For the second time this preseason the Saints received a straight up butt whoopin' by an opponent they will face again later in the regular season, when it counts, as they Titans backups beat up on the Saints second teamers 32-9.
Perhaps it's some master plan by Payton to keep his players motivated for their encore performances. Or maybe the Saints reserves really just suck that bad. Whatever the case, their performance last night certainly wasn't encouraging.
But the good news is that it really doesn't matter or mean anything. Many of the culprits yesterday will not see much time on the field during the regular season, if they're lucky enough to even make the final roster. So we're going to take everything from this game with a gigantic ass grain of salt, as we should.
Make the jump for my bullet point observations.
- I actually went to the game with Larry, my UPS driver. He has season tickets up in the terrace but I needed someone to take and he wanted to get a different perspective, so it was a date.
- Zac Effron was on the sidelines before the game, chumming it up with players and staff members. I get the impression that if you're any sort of celebrity whatsoever, you get to hang out on the sidelines with the team.
- Sean Canfield had the honor of getting the Who Dat chant started before kickoff.
- Canfield probably should have stopped there, however. I've got to admit, he throws a pretty nice spiral and I like the velocity he gets on the ball. But he had every opportunity tonight and it's obvious he's still got a lot more work to do. His decision making needs to get much quicker. Canfield's line: 29/39, 249 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT. At this point, I doubt he'll make the final roster.
- Also getting plenty of work and opportunity was Joique Bell. He was a workhorse with 16 carries for 80 yards and 6 receptions for 44 yards.
- A few regular defensive starters actually took the field for a couple of series to start the game. Will Smith, Roman Harper, Jabari Greer and Shaun Rogers were all out there. Tracy Porter saw action in the second quarter.
- I didn't see Jonathan Casillas at all, but I did see Scott Shanle. I'm thinking that means Casillas is your starting outside linebacker, folks.
- The Saints will most likely be looking for a new kicker before facing off against the Packers in a week. For a veteran with plenty of experience under his belt, John Kasay looked like garbage. Missing a 39-yard field goal would be one thing but missing an extra point? Really?
- Four fumbles (three lost) and two interceptions. Ouch. Ball security was obviously a huge issue. Five turnovers will most definitely equal a landslide loss for any NFL team.
- My seat still sucks. Still no cup holder.
- Gregg Williams actually had Leigh Torrence out there playing safety alongside Jonathan Amaya. That was pretty interesting. I suppose that will be their answer for the depth issues at safety.
- We finally saw Darren Sproles get a chance to return punts but he called for the fair catch every time so we didn't actually see anything.
- Special teams coverage sucked as well, keeping Thomas Morstead very active running down returners. The Saints gave up a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 67-yard kickoff return.
- The 610 Stompers were the halftime entertainment. They're a relatively new all-male dance crew and they don't take themselves too seriously. Probably one of the more funny half time shows I've seen in a while.
- Adrian Arrington made a pretty sweet one-handed grab along the sidelines. He's still probably not making the team though.
- Junior Galette (forced fumble), Nate Bussey (forced fumble) and Martez Wilson (sack) made a few nice defensive plays. Those were the few guys that stood out in my mind.
- Mitch King also looked pretty good out there, as per usual. Good, high motor. I hope the team finds room for him.
- Montez Billings did not show me enough last night for me to think he'll make the team this year.
- Trumain McBride made a pretty nice pass breakup in the end zone. With so much negative last night, I just thought I'd point that out.
- The crowd thinned out significantly by the third quarter. I think more people actually go to Tulane games than were in the Dome for the fourth quarter of the game last night.
- Without a doubt, the best part of last night's outcome is that the Saints suffered no major injuries.