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As Saints fans know, it could always be worse

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Posted by David Gladow August 10, 2007 So another preseason game has come and gone and the Saints are now sitting at 0-2. Several teams haven't even played yet and the Saints have still managed to lose two games. That's ...

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Old 08-11-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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Cool As Saints fans know, it could always be worse

Posted by David Gladow
August 10, 2007

So another preseason game has come and gone and the Saints are now sitting at 0-2. Several teams haven't even played yet and the Saints have still managed to lose two games.

That's the sort of statement folks may not have bat an eye over just a season ago, but nowadays expectations are a wee bit higher. The fanbase was there in nearly full force, and the fans, desperate for some football after last season's epic run, were spirited and ready to go. Too bad the offense wasn't.

Oh it wasn't all bad. It never is. And before anyone can say it, it IS only preseason. Teams can go winless in the exhibition and win the Super Bowl (it doesn't happen often, but it can happen). So putting too much stock in the negative is never a good idea.

Plus, on the positive side, the negative in this game wasn't nearly as glaring as the last game. This was not an overmatched team, no longer a team with defensive backs incapable of covering Burl Ives. No, this team played some pretty decent defense. One would have liked the offense to come out and really establish something with a statement touchdown drive, but it's always hard to fault a team for nabbing a short field goal attempt. Too bad it was blocked.

That was rather pathetic, wasn't it? I mean, the kids at the nacho stand who took 10 minutes to get me my nachos looked more organized than the special teams on that play. It deflated what could have been a good moment for the offense. But still, it will come around. As anyone who's been paying attention knows, the offense is good. And it will be good. It's just a question of when.

With that settled, here are some random observations from the game:

1. This is the second straight game I've liked what I've seen out of linebacker Troy Evans. I would never get carried away and call the guy the next Butkus or something, but it's nice to see that level of intelligence and skill from a backup (not to mention physicality -- he was stoning guys out there).

2. Is Olindo Mare an upgrade at kicker? The guy can definitely give you touchbacks, and getting that from your placekicker can sometimes save you a roster spot, but it would be comforting if he showed some more consistency.

3. I think Tyler Palko is the same player he was through three years of college. He'll give you seven great plays and then three very bad ones. Palko has had brain cramps at crucual times ever since his fantastic freshman year at Pittsburgh. Now, you can count on him to look great nd give you 300 yards if you ask him to throw. You can also count on him to throw three interceptions. He needs to stop doing that if he wants to make the roster. I could easily envision a scenario in which the Saints cut him and hope he clears waivers so they can bring him back and work with him more. He's definitely got the talent to succeed.

4. Who is going to step up at cornerback? Whenever a defensive back would get beat or make a bad play, every single fan around me would ask if it was Fred Thomas. Thomas is not Satan, people. The problems run deeper than that. I think, as a whole, it was a much better night for the DBs, but the team still needs a cornerback to emerge.

5. Good to see Deuce, even if it was for just a bit.

6. Devery Henderson made some nice plays catching the ball, which was good to see. Most people have him projected as the No. 2 receiver this year, and for the Saints to stretch the field effectively, they'll very likely need him playing well. Tonight was encouraging.

So with the defense looking (a little) better, the special teams looking shakier and the offense looking like it's only a few steps away from actually doing something, where does that leave us? In the middle of the preseason, that's where. This team has the look of one that has been building toward something better -- which is exactly what you want your team looking like this time of year. You don't want to peak too early, but you also want some signs of hope. I think Saints fans can find that hope if they look hard enough.

After all, it's not like this team has its quarterback facing federal prison time for some alleged dog fighting. Try being a Falcons fan for a day and you'll realize how much worse things can be.

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Old 08-11-2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: As Saints fans know, it could always be worse

I have to admit that Troy Evans has impressed me with his LB play. In my early roster predictions, I had him tagged as a sure cut & camp body, what with being on the smallish size and up in age a little. But he is physical, roams well, and puts a lick on folks. He might just make a capable back-up when the final roster smoke clears.
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