Evan Woodbery

Saints beat writer

New Orleans

Evan Woodbery

As New Orleans Saints beat writer for | The Times-Picayune, I'm responsible for comprehensive beat coverage in a 24-7, digitally oriented environment.


How did the New Orleans Saints defense get here? Tracking highs and lows from 2012 to now

The worst defense in the NFL in 2012 morphed into one of the best in 2013. By now you probably know that the team in question is the New Orleans Saints. That awful defense got even worse in 2015, prompting head coach Sean Payton to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan this week and assign his duties to Dennis Allen.
The Times-Picayune Link to Story

After rallying twice to get 1st win, New Orleans Saints see more growth ahead

When Zach Hocker booted a 30-yard field goal off the left uprights, the stunned murmurs that echoed through the Mercedes-Benz Superdome suggested that fans were too shocked to even be angry. On the sidelines, however, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees saw an opportunity. "We've got to rally the troops again."
The Times-Picayune Link to Story

Rumors, truth and Alonzo Horton's search for peace

Ten years ago, Horton was 18 years old, one of the top football prospects in Louisiana, a linebacker about to embark on his freshman season with the defending SEC champions. Then came Hurricane Katrina: The breached levees. The destruction of his home and neighborhood. And then the unthinkable news that his two younger brothers, Jerry and Delorean, were dead. Alonzo's first college game -- Sept. 3, 2005 -- was Jerry's eighth birthday. "I was supposed to be excited. All I could do that whole day was cry," Horton said. In the coming days, Horton would get more hugs than he could count. Coaches and chaplains offered spiritual guidance. People he didn't even know pitched in to help secure shelter for surviving members of his family. Horton tearfully recounted his loss to ESPN and other national media outlets. And then Horton got news that was just as sudden and even more shocking: Jerry and Delorean were alive and well.
The Times-Picayune Link to Story

As Junior Galette's giant bonus looms, New Orleans Saints face tough decisions

Converting Junior Galette's $12.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus was supposed to be the easiest decision of an offseason filled with much tougher choices for the New Orleans Saints. But Galette's recent legal trouble -- and uncertainty about how the NFL will respond -- has complicated discussions of his future.
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Tennessee football's 12 months of change, transition: Behind the scenes in Butch Jones' first year

This was a traditional "season wrap" written in narrative style using anecdotes, conversations and interviews accumulated throughout the course of the year.
Knoxville News Sentinel / GoVolsXtra Link to Story

GVX TV | Spotlight: Looking ahead to Kentucky

I shoot stand-ups for two branded segments each week during football season.
Knoxville News Sentinel, GoVolsXtra Link to Story

Butch Jones: Rooted in Saugatuck

We traveled to Butch Jones' hometown over the summer and produced a massive print and web project for the season preview. The link in this tab is the landing page for our content. Although there were several stories, the links below go to the main story... (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)
Knoxville News Sentinel Link to Story

Behind the scenes with Butch Jones and UT's coaches: A fly on the wall as Butch Jones tries to paint Tennessee orange

After two months of nonstop recruiting, Jones, his nine assistant coaches, UT athletic director Dave Hart and a handful of administrative staff members spent Thursday touring Tennessee, greeting fans at post-National Signing Day "celebrations" in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. The News Sentinel shadowed Jones and staff throughout the 15-hour journey, from the early morning takeoff to the evening finale at Neyland Stadium.
Knoxville News Sentinel Link to Story

How to build Tennessee's recuiting

Sidebar companion piece to our main story in the recruiting package. Focuses on tangible conclusions to be drawn from our research.
Knoxville News Sentinel Link to Story

A road map for getting back: Study shows Vols' fall from glory years

The introductory story in a huge online and Sunday print recruiting package: The News Sentinel created a database of every player signed by the Vols since 1994 — 434 players from 28 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. We looked at the 19 signing classes that span the coaching tenures of Fulmer, Lane Kiffin and, most recently, Derek Dooley. We wanted to determine what had changed and what could be fixed, particularly with a new coaching staff starting from a clean slate.
Knoxville News Sentinel Link to Story

New Orleans Saints spending by position: More dollars invested in secondary in 2015

The New Orleans Saints will allocate a greater percentage of their salary cap to quarterbacks than any other team in the NFL. They'll also have more so-called "dead money" counting against the cap than any of the other 31 teams. Drew Brees' salary cap burden of $26.4 million is pricey, but most teams in the league would gladly spend as much on an elite-level quarterback.
The Times-Picayune Link to Story

Thursday night NFL games are grind for players, cash cow for league

When New Orleans Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last Sunday, he went searching for a restaurant or a drive-through open at that late hour. It was almost midnight, but Lofton was hungry. And the clock was ticking. In eight hours, he would wake up on Monday morning and start to heal the wounds from the previous day.
The Times-Picayune Link to Story


Evan Woodbery

I'm an experienced reporter who has spent 12 years on competitive, high-profile sports beat.

I'm comfortable with digital-first journalism, including writing for the Web, engaging readers on social media and producing video.

I have previously worked for the Knoxville News Sentinel (Birmingham News, Press-Register, Huntsville Times), The State newspaper (Columbia, S.C.) and the Anniston (Ala.) Star.



  • Sports writing
  • News writing
  • Breaking news
  • Feature writing
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Videography
  • Web content management
  • Social media
  • Video editing
  • Investigative reporting
  • Reader engagement
  • Data journalism