08-03-2005, 02:31 PM
1000 Posts +
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Williamsburg, VA (aka Southern Canada)
Wristbands and some other info
NEW ORLEANS ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â This season New Orleans Saints quarterbacks will be wearing wristbands with numbers next to abbreviated codes of plays the team intends to run in a particular game.
One of the reasons for the change is to help get the plays in faster in that offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard will only have to relay a two- or three-digit number to quarterback's coach Turk Schonert, who'll then radio it in to the quarterback.
"It really makes it simpler," Sheppard said. "You choose a play and you don't have to call the whole thing."
The NFL requires a quarterback's earpiece to shut down with 15 seconds left on the play clock, meaning there's always a danger of coaches calls being cut off in the middle.
"The advantage is there's more time getting to the line, and now if Turk wants, or I want to through Turk, we can get maybe a coaching point to him on the way to the line of scrimmage before that 15-second cutoff," Sheppard said.
Coaches haven't decided how many plays to include on the wristbands yet, but Sheppard said he's seen other teams go with as many as 160.
"It's a lot of abbreviations, eh?" he said.
Going inside: Donte' Stallworth says he expects to play more this season slot receiver, which will mean running more inside routes.
He said offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard approached him about the idea and he was thrilled with it, having filled a similar role in his last season in college at Tennessee.
One of the things Stallworth likes about inside routes are matching up with linebackers and safeties, who often are weaker in pass coverage than cornerbacks.
He said it will be fun to "just get inside with the safeties and see how bad they at covering. It's just another element of my game ... and I can't wait."
Third QB: As Kliff Kingsbury competes with rookie Adrian McPherson for the third quarterback spot on the roster, he has an advantage in terms of experience but an apparent disadvantage when it comes to arm strength.
McPherson has been renowned for his long throws since his college days, but downfield throws may not be Kingsbury's forte.
"I'd say the velocity thing, throws downfield would probably be a concern that you'd have," Sheppard said.
Both are expected to see significant playing time in the preseason. Whichever one fails to make the roster will be eligible for the practice squad, Coach Jim Haslett has said. But a player must be cut and placed on waivers for at least 24 hours before being placed on the practice squad. That means there will be a short window where the Saints will risk losing whoever they cut to another team.
What's in a name: Rookie wide receiver and former Louisiana Tech standout Tramissian Davis says he's become accustomed to being called just about everything but his actual name.
"I asked my mom about my name and she said she wanted to name me something with 'ian' at the end," Davis recalls. "People have called me Transmission and Trans Am for years. I get it all the time. Everybody just calls me Tra."
But play-by-play announcers called his name plenty when he was at Tech. The 5-foot-11, 186-pounder from West Monroe led the Bulldogs with 25 receptions for 537 yards and three touchdowns last season.
High energy: The Saints media guide describes the "high energy" approach of defensive line coach John Pease, but defensive end Darren Howard had another way of describing him.
"He's like a Tasmanian devil," Howard said. "If we're doing drills where there's an offensive tackle, he was the offensive tackle. We'd be doing moves on him and he's trying to stick us and everything."
Pease has been coaching for 18 years and is now in his second stint with the Saints after being hired by Haslett before last season.
Howard said Pease's mentality seems to be helping Johnathan Sullivan, who is trying to resurrect his career after weight and conditioning problems kept him out for much of last season.
"Sully has probably had his best camp since he's been here," Howard said. "His technique is coming around ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â and his hustle."
Injuries: Courtney Watson aggravated his left quad muscle, much similar to an injury that bothered him last season. It was not immediately clear how long he'll be out.
"I don't know how severe it is but it shouldn't be that bad," Haslett said.
Fred Thomas went out of practice early, but Haslett said that was for cramping. Also hurting was Tony Bryant, who twisted his knee.
"He's had that knee problem since he's been in the league so it's something he has to fight through," Haslett said. "He's fine."
Originally published August 3, 2005
I like to hear that Stallworth is excited about the some changes they're making. Another good report about Sully, too.
Who is this team and what did they do with my Saints?