And you can stand at 4-0 in your Hot Reads Review readings by making the jump!
PRIMARY OPTION - RUUD AWAKENING
What I'd Like To See: That some, one, or any of the linebackers the Saints are able to actually send out on the field have a pulse and have a clue about how to play well in the NFL. GAAAAA!
What I Saw: Improved effort and performance over last week, but still with much to be desired, which was to be expected, considering Jonathan Casillas was learning a new position on the fly, and others were thrust into starting roles. But I sure did like what I saw from Scott Shanle, who seemed to be everywhere! On the strength of Shanle's performance, I'm calling it Hot Read: Achieved.
CHECKDOWN # 1 - KROMER QUOTIENT
What I'd Like To See: Occasions both in the game and after the game to clue me in as to how Kromer will carry himself as the Saints head coach - aggressive and "go for the jugular", or safely conservative? Fiery and outspoken, or understatedly calm and in control?
What I Saw: Not much of Kromer head coaching on the sideline, and nola.com's Nakia Hogan reported that Vitt was pretty much still in charge:
-- Coaching communication: This was the first game in the collaborative decision-making process under newly named interim coach Aaron Kromer. While there were no major noticeable breakdowns in communication, it did appear that Vitt, who will begin serving a six-game suspension at the start of the regular season, handled most of the major head coaching duties.
So, although I was pleased to see the team went for it on 4th down, and attempted a 53-yard field goal by FPK Garrett Hartley, I don't think I can chalk those decisions up to the Kromer Quotient, so this one was a bust, Hot Read: Not Achieved.
CHECKDOWN # 2 - REALLY, REALLY PROTECT BREES AGAIN.
What I'd Like To See: Brees upright, untouched, and able to make whatever throws he wants for the length of his stay in the game tonight, which could be lengthy.
What I Saw: Drew Brees pretty much did what he wanted (17 of 25, 179 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, no sacks), and if his guys had held onto the ball a bit better, he might have added to his TD total. Hot Read: Achieved.
SAFETY VALVE - MOAR FIELD GOALS!
What I'd Like To See: Plenty of kicks for both candidates.
What I Saw: The FPK got most of the reps yesterday (3 of 3 on extra points and 2 of 3 on FGs, hitting two chip shots and missing badly on the 53-yard attempt) vs. John Kasay's lone extra point. I'm trying not to be worried about the long miss, as it was his first "game" long kick in almost a year. And I guess the team feels like they know what Kasay's got for his leg, so it shouldn't be all that bad that Hartley gets more kicks, but since I called for plenty of kicks for both and didn't get them, this Hot Read is Not Achieved.
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Now it's your turn to tell me what you saw in the game, and offer your thoughts on my assessment.
The team is off practice today (ostensibly to prepare for TS/Hurricane Isaac's arrival, which is projected to be Tuesday or Wednesday, although the leading edge of it may cause some effects earlier), and then leaves out for Nashville on Tuesday to hang out until their game with the Titans Thursday night, thereby avoiding storm troubles.
I hope all our NOLA CSCers and all other Gulf Coast residents stay safe and avoid major damage. Three claps for safety and storm preparedness!!