Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints
Shop Horizontal

Harper Helps Defense Thrive

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By LARRY HOLDER His presence sparks turnaround in secondary METAIRIE, La. --Roman Harper didn't play in the New Orleans Saints' opening preseason game. The Pittsburgh Steelers shredded the first-team defense. Harper made his first appearance back on the playing field ...

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-22-2007, 12:11 AM   #1
DARE TO ENTER
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Home Sweet Home, NEW ORLEANS, La.
Posts: 1,154
Cool Harper Helps Defense Thrive

By LARRY HOLDER

His presence sparks turnaround in secondary


METAIRIE, La. --Roman Harper didn't play in the New Orleans Saints' opening preseason game. The Pittsburgh Steelers shredded the first-team defense.

Harper made his first appearance back on the playing field since tearing his ACL in Week 5 last season when he started against the Buffalo Bills on Aug. 10. A clear turnaround began when the defense as a whole improved during the Saints' last two preseason games.

Coincidence? Harper thinks so.

"I'm not going to give myself that much credit at all," Harper said. "I'm just filling a spot. As long as I'm doing my job, the defense will do the rest. I don't want to standout like a sore thumb."

Harper might be too generous. His teammates think so.

"Roman, he brings the wood from that position," defensive tackle Antwan Lake said. "He's coming in there flying. Next thing you know, 41 is coming out of nowhere to make the tackle. He's a great safety valve.

"The other day, I think they ran a toss at him, and he came out of nowhere and made an open field tackle. He saved what might have been a potential touchdown. He's a great addition from last year in being hurt. We see him this year, and it's a hell of a difference."

Harper tallied a combined seven solo tackles against Cincinnati and Buffalo. With the second-year safety in the lineup, the Saints only surrendered 15 points combined in the last four quarters the first-team defense was on the field.

Without him, the secondary looked lost against Pittsburgh's passing attack, and the Steelers marched all over the Saints in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 5. Saints coach Sean Payton sat Harper down for that game as a precaution after missing a couple of days of practice with soreness in his surgically repaired knee.

Harper hasn't missed a practice since, and the production of the defense has increased. He said he's still trying to feel his way back, but it's coming together more every day.

"The more I'm playing out there, the better I feel physically," he said. "As long as I'm able to stay on top of my rehab, I'll be able to fly around like I have been and being able to help the guys. I'm not going to say I've put on some big hits, but I'm just trying to play ball."

Defensive end Will Smith said having everyone together for a second run, including Harper, ranks atop the list for the Saints' early success. At the same time, Smith said there's still plenty of work left to do.

"It's a little bit different (than a year ago) because a lot of guys are more familiar with the system and the coaches," Smith said. "The coaches are more familiar with the players. That form of trust and that we already know play-wise what we are doing.

"We just have to go out and execute. Then we can start worrying about the little things that when you put in a whole new system, we don't really worry about."

Harper echoed Smith's sentiments.

"The biggest difference is that we all know what we are doing," he said. "We're on the same page, and we know each other. The whole group came back, and we just know each other.

"There's a lot of things that we have to work on. Right now, we're just fine tuning some things. We want to be full stride by the time the season starts."

Injury updates - Wide receiver Marques Colston didn't sound too confident about playing Thursday. He missed the Bengals game with soreness in his right leg.

"If I think this was the regular season, I'd be able to play," Colston said. "I guess the coaching staff just wants to take the precautionary measures and keep me out and not damage it more."

Mark Simoneau didn't reveal much about the leg injury he sustained in Cincinnati. The middle linebacker said it's not serious, but he wouldn't say if he would be available in Kansas City. If' he's not, Brian Simmons would be his likely replacement.

SunHerald.com : HARPER HELPS DEFENSE THRIVE

saint4life
(504)
blacksaint is offline  
Latest Blogs
2015 Saints Bye Week Draft Last Blog: 10-16-2014 By: hagan714


"IRONY" Last Blog: 10-01-2014 By: teddybarexxx


Sainity Zone 9-30-14 Hail Last Blog: 09-30-2014 By: xan


Old 08-22-2007, 03:18 AM   #2
100th Post
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Moss Point, MS
Posts: 482
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Harper Helps Defense Thrive

Harper just might be that missing link we need in the secondary. Our defense has got to come up with more INT`s this season.

Does anyone have any stats from last season on how the Defense ranked with INT`s?
Saintsfan4ever is offline  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:21 AM   #3
LB Mentallity
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,390
Blog Entries: 40
Re: Harper Helps Defense Thrive

INT's poor. More drops than catches. hands are our biggest enemy back there.
hagan714 is offline  
Old 08-22-2007, 09:59 AM   #4
A Cajun Transforming TX
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Posts: 2,287
Re: Harper Helps Defense Thrive

Haven't really seen too many balls thrown Harper's way to determine his hands but I have seen him put some big hits on receivers after the catch which can turn into fumbles.
Budsdrinker is offline  
Old 08-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #5
1000 Posts +
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 2,021
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Harper Helps Defense Thrive

I would like to see Harpers return have the same effect on this defense as Bob Sanders return effected the Colts.

I'm also hoping that the whole defense has been working with the jugs machine or some other form of training to become better at intercepting the ball. Turnovers in general are important but I hated to see the coulda/shouldas bounce off of defenders hands. Specifically Bullocks.
iceshack149 is offline  
Old 08-22-2007, 02:48 PM   #6
DARE TO ENTER
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Home Sweet Home, NEW ORLEANS, La.
Posts: 1,154
Cool Re: Harper Helps Defense Thrive

Turnovers in general are important but I hated to see the coulda/shouldas bounce off of defenders hands. Specifically Bullocks.
That's why I would love to see Kaesviharn and Harper as our Safeties. K.K. is a proven ball hawk, and Harper definitely brings the PAIN, with those two as the last line of defense, I would feel so much better.
blacksaint is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:24 AM.


Copyright 1997 - 2013 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts