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

Black and Gold Scrimmage Report

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...0652248420.xml » More From The Times-Picayune Saints News Defense moves fast to establish itself Unit's speed helps it stymie offense during scrimmage Sunday August 03, 2003 By Jeff Duncan Staff writer LAFAYETTE -- Amid the hodgepodge of plays and the ...

Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-03-2003, 09:33 AM   #1
500th Post
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 598
Black and Gold Scrimmage Report


» More From The Times-Picayune
Saints News

Defense moves fast to establish itself

Unit's speed helps it stymie offense during scrimmage

Sunday August 03, 2003

By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer

LAFAYETTE -- Amid the hodgepodge of plays and the helter-skelter bodies that annually comprises the Black and Gold scrimmage, one thing stood out Saturday night for the Saints: speed.

For the first time in years, that most precious of athletic commodities is no longer confined solely to the offense.

The amped-up defense has been the buzz of the locker room since the Saints opened training camp a week ago at their home training facility. Saints fans got to see the new-look unit for the first time in live action at Cajun Field.

It might be a long way from the Dome Patrol, but the new-

look defense is starting to come together for Saints coach Jim Haslett and defensive coordinator Rick Venturi.

To the delight of a raucous crowd of 18,036, the defense dominated the controlled 54-play scrimmage, registering four sacks and a fumble recovery and allowing five first downs.

"I thought the defense was outstanding," Haslett said. "You could see the speed on defense from the starters. That's what impressed me the most."

Venturi liked what he saw from a starting unit that includes seven new starters and one other player at a new position. There were few missed tackles, and the speed to the football was noticeably better than a year ago.

The speed was most evident up front, where the line and linebackers combined to collapse the pocket and consistently pressure the quarterback. Defensive ends Darren Howard, Charles Grant and Greg White each had a sack, as did linebacker James Allen on a blitz.

Reserve cornerback Keyuo Craver led a solid night by the secondary with a pair of pass deflections in coverage.

"We played real football tonight, that's for sure," Venturi said. "We got a chance to finish plays. We had an opportunity to look at the film, and it was a pretty solid start. The biggest thing was you didn't see a lot of big plays out there. If we can do that as the season progresses, then hopefully we'll have enough talent to make a few of our own."

The offense worked without five starters, who were held out because of minor injuries: wide receiver Joe Horn, running back Deuce McAllister and three linemen -- LeCharles Bentley, Jerry Fontenot and Wayne Gandy.

The attrition took its toll on production. Receivers dropped six passes. Reserve running back Walt Williams lost a fumble. The makeshift offensive line struggled to protect the quarterback.

The highlights were limited mostly to the reserves. Quarterback Tory Woodbury, who is competing with J.T. O'Sullivan for the No. 3 position, displayed a strong right arm and the athleticism that allowed him to play receiver with the New York Jets. Williams and fellow backup running back Curtis Keaton each had nifty runs.

"Obviously, you'd like to have more production," offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy said. "This was a good opportunity for us to see where we are at. I called plays tonight to evaluate players. Our drives were not productive, but we'll be fine. We've just got a lot of work to do."

At this point in camp, Haslett said his team is ready for an exhibition game. They'll get that opportunity Aug. 11 against Philadelphia at the Superdome.

"We've still got to figure out who's the backup running back, and there's a few starting jobs open," Haslett said. "There are a lot of questions that have to be answered, but that will play out in these preseason games. But I'm happy with the start so far."

. . . . . . .

Jeff Duncan can be reached at jduncan@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3405.

[Edited on 8/3/2003 by saint5221]
saint5221 is offline  
Old 08-03-2003, 09:54 AM   #2
100th Post
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 157
Black and Gold Scrimmage Report

Of the back-up RBs Williams looked the best. He seemed to move pretty well. I also had the opportunity to talk to DE Darren Howard, and was really impressed with his candidness. He vowed that the defense would be alot better and would hold their own this year, and were looking to hurt people.
billybignuts is offline  
Old 08-03-2003, 10:08 AM   #3
500th Post
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 598
Black and Gold Scrimmage Report

A couple of things that jumped out at me after watching the scrimmage on cable. Tory Woodbury looked pretty good, he threw the ball hard, had one big pass droped( by Pettis) that would have been a long TD. ,He moved well to avoid the rush and found recivers with the time he bought. He\'s fast and strong. His numbers were hurt by several droped passes that should of been caught. Mostly by Pettis ,the arena player picked up from Dallas. Pettis droped almost everything that came his way.

Brooks looked strong but rusty overthrowing several wide open recivers in both the drills and the controled scrimmage, but the ball definately had zip on it.

Keaton did nothing special at all ,nor did Fenderson, they did\'nt have a lot to work with but they did nothing to help themselves either. Willimas had the best numbers but against players who will be in street clothes soon.

The defensive line and linebackers were all over the O Line who looked out of sync letting players through untouched a few times to the QB and had trouble opening lanes for any rushes of more than a couple yards.They were playing with out several starters on the O line however so not so sure this was a good test of the D.

Mel Mitchel plays fast and to hit, even in the light contact environment of last night he didnt just lightly wrap up players as a lot a defenders did, he would pop with his shoulders and whole body and then let go. If he had finished his tackles as you see he could of, he would of killed a couple players.He will pick up a leading with the head penality or two this year .

The Defense was fired up as a group, Rick Venturi was yelling and coaching hard on the sideline, the players were fighting hard not to give up a score. You could tell it mattered to them. They did\'nt even like to see Carney come out.

[Edited on 8/3/2003 by saint5221]
saint5221 is offline  
Old 08-04-2003, 12:07 AM   #4
Resident antediluvian
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,945
Black and Gold Scrimmage Report

For all of us that don\'t get to watch this stuff...this is a good read.
lumm0x is offline  
Old 08-04-2003, 05:32 AM   #5
Site Donor 2017
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Boynton Beach,FL
Posts: 1,467
Black and Gold Scrimmage Report

Thanks for the post.............anyone else who watched, plz post. I take the newspapers reviews with apprehension.
subguy is offline  
Old 08-06-2003, 12:16 AM   #6
1000 Posts +
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,100
Black and Gold Scrimmage Report

I\'m back Boy\'s. thanks for the post. I missed everything from the scrimmage. I was in Shreveport and they moved to Texas. or at least they should. :P
JOESAM2002 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:05 AM.

Copyright 1997 - 2018 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts