With the first round of roster cuts coming up next week, each practice and game becomes ever more important to many of the players who aren't a lock to make the team. What follows is my analysis of the bubble players whose chances of making the 2008 New Orleans Saints roster or "stock" may have changed following this week's game against the Houston Texans.
Jason David You knew he'd be on this list and you knew he'd be right at the top. We're all aware of what happened this week and I don't think you need me or a financial analyst to tell you that as far as "stock" goes, this game against Houston was Black Tuesday for Jason David. Don't tell me it's just pre-season either. Every guy out there should be playing to the best of their ability and working their butt off trying to make this team. Jason David of all people! So either JD really is still a little behind the learning curve or he was just dogging it. Pick your poison. The reports that JD has been dropped down the depth chart in favor of Tracy Porter should say it all. I am going to refrain from harsh words and anger however, and I am going to give David one more game. Thats it. One more game. If he continues to look completely lost and confused out on the field against what should be the Bengals second or third team, then it's war with JD, Coach Payton, Mickey Loomis and the entire Saints organization because it's just not fair. I'm not talking about fairness to me, you or other fans, I'm talking about fairness to the other players on this team. The Saints are legitimate contenders this season and every player should be allowed the courtesy of taking comfort in knowing that they are putting the best available product out there on the field. I refuse to believe the performance of Jason David this week against Houston is the best this team can muster up. Otherwise, the Saints players may need to go all Lord of the Flies on Jason David. It frustrates me to watch a drive extended after David gives up 14 yards on 3rd and 8, so I can't imagine how his defensive teammates feel when they have to stay out there on the field even longer after working so hard just to get themselves in that 3rd and 8 position.
Aaron Glenn Glenn made one of the nicer plays of the game by the secondary in the last match-up by jumping a route and knocking away the ball. He also wasn't directly to blame for giving up big passing plays. While Glenn might not be the young shutdown corner we would all love to have, he might just be the reliable, consistent veteran that is just good enough.
Devery Henderson Certainly nothing special from Devery this week. Only two catches for a paltry 14 yards. At this point, I think Devery needs to do something extra special to make sure the coaches remember why they like him. Uh, and oh yeah, he dropped a sure catch. That is the exact opposite of what he needs to be doing.
Lance Moore Velcro like hands. Check. Special teams contribution. Check. Gritty, hard working attitude. Check. If he can solidify himself as a big play guy by creating separation, using his speed and making catches like the long one he had against the Texans, Devery Henderson might find himself looking for a new team.
Andy Alleman, Jermon Bushrod This drop is only based on the fact that they were the culprit's on quite a few penalties. Four of them to be exact between the two players, three of those false starts. It doesn't mean certain dismissal but when it's time for roster cuts and its neck and neck between you and the other guy, stupid penalties may make a difference.
Orien Harris This kid has been consistently delivering so far in the pre-season. Add the fact that fellow DT's Hollis Thomas and Brian Young are both dealing with their own individual injury problems and the fact that the team apparently decided to take a pass on "Booger" MacFarland, and he might have a good shot at making this team.
Kendrick Clancy He also looked pretty solid the other night and shares the same fortune as Orien Harris with regards to the loss/limiting of other defensive tackles on this team.
Josh Savage He and McCray were looking pretty good in the second half together, getting some pretty good pressure and showing a lot of motor. I think he's definitely solidified a spot as the fourth end for this team.
Skyler Green We saw very little from Skyler in the past game. In fact, I think the only time we did see him was on a single kick return which he brought back for 26 yards, so I don't know what the heck is going on here. Does it mean coach has seen enough of him for the time being and wants to check out other players? I certainly don't know of any injury problem.
Taylor Mehlhaff A much better performance this year from the most jacked up kicker I have ever seen. He didn't have any field goal attempts but nailed his five kickoffs to the 5, 3, 2, 3 and 5 yard lines. Couldn't quite get it into the endzone but let's hope Payton had him intentionally hold back and keep the kicks in play so that he could get a better look at special teams.
Waylon Prather The new guy boomed a kick sixty yards that was downed on the 3 yard line. Nothing is wrong with Weatherford and I don't think Prather is going to knock him out of a spot but this is about his stock and if I am being fair I think it did go up.
As always, opinions/comments/questions/angry tirades are always welcome!