As customary following each training camp practice, New Orleans Saints players and coaches meet with the media to talk.
Perhaps one of the more interesting nuggets from today’s joint practice with the New England Patriots came from safety Roman Harper, who gave some words of encouragement for undrafted rookies De'Vante Harris and Ken Crawley.
“I think they’re both tremendous playmakers for us who have stood out for us. But they have to continue to grow. We have a long way to go. They’ve just made some plays here and there,” Harper told the media.
Harper added, “We’re not trying to crown them or say anything like that right now. They’re just trying to be great rookies. They’re doing what they’re told and they’re making good plays on the field, which is what I like.”
If you were expecting any big things from the team’s first preseason matchup on Thursday with the Patriots, then you probably will be slightly disappointed as Roman Harper points out - it’s fundamental football.
“We’re going to dummy down a lot of calls for the game just to see who can run and play. We’re not trying to overthink things or anything like that. We want to see who can line up and get things going. Who can play fast and we want to really try to play fast, that’s our main focus, playing fast, playing together and making teams try to go out there and beat us and we’re not going to beat ourselves.”
The Saints, who had one of the league’s worst passing defenses last season, desperately need the right pieces of the puzzle this year. Crawley and Harris have been making splashes here and there, but ultimately most fans will reserve their judgement for preseason action.
However, it’s extremely encouraging to hear news about rookies, something that we might have missed a bit with failed second-round 2014 pick Stanley Jean-Baptiste.