Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Saints get back to work against the Patriots

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees exchange pleasantries

Two days after the New Orleans Saints put smiles on the Who Dats, the team took back to the practice fields in a full practice against the defending AFC Champions. The Patriots reported 5000 fans were packing the stands as practice began at 2pm eastern. Practice was spirited as the NFL’s top two offenses went after one another in individual drills and team drills.

The 78 degree temperature for a high in the Boston area didn’t hurt, I’m sure. And while I appreciate all of our local media members that probably have bruised fingers from tweeting basically play-by-play of today’s practice, I have nothing but contempt that your evening low is 65 degrees, while ours is 85.

GETTING NOTICED

WR Joe Morgan. Morgan made nice plays a year ago in training camp but an injury ended his bid to make the roster. This camp, Morgan has shown why fans that attended some of those practices last year liked his play. Morgan has speed, speed that could make him a deep threat for the team. The issue for him as is with all young receivers is being consistent and making those plays on a routine basis. Sunday against the Cardinals, Morgan had a nice catch and his second effort on the run, picked up a first down for the offense continuing a drive that would end with a touchdown. Morgan however misplayed a kick on special teams and missed a couple of easy catches.

Tuesday his play had everyone taking notice for the right reasons. During 7-on-7 drills, where linemen are left out, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw deep down the left sideline, Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington was there for the play but Morgan went up and made the catch. Later in practice, Morgan during the team’s red-zone drills, when the offense is inside the 20-yard line heading towards the end zone, quarterback Chase Daniel looked for Morgan on a fade route. Despite solid coverage by New England’s Sterling Moore, Morgan managed to come away with a catch, after both players collided in the air, Moore actually tipping the ball, but Moran laying flat on his back managed to still be able to pull it in.

S Malcolm Jenkins. After being dubbed “stone-hands” by some media members, fans and bloggers alike last season and at the start of training camp, safety Malcolm Jenkins has apparently found the right kind of sticky gloves! Jenkins, who had an interception on the second defensive play in Sunday’s game, picked off Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a two-minute drill.

MLB Curtis Lofton. New England’s offense is pretty deadly, especially in the red-zone. Tuesday during the Patriots red-zone drills once again a Saints linebacker made an interception. Sunday against the Cardinals LB Lawrence Wilson picked off a pass in the end zone to preserve the win. I KNOW it is early, but it seems like under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, linebackers may be put in better coverage positions to make plays.

NICKS AND BRUISES

Several Saints players did not work out on Tuesday. Starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson were both on the field but only Robinson dressed in a helmet in shorts going through a limited amount of drills as he continues to recover from a bruised shoulder. Greer is recovering from sports hernia surgery watched as practiced took place. Cornerback Johnny Patrick, who has had a solid camp, went down in practice and walked off to the locker room with a possible back or groin injury according to reports. Receivers Devery Henderson and Nick Toon joined Adrian Arrington as wide outs that didn’t go. Toon hasn’t been seen by reporters since injuring his foot last week. Arrington is seeking a second opinion in regards to a meniscus injury. Devery by some reports simply got the day off. Defensive tackle Tom Johnson also never saw the field. Linebacker David Hawthorne and guard Andrew Tiller also didn’t participate as they watched practice. Following the workout coach Joe Vitt was vague on the status of the players and details of the injuries.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

So you’re read the Saints take as to how practice went. Want to hear how the Patriots saw it? Well here you go, ladies and gentleman, head coach of the New England Patriots Bill Belichick.

http://www.patriots.com/media-center/videos/Bill-Belichick-Press-Conference—-872012/14332763-332d-4013-b517-b07c13e7b3fe

BON JOVI vs CHESNEY

Twitter exploded at the Start of Tuesday's practice as Jon Bon Jovi, a friend of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Bob Craft, made his way to the practice fields. http://www.patriots.com/media-center/photo-gallery/Patriots—-Saints-Joint-Practice—-Tuesday-August-7-2012/0a6d9886-399a-4428-a1a2-b00128f5bac0#1405727a-2eb1-436e-805d-78310a369302

That prompted me on my radio show the Sports Hangover, to discuss which team had the better representative from the music world. Country star Kenny Chesney is a friend of the Saints and a frequent visitor on the sidelines during games. At his recent concert on Friday, Chesney proudly displayed a Saints helmet, and during the song "Boys of Fall", plenty of pictures featured Saints players and coaches and a few pics of his "tryout" at training camp back in 2008.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees give Kenny Chesney a route
  • Tony Tribble AP Photo
  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees give Kenny Chesney a route

I referenced the "Big Cat" drill that LSU uses at practice. It pits a member of the offense against a member of the defense against one another. It's pretty simple. A whistle blows and then they go out at it.

So you have people? Who wins. Jon Bon Jovi or Chesney! Midfield. Head to head!

WHAT’S NEXT

The Saints and Patriots will participate in a joint walkthrough on Wednesday and kick it up a notch on Thursday as the teams play a preseason game set to kick off at 7pm central.

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