They're dropping like flies out there.
- Some more information on Jammal Brown's knee injury (from the Times Picayune):
Saints Coach Sean Payton expressed relief after medical reports from X-rays and a Magnetic Resonance Imaging exam revealed no ligament or structural damage in the joint. The bruise is located on the outside of the lateral condyle, which is the large rounded projection at the base of the femur where it connects to the joint.
Brown is expected to be day-to-day. It's unlikely he will play in the Saints' home-exhibition opener against the Buffalo Bills on Friday at the Superdome. Payton said the injury is not expected to sideline Brown for longer than a week.
The team dodged a major bullet here: Brown is (unquestionably) one of the key cogs for the offense. If he goes down, the alternative (Zach Strief) is, at best, inexperienced.
- The Saints went to a waterpark in Jackson today, something to break-up the monotony of training camp. It ended poorly, with Scott Fujita bruising his heel and Billy Miller sustaining a cut above his eye. Fujita's injury means that he will probably miss the Bills game, but again, it could have been worse.
- Peter Finney, of the Times Picayune, wonders if Brown's injury wasn't the result of too much stress on the legs of players during training camp. He makes some interesting points, but there's really only one way to prepare for the physicality of an NFL season -- by having contact in practice. The Saints have a huge black and gold target on them this season; Coach Payton needs to push the players hard. Plus, these guys seem to get hurt even when Payton is taking it easy on them (like at a waterpark).
- Speaking of Coach Payton's practice habits, here's the recap of the difficult practice that the Saints faced upon their return to Millsaps on Tuesday. The article also discusses the Saints' plan to share practices with the Bengals before the teams play an exhibition game on August 18. I've always wondered -- when a player messes up in a joint-practice, does he have two different coaching staffs yelling at him? Would Marvin Lewis yell at Reggie Bush for a dropped pass, or would Gary Gibbs get on Justin Smith if he blows containment?
- Now that he's healthy, will this be the season that Donte Stallworth finally achieves his considerable potential?
- I URGE you to check out this article from the Football Outsiders. It's the final article from their Play of the Day series, an exploration of screen passes. Included is the Saints' double-screen-fake pass from week 14 of last season. It's a fantastic breakdown of the play, reminding us of how many variables there are on a given play, much less a complex play like this one.
- It's an over-simplification to call this a defense of Michael Vick; it's far more nuanced. But former Times Picayune writer Wright Thompson (who is the best reason to read ESPN.com and is on-par with Wilbon, Whitlock and Posnanski -- the KC Star ... who knew -- as the best going right now) does a fantastic job of tying the Michael Vick case to the larger issues of race- and culture-politics, particularly in Atlanta. It's something that everybody, whether they support Vick or not, should understand before they can comment on the case.