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SmashMouth 09-03-2012 10:08 AM

Looking back at the New Orleans Saints preseaso
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As usual, the best thing that can be said about the NFL exhibition season is that itís mercifully over for another year.

While itís a necessary evil, the regular season canít come soon enough ó which is usually the feeling from the first day of training camp in late July.

Fans who have been starving for real football, which we havenít seen since the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, will finally get the real thing Wednesday night when the Giants and Dallas Cowboys open the season.

Four days later, the New Orleans Saints open the season against the Washington Redskins and 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Before the Saints move forward and begin their bid for a franchise-record fourth consecutive playoff berth, here are some impressions ó some good, some not so good ó from five weeks of preparation and five preseason games (the only thing worse than having four):

Defensive scheme promising
Two things new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is looking for this season showed up as the Saints recorded nine takeaways and 12 sacks.

That has to be encouraging to a unit that had trouble the past two seasons in getting to the quarterback and taking the ball away ó especially in 2011 when they had just 16 takeaways and 33 sacks.

While they didnít generate a great pass rush, we donít know how much Spagnuolo really wanted to tip his hand in games that donít count in the standings. If that continues four or five weeks into the regular season, however, it may be a problem.

First-team offense productive
The Saints werenít exactly in regular-season form ó at least not to their lofty standards ó but it wasnít terrible when you consider itís difficult to get into a rhythm when youíre getting a limited number of snaps.

Drew Brees was in for only 14 series in the first four preseason games and directed his team to seven scores (four touchdowns, three field goals). Of the other seven drives, three ended in turnovers ó which will be a point of emphasis going into the regular season.

Youngsters made their mark
Over the years, the Saints have developed many players that came from small schools ó like wide receiver Marques Colston, All-Pro guard Jahri Evans and running back Chris Ivory ó and this year was no different.

The star of the preseason among the newcomers was running back Travaris Cadet of Appalachian State, who led the team with 30 receptions and 246 receiving yards and forced the staff to keep five halfbacks instead of the usual three or four.

Also turning heads were defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, a third-round draft pick from Regina; cornerback Corey White of Samford, a fifth-round pick, and undrafted free agent Tyrunn Walker, a defensive tackle and New Iberia native who led the team with three sacks.

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homerj07 09-03-2012 10:14 AM

Re: Looking back at the New Orleans Saints preseaso
LB is still a worry. As is the secondary

Rugby Saint II 09-03-2012 11:58 AM

Re: Looking back at the New Orleans Saints preseaso

Originally Posted by homerj07 (Post 433712)
LB is still a worry. As is the secondary

Yes, but I feel like we have the talent when everyone is healthy........even when they aren't we have decent depth.

|Mitch| 09-03-2012 02:45 PM

Re: Looking back at the New Orleans Saints preseaso
we had 12 sacks this preseason?! How many did we have all last season?! :bng:

skymike 09-03-2012 04:51 PM

Re: Looking back at the New Orleans Saints preseaso
travaris cadet! I've had fun watching him and also the new defense

preseason's ok with me. Drew Brees is still standing in one piece.
You gotta admit that Texans game was exciting. Next year, Saints
in Houston for preseason, so thats always a big tailgator for us.

Bring on the Redskins!

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