Back in March, the same day Max Unger announced his retirement, the Who Dat Nation also learned that Nick Underhill would no longer be covering their beloved New Orleans Saints. Underhill covered the Saints in-depth since July of 2014. He had a very strong connection to the Saints fanbase being on the beat but also interacting with fans on Twitter, answering questions, and occasionally sharing tidbit of her personal life including last year’s Christmas tree and many thoughts on his favorite and new music. Underhill’s departure hit hard as his connection was so strong and his service to the people was so unique. He worked diligently and help create a smarter and more informed following.
Since heading to the Athletic to again cover the New England Patriots, Who Dats have awaited the new name and face that would be covering the beat for the Advocate. Many of the usual suspects held the fort like Larry Holder of the Athletic, Rod Walker of the Advocate, Luke Johnson and Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com, Barry Hirstius of Big Easy Magazine and Saints News Network, and John SIgler of SaintsWire, among others. But the wait is over for Underhill’s immediate replacement and the new face of the Advocate Saints beat is actually quite a familiar one.
Herbie Teope, who once covered the Saints with the Times-Picayune is returning to his post to one again pound the pavement and bring the people news from the beat. This time with the Advocate alongside Rod Walker. Herbie had left the Times-Picayune to become a National Writer for NFL.com/NFL Network. Teope once nailed the Saints landing Marshon Latimore at #11 overall in the 2017 draft and also predicted that Vince Biegel would end up with the team, though he was actually drafted by the Packers in the fourth round and found his way to New Orleans later.
Teope has continued his dedication to Saints fans during his time in the National Media covering Saints training camp, conversing with players like Sheldon Rankins and Zach Line while also covering fun stories like last season when Sean Payton wheeled in more than $200K and the 2009 Lombardi Trophy to motivate the Saints ahead of the 2018 playoffs. Teope also previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs.
I for one am ecstatic to see Teope back on the beat in the Big Easy. He, like Underhill, has always been intent on the deep-dive for readers and emphasizing the human element of the players off the field. Welcome back and follow Herbie as he returns to the Crescent City @HerbieTeope.
Follow Ross on Twitter @RossJacksonASC