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New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Steve Spagnuolo, the first-year defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints, shouldn't be expected to work miracles. New Orleans Saints defensive back Jose Gumbs (22) wraps up New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (38) during the preseason game between ...

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Steve Spagnuolo, the first-year defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints, shouldn't be expected to work miracles.


New Orleans Saints defensive back Jose Gumbs (22) wraps up New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (38) during the preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Thursday.
Under his tutelage, the moribund defensive unit that seemingly was victimized at all the wrong times during the past couple of seasons, figured to take incremental steps in fixing its porous ways.

Spagnuolo is on the record as saying he and his staff need more time to implement his zone-pressure concepts, even warning beforehand that Tom Brady and Co. might be too advanced for his unit at this stage of training camp.

But that wasn't the case Thursday night before 68,756 fans at Gillette Stadium. In less than three weeks of training camp, Spagnuolo appears to be working wonders, as his defense was dominant early in an otherwise ho-hum 7-6 loss to the New England Patriots.

"They played quicker and more confident because it is a little longer that they have been in this system now," Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said of the defense. "Spags has really harped the last week on communication, pre-snap alignments and detail of your assignments. So we feel better about that.

"Any time that you can improve in training camp from week to week, day to day, you are happy with that. I think we made a significant jump defensively. And listen, I think that's to be expected with the second preseason game. The players worked hard. Spags did a great job of teaching, and I think it showed up tonight."

The Saints actually had a chance to take the lead late in the game, but veteran kicker John Kasay's 41-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right with 3:07 remaining.

Playing on a short week after opening the preseason on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game against the Arizona Cardinals and without injured starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson, as well as weakside linebacker David Hawthorne, the Saints totally shut down Brady, the ballyhooed Patriots quarterback.

In two series with Brady at the helm, the Saints (1-1) forced two punts (one punt was nullified because of a penalty against the Saints) and forced a fumble.

In all, the Saints' defense, which also had favorable results during two days of practices this week against the Patriots, allowed 279 yards and forced two turnovers.

The Saints managed this on a night when their offense was uncharacteristically ineffective, gaining 280 yards and failing to score a touchdown.

Unlike in its preseason opener when Drew Brees led the Saints on a 77-yard scoring drive to open the game, the Saints' offense never could find its rhythm.

In two possessions, Brees and the offense, which was without Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and speedy receiver Devery Henderson, went three-and-out twice.

Brees finished with an unimpressive stat line: 1-of-4 for 4 yards.

Perhaps the biggest star on a dim offensive evening was receiver/special teams ace Courtney Roby, who continued to perform well this preseason, hauling in five catches for 85 yards.

In all, the Saints made 15 first downs. They punted seven times.

Vitt said he isn't concerned, though.

"I don't think they played bad here," Vitt said. "No. 1, this (Patriots unit) is a good defense. They do a good job with their matchup schemes.

"We rested some people. I am not disappointed one bit with the first-unit offense."

Led by middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who was in on six tackles and recovered a fumble on the Patriots' first two drives, the Saints' defenders were able to show signs that they are on the way to mastering the intricacies of the defense.

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

Forget joe morgan and adrian arrington, Roby is showing us he wants to be the 4th receiver lol

Did nick toon play?
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
Forget joe morgan and adrian arrington, Roby is showing us he wants to be the 4th receiver lol

Did nick toon play?
Toon didn't play, and you're wrong about Roby... sort of. He's playing like he wants to be the #2 WR beside Colston.

Credit due, he's having a great pre-season.

I'm curious, did he flash like this before as a WR? I know he flashed as a special teams standout but I don't remember him looking this good at WR before.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Toon didn't play, and you're wrong about Roby... sort of. He's playing like he wants to be the #2 WR beside Colston.

Credit due, he's having a great pre-season.

I'm curious, did he flash like this before as a WR? I know he flashed as a special teams standout but I don't remember him looking this good at WR before.
The stat story might say he never had a chance.... When i saw Roby catch his first preseason catch I had to ask my self WTF? A reciever?

In 3 seasons with the Saints he had 1 catch for 6 yards.
in 2006-2008 he had 2 catches for 28 yards.


Now his rookie year with the Titans 2005 he had 21 receptions for 289 yards Ave 13.6 YPC.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

Originally Posted by x626xBlack View Post
The stat story might say he never had a chance.... When i saw Roby catch his first preseason catch I had to ask my self WTF? A reciever?

In 3 seasons with the Saints he had 1 catch for 6 yards.
in 2006-2008 he had 2 catches for 28 yards.


Now his rookie year with the Titans 2005 he had 21 receptions for 289 yards Ave 13.6 YPC.
I meant did he look this good in pre-season before, only to disappear when the season started?

Maybe he's a late bloomer. Lance Moore didn't come on until his 4th season.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
 
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
I meant did he look this good in pre-season before, only to disappear when the season started?

Maybe he's a late bloomer. Lance Moore didn't come on until his 4th season.
Late bloomer is right.... 7th year

New Orleans Saints: Courtney Roby
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:41 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

I think Roby's problem has been that he never got any seperation from defenders before . I haven't seen the NE game yet but it sounds like he played well. I love him on special teams.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England

I said in another thread that Roby is playing like a man trying to keep his job ... and justifiably so. We need a 4th guy to step up - Colston & Moore get dinged up from time to time - and Roby is as good as anyone.

That said, what does all the Roby talk have to do with "New Orleans Saints' defense plays well in 7-6 loss to New England?"
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