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New Orleans Saints Inside Slant

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Sports Xchange He might not readily admit it, but Saints coach Sean Payton has to like where his offense is a little more than halfway through the preseason. After a sluggish performance in their exhibition opener in the Hall of ...

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Old 08-20-2007, 09:51 PM   #1
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He might not readily admit it, but Saints coach Sean Payton has to like where his offense is a little more than halfway through the preseason.

After a sluggish performance in their exhibition opener in the Hall of Fame game, which was understandable because they'd only been in training camp for just over a week, the Saints picked up some momentum in their last two preseason games against Buffalo and Cincinnati.

All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees has been extremely sharp in only three series of work against the Bills and Bengals, moving his offense into scoring position on all three of his opportunities.

One of the drives against the Bills wound up with a blocked field-goal attempt, but the Saints got a field goal and a touchdown out of the other two. When it was added up, Brees was 16 of 18 for 167 yards after hitting all six of his passes for 55 yards in a 27-19 win over the Bengals last Saturday.

Brees and the first-team offense seem like they're going to pick up where they left off last year as evidenced by their work against the Bengals.

Even though four key starters were sidelined with injuries -- including All-Pro left tackle Jammal Brown, center Jeff Faine, and wide receivers Marques Colston and Devery Henderson -- the first-team offense scored 17 points in its three series of work at Cincinnati.

After Brees led a crisp 10-play, 69-yard drive in which the Saints racked up six first downs and Deuce McAllister scored on a powerful eight-yard run up the middle, they scored 10 more points on a 48-yard field goal by Olindo Mare and a six-yard run by Reggie Bush before getting the rest of the night off.

Brees' performance was reminiscent of last season when he helped, with Payton's imaginative and inventive play-calling, the Saints lead the NFL in total offense at 391.5 yards a game.

"He's been practicing well and has worked hard on his game throughout camp," Payton said. "He has a good feel for what we're doing and did a good job of moving the chains."

The Saints finished with 283 yards, but a good chunk of that -- 117 yards -- came when the starters were on the field. Still, the second-team offense got into the act as well with impressive scoring drives of 62 and 84 yards that produced an additional 10 points in the second half.

"The encouraging thing about this evening is I saw some improvement," Payton added. "We need to correct some of the penalties. But I liked the offensive tempo with our first unit."

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