Feels weird to be writing the Hot Reads Review for a Sunday morning, when usually I'm prepping the Hot Reads themselves, but that's the preseason for you!
Make the jump for my analysis of HansDat's Hot Reads from the New Orleans Saints' 7-6 loss to the New England Patriots in that hard-hitting, low-scoring, cringe-inducing 2012 preseason action we endured Thursday night.
PRIMARY OPTION - PROTECT BREES
What I'd Like To See: Brees and all the reserves with plenty of time to throw, as well as some nice inside rushing lanes provided for whichever running backs haven't been riding the elliptical machines instead of practicing.
What I Saw: A decent performance in the brief appearance Brian De La Puente and Ben Grubbs made as starters with no glaring or costly errors. Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod, on the other hand, got absolutely schooled by rookie DE Chandler Jones. Hot Read: Partially achieved.
CHECKDOWN # 1 - SECOND CHANCE TO TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT THE SECONDARY
What I'd Like To See: Same as last time, pretty much - just be in good position, knock down a few balls, and tackle well without giving up big plays.
What I Saw: It wasn't too bad - they gave up a trio of 20 yard+ gainers, but didn't look terrible out there. Marquis is the man, though (5 tackles, 1 INT, and a pass defensed), and I think he will get serious playing time this season. Corey White provided 4 tackles, 1 of those for a loss, and added some special teams tackles, too. Johnny Patrick had a SWEET diving knockdown of a pass on a play that was called back for holding in the offensive backfield. Still a work in progress, to be sure, but I am not as worried about this position as I used to be. Hot Read: Achieved.
CHECKDOWN # 2 - I LOVE LOFTON
What I'd Like To See: A lot of Lofton making plays, and then solid linebacking play from those who come after and around him.
What I Saw: A lot of Curtis Lofton making plays, to the tune of 6 tackles and a fumble recovery in limited duty. The others weren't quite as good, but it wasn't a trainwreck after Lofton left, either. Hot Read: Partially achieved.
SAFETY VALVE - A GOOD FOURTH RECEIVER
What I'd Like To See: Andy Tanner or Joe Morgan (does Courtney Roby have a shot?) stake a claim to the position with good, mistake-free work tonight.
What I Saw: Roby making a good case for himself (5 catches for 85 yards), while Tanner (4 for 45) did ok, and Joe Morgan left a bit to be desired (1 catch for 7 yards, 3 punt returns for 8 yards). We'll see how this plays out, folks. Hot Read: Achieved (thanks, Courtney).
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OK, that leaves us with only three more of these games before they count for real. We're almost there. Hang in there with me.
Let me know what you think of this review and how the preseason is going so far...