Buck Ortega

Buck Ortega Works Out For the Patriots

The New England Patriots worked out free-agent TE Robert Myers (Eagles) and free-agent TE Buck Ortega (Saints) Monday, Nov. 2. The team is not expected to sign any of them this week.

Bill Belichick explained the workout: ”It’s two-fold. you get this time of the year, you’re in November, you have some players, some veterans, who may have been on rosters in 2008, who may have been productive . . . there might be some good football players who may have been productive who are still out there, that’s part of it, the other part of it is, you start to look at players who might be able to go on your practice squad. If there’s a player you like coming out of college or the preseason, and you see some positive attributes on that player, you bring them in ,work them out, spend some time with them, have the medical information, and then make a decision on your practice squad, or maybe it’s something for next year.”

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Dolphins Work Out Buck Ortega

The Dolphins held a workout for former UM TE Buck Ortega on Wednesday. Ortega, a strong special teams player who doesn't have any practice squad eligibility left, was recently cut by the Saints (the Dolphins' next opponent).

The Phins already have 4 TEs on the roster (three on the 53-man and one on the practice squad), and presently have no vacancies on the roster.

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Saints sign Roby, cut Ortega

The New Orleans Saints have signed free agent wide receiver Courtney Roby, who was the primary kickoff returner for the team for five games last year.

Roby first signed with the Saints midway through the 2008 season and returned kicks before landing on injured reserve. He averaged 24.8 yards on 19 kickoff returns for the Saints last season.

To make room for Roby on the roster, the Saints cut tight end Buck Ortega, who split last season between the practice squad and the active roster.

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Ex-Hurricanes see eye to eye on playing field

New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey took refuge from the heat under a canopy on the sideline, sipping from a small bottle of Gatorade, and he never saw Andre Johnson coming.

In passing, Johnson tipped Shockey's drink, causing some to trickle down Shockey's chin. Laughing, Shockey playfully chased Johnson for a few yards, but Johnson, a speedy receiver, avoided the bulky tight end.
“I'll get you back later, ‘Dre,” Shockey jokingly shouted at Johnson.

That friendly incident happened early Thursday and had nothing to do with the morning practice that became Wrestlemania.

“Did you see all these Miami guys out here getting in the fights?” Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson said with a grin. “That's how we do it, I guess.”

Johnson was receivers coach at Miami from 1996-05 and coached Johnson and Shockey when the Hurricanes were the 2001 national champions.

Center Chris Myers and tackles Eric Winston and Rashad Butler were also on the team.

One of the best
The Saints also have former Hurricanes in linebacker Jonathan Vilma and tight end Buck Ortega, bringing the number to seven former Miami players on the Texans and Saints rosters from a team that is considered one of the best in college football history

“We already have a few guys on our team that played together at Miami,” Winston said. “But with the Saints here, there's even more guys that were on that team.

“It's always awesome to go up to those guys and reminisce about the good old days.”

Keeping Winston in line
Winston said that having several college teammates around him with the Texans keeps him grounded in his NFL career. He said Butler and Johnson were the same shy and soft-spoken players at Miami that they are with the Texans.

But when asked about reuniting with other Miami teammates, Johnson had plenty to say.

“Every time we get together, it seems like we talk more about what we did in college rather than what we're doing now on the football field,” Johnson said. “Those are the moments that you really cherish.

“We won a national championship together, and that's something you'll never ever forget, and it's a bond you'll always have. We really don't talk much about football at all.”

According to Shockey, Johnson doesn't talk much at all.

“Andre's a silent assassin, and there's not many juicy college stories about him,” Shockey said. “But he's obviously the same hard-working guy that likes to get better.”

Curtis Johnson, the receivers coach, agreed with Shockey about Johnson's work ethic and added that Andre's personality has gone largely unchanged.

“Shockey is a different story though,” Curtis Johnson said. “He never said two words at Miami and now look at him.
“But he's still a great player and an excellent playmaker, just like he was at Miami.”

Johnson said coaches were impressed with Andre at Miami Senior High School, but he was redshirted as a college freshman because he was behind two seniors in Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss.

Ortega, who was Johnson's high school teammate, was also redshirted as a freshman.

“You never think about playing with your teammates after Miami because everyone's just dreaming about playing in the NFL,” Ortega said. “We were just a bunch of kids that were given a great opportunity to make something of ourselves at Miami.”

Not everything is fair game
As far as funny tales and embarrassing moments from college, most players were unwilling to out their former teammates, even though they play on opposing teams that can't seem to get along.

“I have plenty of stories about Eric and several about Chris,” Shockey said. “But I'll have to keep those in house.”

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Vilma & Ortega Handle One-on-One drills

The one-on-one pass blocking drill pitted the running backs and tight ends against the linebackers and defensive backs. Defense won many battles.

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma is unblockable in the drill. He blew past and over fullback Heath Evans. Perhaps the veteran out of Miami (FL) will have more chances to blitz in the new defensive scheme.

Tight end Buck Ortega handled free safety Darren Sharper.

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Tanard Davis Released, Ortega Put on Active Roster

New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Sunday that the team has placed defensive tackle Brian Young on the reserve/injured list. Taking his place on the roster will be tight end Buck Ortega, who was signed from the Saints’ practice squad.

The Saints also released cornerback Tanard Davis from the practice squad and re-signed defensive tackle Remi Ayodele to take his spot.


Buck Ortega Waived

The Saints signed kicker Taylor Mehlhaff, tight end Sean Ryan, defensive end Jeff Charleston and defensive tackle Montavious Stanley on Wednesday to replace several injured players.

Kicker Martin Gramatica, cornerback Tracy Porter and fullback Olaniyi Sobomehin have been placed on injured reserve, and tight end Buck Ortega has been waived.


Ortega Signed To the Active Roster

The New Orleans Saints have signed tight end Buck Ortega to the active roster and terminated the contract of quarterback Joey Harrington.

Ortega is a first-year player who initially joined the Saints as a member of their practice squad for the final month of the 2007 season. The 6-4, 250-pound tight end first has split time this season between the team’s practice squad and active roster, making three tackles on special teams in three games played.


Ortega Signed to the Practice Squad

The only roster moves we had were that we signed Joey Harrington and waived Buck Ortega and have since placed Buck Ortega back on the practice squad.”


Ortega Signed To Practice Squad

TE Buck Ortega was signed from the practice squad because the Saints needed an extra tight end with TE Mark Campbell out with a hamstring injury. Ortega will likely be brought back to the 53-man roster off the practice squad.


Ortega Released By Saints

The Saints released tight end Buck Ortega, who was activated from the practice squad over the weekend.

The Saints have been shuffling their roster quite a bit in the early weeks of this season, so it's not clear if Ortega's departure is temporary or permanent.


Ortega Added from the Practice Roster

Needing help in other positions, the Saints promoted two practice squad players, tight end Buck Ortega and defensive end Josh Savage. The Saints made room for them by releasing Lehr and placing linebacker Mark Simoneau on injured reserve.
Both Savage and Ortega played, but neither cracked the stat sheet.