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New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Coach Sean Payton has wasted no time mentioning the New Orleans Saints will be facing a decidedly better team in its third preseason game Sunday than it faced last week. Specifically, it means the Saints' new 3-4 defense under coordinator ...

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Old 08-24-2013, 02:13 AM   #1
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Coach Sean Payton has wasted no time mentioning the New Orleans Saints will be facing a decidedly better team in its third preseason game Sunday than it faced last week.

Specifically, it means the Saints' new 3-4 defense under coordinator Rob Ryan will receive a major test against the Houston Texans, more so than it against the Oakland Raiders.

The Saints' defense has displayed many signs of improvement during the preseason, with its most dominant outing coming last week against Oakland.

Of course there's the disclaimer that it's only the preseason, but the Saints entered this week's exhibition slate ranked second in the NFL in total defense. Rookie defensive end Glenn Foster is tied atop the league rankings with three sacks.

But any shred of good news in the preseason has been tempered by last season's historically bad performance when the games really counted. Cornerback Jabari Greer said despite the defense's overall good start this preseason, this week's practice sessions have been the most taxing of the offseason.

"Practice this week (leading up to the Texans game) has been pretty reminiscent of high school, high school hell week," Greer said. "But that's to be expected from coach Payton because of his persistent dedication and extremely hard work.

"He wants to see the results pay off in the fourth quarter in the 14th game of the season. And you look back to these days of wind sprints after practice and the competitive two-minute periods, this will do us well in the long run."

Texans running back Arian Foster won't suit up against the Saints on Sunday with a lingering back injury, but it doesn't mean there will be any letdown from New Orleans' defense.

Ryan said there's a definite focus on run defense as the Texans, with their zone scheme, are one of the better rushing teams in the league -- even with Foster being replaced by Ben Tate.

"Yeah, it will be a good test," safety Roman Harper said. "(A test) for this stretch zone run, too. We haven't faced that and it's always good to see how our defensive linemen are going to react to that, all the cut blocks and all of the different schemes, they make everything look alike."

Payton didn't stop at the Texans' potent rushing offense as a major test. The Matt Schaub-Andre Johnson connection stemming from Houston's play-action passing attack will also challenge the Saints' relatively untested first-team secondary.

Coming into this game, we all recognize that Houston, they're a solid team," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "They've done a lot of things, especially offensively, they're a great offense. They do a lot with the running game and the play-action pass. They have explosive players all over the field. It will be good test for us.

"Really the biggest thing that we want to do is show up fast and really start off fast and show up with some emotion like we did last week versus a quality opponent and just get some good things on tape. We know they're going to make some good plays. They take shots down the field, and we want to be able to keep the ball in front of us."

A strong defensive performance would be nice for the Saints, but Payton quickly reiterated how much of Sunday's preseason game in Houston will be about evaluating personnel. Payton said Thursday there are "three or four tough decisions" to make come final cutdown day Aug. 31.

Some of those decisions could be at cornerback with Rod Sweeting and Chris Carr, or at safety with Isa Abdul-Quddus and Jim Leonhard. There's also healthy competition at linebacker and along the defensive line.

"We're looking at everybody," Ryan said. "We're evaluating the whole team. Whoever is out there, he's getting evaluated. We've seen a lot of snaps from some people, maybe more than we were anticipating to see. But whoever's out there is getting evaluated.

"Our goal hasn't changed. We want to get the best 53 out there, and it's a big week for them."

Source: New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold | NOLA.com

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Old 08-24-2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold

Can't wait till the season begins so I can actually watch the Saints games. For now guess I will have to listen to them on the Radio and watch the highlights on NFL Network.

But only 15 days till the Saints pluck the Falcons in our season opener in The Dome. Who Dat!

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Old 08-24-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold

To funny !
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:42 AM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold

Two weeks will an eternity.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold

Do you have the pic without the words Im ready for my meme now.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense's focus for Houston Texans two-fold

Here you go
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