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Definitely the First Preseason Game

Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
Posted 08-10-2013 at 09:55 AM by BoudinSandwich

Well, there was no mistaken the Saints' effort last night for anything other than a preseason game - and it was definitely the first one of the season. It wasn't all bad, though...

Thanks to COX Sport's stronghold on Saints football, I was forced to watch the game at a sports bar. And, while I enjoyed the experience, my wallet didn't. With the newly acquired FOX Sports New Orleans that plays all Hornets/Pelicans games and is available on DirecTV, it's time for the Saints' preseason games to make the switch. With that said, my watching of the game was a bit fuzzy and distracted, but I do have a few thoughts and opinions about what I saw.

I was immediately pretty upset when I watched KC march down the field on our new defense on their opening drive. The one thing that stood out to me was how awful Will Smith both played and looked. He should never line up at LB again. The man simply doesn't have it. He's a DE or bust. He doesn't have the wheels that playing OLB demands and to think that he deserves to own a roster spot above other players at that position is ludicrous. At this point, we should either move him back to DE or cut him. Either way, the guy is wasting our money.

When I visited BlackandGold.com this morning, I came across dizzle88's thread about his observations from the game. ( http://blackandgold.com/saints/59419...vs-chiefs.html (My Observations from the game vs chiefs) ) I have to say that I'm in agreement. He also opened my eyes and made me realize that it was mostly a problem with the linebackers - and mainly Will Smith. Our corners were not really tested and, when they were, they shined.

After the starters started to come out, the Saints' defense became a really fun thing to watch. It was night and day. Aside from maybe cornerback, I think we actually have good depth. There are a lot of talented, young, fiesty guys on the roster and I don't think injuries will be as big of a deal as they could be. There were sacks-a-plenty last night. One that was very encouraging, in particular, came from our rookie NT, John Jenkins out of Georgia. That play alone was more than 'hot dog boy' had ever done in a Saints uniform. Overall, I loved the play of the front 7 after the first 2 drives. I don't think we'll have much of a problem getting pressure this year. Rob Ryan was keeping things generic and players were simply beating their opponents with great athleticism. Take out Will Smith, insert Galette/Wilson, and that first unit could have performed much better.

When it came to our offense, we were simply out of sync. The runningbacks looked decent. The line actually blocked pretty well, not giving up 1 sack. However, we just couldn't get into a rhythm. What could have been the highlight of the night, a long ball to Kenny Stills, was dropped. Stills seemed as if he was pressing a little too hard. Maybe it's a case of first game jitters? Regardless, he did show tremendous athletic ability. So did all of the WRs last night. Nick Toon's play showed that he has a future in this league. And, what else can be said about Parker? The man only took over the game and had 2 TDs. I didn't know much about him before the game, but I definitely know him now. The worries about WR depth on the roster, now that Meachem and Henderson are gone, should now be calmed. All of these guys seem very capable.

The backup QBs were backups, not much to say about that. Just like 90% of the teams in the league, if our starting QB goes down, we have problems. I was hoping I could have seen more from the rookie out of Tulane, but I know we've got more games to come. TE Benjamin Watson impressed. He still has a few years of football left in him. He and Graham are going to be a headache for defenses. 2 good, pass-catching TEs almost guarantee someone is going to get open. Throw Sproles in the mix and you're going to see tons of brain cramps from defenders. I have confidence that Sean Payton will have this unit up and running smoothly in a couple weeks. The most encouraging part of offensive play was the lack of turnovers - except for the one from McCown, but (fingers crossed) he shouldn't see the field anyways. Unfortunately, that means next game we're going to be dropping balls all over the place.

Special Teams was godawful, but that's nothing new.

Overall, I think the D is well on it's way. Will Smith has got to go. The O needs more practice to get back into the flow of things. I think our rookies are all showing great potential. And, that sports bar had great drink specials. Unfortunately, they were so great that I never even noticed the 1-player I was super excited to see (Kenny Vaccaro). Apparently, he led the team in tackles. Hopefully, I can catch a replay.
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