Marquez Callaway leads Saints receivers in win over Panthers

Marquez Callaway leads Saints receivers in win over Panthers
Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway prepares to catch a pass against the Panthers. (Source: Pool Photo)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -

Everyone knows the phrase next man up, but clearly, the Saints take it to heart. As far back as the month of August, Sean Payton says they knew they had something special in Marquez Callaway.

“He had a really good training camp, and we felt optimistic about having him,” says Payton."

The rookie led the Saints 10 targets, catching eight of them for 75 yards, which says a lot about the trust that Drew Brees has in an undrafted player.

“I’ll be honest,” says Brees. “It’s difficult because you’ve got sit there and look at the call sheet and look at the personnel groupings and figure out how you’re going to put it all together and, at the end of the day, put them in the best positions to succeed. It all goes with my thought process too, knowing where guys are, knowing the little things that I can do to help them and to instill confidence in them to play fast.”

“He teaches us pretty much all the time,” says Callaway. “What we see when we’re out there, he sees something probably different. He comes in and lets us know, ‘Hey, maybe you can slide over a little more. Maybe you can run out of the way.’ Just things like that. He tells us what he sees every time we go out there so we can be more efficient.”

After seeing a clutch performance like that, maybe it’s no coincidence that he wears number 12, the same number once worn by another long shot to make the team, Marques Colston.

“Coaches and even players told me as soon as I got here when I was wearing number 12,” says Callaway. “I think the coaches, RC (Ronald Curry) and CJ (Curtis Johnson), the receiving coaches, told me they were some big shoes to fill. But there’s no backing down. I’m ready to step up to the challenge and have fun doing it.”

Going forward, Callaway’s performance might have to be duplicated for the Saints to keep winning. After all, it’s no sure thing that Michael Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders return for next week’s game in Chicago.

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