I love the smell of a running game in the morning.
Just a couple of days ago I expressed concern about the Saints ground attack becoming a problem this season but those fears have been put to bed based soley on the performance of Mike Bell last night. Bell ran with authority, made some nice cuts and did it all with quickness.
On top of that, the defense did exactly as I'd hoped, building on their first performance last week by creating three turnovers and showing marked improvement. The Saints were still light on the pass rush, a little soft in coverage and sloppy with some tackling but no doubt now that we're dealing with a different defense.
Improvement is the name of the game. All in all, it's a good day to be a Who Dat. Make the jump for the rest of my notes from last night.
- I guess I've gotta start this whole thing off by talking about Mike Bell. Not sure really what I can say other than the fact that it's pretty certain he has solidified his spot as the third running back on this roster.
- Herb Donaldson looked pretty good himself on his two runs at the end of the game. If the Saints keep a fourth running back I think he is it. The practice squad could be in Donaldson's future as well.
- P.J. Hill got in on the touchdown action himself but was the low man on the totem pole last night with only 3.3 yards per carry.
- Because of the above three points, Lynell Hamilton is out of a job.
- I'd like to think that huge sucess of the Saints running game can also be attributed to the offensive line and great blocking. Whether or not the problem in the past has been scheme or personnel, there was no evidence of any trouble last night. I would like to keep it that way.
- Jermon Bushrod was serviceable. It looked like he was holding off guys juuuuuuuust long enough for Brees to get rid of the ball. I was getting nervous. But give the guy credit, he was going against Mario Williams. Hopefully that will get better because I am not optimistic about Jammal Brown's sports hernia or him returning any time soon.
- I don't need to talk about Colston, right? You guys know he's awesome. Moving on...
- Was that Adrian Arrington I saw making big catches at the end of the game? He looked solid and showed no signs of a lingering injury. I don't know if he has enough time to solidify a spot on the team. He'll probably get a final chance to prove himself in the last pre-season game.
- Meanwhile, Rod Harper is making things very interesting. Last night he put himself right in the middle of the battle for punt returner. He's already been impressive as a receiver so if Harper can prove he's also dangerous in the return game, it will be awful hard to cut him loose. However, I'm not sure he's earned the right to do a weak high step into the end zone. It's pre-season kid.
- Because of the above two points, Courtney Roby might be out of a job and Skyler Green is definitely out of a job.
- Casillas was making some plays at the very end of the game. I like him.
- Meachem continues to roll along through what will be his breakout season.
- How about my boy Jabari Greer? I won't overhype the interception since it was against an underthrown Orlovsky's pass and he did get beat by Andre Johnson once but he looked good in general last night.
- I have a love-hate relationship with Randall Gay, I admit it. Sometimes he looks lost in coverage and gives up frustrating plays while other times he looks great, making plays on the ball. I don't know what to do with him.
- Malcolm Jenkins still has some growing to do and that was made evident last night. He'll get there though.
- Usama Young was laying some lumber out there. Chris Reis also made that sweet diving deflection on the play that was later penalized.
- There still didn't seem to be much of a pass rush. I hope defensive line coach Bill Johnson has something in his back pocket when the regular season begins because the production thus far from his unit has been a little disappointing. Anthony Waters has the teams only sack.
- I also noticed I never see any of our defensive ends making spin moves and getting creative like Mario Williams.
- Tonight was all about the Two Tony's, Anthony Hargrove and Anthony Waters. Hargrove has got a non-stop motor and once again stood out last night. I won't get mad at him for the facemask penalty that Will Smith wound up taking the wrap for, though it did kill that drive. Later in the game, Waters notched the only sack of the game and the subsequent fumble recovery.
- Shockey could have been an Olympic hurdler. Nice little catch and run from him.
- What can I say about the special teams? Definitely an area that needs to be worked on and I'm sure it will be this week. Hartley missed a kick. Too many penalties. Rod Harper was the only saving grace. No...wait...Hartley did kick it into the end zone once.
- The penalties are just stupid. Hopefully they get it out of their system now. Clean it up!
- Leigh Torrence made sure he wasn't forgotten about in the cornerback mix.
- There are going to be some tough decisions to make in the secondary and with the wide receivers when the time comes to make cuts.
Inside the Numbers
Total number of Penalties by both teams.
Total penalty yards by both teams.
Minutes more I had to set my Tivo to record the game because of all the penalties and challenges.
Saints net yards rushing.
Here is the roll call from the open thread. Lot's of fun. Great work.
|Name||# of Posts|
|Monkey Poop Battle||62|
|Just Some Guy||41|
|Brazil meets LA||30|
|Steve the fan||22|
|Big and Easy||1|
Who was the player of the game?
Mike Bell (398 votes)
Marques Colston (4 votes)
Rod Harper (9 votes)
Anthony Waters (5 votes)
Jabari Greer (2 votes)
Herb Donaldson (1 vote)
Adrian Arrington (5 votes)
Robert Meachem (3 votes)
427 total votes