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Friday Morning QB

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Doug Miller, NewOrleansSaints.com Friday, August 24, 2007 - 3:15 PM *The Saints’ charter landed just before 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner. Sleep was precious as the coaching staff and party were back in ...

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
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Cool Friday Morning QB

Doug Miller, NewOrleansSaints.com
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 3:15 PM



*The Saints’ charter landed just before 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning at Louis Armstrong International Airport in Kenner. Sleep was precious as the coaching staff and party were back in the office for a regular work day today as the team quickly transitioned into a regular season schedule. It sounds, and certainly feels a tad bizarre, but in the reality that is “Saints World,” today (Friday) is actually a Monday. Saturday will actually be a Tuesday, etc. As they say, there is work to be done and it feels like business as usual, although there are a few bags under the eyes in the office dwellings today. The coffee machines are working overtime.

Some random musings from last night’s 30-7 victory over the Chiefs in Kansas City:

*The Saints have improved dramatically in their overall execution with each passing week during the preseason. Sure, there were a few things that still need to be worked on in all phases, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find any team in the NFL that wouldn’t be quite pleased with the efforts and precision that the Saints have displayed the last two preseason games.

*QB Drew Brees was 17-of-19 passing last night for 182 yards and his first touchdown pass of the preseason. So according to my quick math, that means that the Saints’ Pro Bowl quarterback, over the course of the last three games, has completed 35-of-39 passes for 355 yards with a TD and zero interceptions. 35-of-39. That equates to an absurd completion percentage of 89.7% and a passer rating of 113.1. Don’t forget that he did it without the services of Marques Colston and Devery Henderson and without Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown at his disposal, and against the starting defensive units of the Bills, Bengals and the Chiefs. It’s worth mentioning that Brees wasn’t exactly working against chopped liver last night when going against the likes of KC’s two starting corners: Ty Law and Patrick Surtain.

*The Saints’ red zone offense failed to convert two short yardage opportunities deep in Chiefs territory, as we all know. But, remember this: The Saints are still running relatively vanilla offensive and defensive schemes and not showing all of the different looks, formations and plays that are in the arsenal. There are ways to get the linebackers and safeties off of the line of scrimmage and Head Coach Sean Payton and Offensive Coordinator Doug Marrone have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. This isn’t to suggest, of course, that they are satisfied with not being able to convert the short yardage opportunities, but it does give them something to work on and correct in the next few days.

*WR David Patten has displayed the exact reason the team brought him here in the offseason. Patten is wily and has an amazing feel for working into gaps in the coverage, and he has also displayed his speed and knack for making plays. Watching him last night harkens back memories of watching him make play after play for the Patriots a few years ago. Early in training camp, Brees mentioned that Patten was going to be a big contributor to the offense this season. Very few wrote about it when he said it in passing, but he has made believers out of the cynics in very short order. Brees and Patten have developed a very quick chemistry and seemingly know what each other is going to do in virtually every situation. Personally, I like the approach Patten took after the game. He dressed quietly, certainly not gloating or gushing about the team's big performance. Rather he simply offered this assessment: "It was a pretty crisp effort, but there are things we need to continue to work on. We have less than two week to get ready for the Colts. This was a step for us, but nothing more. People will forget about this by the time we hit the practice field on Sunday. We have to keep working and getting better."

*RB Reggie Bush, with six carries for 51 yards, was very clearly the quickest and fastest player on the field last night. Bush ran with authority, took a couple of big hits and popped up each time. The second-year man from USC clearly has his confidence and seems like he is on the verge of springing a few of his patented big plays at any given moment.

*LB Scott Fujita returned to the line-up and showed no signs of rust. He was involved early in was moving around quite well. Even though he only practiced a few times in the short week, Fujita’s presence was a shot in the arm for the defense. LB Dhani Jones, who filled in quite well for Fujita, provides the Saints with a very high caliber of depth at the strong-side spot.

*Speaking of Jones, his sack of QB Casey Printers on a fourth down was something to behold. Jones paused for a second and then shot through a hole in the line of middle of the line and made a bee-line for the back-pedaling signal-caller. Not only was Jones making him scamper backwards, but Jones put him in a position that pretty much insured there was no way he was going to be able to unload the ball to even the remotest of receiving options.

*CB Jason Craft played big all night and clearly is playing with a high level of confidence. Craft recorded the Saints’ first interception of the preseason and also recorded three tackles. Heading into training camp, few people were talking about Craft, but that has changed in recent weeks.

*The Chiefs’ offensive line woes have been pretty well-documented this preseason, with the retirement of perennial Pro Bowler Will Shields and an injury to starting LT Damion McIntosh. But the pressure the Saints generated throughout the night on QB Brodie Croyle and the Chiefs’ passers and running backs was a sight to behold. Will Smith and Charles Grant were seemingly all over the place and it seems that they feed off of each other and relish the opportunities to get their opponents in third-and-long situations, thus allowing them to pin their ears back and get after the quarterbacks.

*The Saints were flagged for two quick penalties to start the game. The infractions, which came in pass coverage, were the result of perhaps some overly aggressive play. But that was it for the night as far as penalties on the Saints. Not only is it highly unusual for a preseason game to have less than 10 penalties called, it is more unusual to think that the Saints played nearly 58 minutes of infraction-free ball. That clearly is a sign of a disciplined and well-coached team, and players understanding how to play the game.

*Another game, another big night for WR/KR/PR man Lance Moore (six receptions, 88 yards, and four punt returns for an 8.5 return average). Moore’s line through the first four preseason games: A league-high 19 receptions. A league-high 219 yards. A team-best gain of 37 yards on a reception from Brees. A team-high nine punt returns for a team-high 54 yards. One kickoff return for 47 yards. And don’t forget one special teams coverage tackle. That is one heck of a preseason.

*Olindo Mare is just pounding the ball on kickoffs and has been dead solid perfect on field goals since he had his initial field goal attempt blocked against the Bills a few weeks ago. Although it will never show up on a stat sheet, Mare boomed a 60-yard field goal during pre-game warm-ups last night that cleared the uprights by a good five or six yards. Into a slight breeze, nonetheless.

*RB Pierre Thomas, a rookie from Illinois, just so happens to be competing for a roster spot at the Saints’ deepest position. But Thomas is doing all he can to make a name for himself. The quick and powerful back has churned out 17 carries for 109 yards for a 6.4 average and two scores this preseason. Thomas, who played in obvious running situations last night with the Saints looking to run the clock out, nonetheless bolted his way to 90 yards on 11 carries and scored twice.

*Stat line: In the last 15 possessions against the Saints’ starting defense, five field goals and zero touchdowns allowed.

New Orleans Saints - Friday Morning QB

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Old 08-25-2007, 06:22 AM   #2
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Re: Friday Morning QB

.. I got stuck in traffic a couple hours on the highway yesterday coming back home from work, and going from radio station to radio station to skip commercials, every sports radio show (FOX, ESPN, ESPN News, Sporting News, etc) they all mentioned Brees' passing and "early MVP candidate".

I know it is preseason, but man! he's looked sharp.
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