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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Friday, October 26, 2007 By Jimmy Smith Faine is game-time decision with 'strain' Saints center Jeff Faine missed practice Thursday for the second consecutive day with what the team is now calling a "pectoral strain," and his status for Sunday's ...

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Old 10-26-2007, 02:05 AM   #1
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Friday, October 26, 2007
By Jimmy Smith


Faine is game-time decision with 'strain'

Saints center Jeff Faine missed practice Thursday for the second consecutive day with what the team is now calling a "pectoral strain," and his status for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers will be determined just before kickoff.

"We'll see where Jeff is," Coach Sean Payton said. "It'll be a game-time decision. He's got a pectoral strain. It's sore. It limits you how much you can move and expand and block."

The injury will not require surgery, Payton said.

"It is what it is, where you need time, ice, heat," Payton said. "It's just time, to where he feels strong enough in that area."

Faine injured his left pectoral muscle in the second quarter of last Sunday's game against the Falcons. He attempted to play in the third quarter, but a shoulder harness and numbing shots were ineffective. He sat out the rest of the way.

He was replaced by Jonathan Goodwin, who will play Sunday if Faine cannot.

BLUE SKIES: For the first time since Sept. 10, the Saints practiced outside at their Airline Drive practice facility.

"The surface there (in San Francisco) is a more traditional grass field," Payton said of the turf inside Monster Park. "We haven't been on these fields, and our guys line them every day.

"The weather was good. Today was a real nice day. It can get breezy there, so I thought it was good to get out here and change it up. And it's a little bit easier on everyone's joints and backs. We get used to going (inside) so much."

SIMILAR WOES: The coach was rattling off some reasons for his team's offensive inefficiency.

"I think lack of consistency for one. We've had some good drives and not-so-good drives. Until last week, I thought we struggled for about three weeks in there and couldn't get anything going. Whether it was penalties, shooting ourselves in the foot that way, or just lack of good execution, we weren't doing very well.

"Last week I thought we did some real good things offensively, although it's difficult to win if you turn the ball over as we did in the game. . . . Four turnovers led to 24 points, I believe, and then we only got one turnover on the other side of the ball. We've got to match it on defense. It is a team game, and if you're going to give it up four times, you're going to have to get at least five to win. We've got to play a cleaner game."

Was Payton talking about the Saints?

No. Mike Nolan talking about his San Francisco 49ers.

Similarities?

"To some degree," Nolan told reporters in a conference call. "Other than I wish we were on a two-game winning streak, as they are."

TOUGH CHALLENGE: The Saints have not allowed an opponent 100 rushing yards in five consecutive games.

San Francisco running back Frank Gore hasn't rushed for 100 yards in a game this season. Last year, he rushed for 1,695 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry.

"He's physical," Payton said of Gore. "We had him at the Pro Bowl, and he's a guy that has real good balance. He runs hard. He's hard to get off his feet, and he's not afraid to hit. He plays north and south. He can run, he's fast, and you have an appreciation for some of these guys when you coach them for a week like we were able to do in Hawaii. He's a big challenge."

Payton said his defense's play against the run begins with the play of the defensive line.

"Good tackling is always a starting point," Payton said. "That's kind of a goal each week for a lot of teams. Being able to run the football and being able to defend against the run are priorities for a lot of people, not just for ourselves.

"I think the front play has been good, and the safety support has been good. When you're getting into those down safety looks, you're counting on the right fits and the right head placements and all those things."

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