Alvin Kamara was an unknown running back until the New Orleans Saints drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Kamara was the fifth running back selected that year. Additionally, Keith Kirkwood went from the practice squad to playing on Sundays in 2018. Both players hail from “Rocky Top” and have made significant impacts for the Saints. Is orange the new black and gold? Maybe. Now another player will come into training camp with very little fanfare. Shy Tuttle would love to add a little bit more orange into the Saints’ roster.
Tennessee Alumnus Shy Tuttle Looks to add More Orange to the Black and Gold
Always Bounces Back
Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle has a shot. Albeit a long one to make it on the 53-man roster. Adversity is something he’s accustomed to. In both his freshman and sophomore year Tuttle had severe injuries that ended his season. Still, Tuttle remained focused on keeping his head up.
When asked about the injury Tuttle responds. “My family and friends were very important to me. You don’t want to just sit home and lie around, because that’s when the depression comes,” Tuttle said. “I came to Tennessee to play football and be with my teammates. It did humble me having to sit and watch from the sideline.”
Last year, Tuttle really made a name for himself with 33 tackles, a sack, and two blocked kicks. Tuttle has the speed to pursue. His instincts serve him well too. Tuttle loves to live in the backfield totaling five tackles for a loss in the last couple of years.
In addition, Tuttle was a hot commodity coming out of high school with 16 offers for scholarships. Two of those came from Clemson and Alabama. His stock at the time was red hot. Still, he’s got work to do. The knock on Tuttle overall is the lack of unlocking off defenders. He’ll need to work on his leverage and balance to make it to the next level.
Adversity May Be His Blessing
All in all, Tuttle has the physical abilities to be coached up. More importantly, though, the resilience of Shy Tuttle could be his greatest asset. There are plenty of players vying for a spot on the Saints roster come August. The difference from one player and another can be splitting hairs.
That being said, experience overcoming adversity cannot be bought. Having the game taken away from him the first two years may have been his saving grace. “Some people aren’t able to play the game. Others can become bitter through disappointment. I don’t let myself get down. I’m really close to my uncle who’s paralyzed from the waist down. He’s always smiling. I can recover but he will never again walk his whole life.”
Everyone in training camp will have a story. Plenty of unknowns come in every year trying to be the next Pierre Thomas who was also undrafted from 2007. The reality is, most of the undrafted free agents get cut. There is no room for multiple players considering the talent level on this team. Be that as it may, Shy Tuttle is one of the guys to keep an eye on. Look for him to make a run if healthy. Tuttle’s ability to stay the course regardless of the challenges is his strongest asset. And he knows that every snap may be his last.
The Saints need a young player to come in on the defensive interior. Tuttle could be the guy the Saints have been looking for.
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