NASHVILLE TN - SEPTEMBER 02: Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints watches during an exhibition game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on September 2 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. Tennessee won 27-24. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
The game was sloppy, as expected, but got interesting at the end as the Saints pulled closer and closer. Some questions were answered while new ones are raised. A few players used the opportunity to raise their stock one last time while others may not have done enough. Some of the position battle decisions have become a little easier while others may have only gotten tougher. One thing is for sure: I'm glad I'm not the one who has to decide. Unfortunately, the Saints didn't escape the game injury free; Chris Ivory left with an undisclosed knee injury and Jonathan Casillas has a sprained foot. More information to come on that today.
Make the jump, as usual, for my detailed game notes, observations and opinions in bullet form. Then comment with your own notes, observations and opinions.
- Can't say enough about Junior Galette's performance last night. A blocked punt, a sack and some nice tackles on special teams and in the backfield; Galette can do it all. After having two quiet games prior to last night, it was good to see his speed back in action. He may single-handedly have won a spot on this team with what he put on tape tonight.
- Also playing well on defense was linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who looked good early in the game during his limited time including a sweet open field tackle. Naturally, it just had to end badly with Casillas leaving the game with a foot sprain. He's scheduled for an MRI today; hopefully he's ready to go next week.
- Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Not only some of the tackling but also the concentration. The penalties were just absurd, and that goes for both teams. But that's exactly what we all expected with the two's and three's playing a majority of the game. Since the first week of pre-season the Saints have been called for increasingly more penalties each week. Not the direction I want to see the team going. Hopefully that gets cleaned right up with the when the Vikings roll into town and the starters are actually playing.
- Garrett Hartley = money. Love that kid.
- If I had to pick one I think I would have to say that Patrick Ramsey had the better game last night and will win the backup quarterback battle over Chase Daniel. It was close; neither played great and neither played awful but I would prefer to go with experience. Those who favor Daniel often tout his potential, which is great for the future of the team. But if Brees goes down now, what good does potential do? Ramsey is the guy for this year, Daniel is the guy for next. Just my opinion. I don't, however, think either of them will be cut.
- Montez Billings: You are the weakest link. Goodbye. (P.S. - Sorry, dude. You're cool.)
- The Saints coaching staff has one hell of a decision to make with regard to Adrian Arrington. My heart says the team makes room for him on the roster; my head says he's a gonner. Arrington has been the epitome of consistency this pre-season when it comes to playing wide receiver. But the Saints gave him plenty of opportunity to contribute elsewhere like kick returns, practically begging for him to give them a reason to keep him, and couldn't really make an impact. It's hard to believe but Arrington may not have done enough. If the Saints do let him go, I don't think they'll be able to get him back.
- Right now I am seriously concerned about Chris Ivory's knee injury. We got no news last night about the severity and in my mind that means bad news. I'm also a little ticked off that he's currently in this situation to begin with. I didn't expect him to get many carries against the Titans and I personally would have kept him off the field entirely if it were my decision. He has already proven himself this pre-season and is clearly the No. 3 running back on the depth chart. In the Saints system, that's still a pretty significant role. Way too significant to be playing in the final game of pre-season.
- Usama Young should be pissing in his pants right now. I'm afraid his time may be coming to an end here in New Orleans.
- Jeff Charleston put together a good final bid to keep his roster spot with four tackles and a sack.
- I am so happy to finally be writing something positive about defensive tackle Al Woods. This was probably his finest performance to date, his biggest play being the fumble recovery. Reacting very quickly, Woods dove on a botched Titans snap in their red zone. Might have earned himself a spot on the final 53 but at the very least, he's practice squad material.
- There wasn't much of a distinguishable difference between the production of Ladell Betts and DeShawn Wynn last night. Like the battle for backup quarterback, this race is pretty tight. I guess I would give the nod to Betts for his slightly better performance in the previous games. If Chris Ivory's injury really is serious, they might both make the team.
- Let me be the first to say that this Jimmy Graham kid was the steal of this years draft and is going to be a future hall-of-famer in just a few years. I'm kidding, of course, but he showed a little something tonight, most notably on special teams with his blocked punt. Still need to see more from him. It also didn't look like he has fully recovered from that ankle injury.
- Harry Coleman: Too little too late?
Who was the Saints player of the game?
Junior Galette (186 votes)
Adrian Arrington (46 votes)
Chris Reis (7 votes)
Ladell Betts (3 votes)
Jeff Charleston (20 votes)
Jimmy Graham (7 votes)
Garrett Hartley (48 votes)
317 total votes