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Archive for August, 2009

Aug

30

Saints win in Oakland !

A tired Saints head coach Sean Payton addressed the media Sunday morning as the team arrived back in New Orleans from a 45-7 preseason bashing of the Radiers in Oakland just after one in the morning. The Saints win set franchise records for most points and largest margin of victory for a preseason game.

 

Sunday Payton “I like the effort and the energy. I thought we played hard. I thought we handled the warm weather pretty well, but there are a number of things that we’re going to have to work on,” Payton said. “Fortunately we still have two weeks before we get started and I think we’ll be able to point those things out to our players.”

 

The Saints played as well as you could have asked for in the first half scoring 31 points by the half and getting a pair of turnover via strips of the ball. Are the Saints this good, or are the Raiders that bad? “One thing about the film of games, often times it kind of brings you back, sometime when you think you played really poor, you put the film on and you see you did some things pretty well,” Payton said of his reviewing of the game Sunday morning. “In case like yesterday, when you think you played real well, you put the tape on and there’s just a number of things that you have to clean up.”

 

Oakland is not a very good football team and while the Saints are undefeated in the preseason and have looked impressive, back in 2007 the team looked just as good and started the season out 0-4. “This is an entirely different team than the ’07 team. I think you’re always guarded to some degree in the preseason. I do think however my experience is, regardless of the end score, you do want to do well when your ones are in there,” says Payton. “Typically if your ones are playing well there is some carry over into the regular season vice versa if they’re not, that’s important. It’s important to look good, but that being said there’s a bunch we got to work on. I like the effort. I think there’s some things that we can coach off of that’s encouraging.”

 

Payton said one of the disappointments of not having more of a competitive game, was that his starters on offense didn’t get to go through a two-minute period or work on goal line plays.

 

BUMPS AND BRUISES

 

CB Usama Young landed on his shoulder early in the first quarter attempting to intercept the ball. X-Rays were negative and Young on Sunday in the Saints locker room said he’s sore and just needs to rest it. “I’m not really sure how I fell. I know it hurt when I hit the ground,” Young joked who was not in a sling after he described his shoulder as throbbing with a sling on. “I don’t think it’ll be too serious.” Payton expects Young to miss Thursday’s game to close out the preseason against Miami.

 

Payton said that WR Adrian Arrington and CB Greg Fassitt suffered hamstring injuries. Arrington has been hampered by a hamstring injury most of the offseason and could hamper his chances at making the roster. “I certainly think he’s one of those players that’s competing for a job so, if that’s the case then that same term on the bubble would be equivalent to competing for a job,” Payton said of Arrington’s need to play. “I think he is a player that knows he’s being evaluated and knows that theses snaps are important. You got players like Rod Harper, Skyler Green, Courtney Roby, these guys there all trying to find that nitch for that fifth receiver position, potentially that sixth one we’ll see.”

 

HAMILTON GETS KUDOS         

 

Saints running back Lynell Hamilton had 95 yards on 16 carries Saturday in Oakland. Due to injuries to running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, Hamilton got a heavy dose of work backing up starter Mike Bell. “I like the way he runs. He plays hard. He’s working hard. I don’t know if there is a player that’s worked harder in the offseason than Lynell Hamilton has,” Payton said of the back that regularly was at the facility. “I think the ball security thing is something we can coach and he can improve on. I was encouraged with how he played, how he finished runs, he ran hard.” Payton added there is a chance the team could keep four tailbacks.

 

BUSH TO GET WORK THURSDAY, IF HEALTHY

 

Payton said Sunday morning that he would like to see RB Reggie Bush get some work in Thursday night against the Dolphins. Bush has not played a down in the preseason as he’s been held as he recovers from knee surgery and now a strained calf. “I am confident he’s gotten plenty of work in the practices, but I’d like to see him get some work in this game, maybe a quarter if it’s possible. We’ll just see where he’s at and if not then we just have to be judicious as we bring him back in.”

 

Aug

25

Training Camp ! August 25, 2009

 Thanks Gus for another article !

 

The Saints practiced Tuesday outdoors under cloudy skies that at times solicited remarks from those watching, that it was unseasonable cool for late August. The low humidity helped the Saints defense fly around as they enjoyed yet another dominating day.

 

In individual drills or team drills, defensive backs routinely knocked down balls, defensive ends put pressure on the quarterback and linebackers cause havoc. CB Randall Gay had a nice pass break up while covering WR Lance Moore. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma had a pair of interceptions. Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar also picked off a pass in team drills.

 

Throughout training camp the defense has had very good days at Saints camp and in the pair of preseason games played, they have been able to get turnovers as well. An area of concern has been the slow starts however in the games.

 

Against Cincinnati it seemed to take a while for the defense to assert it self and in Houston last week, the Texans took the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown rather easily. What’s the problem?

 

“Don’t know. Honestly we don’t know,” Vilma said following Tuesday’s practice.  “We know we try to come out here and practice fast and get into the swing of things early here at practice so we’re hoping that’s going to correlate and help us in the game.”

 

BATTLE FOR FINAL WR SPOT

 

Receivers Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem are all secure and have roster spots at the position group. The question that’s coming up is who will pick up that fifth spot, assuming that the team keeps just have wide-outs.

 

Sklyer Green, Courtney Roby, Rod Harper and Adrian Arrington all are fighting for that spot. Saints head coach Sean Payton has said that the fifth receiver must be a receiver that can play special teams. Green, Roby and Harper have seen time as kick returners, while Arrington has not. Harper helped himself with a punt return for a touchdown in last week’s preseason game.

 

“I know we have 50 or 60 practices before preseason and only four games before the season starts. So a lot of our evaluation happens in practice,” says Harper. “I joke around with some of the guys, its like every day is a game for us. We really have to approach it like that. We have to come out and want perfection just like a game.”

 

Payton has said that Green has had his best camp since joining the Saints and Roby was the returner for the team in games last season. Arrington appears to be the odd man out, amazing considering that this time last season he was being talked about as a player to keep an eye on. Injuries however have hampered Arrington.

 

In mid camp last season, Arrington suffered a toe injury that landed him on injured reserve. Then in the offseason, he suffered a hamstring injury. “It was frustrating mainly because that fact that I had to start back from the bottom when in the first week of OTA’s I was getting reps in with the first group,” Arrington said Tuesday. “Having to sit out, other guys stepped in and I had to start back from the bottom.”

 

Arrington had three catches against the Texans one of those a highlight type grab, but says he knows time is running short on impressing the coaches enough to earn a spot on the roster. “We got a big log jam for that fifth wide receiver spot, hopefully they make it a sixth spot,” Arrington said chuckling. “You know you never know how that’s going to work out but my whole thing is to go out here and be consistent. Show these coaches what you can do on a daily basis and ultimately it’s in their hands from there.

 

I feel that every opportunity I get whether its practice or in a game, it’s huge for me. Especially have sat out so many OTAs, I feel that every opportunity that I get is needed. I’m going to go out here everyday and work my hardest, to show these coaches that I’m a guy they can have faith in that can come in that game and help the team.”

 

With the startes likely to play through three quarters on Saturday in Oakland, the players battling for the final spot have just a few more practices, and about four and a half quarters of football left to prove they belong.

 

BUMPS AND BRUISES

 

RB Reggie Bush, DE Charles Grant, S Darren Sharper, QB Joey Harrington, TE Billy Miller all practiced on a limited basis.

 

Aug

17

It’s over. Jason David has been released by the New Orleans Saints.

— thanks Gus !!

The team released the cornerback that made many Saints fans cringe every time an opposing quarterback threw in his direction, Monday.
In Friday night’s preseason opener against the Bengals, Bengals receivers Chad Ochocinco and Chris Henry torched David.
David started 18 games for the Saints.

“I think what you try to do is you try to evaluate a body of work and I think we feel were we’re at right now at corner,” explained head coach Sean Payton of the decision. “Certainly we’ve got more depth than we’ve had in the past, that it was a decision we wanted to make.”

 

Payton said the positive play of free agent cornerbacks Jabari Greer and first round pick Malcolm Jenkins makes him comfortable with the release. “One of the bad parts about business is guys get cut and things like that, but business is business,” says Jenkins. “I know he’s probably down but we can’t control anything like that.”

 

David never seemed to fin into the Saints defense since his arrival and many fans called for departure prior to last season. Why the decision to keep the corner around all offseason and release him now?

 

“We were hopeful. To his credit, battled back in practice with intensity and remained focus when he hit some of his tough periods. He had some good games for us, The Green Bay on Monday last year was probably one of his better games when he was here,” said Payton Monday afternoon. “But it’s a little combination of the players now in front of him along with the body of work for him.”

Aug

12

Training Camp – Wed August 12th

Another story from Gus –

 

Just a light practice for the Black and Gold on Wednesday as the team prepares to open up their preseason schedule. The big question of the day was how did the workouts of linebackers Derrick Brooks and Derek Smith go and would the team sign either?

 

Both players had good workouts according to coaches, yet left town without a contract.

 

“Those guys are both in good shape, they’re in great shape. We’re not going to do anything right yet,” said Saints head coach Sean Payton following practice. “I’ve talked to both players. We’re going to get through this game Friday and into the weekend and then make a decision in regards of what direction we want to head.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams said both players were put through physical drills to assess their conditioning, and the results impressed Williams. “We worked them very hard by decision. Anytime you come in the middle of a training camp there’s catch up physically, more so than mentally. Both of those guys are pros,” commented Williams of the workout. “Both of those guys have plaid in a lot of different systems, but we needed to do a conditioning check along with that. I was very impressed with both of them.”

 

Payton said a decision to go with either player would be made when the staff meets on Saturday. “Neither player we’d expect to play in the game (Friday) so there’s no urgency in signing a player right now prior to two days before a game,” Payton said of the decision to not offer contracts out Wednesday. “We’ll see after Friday’s game were we’re at.”

 

Payton also believes contract negotiations in regards to money and length of the deal wouldn’t be the reason the team would or would not sign them. “I think that both players are hungry and looking forward to an opportunity. I don’t think that would be a big sticking point.”

 

 

NO GOZ FOR FRIDAY

 

Payton will hold out a few players from the preseason opener against the Bengals on Friday.

 

WR/KR Courtney Roby will not play as he recovers from a hamstring pull.

 

CB Tracy Porter and WR Lance Moore will be held out as a precaution as well.

 

CB Malcolm Jenkins may or may not play.  The decision will be dependent on if the coaching staff determines he’s far enough along physically to be able to play.

 

JENKINS IMPRESSING WILLIAMS

 

First round draft pick Malcolm Jenkins, a ten-day hold out, has four practices under his belt. Is that enough for him to play on Friday against Cincinnati. If the decision to sit him comes, it won’t be due to not knowing the playbook. 

 

“Mentally he did a lot of studying. He really did and I said that early on that he’s a sharp kid. I went through of different testing procedures and maneuvers before we kind of lined up and said he was who we wanted. He’s done a great job on staying on top of things,” complimented Williams. “ He’s meeting us at 6:30 in the morning. When I have staff meeting with the coaches, one of the DB coaches is in the staff meeting with me, the other one is with him. They’re grinding him and the thing about it is, they’re coming back to me talking about smiles on their faces about how he’s on it. He’s got it. He does a good job.”

 

BUMPS AND BRUISES

 

CB Reggie Jones went down late in practice with a serious injury. “They think it’s an Achilles, his left Achilles. We won’t know until the doctors take a peek at it but that’s the early prognosis,” Payton said after practice.”

 

WR Adrian Arrington took limited reps. TE Billy Miller did not practice resting a sore knee. CB Tracy Porter was held out again as he recovers from a hamstring injury. RB Reggie Bush also did not go.

Aug

11

http://www.gkattsports.com/

Well Gus Kattengell finally got his own web site up and running, when you have a chance check it out at http://www.gkattsports.com/ its new but its coming along nicely !

 

Gus thanks alot for all the reports while you were getting yours up and running we look forward to a few special reports in the future !

Aug

10

Jenkins has 1st practice with Saints

Jenkins has 1st practice with Saints

Saints first round draft pick cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was rudely welcomed to football in south Louisiana. Jenkins during a special teams period had to take off his pads and get cold-water sponges on his neck and drink fluids due to the heat. 

According to one Saints official, the heat index on the field in the morning practice reached 124 degrees.

“I had to kind of sit out for a little bit get used to the heat and everything with the pads and you know I got back in there and finished practice,” Jenkins said of his first workout in humid conditions. “I’ve been down here working out over at Tulane in the heat trying to simulate it but you know you come out the first day and throw on these pads and a helmet with a visor and everything it adds a little bit a element to it and it’s something I got to get used to.”

Jenkins ended the longest holdout by a Saints rookie late Sunday and checked into the team hotel at 12:30am, anxious to get his pro football career started. “You know I wanted to get into camp. I was really pressuring them to try and get me in here and I didn’t want it to take as long as it did but you know business is business,” Jenkins said after practice.

Patience was the number one issue Jenkins says he had to deal with during the negotiations, as family members and his agent expressed to him that waiting for the right deal was prudent. The football player in him however was antsy, so much so that last week, Jenkins had told his representatives that he wanted to be in camp on Wednesday. “I told them that I was going to be ready to take whatever, but after talking to them and talking to my parents and things like that and just everybody advising me just to be patient for a little bit, and hold on,” Jenkins said. “Towards the end of the week things started picking up as far as the negotiations so I just let time take its toll.”

Jenkins holdout lasted 10 days and the cornerback missed a total of 14 practices. Still, the rookie believes his biggest obstacle will be conditioning and not the playbook. “I’m not behind at all. I know the playbook, studied it day in and day out. They didn’t really install anything new since the spring,” says Jenkins of what his learning curve will be. “Really I just got to catch up physically and get into football shape.”

Last year’s first round draft pick defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis said at the start of camp, his toughest challenge was getting into football shape after a long lay off. Rookies haven’t played football at an up tempo speed since the bowl season.

“Last time I had shoulder pads on was January 5th. That’s a long lay off and to come back and not really doing anything and jump into two a days that’s a lot,” Jenkins adds. “It’s going to take me a couple of practices to catch up to speed but I’m confident it’ll be there.”

Jenkins expects to be ready for the Saints preseason opener on Friday inside the Superdome against Cincinnati and feels that despite the holdout can and will be a big contributor to the Saints on defense this season.

“My personal goals are to start. I mean I think I’m good enough to, I know they’re some good guys in front of me, everybody’s working hard so it’s not going to be something I’m just going to walk into,” says Jenkins. “My personal goal is to start, I mean I want to be the best I can be but if that doesn’t happen, I just want to contribute as much as I can.”

BUMPS AND BRUISES

CB Tracy Porter did not practice in the morning. Porter was seen with an ice pack wrapped around his right knee following Saturday’s scrimmage. Porter had no visible wraps or braces on his leg this morning.

WR/ KR Courtney Roby left practice with a slight limp following a special teams drill.

by: Gus Kattengell

Aug

10

Jenkins Signs !

First round draft pick cornerback Malcolm Jenkins is officially a member of the New Orleans Saints. The Ohio State product coming to terms on a deal Sunday and is expected to be at practice on Monday.

Jenkins holdout lasted 10 days, the longest by a Saints rookie in 10 years. The 14th overall pick has missed 14 practices and will have to play catchup.

Gus K

Aug

08

Black and Gold Scrimmage

Rain forced the Black and Gold Scrimmage indoors on Saturday and in all it was a solid performance. The defense once again performed well picking up four sacks and forcing four turnovers.

 

Quarterback Drew Brees did not play. Brees left town late Friday due to a familiar matter and may or may not be back by Monday when the team returns to the practice fields.

 

DEFENSE SHINES

 

The defense as a whole had a solid day with four sacks. DE Charles Grant, S Chris Reis, DE Anthony Hargrove, and S Roman Harper got to the quarterback.

 

There also were four turnovers. LB Mark Simoneau picks up a fumble by RB Mike Bell in the scrimmage’s first opening drive. S Roman Harper picked off a deep pass from QB Joey Harrington, and CB Jason David made a nice diving interception for another pick. DE Jeff Charleston recovered a high snap.

 

“I’m anxious to look a the tape. It’s a two fold deal when you ask the head coach. When you put it on the ground your disappointed offensively, you took it away defensively it’s a positive,” Payton said of the turnovers. “The fumble by Mike Bell was discouraging because it looked like he didn’t have it put away cleanly, but I did think we made some plays on the ball defensively which is encouraging.”

 

COLSTON SHINES

 

Receiver Marques Colston played like it was a regular season game. Steady and every bit as a go-to receiver as he provides when the games count. Colston had six catches in the first two drives.

 

“We’ve been busting our butts since training camp opened and we’re starting to get into that groove and into that rhythm,” Colston said of the way the first unit played. The fourth year receiver played in just 11 games last season due to injuries but this camp has shown he could be on par for a 2007 season where he played in 16 games, snagged 11 touchdowns and had 1,202 yards receiving.

 

Colston also caught a 1-yard touchdown during the 2nd drive of the scrimmage. Practice game or not, it’s always nice to get a score, “You just want to make as many big plays as you can. That’s what the receiving group is out here to do,” says Colston.

 

BRUNELL RUNS FIRST UNIT WELL

 

QB Mark Brunell was very efficient when running the starting unit in place of Drew Brees. “I think for the most part the coaches will be pleased. We made some mistakes but we did some good things, we got the ball down the field,” Brunell said of the overall performance of the offense. “I thought we ran the ball real well. We’ll look at the film, make corrections and build on what we did today, but I thought it was a pretty good scrimmage.”

 

Brunell was four of four on the opening drive, prior to a Mike Bell fumble, hitting Colston twice. On the second drive, Brunell went four of five, finding Colston on all of his completions including the last one, a 1-yard TD toss.

 

“I’m smart. Throw to the big guy that can catch,” said a laughing Brunell of why Colston was getting all the passes. “It was in the progressions he was the guy we needed to go to based on the coverages that we saw. I just think it happened to work out that way.”

 

HELD OUT

 

Head coach Sean Payton held out the following players as either a precaution of due to injuries being nursed.

 

RB Reggie Bush, WR Lance Moore, CB Randall Gay, S Darren Sharper, WR Adrian Arrington, TE Dan Campbell, S Chip Vaughn.

 

Vaughn of the list has would could be the more serious of the injuries. “He’s got a little meniscus tear. It’s not real big and yet it’s caused some swelling and knee pain and we’ll have to examine it further,” said Payton after practice of Vaughn’s left knee.

 

 

BUMPS AND BRUISES

 

The scrimmage caused a few players to get nicked up, the most serious happening to LB Mark Simoneau. Simoneau suffered a right elbow injury and after getting it looked at by trainers, had his elbow wrapped heavily with ice.

 

CB Jason David received a pop to his right should while making a tackle, forcing him to the sideline for a few plays. David later returned to the field, later making an interception.

 

A diving S Roman Harper ran into CB Jabari Greer on his pick, and looked to have hit Greer’s wrist area with his helmet on the play. Greer did not miss action

 

CB Tracy Porter injured his right hamstring and was seen with bag of ice taped to the back part of his right leg after practice.

 

NIX SEES TIME AT LEFT TACKLE

 

Left tackle Carl Nicks took some snaps at left tackle towards the end of practice. “When you go to the game and you’re dressing seven or eight offensive lineman you got to have a couple of guys that can swing,” Payton said of his second year tackle who became the starter midseason a year ago. “He’s played left tackle in college so we took probably about five snaps worth, maybe a little bit more, so we’ll see how did on film.”

 

TIME OFF

 

The Saints will have only meetings Sunday and return to practice on Monday with a pair of scheduled workouts. Friday night the team opens up their preseason schedule as they host Cincinnati in the Superdome.

Aug

07

Training Camp – Friday August 7th.

Another story from Gus K !

 

The Saints wrapped up their morning workout and perhaps the combination of the heat, and having gone now through a full week of camp, practice at times was sluggish. The referees in camp through Saturday’s Black and Gold Scrimmage at times were littering the field with yellow hankies.

 

The afternoon practice was just a walkthrough as the team worked without pads. Practice lasted just an hour and ended with a bit of fun. Head coach Sean Payton had a pair of ball boys race, with players forming two lines on either side siding with who they thought would win. The winning bunch would get an extra half hour of bed check time at a later date.

 

BLACK AND GOLD SCRIMMAGE

 

The scrimmage will be held at the training facility and is closed to the public. It essentially is a similar training camp practice with a few more team drills involved.

 

Payton said the following players will be held out of the scrimmage: RB Reggie Bush, S Darren Sharper, WR Lance Moore, WR Adrian Arrington, TE Dave Campbell, and CB Randall Gay

 

BUMPS AND BRUISES

 

Safety Darren Shaper did not practice due to a bruise behind his left knee.

 

Linebacker Scott Fujita was absent on Friday due to a funeral

 

Left tackle Jammal Brown walked off the field with a trainer just prior to the end of the morning practice. Brown according to Payton was suffering from a stomach ailment, he did workout in the afternoon.

 

RB Reggie Bush did not practice although he was in full pads like the rest of the team. Bush observed team and individual position drill in his gear. Since the start of camp, head coach Sean Payton has said that on days where two practices were scheduled, Bush likely would only go once. The Saints running back is coming back from season ending knee surgery last season.  Bush did work in the afternoon.

 

HARRINGTON CATCHING ON

 

Quarterback Joey Harrington said when the Saints signed him mid season a year ago, that his number one goal was to come in and be a student of the game. Harrington was the 3rd overall pick of the first round by the Detroit Lions in 2002. During his tenure in Detroit Harrington started 55 games with a record of 18 wins and 37 losses. A trade to Miami in 2006, then a year later a trade to the Falcons and Harrington had turned from high draft pick to journeyman.

 

Perhaps the pressures of being selected at the top or the bouncing around from team to team, whatever the reason, Harrington has said he’d like to just be a back up for a while and learn how to play quarterback in the NFL. Something Head coach Sean Payton has always prided himself in is in grooming quarterbacks.

 

Harrington has started to pick it up as far as this training camp goes. This morning was perhaps his best practice, looking sharp, delivering the ball crisply and accurately. Harrington worked some with the second unit and in seven on seven drills threw three touchdown passes.

 

“I felt good. There is a lot of stuff in this offense that I need to learn I mean to be frank,” Harrington said Friday morning. “There’s a lot of detail in this offense, a lot of checks, a lot of things you need to be comfortable with pre-snap before you can even get the ball down the field. 

 

Harrington, who is 6’4 210 pounds, does have the size and arm strength. At times the problem is putting the mental aspect of the game together with his physical abilities.

“I finally feel like I’m starting to get to that point where I’m understanding the stuff that’s going on prior to the snap there for I’m able to really focus on making my reads and making my throws and I feel a lot more comfortable with that,” says Harrington.

 

“You need to be confident number one and then you need to be comfortable.  People talk about when the game slows down, that’s when the game slows down. It’s when you feel totally comfortable out there, and I’m not saying I’m feeling totally comfortable but I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to understand the intricate details that they’ve installed.”

 

Mark Brunell backed up Brees this season and Payton has said the back up role is open heading into training camp. Does Harrington feel he can make enough strides to secure the back up role?

 

“Not worried about it. Not worried about, I’m worried about learning the offense. When you worry about the result you stop focusing on what it takes to get there,” Harrington says. “If I sit there and worry about you know whether or not I’m going to be number I’m not going to take care of what I need to do in order to get to that position.

 

The things I need to do are go home and study, watch the film, come out there and apply what I’ve learned on the practice field and I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.”

Aug

07

Training Camp – Thursday Aug 6th

Another story from Gus !

A nice breezy afternoon welcomed Saints fans as they watched their Black and Gold undergo the day’s lone practice. It was one of the better days of camp for the Saints offense and once again the defense showed they continue to improve.

 “I thought over all it was a pretty physical practice. I was pleased,” head coach Sean Payton said after workout concluded. “Both sides of the ball did a good job responded. I thought we handed the heat pretty well.”

 

“It was kind of back and forth. I thought Drew did some good things. I thought we caught the ball. I thought we blocked up front pretty well in the pass drills. I thought the defense played real well in the run drill, you know the full contact period we had. I though defensively we did a real good job. I thought it was a physical practice.”

 

A trio of officials from the Big 12, CUSA, and NFL refereed the practice and will be in town through Saturday’s Black and Gold game.

 

BREES IMPRESSIVE

 

The Saints defense controlled the line of scrimmage most of the time the offense attempted to run the football. CB Usama Young made a nice open field tackle on a sweep Reggie Bush, wrapping him up by the ankles.

 

When it came time to passing the football, quarterback Drew Brees put on a clinic especially during one team period going three for three, tossing amazingly accurate passes. WR Marques Colston snagged a pass thrown in between LB Scott Shanle and CB Tracy Porter for a first down. Two plays later, Brees hit Colston throwing to his back shoulder just past the first down marker with CB Jabari Greer draped all over him for the completion. On the next play, Brees pumped left and then threw deep for a streaking Robert Meachem who made a great catch for an 80-yard touchdown.

 

“He’s just a perfectionist and that comes out in his play. He’s a guy that works extremely hard,” said Colston after practice of how he’s come to expect the steadiness of Brees’s arm. “That’s the one thing that Drew is really great at is putting the ball in a position where only his guy can get it. You know he’ll throw it in some tight coverage every now and again, but his guys are the only ones that can make a play on the ball.”


GRUDEN IMPRESSED

 

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and new Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden was out on the practice fields observing Payton’s Saints. Gruden into through Friday was brought in to talk to the team and sit in on some meetings to provide his insight.

 

One of those meetings lasted three hours with Payton and quarterback Drew Brees, a player Gruden said after practice, was someone he couldn’t wait to see practice. “Brees had a chance to sit in on a meeting today. We met for about three hours at lunch time just going over and talking football,” Payton said of some of the things the former Bucs coach did on Thursday.

 

“What people don’t see is Drew Brees behind the scenes. He is on top of things as you can imagine. This is very important to him, every snap, the outcome of every play,” Gruden said of the Saints starting quarterback. “He is a great competitor. Fearless guy and he’s a tremendous leader. You couple that with his talent and his instinctiveness, and the fact that he’s a lot better athlete then people think you have what you have, a superstar quarterback.”

 

Gruden who answered some questions from media after practice, believes the Saints have a chance to make some noise this season thanks to Brees and the additions made in the offseason.

 

BUMBS AND BRUISES

 

RB Mike Bell suffered a bruised hip in the practice but isn’t expected to miss much time if any according to Payton. “I think he’s going to be fine. We’ll take a look at him, thought he had a pretty good practice.”

 

WR Adrian Arrington was full go. The receiver had been limited the last couple of days as he recovers from a hamstring injury.