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tiggerpolice 08-16-2005 02:11 PM

Day 18 Recap: Solid day of work indoors
Day 18 Recap: Solid day of work indoors
By Chris Pika, August 15, 2005; 11:27 pm,
Aug 15, 2005 – 11:28 pm

The Saints stayed inside the entire day on Monday as they continued preparations for Thursday's nationally-televised game at New England.

The morning workout was a 60-play walkthrough as the team practiced in shells for about and hour and 45 minutes. The Saints also worked on special teams and ended the workout with several offensive series.

In the evening, the club worked in full pads and held a crisp two-hour workout as the starting units prepared for extensive work scheduled for them on Thursday night.

"We just figured out as a staff that we were going to play our guys a lot more early," said Saints Coach Jim Haslett. "We played them a quarter and a half, and we are going to go three this week. So, I think it's a good test for our football team. We're playing a three out of four champion, so I think it will be a good test for our team. They will play their starters a lot more. I know (Tom) Brady and those guys will be playing, and then we'll back off a little bit in the last couple games. I think this will be a good test this week on where we fit in the league and where we fit with one of the best teams in the league, if not the best team in the league."

Haslett outlined the goals for the contest at the Patriots. "I'd like to see us keep expanding on what we've been doing on defense," he said. "This will be a great test because of Corey Dillon and Brady and some of the receivers. I think they have underrated receivers; they have some of the best in the league. They probably have the three best tight ends as a trio in the league. It's a good test for the defense. We'll get some different defenses we haven't seen with the 3-4 and next week we'll get a look at the Bear defense as the 46 (vs. Baltimore). It's good we can do all this stuff now in the preseason before the regular season starts."

ROSTER MOVES: The Saints signed T Brandon Phillips, who tried out with the club during rookie mini-camp. To make room for Phillips, WR Tramissian Davis was waived from the roster.

ROLE REVERSAL: Usually, the end of practice brings conditioning runs for the players across the width of the field. Monday, after a late-practice team drill brought the desired result, Haslett lined up the coaches and the football operations staff and had them run two sets of sprints across the field to the cheers of the players.

No one was spared as VP/GM Mickey Loomis and Director of Player Personnel Rick Mueller participated in the impromptu workout. When asked what their 40-yard dash times were, a few coaches joked, "Slow."

CONSERVING FUEL: Haslett said that he will be careful in how much he asks of kick returner Michael Lewis, who plays a lot on special teams and also sees time at wide receiver.

"We try to limit Michael on some of the special teams because they do get beat up," said Haslett. "He and (Kansas City's) Donte' (Hall) are not very big guys. I think it does hurt Donte' because he is playing a lot of receiver. He was their number two and number three last year, so I think it does take away from your return ability. You just have to be careful about how much you use those guys. The thing is that they get tired and beat up, and all of a sudden here comes a punt that they have to return. There's a chance for a fumble. There's a greater chance for a fumble if you are playing a lot more than if you are not playing. He's been outstanding (in camp). He had a couple of good returns the other day, and I think he's just going to get better and better."

FINAL PUBLIC PRACTICE TUESDAY: The final chance for fans to see the Saints work out in training camp will come on Tuesday afternoon from 3-5 pm at the Metairie facility.

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