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jnormand 06-13-2005 04:38 AM

Fox Team Report 6/12/2005
Fox Team Report 6/12/2005

Veteran cornerback Jason Craft has taken advantage of Fakhir Brown's contract holdout to work his way into the starting secondary. Craft played well enough down the stretch last season to supplant Fred Thomas for the starting nickel back spot. Now it looks like he could supplant Brown. Craft is undersized (5-10), but he's a terrific leaper with good acceleration. He doesn't make a lot of interceptions, but he rarely gets burned for big plays either. . . .

Although the staff is ecstatic with first-round pick T Jammal Brown, free safety Josh Bullocks has been the most impressive rookie in camp. Bullocks has outstanding speed and ball awareness. He led the secondary in interceptions during organized team activities and quickly worked his way into the starting dime package. Veteran Jay Bellamy is the clear starter at strong safety, but Bullocks is pushing him. Coaches are eager to see how physical Bullocks is during training camp. . . .

Coaches are working with rookie quarterback Adrian McPherson to improve his setup and release. The former Florida State and Arena League standout was holding the ball too low and at a three-quarters angle on his setup, limiting the accuracy and velocity of his throws. The Saints knew the inexperienced McPherson would need a lot of work, and that's what they've discovered so far. Still, they're happy with his attitude and willingness to try to improve.

SCOUTING REPORT: Running back Deuce McAllister is coming off a sub-par season by his standards, but he's still the clear leader of the team. McAllister has a rare combination of size and speed. His naturally powerful 228-pound frame allows him to break arm tackles at the line of scrimmage and makes him a terror for defensive backs in the open field. He also has breakaway straight-line speed, making him a difficult matchup for linebackers and safeties in pass coverage. McAllister has excellent hands and is a smart and willing blocker, an area that he has improved significantly since entering the league. A severe high ankle sprain hampered his conditioning and limited his production last season. A prideful man, he has responded with a strong offseason and appears primed for a monster year behind the re-made offensive line.

REHAB UPDATE: A chronic knee condition has sidelined linebacker Cie Grant for all but seven games in his first two seasons. Doctors told him last spring that the knee could be treated without surgery but that he would have to live with the pain. Grant has switched from middle linebacker to weakside linebacker to reduce the wear and tear on his knees. He's currently working as the backup to Colby Bockwoldt. . . .

Grant will receive competition from veteran LB Derrick Rodgers when Rodgers returns from back surgery in training camp. Rodgers has not returned to the field since undergoing offseason surgery to repair a ruptured disc. He's expected to be close to 100 percent for training camp.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES ANALYSIS: Grade: B-. Rookie Jammal Brown is a keeper, but veteran left tackle Wayne Gandy is on the downside of his career.

jnormand 06-13-2005 04:40 AM

RE: Fox Team Report 6/12/2005
Bullocks is looking better and better. Good move to draft this guy. It looks like he has a good shot a starting this year.

Euphoria 06-13-2005 10:43 AM

RE: Fox Team Report 6/12/2005
JASON CRAFT... I was big on him in camp last year, he did well during the season... and coming on strong this year. LOVE IT. Keep you eye on him. Anyone get a chance to go see him in camp do it.

TheDeuce 06-14-2005 01:52 AM

RE: Fox Team Report 6/12/2005
I wish we could have 22 Deuce's on our team. What a professional. What a stud. I'm not ashamed to have a man-crush on this guy.

Euphoria 06-14-2005 10:07 AM

RE: Fox Team Report 6/12/2005
craft, craft, craft.

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