NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints have re-signed former long-snapper Justin Drescher and have added kicker Patrick Murray.
Drescher had been New Orleans’ long snapper since the latter part of the 2010 regular season before being let go this past offseason.
The Saints had been evaluating a pair of new long snappers — Chase Dominguez and Thomas Gafford — but cut both in corresponding roster moves in time for Drescher and Murray to participate in practice Sunday night at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium.
“Maybe they wanted to go back to old reliable or something. I don’t know,” Drescher said. “I’m not mad.”
Coach Sean Payton said Drescher would have to stay sharp to retain the job.
“There’ll be more competition. We’re going to have some more guys we’re going to continue to work out,” Payton said.
The coach said Drescher has been “good with punts. The key is going to be the short snaps” on field goals and extra points.
Drescher said he had been staying in shape awaiting another chance but didn’t necessarily expect it to come in New Orleans, where one of his close friends, Thomas Morstead, remains the punter.
“I never thought I would be working with him again. But man it was great. It was like riding a bike today,” Drescher said. “He was ecstatic when I walked in that locker room. … He just had a big smile, gave me a big hug and said, ‘Man, it’s great to see you. Let’s get this job done.'”
While Payton has sounded pleased with incumbent kicker Wil Lutz, he hadn’t ruled bringing in other kickers to evaluate during camp, even if it’s just considering someone to add to a list of kickers the club might to call back in a pinch if Lutz were to have an injury or slump during the regular season.
Murray began his NFL career with Tampa Bay in 2014. He did not appear in a game in 2015 and played in two games with Cleveland last season. Payton mentioned that part of his interest in Murray is that he can also punt.