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Saints News: 6.24.08

A big happy birthday goes to my fiance Erin today.

Archie, Peyton and Eli singing Merle Haggard. That ought to whet your appetite. See you in a bit.

I told you about Saints training camp yesterday evening but here is the full, day by day schedule from the New Orleans Saints official website.

Just wanted to give you a quote from Payton about training camp.

"I have always been a proponent of holding training camp away, and Millsaps has done a wonderful job in hosting us," Payton said in a statement. "It is close enough for our fans in New Orleans to drive to Jackson and see us practice, and the people of Jackson have been tremendously supportive. We look forward to starting up again soon." - Times-Pic

I was alerted to this article by Jeff''s uncle, so a shout out and thank you goes to him. Its from the Sporting News. It discusses whether or not the Saints top four new defensive acquisitions, Sedrick Ellis, Bobby McCray, Jonathan Vilma and Randall Gay, have really improved enough to make a difference. Read the article for the synopsis. The one thing I will say is that Bobby McCray's name keeps popping up as a guy who everyone should keep their eye on. I think (read: hope) he may make more of a difference than everyone is expecting.

Archie Manning and son Peyton were giving pep talks to MasterCard employees yesterday, says this New York Times article. The two gave a speech and spent some time talking about leadership, being on a team and other qualities needed both on the football field and in the business world. No comments from Archie on this one. Lord knows what they got paid to do this. Must be nice to be the First Family of Football.

Speaking of the The Manning's (Seriously, who do I pitch this to?) I actually found this clip on YouTube. I swear this was just a coincidence. Some of you should get a kick out of this one.

Here's a breakdown from This time they are breaking down pass defenses. Oh no. Alright, give us your worst.

New Orleans: The Saints allowed 54 long completions, including a dozen for touchdowns, which was particularly disturbing after the team added former Colts cornerback Jason David through free agency prior to the 2007 season. In his debut season with the Saints, David didn't play at the level you'd expect for the $6.5 million he pocketed between his $3 million salary, $1.3 million signing bonus and a $2.2 million roster bonus. 

After defending 11 passes and intercepting three during his 13 game appearances, David is going to need to step up in 2008. Both he and veteran Mike McKenzie will be challenged in training camp by second-round pick Tracy Porter out of Indiana and former Patriots veteran Randall Gay, who the team acquired via free agency during the offseason. Porter is a feisty, focused and poised young cornerback who should transition quickly to the pro game. . 

At safety, Roman Harper and Josh Bullocks return as the incumbent starters and are a pair of young defenders who are developing nicely. Bullocks will be worth watching since he had offseason knee surgery and the team is thin in talent on their depth chart. If either player falls to injury during camp or early in the season, the Saints could wind up in the bottom five in deep passes allowed in 2008.

Could have been worse.

Missed this one a few days ago, but its new to me and it may be new to you. It's from Bleacher Report and it asks the question:

Will Reggie Bush be known more for his girl’s ass than his NFL talents?

The rest of the piece talks about Reggie's inconsistency and what he needs to do in 2008 to get back on track.

Bush needs head coach Sean Payton and offensive coordinator Doug Marrone to find a way to utilize Bush to the fullest extent possible.

It was proven last season that Bush is not big enough to last 17 weeks while running between the tackles. He is not built like LenDale White or even Warrick Dunn.

Therefore, Payton and Marrone have to always be searching for ways to get Bush out on the edge or in open space: screens out of the backfield, quick screens in the slot, halfback draws out of a four wide-receiver sets, well-timed “gadget plays”, quick routes out of the slot, lining Bush up wide and overloading the opposite side of the formation, etc.

I gotta say I really agree with that. There is more to it, so check out the whole article.

Jonathan Vilma has a new website that is pretty freakin' cool. Especially the intro. Check it out.