Friday afternon at Saints Camp

The Saints put a wrap to their practice week this afternoon indoors as heavy rains once again fell in the New Orleans metro area.


Saints head coach Sean Payton’s final injury reports lists running back Pierre Thomas will be a no go Sunday, that means Mike Bell will share the bulk of the carries with Reggie bush


Finally, Jeremy Shockey did not practice on Friday due to an ankle injury and is listed as probably for Sunday’s game. Also Payton added that left tackle Jammal Brown, who is still recovering from a sports hernia surgery, would undergo a scope procedure to his hip on Friday.




The regular season is finally here and the NFL 2009 season is already underway with the Super Bowl Steelers edging the Titans 13-10 in over time.


So, how will the Black and Gold do this season, will it be another disappointing underachieving year, or will we be talking about meaningful football late December and January? Like many fans and media out there, I’m in agree that the Saints have improved in some areas, add that to a group that should have performed better the previous two seasons and that makes me feel as if this is a talented team. That schedule scares me when you factor in the Saints will have to play the NFC and AFC East Divisions. The Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, and Giants are tough teams. Dallas is the perennial team that should make the playoffs every season, Washington made the most noise spending wise this offseason, the Giants were in the playoffs last season, and Philly went to the NFC Championship game.


In the AFC East, everyone is giving the title to New England, and with the return of a healthy Tom Brady at quarterback they’ll be good, the Jets aren’t bad, heck they started out 8-3 last season. Miami won the division surprising everyone, and Buffalo well they just fired their offensive coordinator.  So six of those eight maybe seven should be competitive teams at the least, throw in the three NFC South Division opponents in Atlanta, Carolina, and Tampa, the saints will have their work cut out for them.


I believe the Saints will go 10-6 and yes that’s enough to win the NFC south. So indeed I see a playoff season. First though you got to take care of business on the field and that starts with Detroit in Week 1.


The Lions didn’t win a game last season and the saints are anywhere from a 13 to 15 point favorite. Saints players all week however have warned this ISN’T the same Detroit team the Saints embarrassed 42-7 the second to last week of the season.


Detroit has 31 new players on the current 53-man roster, a new head coach, and new starting quarterbacks in top overall pick Mathew Stafford. In fact, the theme all week at Saints camp has been not overlook this team.

“This is basically a whole other team. They don’t have many guys on this team that they had last year. They have a whole new coach, whole new atmosphere, whole new team,” says defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. “It’s a clean slate, it’s a new year. There is no gimmes in the NFL.”


Stafford has a strong arm and played well at times in the preseason, he also has the benefit of having a very good receiver in Calvin Johnson. Johnson as a rookie had 78 catches for 1,331 yards to go with 12 touchdowns.


“Did a lot of film study on him and the biggest thing is that he’s a big strong physical guy so, you don’t want to get up in there to much and battle with him at the line of scrimmage cause if he gets that one rip on you, it can a long day for you,” says Saints cornerback Tracey Porter who also believes Stafford could use Johnson as a security blanket in the game when in trouble. “You definitely want to be on top of your P’s and Q’s when you’re on him.”




As for how I see the game going on Sunday? The Saints have the better talent and should come away with a win. 31-13 is how I see it, an important win in the first quarter of the season in which the Saints play Detroit, Philly, Buffalo and the Jets. The Saints need to start 3-1 before the meat of the schedule kick in.

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