Monday, August 25, 2008

Armchair QB: More like it

After a couple of games with a defense that looked like it was still full of holes, I was certainly pleased by their performance in what amounts to the real warm-up for the season Saturday night. My enthusiasm is tempered by the facts that we were playing the Bengals and their top two receivers were out with injury. But still the defense looked much improved, and Jason David was not in the starting lineup. Two very good points.

I was disappointed that the offense couldn't put more points on the board, but they still managed a solid performance. Deuce continues to look like he can contribute this year, and Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas looked as good as they did at the end of the year last year. The receivers also looked good, though I question letting Marques Colston get beat up the way he did on that first drive in a preseason game. All in all, a much better outing.

Also, congratulations to former Saint J.T. O'Sullivan, who really should have gotten a shot in New Orleans during the Aaron Brooks years, on being named starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Armchair QB: Good and bad

There were a lot of good things to see in last night's preseason game against the Texans. There were also a lot of bad things.

We'll start with the good. Drew Brees is already dialed in, and with the exception of a few dropped passes, our offense looked ready to go. Deuce McAllister made his return to the field and looked very good in limited action. He can still make a few cuts and still push the pile despite his knee surgeries. A healthy Deuce is one of the keys to making another run this year, and since he rivals Archie Manning and Sam Mills as my favorite Saints of all time, I'm just happy to see him back out there.

Now, the bad. Our defense is still full of holes, Jason David being the biggest. I heard a comment during the telecast that the Saints coaches still have confidence in him. How many times can a guy get burned like that before you start to lose confidence? Not that anyone in the defensive backfield looked like a world-beater last night. And where was that run-stuffing improvement.

I've still got some jitters about our defense, despite all the upgrades we made. Here's hoping it comes together over the next few weeks. Otherwise, we may just be hoping our offense can outscore everyone.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Armchair QB: Finally!

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.