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New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Let's ease back just a tad on the accolades. Not that the New Orleans Saints' defense won't be as potent as it appeared to be in its first two preseason appearances, against the No. 1 offenses of Arizona and New ...

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Old 08-18-2012, 11:19 AM   #1
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Let's ease back just a tad on the accolades. Not that the New Orleans Saints' defense won't be as potent as it appeared to be in its first two preseason appearances, against the No. 1 offenses of Arizona and New England. It very well could strangle opponents that way for the majority of the season, the same way it routinely has been even - and often has had the upper hand - in practice against a Saints offense that has set team and league records by the bushel.



But Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert and his starting unit Friday night provided reason for Saints fans to pause a bit, bridle the enthusiasm and remember that the defense remains under construction and that sometimes, opponents might kick a hole in the wall.

The Jaguars exited the first half holding a 17-10 lead in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, having scored touchdowns on 80- and 66-yard drives that lasted 5:22 and 8:15, with Gabbert having completed 13 of 16 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns and his offense having generated 209 yards.

"The biggest thing is being able to come away with points," said Gabbert, whose team pulled out a 27-24 victory. "All in all, we put up 17 points, which is something we can build on. We are improving each week and will continue over the next two weeks."

Yes, Gabbert has improved, from a confused rookie last season to a player who looked significantly more comfortable. And, of course, the Saints didn't completely show their hand Friday night; there's no reason to give up more than is necessary during the preseason.

But if anyone says he was encouraged by what he saw from the defensive starters on the field against the Jaguars, he'd have to be putting the most positive of spins on what he saw.

Too many missed tackles, plus too much open space for receivers, plus not enough resistance against the run, likely will equal a sobering film session for a unit that doesn't have to be the second coming of the Dome Patrol in order for the Saints to contend for the NFC title.

Jacksonville converted 5 of 8 third-down chances in the first half, a hefty 63 percent, and averaged 5.8 yards on its 36 plays. The shining moment for the Saints' defense came after a turnover - it held the Jaguars to Josh Scobee's 36-yard field goal after Saints quarterback Drew Brees fumbled and Jacksonville Terrance Knighton recovered at the Saints' 15-yard line with 8:52 left in the first half.

Otherwise, the Jaguars had their way a little too often for comfort.

"(Gabbert) stands in the pocket," Jacksonville Coach Mike Mularkey said. "The protection for the most part has been very good. We got to stop some of the penalties we're creating down in the red zone, making it tough on ourselves, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the way they performed in the first half."

The Saints, at least, were able to say much the same for their offensive output in the first half, too.

It wasn't the best showing for the offense this preseason - the one-drive, touchdown cameo against Arizona in the Hall of Fame Game was more impressive.

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

Lot's of film for the coaches to review. One sloppy game doesn't mean the end of the world.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

I think they were just tired. Looked like they might have had a tough practice the day before and didn't have rest time to recover and Jags traveled so they had some rest time. If I were coaching I would have practiced the day before cause preseason games don't matter and getting in shape for the regular season does.
I coached High School football for 15 years and have seen my teams play flat like that before because I didn't rest them enough before a game. That's just my opinion from what I observed.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

Originally Posted by Majsmith View Post
I think they were just tired. Looked like they might have had a tough practice the day before and didn't have rest time to recover and Jags traveled so they had some rest time. If I were coaching I would have practiced the day before cause preseason games don't matter and getting in shape for the regular season does.
I coached High School football for 15 years and have seen my teams play flat like that before because I didn't rest them enough before a game. That's just my opinion from what I observed.
And to think the starters didn't even play 4 quarters. Thats scary! Possibly need more stamina and conditioning?
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
And to think the starters didn't even play 4 quarters. Thats scary! Possibly need more stamina and conditioning?
I don't think conditioning is the issue, practicing all week in this heat has a way of draining you.

Not to mention, Wednesday when most of the team was suffering from some kind of dehydration issue, I can see them feeling rough for a Friday night...
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

They looked smack dab worn out, flat footed and listless. Considering that we might have been suffering from dehydration and throw in fatigue and you get the team we saw Friday night.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense takes a step back against Jacksonville in Friday's exhibition game

Defense looked slow.
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