Football is back.
As much as I love my Saints, to be honest, it's hard for me to get fired up about preseason games. Don't get me wrong, I watched every single minute of tonight's matchup with the Cardinals, but I certainly wasn't as focused on it as a game that means something. And, of course, it's even harder when you get to the fourth quarter and you know you're watching a bunch of guys that won't be on the team.
Still there are some good and bad things I take from tonight's outing. First, a win is a win, even if it's meaningless. Of course, Saints fans know that, historically, poor preseasons are better for us, so that makes me a little nervous. I'll start with the good points. Drew Brees was ... well, Drew Brees. No rust there. He looked sharp, as we expected, and we'll need him to be. The offense was clicking pretty well tonight, even with some notable absences. It was also nice to see Robert Meacham, the first round pick that didn't play a game last year, making some plays. I was a little disappointed that Pierre Thomas couldn't seem to get on track running, though he did have a pretty nice kick return. I'd feel a lot better seeing Deuce McAllister out there looking close to 100 percent.
Now the bad news. Same as it was last year -- defense. I realize it's only the first preseason game, and there were, again, notable absences, like new linebacker Jonathan Vilma. I was pleased with all the defensive moves we made in the offseason, but it didn't look to help tonight. I saw Randall Gay get burned a couple of times. I saw receivers catch passes without a defender within 10 yards. There's a long way to go until it starts to count, hopefully all the changes will come together by then.
It's too early to worry yet. I'm just glad it's that time again.