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Saints, other teams now rethinking preseason

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...0944168860.xml Saints, other teams now rethinking preseason Sunday September 14, 2003 Jeff Duncan The Saints are among a handful of teams planning to reconsider their approaches to the preseason. Saints coach Jim Haslett treated the team's four-game exhibition schedule like ...

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Old 09-14-2003, 11:39 AM   #1
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Saints, other teams now rethinking preseason

http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...0944168860.xml



Saints, other teams now rethinking preseason



Sunday September 14, 2003


Jeff Duncan

The Saints are among a handful of teams planning to reconsider their approaches to the preseason.

Saints coach Jim Haslett treated the team's four-game exhibition schedule like a glorified practice session, and it might have showed in an ugly opening loss at Seattle.


The Saints, who had several key players miss time during camp with lingering injuries, played like a team that hadn't spent enough time together. They were out of sync and out of the game by halftime.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said this week that the club will evaluate its preseason strategy during the offseason.

"It's something we're going to look at," Loomis said, while emphasizing that he doesn't want to overreact to one game.

Miami and Green Bay employed similar preseason philosophies and experienced similar results in their openers.

Dolphins coach Dave Wanntedt backed off his team during training camp, reducing the amount of time the players worked in full pads in an effort to preserve their legs for the stretch drive.

Whether the softer approach was a contributing factor to Miami's lethargic opening loss to Houston remains to be seen.

If you ask the Vikings, they'll say yes. Several Minnesota players cited their preseason work regimen as a major factor behind a 30-25 opening win at Green Bay.

The Packers and Vikings each completed their exhibition seasons Aug. 28 -- 10 days before the opener. From there, though, they took divergent paths.

Packers coach Mike Sherman gave his team the next three days off. Vikings coach Mike Tice put his team through two practices, including a full-pads workout Saturday before giving the players Sunday off.

In the week leading up to the opener, the Vikings practiced in pads or shells three times. The Packers worked without pads all week.

"It showed," Vikings defensive tackle Chris Hovan said. "They're a more finesse team, more dink-and-dunk. We're a more physical team. We get after it. We love to hit, and I think we were more physical."

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Packers returned to full-pads workouts this week.

. . . . . . .

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