New Orleans -- Where Saints wide receiver Andy Tanner is concerned, *no news was indeed good news* Saturday. The pugnacious wide receiver out of Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas has *finally* made the Saints' roster after being cut 16 times by the club since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
Among those listed as famous alumnus at Midwestern are TV host Dr. Phil, and it's a wonder Tanner hadn't called upon the good doctor's counseling services in the past.
But, Tanner hasn't had to. He is tough physically, and more so mentally.
It's no shock that this guy would keep coming back until he made the roster. After all, the Tanner was born in a place called Rockwall, Texas. Yeah, he's *that* kind of tough.
Tanner had an impressive preseason. The determined *yac* catch against the Chiefs got my attention, and held it. Tanner caught the first two touchdown passes of his career preseason against the Texans. The next *regular* season pass... Of any kind... he catches in the NFL will be his first.
Even though he felt solid about his preseason, a possible 17th cut had to be on his mind after the Miami loss. Yet, Tanner had everything in perspective: "I'm just gonna (pause) my wife's flying in, and I'm gonna hang out with her. And hope for the best. You know, that's all I can really do. I put it all on the field. I did everything I could do this preseason, and we'll see what happens."
What did eventually happen was the desired result. Defying the odds... Putting in the work... And making the team. Just as a long list other undrafted free agents have done in the past with the Saints. And, nobody appreciates Tanner's work ethic more than his quarterback, Drew Brees:
"He's a stud, you know? One of those guys... There's nobody on this team that respects any one individual or teammate more than the guys respect Andy Tanner. Obviously, he's been through... When coach (Sean) Payton gets up there and talks, every off season and every training camp, about... ‘Hey, there's guy on this team that may have been cut, brought back, practice squad, this and that'... And then these are the players that they've become. He'll use examples like Pierre Thomas and these others. Andy Tanner's right in that line. It's only just a matter of time."
There are men in this league who are perhaps more physically gifted... more highly touted... more flashy. But, one would be extremely hard pressed to find a guy anywhere who have been more determined to make it, and more grateful to have done so.
Note: the Saints signed six players to their practice squad Saturday. They are quarterback Ryan Griffin out of Tulane, wide receiver Saalim Hakim, tight end Michael Higgins, fullback Austin Johnson, tackle Marcel Jones and cornerback Jumal Rolle.
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