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Rabalais: Reason for optimism in New Orleans

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; HOUSTON — The word of the day Sunday for the New Orleans Saints was this: Optimism. Guarded optimism. OK, that’s two words. But it’s preseason, and I’m not columnizing yet in regular season form (no snarky comments, please). The Saints ...

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
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HOUSTON — The word of the day Sunday for the New Orleans Saints was this:

Optimism. Guarded optimism.

OK, that’s two words. But it’s preseason, and I’m not columnizing yet in regular season form (no snarky comments, please).

The Saints aren’t completely ready for the regular season yet either. Some key pieces of the defense are injured — like just about everyone who has ever played linebacker for New Orleans — and the offensive balance (78 yards rushing) is still not ideal.

But the Saints’ 31-23 victory over the Houston Texans was a more than an encouraging sign with the regular season now just one more rehearsal (Thursday’s game at Miami) away from being here.

The Texans — who came in 2-0 in the preseason as well — were not at the top of their form, either. Defensive end J.J. Watt spent more time in an ESPN feature video earlier this week than he has on the field this preseason, and starting running back Arian Foster was inactive.

You could make the argument, though, that given the key players both teams were without — Watt and Foster for the Texans, linebackers Jonathan Vilma, Junior Galette and Martez Wilson for the Saints — this is about as good an indication of New Orleans’ strength relative to the rest of the NFL you’re going to get.

The Texans have all the tools to be considered an elite team in the AFC again this season. The big question a couple hundred miles east of here along I-10 is: Are the Saints ready to be welcomed back into the upper echelons in the NFC?

Saints coach Sean Payton isn’t one to ask. Despite a typically humid August day outside roof-enclosed Reliant Stadium, Payton was showing signs of icing over like a bridge in Manitoba.

“There’s still a number of things we’re going to have to work on,” said Payton, who gave three “we want to see the tape” type of comments during his terse postgame talk. A question about the health of linebacker Will Smith, who got injured in the first half, met with the kind of stone wall that backup linebacker Ramon Humber greeted the Texans’ Deji Karim with on fourth-and-goal at the 1 in the third quarter.

Read more: Rabalais: Reason for optimism in New Orleans | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA

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Old 08-26-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Rabalais: Reason for optimism in New Orleans

Yep, I'm cautiously optomistic. To me it feels like we're back. Our Saints(this current rendition of them) are back and ready to get to it. And while I know we still have issues and still have things "to clean up", so does every other team. Its all I can do to wait for opening day.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: Rabalais: Reason for optimism in New Orleans

Preseason is still preseason but I don't think many of the so called "experts" thought we would win thus game or have as good a showing as we did m
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