I know pre-season games are usually sloppy and sometimes boring, particularly the final one, but man, this was awful. 99 total yards of offense?!?! Obviously this wasn't our real team, but c'mon! That said, the good news is that the defense still seemed to look pretty good and last weeks performance against Cincinnati may not have been a fluke. Heck, even Jason David played well. All of the attention and work the Saints have put into that side of the ball seem to be paying off. If that's the case and this continues, then we should definitely expect big things this season. I am officially excited again!
Here are my initial observations from tonight's game. Don't kill me if I am way off. This game was so hard to watch I stopped paying close attention. I did stay till the bitter end however, which I can't say for a majority of the fans.
- Well, Payton lied to us again! No Shockey. He dangled that carrot in front of our face then took it away right at the last minute. I guess we will have to wait until next week to get a look at #88.
- Deeeeeeuuuuuuucccceeeee! I said from the beginning that I wanted to see consistent improvement and growth in Deuce's play, and I think we have seen that these last three weeks. After catching a screen pass, he had a nice little run that included a shimmy and a shake to juke a defender. The knee must be doing pretty well. One thing we haven't seen from him though is that ability to bust up the middle and move the pile.
- Staying with the running theme, the offensive line certainly wasn't giving our runners much help. Jamar Nesbit did not have a good game. I was frustrated when we couldn't punch the ball into the endzone on the goal line. Fortunately, Brunell hit Moore on 4th down.
- I hate to tell all of you Jason David haters out there, but he may very well have saved his arse tonight. He actually looked pretty good. After one punt he brought down the returner after a few other Saints whiffed. Half the fans cheered and half of them booed following the play. On another punt, he timed his hit perfectly as the returner caught the ball. As I was typing my notes about his improved play tonight and his great special teams contributions on my iTouch, he intercepted the ball. As he walked off the field he pointed skyward and threw up his arms and hands. This was a different JD from games past. Does this mean it's simply a problem of motivation with him? Can he really play at a high level but choose not to because of laziness? We know the team would rather not take the cap hit by releasing him and tonight may give them reason to keep him around. Prepare yourself Saints fans. Hey, maybe this is the turning point and David will actually become the player we thought we were getting last year to help improve this defense.
- In case you needed a little more reassurance about McKenzie's health, this game should have spelled your fears. He again looked good in the first quarter making a nice pass breakup and almost picking off a pass yet again. I know we acquired Ellis and Vilma and they will be important cogs in this defense, but I think McKenzie's contribution and value on this team is overlooked. Take away McKenzie and this defense looks a lot different and gives up a lot more big plays.
- I noticed Aaron Glenn out on the field telling telling the other cornerback to adjust their position a couple of times immediately before the snap.
- I am really excited about Sedrick Ellis. He may have a legitimate shot at being defensive rookie of the year if he keeps this up. Man Child knocked the ball loose to force a fumble and cause a turnover, which will be crucial in the regular season. He also got himself a sack. Not bad for one quarters worth of work.
- Palko looked like crap (I am biting my tongue, not using the word I really want to use). With a limited number of roster spots up for grabs it wouldn't surprise me to see Palko put on the practice squad or cut outright. I would much rather keep a wide receiver or cornerback who is going to contribute on special teams then Palko.
- Devery dropped another one. How much longer are we going to have to deal with this? I am hoping only another day or two.
- Lance Moore looked solid. I said it last week and I will say it again, I think Lance Moore replaces Devery. He definitely deserves to be higher then Devery on the depth chart. He did what I believe is now his signature celebration, a double bow to the crowd, after scoring his touchdown.
- Linebackers Marvin Mitchell and Jo-Lonn Dunbar both looked pretty good out there. Mitchell led the team in tackles tonight and also notched a sack. They both definitely helped their cause as far as making this team. Time will tell.
- Not looking so great for Mehlhaff. His kickoffs looked okay but he missed his field goal attempt. I believe that is the first miss by either him or Gramatica, the later now having the slight edge. This game might have sealed his fate.
- None of the receivers really stepped up and I think most of that has to do with Palko. Although Copper led the team in receiving, not sure whether he makes this team.
- Lynell Hamilton didn't look as impressive as last week. Again, either did the offensive line's run blocking.
- It was nice to get a chance to sort of forget about all the crap associated with the impending doom of Gustav for about 3 hours. I have been stressing out all day about it, but the second I got to my seat, all is forgotten. It's truly is amazing how that works. Saints football is the ultimate panacea. The Dome was significantly more empty then the last home pre-season game against Houston. Not sure if its because of the hurricane threat or whether everyone knew this game wasn't going to be too great.
- Some teenage girl in the next section over was crying the whole game because she either got into a fight or broke up with her boyfriend. Either that or the reality of Jason David being on this team for another year and Devery dropping yet another pass finally sunk in and was too much to handle. I feel you sister.
- My camera ran out of batteries so I couldn't take a picture of it, but they were selling these gigantic turkey legs still on the bone, medeival times style. I think that is new, as I haven't seen them before. Needless to say, it is hilarious to see people noshing on and waving around a giant turkey leg in the dome. Just plain weird.
- There was this incessant buzzing noise during the game, like a flourescent light about to go out, that was driving my friend nuts all game. Didn't bother me.
Kinda hard to see but it was fairly empty last night.
UFO? Nah, it's the roof. This one's for Stu.
The one on the right is mine! They look a little lonely. I think we need to get them a friend this year.
The bad guys.
Bad quality but it's actually the forced fumble by Big Sed.
Check out Payton in his "serious" stance again. They haven't even walked up to the line yet.
I sit behind the whistle head guy.
The brass band walking through the concourse. I think this is so cool. I know a lot of teams probably have/do special, quirky and interesting things at home games that reflect the team and the city, but I am curious to know whether any of them are culturally relevant. Only in Nawlins!
Dude!? Really? Was your Aaron Brooks jersey dirty? You're killin' me!
Here is the roll call from last nights open thread. Glad to see NYSaint make his open thread debut.
|Name||# of Posts|
|Steve the fan||6|
On a much more serious note, I am not sure what is going to happen with Hurricane Gustav or what I will have to do. I am hoping to avoid evacuation. In the event that happens however I may not be able to post. Actually, I may not be able to post if I don't evacuate either. I will try and let you know what my decision will be and how it will effect CSC. If I can't do my job and post regularly, I ask that you all step it up and maybe try to put up FanPosts and FanShots to keep everything fresh. Between work, CSC and now Gustav, my stress level is through the roof. More on this later. Keep your fingers crossed. Happy freakin' Katrinaversary!