Morstead has a powerful right leg and is great at directional kicks. Lutz can kick 55-yards with ease. Rookie Boston Scott will be competing with Tommylee Lewis and Ted Ginn Jr for their return jobs.
The Saints are ready to compete for NFC supremacy against the Eagles, Vikings, Rams and Packers this season. The offense is still one of the most dynamic in the league and their new talented young defense will only improve with time. The Saints face a brutal schedule and will do well to equal last year’s 11-5 record, but they’ll again be a factor in the NFC playoff race and are a solid sleeper pick to go all the way.
Mardi Gras is one of the greatest multi-purpose events of all time. What started out as a religious festival has become a party-theme, tourist attraction, and international phenomenon. This Catholic pre-Lent blowout has blossomed into Carnival in countries like Brazil and Mardi Gras celebrations in the US. No one can agree how it began. Some claim that it was inspired by ancient Roman spring festivals. Others believe that Mardi Gras developed as a response to the restrictions imposed on the faithful during Lent – a grass root, unofficial celebration that grew into a church tradition.
Mardi Gras begins on the evening of the twelfth day of Christmas. The twelve days start on Christmas Day and lead up to the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. The night of the last day of Christmas begins the Mardi Gras celebrations.
Even though New Orleans is considered the home of Mardi Gras in the US, the first Mardi Gras celebrations took place in a French settlement that would eventually become the city of Mobile, Alabama. Mobile still hosts “America’s Oldest Mardi Gras,” every year. New Orleans hosts one of the largest celebrations, but the festival there has a tempestuous history. New Orleans changed hands from France to Spain and, eventually, to the US. The Spanish outlawed Mardi Gras. When the US took over, the French custom was censured and restricted. But that changed in the 1810’s when some private citizens developed the first krewe.
Krewes were closed-door clubs that held private balls and sponsored parades. These groups grew in number during the 1800’s, leading to the development of the massive party that is Mardi Gras today. Modern krewes continue the tradition, sponsoring floats, parades, and balls.
The most recognizable element of a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras is the King Cake. This braided, cinnamon-filled confection iced in the traditional gold, purple, and green that contains a plastic baby Jesus is a staple in the modern Mardi Gras tradition. The person that gets the babe in their slice of cake has to buy a future cake or host next year’s party.
No matter where you are, you can celebrate Mardi Gras with a great party. Decorate with the traditional colors, buy a King Cake, and invite your friends. Celebrate, embrace, and enjoy the tradition as this will only continue to keep Mardi Gras as the wonderful celebration that is.
I’m really looking forward to spending some time with my Krewe of Pandora friends tonight. It has been awhile since we have all gotten together. Actually, the last time we got together it stormed in the city and it was tough for everyone to come out that evening. Tonight will be a fun filled time for sure.
One of the joys about the ladies of Pandora is that we have a great group of women who are interested in enhancing their social lives. We have several ladies who are new to the area and don’t know many folks. I had the idea for the Sip and Paint tonight as a good way of getting together while doing something fun at the same time.
The whole idea of the Sip and Paint is for people to bring a snack and some wine and socialize. Then the fun begins with painting and its always a bunch of laughs! Women get to bond over how their painting is coming out and tease each other with laughter at the finished products.
I hope everyone who attends will enjoy themselves and realize that we are more than just a Mardi Gras Krewe. We really are a friendly sisterly social club who also rides in a parade. I know many ladies who ask about joining Pandora are also coming to see what its all about.
I will be sure to post pictures as I know we will have many smiles and good times to share!
In a nutshell, motivation refers to why people do what they do and for many of us, it can be quite a roller coaster ride, to say the least. In life, there are all kinds of aspects of work and personal life that requires motivation and certainly, a lack of motivation can hinder your ability to stay ahead of the game. However, we’re happy to tell that you that it’s actually common for people to struggle to maintain the momentum of it. So, just breathe my friend. If you’re having trouble getting stuff done, then the first thing you need to do is find out exactly what motivates you and what doesn’t. You can do this by understanding the different factors that affect your productivity, so you’re able to make positive results happen. Here are five life-changing tips that can motivate you to take charge of what’s important in your life and remain a go-getter, even when the going gets tough!
The truth is, people are riddled with fear more often than not. But, that’s okay It’s important that you stop letting external events trigger negative thoughts in your brain. In order to get better results, try modifying your interpretation of these events that tend to trigger a negative outlook on life by thinking more positive and of course, being fearless. Once the events in your life take on a different, more useful meaning, they won’t trigger negativity or fear.
Mirror your role models
Why struggle down a path when you can learn from others who have faced similar challenges and have found success? Role models are those who possess the qualities that we would like to have, and who have affected us in a way that makes us want to be better people. Whether personally or professionally, try to find role models worthy enough of your attention and motivation, who lead their lives and organizations in the manner in which you aspire to lead and who have also made an impact on others as you would like to.
Begin your day the night before
Sometimes, mornings pose as one of the biggest threat to motivation. Instead of tackling your to-do list once you wake, try to get into the routine of prioritizing your tasks the night before. This helps you be able to and familiarize yourself with everything you plan to do the next day and will keep you fully preparing for what your work will involve, which can sometimes be more than just an organized task list. Cleanliness is also key, so try removing unnecessary clutter from your workstation to help creates a more inviting atmosphere to keep you focused on what needs to be completed.
Create a reward system
It’s no doubt that incentives are excellent motivators. Most of the decisions you make are based on a perceived outcome with the least amount of risk and this strategy can be applied to every facet of your personal lifestyle. Start by Identifying each step on your journey to reaching your goals and create a reward for every milestone met. You will start to see your motivation increase as you get closer and closer to your objectives.
Stimulate your mind, body, and soul
We all know that a healthy diet is a key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you often find yourself struggling to find the energy to get things done, you might want to consider adjusting your levels of nutrition and also think of better ways to take care of your physical and well being. Certain foods are known to improve higher brain function, leading to an increase in motivation, so put away the greasy snacks and try picking up some fruits, veggies, and other food that will help significantly boost cognitive function and also naturally increase physical energy in the body.
At the end of the day
For professionals, the goal is to create lifelong success, and that, of course, requires a great deal of motivation. Sure, everyone struggles with motivation at one point or another, especially in the workplace, but it’s important to create a positive professional and personal environment where motivation and progress can flourish. By implementing these tactics into your daily routine, you will be able to increase your motivation which in turn, will hopefully bring you closer to reaching your long-term goals!
If you’re a tourist visiting New Orleans, you want to make sure that you see some of the traditional tourist hotspots like Bourbon Street but you’ll also want to make sure you check out some of the best-kept secrets and hidden gems of New Orleans.
One of the best parts of New Orleans is the food culture. Jimmy Seely and Joel Hitchcock Tilton begin the gardens as a community garden. This turned into a much bigger operation that started to supply restaurants with produce. These gardens got the community involved to cultivate everything from summer squash to watermelon to mint.
New Orleans is also home to a large and ever-growing community of artists looking to showcase their pieces. Collin Ferguson and Catherine Todd co-founded Where Y’Art as a business where art and artists are easily obtained. The home location for Where Y’Art is on Royal Street and an art gallery on the web is available where people can meet the artists and browse through their collections. Every two months, the collections get changed to showcase new artists and keep visitors returning.
Nina Compton created a menu based on the Caribbean folk tale of the same name. Chef Compton encourages her customers to appreciate the time that they are spending together and share memories or create new memories while enjoying their food. It creates an environment where people get to focus on each other and the time they have with each other rather than focusing on what’s going on in the outside world.
City Park is a 1,300-acre park that is filled with gardens, amusement park rides, disc golf courses, and golf courses. It’s also known as one of the oldest urban parks in the country with its opening in 1854. In City Park, Morning Call Coffee Stand beckons for you to grab a coffee and beignet. Morning Call Coffee Stand is 142 years old and is open 24 hours a day. Not only can you get a coffee and beignet, you can get gumbo, jambalaya, and ice cream. They’re a cash-only business though so don’t stop for a visit without some!
New Orleans is a great city to visit and live in. Make sure that you stop by some of these spots to get a real feeling of what New Orleans means to the local community.
Given the number of responsibilities that you try to juggle on a daily basis, joining an organization may not be one of your top priorities. After all, what business person has time for more meetings and activities? But such thinking can cause you to miss out on a whole lot! Be it professional or charitable, most people can say with ease that without the support of their peers in organizations to which he or she belongs, they would not be nearly as successful. Having membership in an association not only offers access to wealth, but it also provides a resource for members to produce the highest quality output in the world. Even in today’s hyper-connected global society, it’s important that we recognize and understand the benefits of membership organizations. Below are some general benefits of organization membership.
There’s no doubt that membership of a respected organization sends the message that you are serious about your profession, and you are willing to put in the time, effort, and money where your mouth is! Being an active member of an organization will not only give you an opportunity to develop your skills as a leader and develop more professionally, but you are able to surround yourself with intelligent, like-minded professionals who are immersed their industry to gather provide access to a variety of opinions and ideas.
Professional organizations offer quite the amount of learning opportunities. These include courses, seminars, webinars, and lectures all of which are designed to raise awareness of important issues facing its target audience. Staying informed will only help you in the long run by enhancing your skills and knowledge, while also staying up to date on changes in your field.
We all know that networking is key for the movers and shakers of the community and such goes beyond the exchange of business cards. Making connections is critical and when joining an organization give countless opportunities to connect on a local and sometimes even global level. You’ll be able to strengthen existing business relationships and develop new contacts that set you up for rich, ongoing sources of inspiration and ideas.
Being apart of an organization means that you have access to an established support system of experienced people who are motivated to get things done, and there’s certainly nothing like knowing that you have a strong support system to help you when in need.
KEEPS YOU INSPIRED
It’s important to be proactive about things you discover on the journey because when you learn more about what you do, you’re able to not only continuously motivate and inspire others but also yourself. When organizations can see real breakthroughs when members are inspired, making them more productive and, in turn, inspire everyone to strive for greater heights.
No matter why you’re joining an organization, we predict a viable future for its membership that will continue to evolve, so it’s good to get involved as you never know where it could lead you. There are some people out there who are willing to join an organization when they see a direct benefit for them, but it’s important as an organization member that you never take this for granted and you see the value in being apart of something bigger than you!