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San Francisco 49ers 3 @ New Orleans Saints 24: Who Dat Say!?!


Good morning, Saints fans! I am pleased to bring you the first Who Dat Say!?! of the 2011 season following the New Orleans Saints 24-3 victory in last night's preseason opener.

For those of you new to Canal Street Chronicles, Who Dat Say!?! is basically a post-game Fleur-de-Links that provides you with a bounty of links to articles, transcripts, statistics, initial analysis, and wrap-up of each and every Saints game.

Without further ado, make the jump to start reading and processing the details of the Saints

(ok, maybe there's a little ado) Please be sure to vote in that poll to tell us who you'd like to see replace Reggie in the Who Dat Say!?! masthead.

(another ado? Geez, HansDat get on with it already!) HansDat Note: At press time, the Saints official team site had a non-functioning link to a post-game press conference transcript featuring comments from Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and Roman Harper (although the link to Harbaugh's post-game quotage was working - go figure!), so check back for an update later today...

UPDATED (4:45 pm EST): Now includes post-game quotes from Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and Roman Harper.

NFL Game Center: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints |
Includes recap. full statistics, and highlight videos.

San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints Recap |
Final statistics from the San Francisco vs. New Orleans game. Includes recap, box score, play-by-play, drive charts, photos, and highlight videos.

Saints, Ingram hammer 49ers, 24-3, in preseason opener |
Sports Network's quickie summary with links to box score, photos, game chat, etc.

49ers vs. Saints video highlights |
Page includes NFL Network's highlights package and individual play videos.

Saints vs. 49ers Photo Gallery |
Photos taken of the Saints preseason opener against the 49ers in the Superdome on August, 12, 2011. Photos taken by Saints photographer Michael Hebert.

From the Saints Sideline

New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers, game updates |
From the Superdome, T-P updates and some from San Francisco writers as well. (In-game and post-game tweets through which you can scroll.)

Live from the Dome: Saints-49ers |
In-game updates in "tweet-window" format.

New Orleans Saints pound San Francisco 24-3 in preseason opener |
Kevin Spain - Saints defense was dominant.

New Orleans Saints defense set the tone in 24-3 win against San Francisco |
James Varney - With six sacks, the Saints dominated up front.

Joseph Morgan, an undrafted rookie, provides highlight in New Orleans Saints preseason opener |
Jeff Duncan - The football-starved sellout crowd poured into the renovated Superdome on Friday night to get their first in-person glimpse at touted New Orleans Saints playmakers Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles.

Will Smith, Roman Harper lead New Orleans Saints charge to San Francisco quarterbacks |
Mike Triplett - If Pro Bowl players can indeed find redemption through a preseason opener, then that's what New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith and safety Roman Harper did in Friday night's 24-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Chase Daniel proves to be a good backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints |
John Deshazier - While the affirmative case for offseason training activities was made by the New Orleans Saints' and San Francisco 49ers' first-team offenses that slopped around for a few series in the first quarter Friday night, backup quarterback Chase Daniel solidified his case as Drew Brees' understudy at the Superdome.

Saints defense shuts down 49ers, records six sacks |
Bradley Handwerger - Pressure on the quarterback was one of New Orleans bugaboos during the 2010 campaign. Friday night, it was one of the Saints’ strengths.

Saints suffocate 49ers, 24-3, in preseason opening win |
Brett Martel (AP) - Mark Ingram had a spinning, tackle-breaking touchdown run in his NFL debut, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24-3 in the preseason opener for both teams on Friday night.

Saints’ Joe Morgan impresses with 78-yard punt return |
Bradley Handwerger

Saints' Ingram gives glimpse of future |
Bradley Handwerger - Mark Ingram showed the more than 72,000 fans at the Superdome on Friday night in New Orleans’ win over San Francisco exactly why the Saints moved up in the draft to pick the former Heisman Trophy running back.

Saints rookie Patrick sprains knee, 3 others injured |
Handwerger's post-game injury report.

Defenses dominate | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - After being in training camp for just two weeks following a 4 1/2-month lockout, the defenses figured to have the upper hand when the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco opened the exhibition season Friday night.

Saints notes for August 13, 2011 |The Advocate
Brian Allee-Walsh - New Orleans Saints undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Joseph Morgan had to wait a few extra agonizing minutes Friday night at the Superdome before officials confirmed his first NFL touchdown.

Observations on the Saints - NFC South Blog
Pat Y. - We know the New Orleans Saints can play offense and there’s no doubt that will happen when the regular season comes along.

Superdome upgrades have New Orleans Saints fans giving thanks |
Nakia Hogan - $85 million in renovations have added capacity, comfort and convenience.

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Sloppy first half ends with 49ers trailing 17-3 : Niner Insider | san francisco chronicle
Kevin Lynch

Game over, 49ers lose 24-3 : Niner Insider | san francisco chronicle
Kevin Lynch

49ers pick up where they left off in 24-3 loss | san francisco choronicle
Eric Branch - Jim Harbaugh's debut was a dud.

49ers' offense blindsided in blitz-filled opener | san francisco chronicle
Eric Branch - In a departure from typical preseason decorum, the Saints dialed up an array of blitzes in their 24-3 win over the 49ers at the Louisiana Superdome on Friday.

49ers post-game thoughts : Niner Insider | san francisco chronicle
Kevin Lynch

Survival mode: Saints hammer Alex Smith - NFC West Blog |
Mike Sando - So much for emphasizing player safety. Alex Smith, making his first exhibition start under a labor agreement featuring added protections for players, took a brutal pounding Friday night.

Three things revisited: 49ers-Saints - NFC West Blog |
Mike Sando - Looking back upon three things discussed here heading into the San Francisco 49ers' 24-3 defeat to the New Orleans Saints in their preseason opener Friday.


New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton


Opening Statement: "There were a couple guys nicked up; Johnny Patrick's knee, we think it's a sprain; Robert Meachem had a lower back strain, and Joique Bell we held (back) at some point in the third quarter, I don't think it was anything serious. I told the team, I thought there were some good things we did. I thought we played with good energy and I thought we did a good job hustling to the ball. Aside from being the first preseason game, it was really the first time we got to see these guys in a move the ball situation. By and large, I thought they handled the substitution aspect of it well. I thought, offensively, a few penalties hurt us. We weren't very good on third downs, but we managed to hang in there and progressively did some things there as the game went on. Defensively, I thought we were very good early on in applying pressure. We probably pressured more in this preseason game as we have in others, but overall there will be a lot of tape for us to watch. Obviously, we have a lot of things to improve on. I thought in the kicking game there were some really good things. We'll have a chance to see the play of some young guys that covered well. That, of course, will be important as we evaluate these positions, especially the two and three deep. Overall, there are some encouraging things and yet a number of things we'll have to improve."

(On the attention to detail he was looking for) "I don't know if anyone would be able to say that looked uniquely different than last year's first game. As a coach, what I see is a lot of things we have to work on to improve. Fortunately, we have some time here and we have a lot of preseason games ahead. It's going to be important for all the teams, this is the case every year, but especially this year, the improvement from these early preseason games to the latter prior to the start of the regular season. That is something we are all in a race to do, in a race to correct the mistakes and be ready by the time the regular season starts. It's not a sprint, but, nonetheless, there is some urgency to these practices. I think we all need to recognize that starting with me and the coaches. The players will be off tomorrow, Saturday. There will be a curfew tomorrow night and then Sunday our C-schedule, which is basically meetings and weight lifting the morning and then an afternoon practice, which we will have inside. That just gives you an idea of tomorrow and the next day and then of course, we are into another full week of training camp. We need the work and we look forward to that."

(On special teams play) "I thought it was encouraging. When you can score in the kicking game and then you hold your opponents to 3-of-16 on third down with 229 yards, there are a lot of things that are going to win games for you or tilt the odds in your favor of winning. I thought there were a lot of positive signs. I thought we covered the kickoffs well, it's the first time around to recognize how teams are going to handle a ball kicked midway into the end zone. From our standpoint, we are going to be fairly conservative, take the ball on the 20 yard line and certainly we will be prepared to return kicks if they are kicked with a lower trajectory. Tonight there were two opportunities where San Francisco took it out, I thought we covered those well inside the 20. We had the one blocked punt; I want to see it on tape. I think there was an extra defender, but I am not certain that was the reason it was blocked. Nonetheless, we will look and try to correct that, but I did think we played with some energy and juice and that was exciting. And I think there's some young guys that we are going to put this tape on and maybe feel a little differently tomorrow than we did prior to tonight's game. These young guys, their first opportunity is always an interesting evaluation. There's an old saying, ‘if they don't bite when they're puppies, they're probably never going to,' and I think some of them were physical tonight and that's encouraging."

(On Joe Morgan) "I think from a return standpoint, he has demonstrated in the early part of practices, I think you guys may have had a chance to see his speed, he runs well. Every year, and I mention this to the group of them, but every year a team has someone who returns a punt or a kick for a touchdown and opens eyes and he did that tonight. He has exceptional speed and balance. He has transitioned well in his first year without any of the offseason."

(On if this is the fastest team since he has been here) "I don't know that. I'd say it's probably one of the biggest teams we've had but I don't know that could say it's one of the fastest. We'll find out. We're really not a team yet. We are a roster right now. I think time will tell, but that's a good question. I don't know."

QB Drew Brees


What do you take away from your limited action in the game tonight?

"Disappointed. We had three drives and three three-and-outs. It's not the way we envisioned it. We got to third and short manageable situations and for one reason or another we didn't convert. That part was disappointing because we expect to go down the field and score touchdowns every time."

What did you like about Chase Daniel?

"I thought he played really well. For him, he knew he as going to play a significant amount of time in this game, at least a good two and a half quarters. He knew he would get some time with the first team. I felt like he had a good tempo for the most part during the game. For all of us, early on, we didn't have a good flow going as far as getting first downs. We were 0-for I don't how many in a row until we broke the seal on that and then got going a little bit. I thought he made some nice throws and he as able to account for a few scores."

Were you surprised that, even on limited work, you weren't able to move the ball like you guys usually do?

"Our expectations are a lot higher than that. Like I said, it's disappointing. We were a couple of inches away from a touchdown on one of those. Once we clean some of that up, we'll be scoring."

What did you think about Mark Ingram tonight?

"I thought he had some nice runs. It was very limited for a lot of guys. Even for Mark, it was a couple carries here and a couple carries there. The playing time was just spaced out, and that's because it's the first preseason game and there are a lot of guys trying to get playing time and it becomes limited for quite a few players."

S Roman Harper


Can you talk about the dominating performance by the defense tonight?

"We wanted to come out and start fast. I think we achieved that. We blitzed a little bit more than what we thought we would. Whatever Gregg Williams is thinking, we're going to call that play. We played well tonight and we got a couple of turnovers late which was good for the young guys. Earlier, we have to try to fall on a couple of those fumbles they had. We're going to try to continue to improve and look at some things on tape to get better."

How were you able to get so much pressure on the quarterback today as a defense?

"I thought we mixed up some of our looks. We did a good job of disguising for the most part. By now they should know we're going to send some pressure. We like to pressure the quarterback and get to them early and continue to be relentless."

Can you talk about your sack and forced fumble?

"I came off the edge pretty free. Anytime you get around the quarterback you try to go for the ball instead of the sack and he let me get it."

San Francisco Head Coach Jim Harbaugh


(On his thoughts on tonight): "I thought that we would be a little bit more effective on offense. We struggled in that regard. There will be good work and good learning (that comes out of tonight). We will get back to work on Sunday."

"I knew coming in that we had a lot of work to do. Tonight, we got some good reps and some good things transpired. There are some other things that we need to work on."

On if he considered taking Alex Smith out of the game earlier given the amount of pressure that he was under:
"No, I didn't consider pulling him out earlier."

On his view on the amount of pressure the Saints applied tonight on defense...
"They are allowed to do that. We had some errors in protection. It really comes down to we had zero man to man of bringing seven. We've got to make them pay for that. We didn't capitalize on any of those opportunities, therefore they kept doing it."

On allowing Saints defensive pressure...
"We have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback. (The Saints had) six sacks and six hurries. It wasn't just one guy. There were protection issues where a guy came free. Sometimes it was the back, sometimes it was a main lineman. It was more than just one guy. We've got some work to do in that regard."

On penalty issues...
"Penalties hurt us and cost us."

On the defense...
"The positive (tonight) was the defense. (We had) three three-and-outs starting the game with their starters."

On David Akers...
"David Akers hit the big 59-yard field goal, the longest of his career. That was fantastic."

49ers Player Quotes

San Francisco Center Jonathan Goodwin
"It's a challenge for anybody to come into a new system and learn things. The good thing is that we are finally playing for real. It's always good to get a game under your belt."

On the play of Colin Kaepernick...
"I think he played well and I think he played a game that he is going to be able to learn a lot from. Seeing the live bullets and at times stepping up very nicely. (He was) staring down the gun and making the throw....He forced a couple of balls. He is going to learn from that as well. Several times he got through his progression very nicely and got the ball to the back on the fourth read. He got a good amount of reps. I'm glad that he got them. It will be a good learning experience for him."

V-Roll Roll Call