Fleur-de-Links: Saints Camp Day 22 - Offense Finds Its Rhythm

After a rough outing in yesterday's practice against the Texans, the Saints offense was able to redeem itself to some degree today. In fact, if not for one Drew Brees interception you might say they looked like their normal, high-octane selves. Rest assured that they'll get the ole supercharged V12 hitting on all cylinders by the time you-know-who comes to town.

This isn't Saints related, but I wanted to express a sincere get-well-soon to Vikings WR Percy Harvin. He reportedly collapsed at practice today and had to be sent to the hospital. To my knowledge, he's one of the few Vikings players I've heard from that hasn't whined about our defense playing dirty or whatnot against "His Majesty no. 4" in the NFC Championship game. I truly hope he's able to overcome the migraine problem that's plagued him most of his life. He'll be a helluva player if he can ever get this problem solved.

In other Saints news, the defense also has a pretty good day against the Texans, John Stinchcomb was held out of practice due to an injured shoulder (not serious), and FIGHT!...FIGHT!, fisticuffs finally break out in today's practice. It was just a matter of time. More after the jump.

TWEETS:

ChaseDaniel Up early getting a lift in with the Q Dogs! If you take care of your body, it'll take care of you!

sharper42 Morning Who Dat Nation! Chk this link out..help support those in need & affected by the Oil Spill http://bit.ly/cWAVXS

thomasmorstead 2 days till texans game, can't wait!

LanceMoore16 Last practice against the Texans.....gotta make it a good one. #whodat

LanceMoore16 RT @alexbrown96: RT @Adam_Schefter: Not that anyone's counting but Vikings-Saints, Favre-Brees is three weeks from tonight.....let's go then

alexbrown96 Lol RT @karimarbrown: Crap i missed itRT @wwltvsports: Fights finally break out in canp. It's starts on saints defense field at 9:50

jeffduncantp Jon Stinchcomb was held out of today's practice with a bruised shoulder. Sean Payton said he would be OK.

jeffduncantp A better performance from the #Saints today. I'd call today's scrimmage vs. the Texans today a close 'win," at worst a draw.

jeffduncantp Saints have canceled today's p.m. practice. They'll lift weights and meet.

jeffduncantp The moving target that is the #Saints media policy has changed again. Now they've banned cell phones at outdoor practices. Thus, no tweets.

robyslyfe How is everyone feel'n 2day?! Blessed I hope...allow your blessings to be a blessing to someone 2day..

jeffduncantp http://znl.me/PMSU1I How physical was today's Saints' practice with the Texans today? Jon Casillas' helmet attests.

jeffduncantp #Saints fans, make sure you wish Bobby Hebert Happy Birthday today. The Cajun Cannon turned 50 today.

LanceMoore16 RT @Pierre_Thomas: another productive practice against the texans today...looking fwd to the game saturday in the superdome! Yesir! #saints

jeffduncantp http://znl.me/PMWEK0 Drew Brees signed a pair of limited edition Madden '11 Nike sneaks today for charity. They're pretty sweet.

LanceMoore16 Feels great to have a little bit of free time. Just chillin till meetings tonight. #thankful

Adam_Schefter Scary stuff. RT @espn: Minnesota Vikings' Percy Harvin collapses, leaves in ambulance - http://es.pn/92FPFw

ZachStrief Get your tickets for BIG NIGHT OUT 2010! 9/30 at Generations Hall. Benefits Cafe Reconcile! www.dreambignola.comfor details! Only $40!

MalcolmJenkins Say a prayer for Percy's health

JonVilma51 had another good practice vs the texans today, nothing left to do but give them hell sat night...

j_bushrod7475 Competitive practice against the texans this morning... Get to spend the rest of my BDAY chillin at the cri

HeathEvans Good 3 practices w/ the Texans & now a much needed nap! I actually started my nap in my RB meeting! Dont tell coach Payton

HeathEvans Go 2 Heath Evans Foundation FaceBook page & check out the video of the 4 stiches n my head. Yes my faulty helmet cut my head open! Ouch!

 

AUGUST 19th PRACTICE WITH HOUSTON TEXANS:

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws touchdown pass, interception in practice | NOLA.com
Hooks up with Saints tight end David Thomas, Texans linebacker Danny Clark

New Orleans Saints injury report: offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb misses practice | NOLA.com
No other injury developments Thursday

Fights erupt between New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans at Thursday practice | NOLA.com
A little more testy on Thursday than the day before

Finally, fisticuffs break out in Saints training camp | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
On the 21st day of New Orleans’ 2010 training camp, the long-awaited skirmishes finally broke out at 9:05 a.m.

Saints’ offensive line trying to get into rhythm | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Through six plays in New Orleans’ preseason opener at New England, the Saints had compiled minus-1 yard in total offense and quarterback Drew Brees was sacked once and pressured another time.

Saints-Texans Afternoon Practice Report
The Saints and Houston Texans conducted their second joint practice Wednesday afternoon at the Saints indoor facility. While working in limited space, the squads practiced for a little over an hour conducting a walk-through, team, seven-on-seven and goal line drills.

Practice Observations: Offense makes amends for rough Wednesday | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
The Saints and Texans went through a third practice together Thursday morning. Bradley Handwerger was there and filed this practice report.

Saints right tackle Stinchcomb sits out morning practice | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Pro Bowl right tackle Jon Stinchcomb sat out practice Thursday morning, resting a dinged shoulder that Head Coach Sean Payton said wasn’t serious

Saints Ramp It Up At Texans Practice - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports
After letting the Texans get the better of them on Wednesday, the Saints offense and defense stepped it up a notch today.

Houston Texans find encouragement in New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Similarities with teams abound

New Orleans Saints notebook: Trindon Holliday receiving a hard time with Houston Texans | NOLA.com
Jacoby Jones treats teammates to home cooking

New Orleans Saints slideshow: Photos from practice against the Houston Texans | NOLA.com
Saints-Texans practice photos

New Orleans Saints cancel Thursday afternoon practice | NOLA.com
They will have meetings, lift weights

Kristian: Saints D Struggles Vs Houston - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports From yesterday
The New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans wrapped up another spirited practice in the Saints indoor facility this afternoon. Houston made short work of New Orleans in the team portion of practice. From our vantage point in the end zone, we got a good look at the Saints defense.

Camp 2Dat: New Orleans Saints special teams captain Troy Evans feeling pressure

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

Minnesota Vikings' claim about New Orleans Saints, Brett Favre is cheap shot | NOLA.com
'Favre rules' don't apply here

New Orleans Saints camp confidential: Spotlight on middle linebacker | NOLA.com
News and notes from Wednesday's practices

New Orleans Saints' Jabari Greer's, Tracy Porter's reputations as playmakers are growing | NOLA.com
CBs say they're still developing

Steve: Double A Looks To Give Saints Offense An Added Charge - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports
The Saints drafted wide receiver Adrian Arrington in the 7th round of the 2008 draft, but he has yet to catch a pass in a regular season game. Much of the problem has been his inability to stay on the field. Arrington missed his entire rookie campaign with a toe injury and was hindered last year by a nagging hamstring.

Usama Young: Behind The Facemask

Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin taken to hospital after passing out at practice | NOLA.com
Player has suffered from migraines

Fantasy football preview: Breaking down the tight ends | NOLA.com
The position that keeps getting more important -- tight end

 

TRANSCRIPTS:

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Post-Practice Press Conference

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Opening Statement:

"This afternoon, we’ll just have weightlifting and meetings. We will practice tomorrow, inside, at around 11 or 11:30."

Why did you hold Jon Stinchcomb out of practice?

"He had a bruised shoulder from yesterday. He should be fine for the game; we just backed off his snaps this morning."

Do you have an idea of who is not going to be able to play in the Texans game?

"Not yet. "

What benefits do you think you’ve gotten from the combined practices this preseason?

"I think whenever you change routine from camp and go against someone else; it forces you to heighten your awareness because you’re not seeing the same schemes or players. Typically, when teams have joint practices, you get more energy. We have had three now with the Texans and all three have been upbeat and hard. We benefitted and they benefitted from breaking the normal routine of training camp. I think I know where you are going with the success we had, but I think more than anything else it forces you to get out of your comfort zone. It forces you to focus because you know that not only are we getting the tape, but they’re getting the tape so you are trying to put your best foot forward."

Is this something that we are manufacturing that teams may be shooting for you?

"At 9-0 last year, week 10 was certainly going to be a team that knew we were playing well. Week 11, Week 12, Week 13. When you are having success, certainly you can expect the best effort from who you are playing. More often than not, especially in our league, the timing of when you play people plays the most critical role in regards to injuries. A team that came off a poor performance is going to be more focused and ready for the next week."

How much more of an emphasis are you guys putting on tackling between week one and week two?

"We’re spending a lot time in pads working on daily drills. You want to focus on the fundamentals. Blocking, tackling, and protecting the football, those are the first things that can get sloppy in a preseason game. If you can’t get 11 guys on the field. Those are the kinds of things we were able to point out in the New England game. Those are the things we would like to see corrected as we head in to this week."

After watching tapes of yesterday’s two practices, what did you see and what did you like?

"I thought, in the morning session yesterday, there were some positives but yet there were a lot of details that need to get cleaned up. We watched it as a group last night, offensively with the skill guys. The P.M. practice, inside, was a little sharper. I thought this morning’s practice was probably the best of the three compared to yesterday’s."

What are you looking for from the special teams unit in the next game?

"The challenge in coaching special teams during the preseason is the plethora of players that are in and out as the game moves on. That’s difficult. Most importantly is the proper evaluation for more than half of this team in regards to roster spots and how they perform in the kicking game. Jobs are at stake. I think that’s most important: paying attention to what you are seeing. They players understanding that when you only go to a game with 46 players, you are going to have to play in the kicking game. How these individuals do is the number one priority so we can make the best decisions when it comes to the final 53."

 

Usama Young

You entered and won the "Super Ad" competition. What was your video about?

It was a childhood memory. They brought me in to a trailer, a network trailer, and they asked me to tell them a story about football. That was the first thing that came to mind. I worked at Fed Ex Field at RFK Stadium when I was little, growing up in the DC area. I could never keep a job, but that was the one job that I could hold on to when I was little. I really wasn't doing the job; I was out there imagining myself being out there on the field. I was supposed to be selling lemonade or cotton candy, but in the commercial they changed it to me selling snow-cones. It was a funny story. I told them that I used to imagine myself out there on the field.  I used to imagine I was Deion Sanders out there, high stepping and everything. I ended up winning the Super Ad. Coming back the next year, I not only had a commercial air, but I got to play in a Super Bowl too. It was a dream come true.

How did it feel being in the Super Bowl just one year after that? 

It was amazing. My father was in the commercial with me and at the end of it, I said "Now I'm in the Super Bowl!" My dad said, "It's just a commercial, son." It was crazy that you go from being in the commercial to playing in the actual game that you dreamed of all of your life. It was an amazing feeling.

Talk a little bit about your role with the team thus far. How have things changed?

 It hasn't really changed too much from last year. Since my rookie year, I moved from cornerback to safety. Just like every year, you have to go in and compete for the starting job knowing that every rep counts in practice and the preseason. You have to go all out. I have only played free safety for the past two years, so I am still kind of a utility player doing anything they need me to. I've been playing corner, nickel, dime, safety, whatever. This year, the focus has been mainly on free safety. At the same time, I know that I need to hold on to all of those cornerback skills. I need to keep the same kind of agility and athletic movements. It's been a good camp. It's been fun, but it's been hard. It hasn't been too much of a change.

You have had a lot of success on special teams. Talk a bit about how important special teams is to a team. 

Coming in, I looked at it as any way that I can get on the field, then that's what I will do. Coming in every year since my rookie year, I know that the more I can do, the better it is. The better my chances are of playing on this team and having an impact. I try and go out on special teams and make plays whether it's at the gunner or wing on punt team, or penetrator on kickoff team, I am going out to make tackles. As long as I am lining up on this field, I am happy. My ultimate goal is to start, but when it all comes down to it, you have to be special to do special teams. That's whats major to me.

Talk a little bit about this complicated defense. How much different is it than other defenses you have seen before? 

I haven't been in the league too long, but this is different than the defense that we were previously playing. We switch it up a lot. Gregg Williams throws a lot at the offense and tries to confuse the quarterback a little bit. It's good because you always keep them on their heels. As a defense, you want the offense to be a little mixed up and confused when they go out there. It helps our cause to mix them up because we throw out a lot of different looks. It has them playing a little slower.

What is it like going against a very talented offense every day in practice? 

You have no choice but to get better going against these guys. You have Drew Brees in there, the MVP. You have weapons at the wide receiver position, athletic running backs and tight ends. Everybody is fast out there. It makes it tough to play, but it prepares you for the next opponent. Playing against an offense like that, you can't help but get better.

What do you like to do off the field? 

My most favorite thing is that I like to sleep. I like to lay back and relax. I usually get with my boys, but during camp you don't get too much time to get horizontal. I like to just get in the bed and relax for a little bit. Maybe get out on the couch and watch TV or play video games. We get together as a defensive backfield and we go out to eat and just chill. Maybe see a movie or something. That kind of camaraderie keeps us close.

Are you going to play Madden more this year now that Drew Brees is on the cover? 

You know what's funny, I didn't touch Madden last year because my rating was so low. But this year, with my teammate being on the cover, I have to play the game.

Where are your favorite places to go in New Orleans?

 I would have to say the French Quarter. It's historic. You see some crazy things down there, and some wild folks. It's a good time. Whenever my family comes in town, that's the place that I take them first. You have to show them. Then, it's a catastrophe that happened, but everybody wants to see the lower 9th and the 9th ward to see what type of stuff has gone through there. I like to take my family everywhere when they come through. I have seen the tourist parts, so I am more-so a homebody now. I just like to go out to eat. Emeril's is my favorite spot.

 

 

VIDEO:

Drew Brees on working out with Houston

New Orleans Saints fight back vs. Texans on Day 2: video

Anthony Hargrove says he's happy to be back at the Dome

New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush on workout with Texans

Saints offense looks better at Thursday's workout


 

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