There are a few things, whether concerns or delights, that we have seen after three precious preseason games for our New Orleans Saints. With only one more game to go you can bet the coaches have seen pretty much what they expected before the last preseason game. With that being said, everything is being surmised as to what the Saints will do, but we know what may happen next.
You must be concerned about the special teams play over all three preseason games to date. It's horrible and maddening. This cannot go on. I won't bore you, or drive you to stick stakes into your own chest. But heads must roll and this special teams cannot be allowed to continue as is. It's simple. If corrections are not made, this WILL cost the Saints games. I have read calls on Twitter for the firing of special teams coach Greg McMahon. Okay, but that is not going to solve any problems this close to the regular season. 500 lashes with a bamboo pole, however, I could agree to. But coach Payton better address this in the next five seconds.
Defense is looking physical. Very physical. I love their intensity, swagger, and fight. But we have to be cautiously optimistic do we not? After all, it is a Ryan defense and it isn't one known for massive consistency. It is also new. The Saints switched from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 this off-season. They have also had major injuries at LB with Butler and now Will Smith out for the year. No new status on Jon Vilma as of yet, which is very curious. When Junior Gallette and Martez Wilson will be back from injury is anyone's guess.
I am excited about the players they have picked up, however. Now they've just added Parys Haralson. Lets be real about our expectations. They still gave up big yards even in this game. They are also prone to not shutting down the run. If this defense melts in the first regular season game against Atlanta, that could be a bad sign of things to come. The Saints do well, typically, against the Falcons. I predict they do so here. Beyond that, cautious optimism prevails.
Wide receivers are my top choice for optimism! I love these guys and I expect a lot of roster spots for them. It's clear (so far) that Kenny Stills has locked up the 3rd receiver position. Preston Parker and Andy Tanner have taken turns making noise down the field. One almost begs the question; should we keep all of them? As I have said before, Drew Brees can make any receiver look good. But these guys are already good. With a little more chemistry, the sky is the limit.
One could say the last preseason game is a wash. Hardly any starters will play and you can guess the coaching staff already has 99% of the roster figured out. This game is typically game experience for the second and third string guys. It will be telling in many ways but nothing like training camp or the other preseason games.
As September 8th rolls closer and closer, the matchup against the Falcons looms large. It's the first game on the schedule and a heated rivalry. This game could very well set the tempo for the direction the NFC South is to head.