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TallySaint 08-02-2005 09:37 AM

Antowain, Tickets, McAfee, etc...
Antowain Smith has a fan in Haslett

National Football League News Wire - AP - Aug. 1

NEW ORLEANS -- The addition of Antowain Smith, who has had 1,000-plus-yard seasons and won Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, was meant to give the New Orleans Saints more depth at running back than they've had since Deuce McAllister was a rookie backing up Rickey Williams.

So far, coach Jim Haslett is pleased with the addition.

"I love Antowain," Haslett said after practice on Monday. "He doesn't have great speed, but I'll tell you what he does. He's a big man first of all; he is going to run down hill. He is going to get positive yardage, and he knows his role. I think the guy can go in and play and rush for 1,000 yards. He's done it before."

Smith last broke 1,000 yards in 2001 with the Patriots, helping them win the Superbowl in February of 2002 in New Orleans. Since then, his production has declined to 982 yards in 2002, 642 yards in 2003 (another Super Bowl year) and 509 yards last season with Tennessee.

If McAllister remains healthy, not too much will be asked of Smith. But Haslett likes having him for insurance, along with Aaron Stecker, who is expected to see more playing time this season.

"We were looking for a guy to come in if Deuce (McAllister) gets hurt and play, and we wouldn't miss much," Haslett said. "We wanted a guy who could come in and be a team player and help some of these young guys out. We feel between him, Aaron Stecker, and Deuce that we have a pretty good combination."

TICKETS: Ticket sales, sluggish for much of the year since the Saints raised all prices by $10, have begun to pick up.

The club sold more than 3,900 season and single-game tickets in the four days since training camp opened, according to Mike Stanfield, Saints director of ticket sales and operational services.

Season-ticket sales have topped 33,000, but remain more than 10,000 off from last season, when the number was around 50,000.

HISTORY LESSON: Veteran Fred McAfee's sense of humor emerged in the midst of the tough blitz pick-up drill in which running backs try to avoind being knocked off their feet by charging linebackers.

Before a round of the blocking sessions over the weekend, McAfee, 36, started hollaring at second-year linebacker Courtney Watson.

"You ever heard of Kevin Greene? Greg Lloyd? Levon Kirkland? Vaughan Johnson? Rickey Jackson? Sam Mills?" McAfee shouted. "You ain't nothing until you run over me like those guys did. I've been a victim of 'em all."

BABY BOCKWOLDT: Linebacker Colby Bockwoldt and wife, Ashley, are expecting the birth of their first child this week. The due date was Aug. 12, but the Bockwoldts have scheduled an induced labor Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. Bockwoldt expects to miss one day of practice.

"We're told it's going to be girl," Bockwoldt said. "If it's not, it's going to be a pink boy because everything we have is pink. I've never seen so many clothes."

QUICKER PLAY CALLING: Saints fans will remember the periodic scene of a frustrated Aaron Brooks walking toward the sidelines, signaling time-out as the play clock ticked down into the single digits. Eliminating those moments is among the primary goals for Haslett and his offensive coaches this season.

"We are doing some things with Aaron where he can get out of the huddle and look things over and make sure he is seeing what he's seeing and not rushing to the line of scrimmage as much," Haslett said. "So far it's working, and I think they like it."

Haslett hopes the simpler and quicker play calling can end the problem the Saints had last year with falling behind early.

"We are trying to start faster and get in a rhythm," Haslett said. "We took too many pre-snap penalties early, and it put us in a situation where we were always punting. Hopefully what we are doing on the offensive side of the ball will clean that up."


WhoDat 08-02-2005 10:34 AM

RE: Antowain, Tickets, McAfee, etc...

Season-ticket sales have topped 33,000, but remain more than 10,000 off from last season, when the number was around 50,000.
Maybe this is why Benson thinks he's getting a bad deal. Is there a shortage of people in New Olreans that can add, or something?

33,000 + 10,000 = 50,000??? Only in New Orleans. LOL

Euphoria 08-02-2005 01:29 PM

RE: Antowain, Tickets, McAfee, etc...
You have to love Louisiana Public School System. I am the worse speller and a product myself.

BoudinSandwich 08-02-2005 03:40 PM

RE: Antowain, Tickets, McAfee, etc...
My dad, my friend, and I all bought season tickets yesterday. This is the first time we have ever bought season tickets. I am now financially able to buy season tickets (I'm just 20 years old) and the threat of losing the Saints this offseason was too much to handle.

Go Saints!

WhoDat 08-03-2005 08:26 AM

RE: Antowain, Tickets, McAfee, etc...

I am the worse speller and a product myself.
You mean, you are the worst speller? Is 'speller' even a word?

You clearly are a product Euph! LOL. :)

Just messin' with ya.

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