Well, that wasn't very pretty. Certainly not what I would have expected from a proven football team like the Saints that has remained mostly in tact following a championship year. Both the Saints first team offense and defense came out disappointingly flat.
From a big picture standpoint it's only important that the Saints move on from this game a better team with a clearer vision of what they need to do the rest of the way. The final score certainly doesn't matter. Nothing to get bent out of shape over so let's not start panicking just yet. Besides, it wasn't all bad. A couple of players really stood out and surprised.
Since there's no overall meaning or importance behind this game let's finish up this lame introduction and just get right into the details, bullet style. Make the jump...
- Leave it to Beaver. The Beav. Eager Beaver. Beavers and Butthead. Nice Beaver. Thank you, I just had it stuf - Sorry! I'm just getting out all of my cheesy Larry Beavers references now so you won't have to worry about me using them throughout the season if he continues returning kickoffs for touchdowns like he did tonight. Larry stole the show and instantly made a name for himself with his impressive cutbacks and maneuvers. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for Beavers, though. In reality he probably broke even on the night after he muffed a punt - fortunately he recovered it - and did nothing in the receiving department. I still think he'll need to do more to make the final roster at his position.
- The first team offense had a hard time getting into rhythm early in the game. So much so that they all stayed in the game well into the second quarter just to get something going with a Reggie Bush touchdown and to be sure to leave on a positive note.
- Okay, I'm officially on the Junior Galette bandwagon now. Sign me up. That guy just doesn't quit. The announcers mentioned him numerous times throughout the game and when I finally focused on him for a few plays, he would just lock in on whoever had the ball and go into attack mode. If I get a chance to re-watch this game, I will definitely follow him more closely.
- In the running back battle between Chris Ivory and P.J. Hill, Ivory currently has the advantage. Both had thirty yards rushing but Ivory did it with three less carries and also notched a touchdown. I think I also just prefer his running style more. I'm excited about watching him in the next three games; hopefully this is just the beginning.
- The man who expects nothing will never be disappointed. With my expectations set so low for the backup quarterbacks, I was pleasantly surprised by the performances of both Ramsey and Daniel. They weren't amazing by any means but the mistakes seemed limited. The Ramsey/Arrington connection in particular was nice to see. I still don't think either has a clear advantage in the competition for the No. 2 spot but if anyone I guess it would be Ramsey. Roll Wave!
- The good news is that Thomas Morstead is going to be fine. But he had us all worried after making a tackle on his first punt of the 2010 season, landing hard on his shoulder and sitting out the rest of the game. No need to be a cowboy out there and risk your season during a meaningless pre-season game, Thomas! Interestingly enough, Garrett Hartley boomed his first punt in relief duty a whopping 55 yards. Also good to know.
- After all that Jimmy Graham hype all we got from him last night was one catch for six yards. Boo! I'm still waiting. And speaking of no-shows, where was my boy Rod Harper? I don't think he was part of the gameplan for the night.
- So far so good for Adrian Arrington who led all Saints receivers with 87 yards including a sweet 51-yard catch and run from Patrick Ramsey. What we saw last night is a positive sign and exactly what we all expect from AA by now. All he has to do now is stay healthy and keep doing more of the same. Then maybe our wild fantasies of Colston, Meachem and Arrington lined up together will come true! Can and will he do it?
- How about the performance of Jonathan Casillas last night? He led the game in tackles with ten and also had a sack; definitely took a huge step in the right direction. Could he give Jo-Lonn Dunbar a run for his money?
- Run defense still sucks. Bah!
- Other than the blocking and running on the Beave's one kickoff return I would say the Saints special teams was crap. Devin McCourty, a rookie playing in his first game ever, put together two quality returns. Also in the department of crap was the weak tackling. All of it needs to be cleaned up.
- Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was probably the top performer of the night. He was carving up the Saints defense consistently, finishing the night with 90 yards on six receptions. Oh, he also had a 40-yard punt return. Nice job special teams.