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John DeShazier: Coach Sean Payton proud of six Saints players that made Pro Bowl

Most the team has had since 2009 season

Congratulations to our 2018 Pro Bowl selections Drew Brees, Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Marshon Lattimore.

Some of the spoils of success were portioned to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday night, when six players were named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad.

The six are quarterback Drew Brees, running backs Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara, receiver Michael Thomas, defensive end Cam Jordan and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. It's the most Pro Bowl representatives for the Saints since seven players were named in 2009.

"I think over time, generally, when you have team success, I think it allows more players to have those opportunities," Coach Sean Payton said Wednesday morning during a teleconference with local media. "Typically, that's been the case. We're proud of all those guys that are representing."

KLEIN'S SEASON OVER: Linebacker A.J. Klein, one of New Orleans' top free agent acquisitions during the offseason, is done for the season. Klein reinjured his groin against Atlanta on Dec. 7, and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The Saints re-signed tight end John Phillips.

Payton said that Klein, who finishes with 54 tackles, two sacks, four passes defensed and a forced fumble, was a noteworthy addition. "I think he played well. I think he was a big part of our success and our improvement defensively. His makeup, his understanding, I think he was running well – real good with key and diagnose and one of our captains. I think he was a real good addition."

The replacements for Klein already have had several games to get adjusted. Klein played in 12 of the Saints' 14 games, but exited two games early with injury in addition to missing two.

"From the very beginning of the communication, the understanding of what we're doing, being a half-a-step of the play, the responsibility to understand all the alignments and the formations and understand the amount of film work it takes that he put in – all of those things are things that fall on Manti (Te'o) or Craig (Robertson) or whoever specifically is in that role," Payton said."

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