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tiggerpolice 08-13-2005 01:08 PM

Saints' Brown leads rookies with solid performance
Saints' Brown leads rookies with solid performance
Offensive tackle showcases talent in preseason opener
Saturday, August 13, 2005
By Jeff Patterson
Staff writer
Rookie offensive tackle Jammal Brown had no idea when he'd get off the field.

In the 2½ quarters the Saints rookie offensive tackle played, he teamed with the starters and reserves Friday night in a 34-15 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks at the Superdome.

"The first drive, you are still a little nervous," Brown said. "But football is football, it's just a little faster."

The Saints rookie draft picks had mixed results in their first taste of NFL action.

Brown, a first-round pick out of Oklahoma, was called for illegal formation halfway through the first quarter when he lined up too far back.

"Besides the penalty, he did some good things," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "I have to look at the film, but I think he did a pretty good job."

Brown, 6 feet 6, 313 pounds, impressed his coach with his downfield blocking power. On one play the in third quarter he drove Seattle linebacker LeRoy Hill toward the sideline 10 yards off the play.

"Back at Oklahoma, that's what everybody knew me for," Brown said. "I'm going to drive them until they hit the ground."

The rookies found out quickly that the transition from the college game isn't as seamless as they would have hoped.

"It was a fast-paced game," said safety Josh Bullocks, a second-round pick. "You've got to be patient."

There were several gaffes by the Saints rookies. Defensive end Jimmy Verdon was called for a defensive holding penalty in the red zone in the third quarter. Bullocks missed a tackle that led to a touchdown.

"Safeties can't miss tackles," Haslett said. "He's a young kid, he needs to keep working on that."

After trailing 24-3 at the half, the Saints limited the Seahawks' reserves to a field goal in the third quarter. Verdon had three tackles and linebacker Alfred Fincher and Bullocks had two tackles each.

Sixth-round selection Jason Jefferson, a defensive tackle from Wisconsin, was a non-factor.

"As rookies, we can't be a weak link," Bullocks said. "We can't play like rookies."

Bullocks played both safety positions, and was all over the place. On a third-and-one late in the third quarter, he stuffed Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace on a rollout. Bullocks finished with three tackles.

"The big disappointment, there was a lot of missed tackles," Bullocks said. "We need to communicate better."

Fifth-round pick Adrian McPherson energized a scattered, silent crowd with several big-gain scrambles. The fourth-string quarterback completed three of seven passes for 28 yards, and rushed for 25 yards on four carries.

But none of the other rookies played nearly as much as Brown.

"I'm the rookie," Brown said. "I need all the game-time experience I could get."

. . . . . . .

Jeff Patterson can be reached at or (504) 826-3405.

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