Brees wants Bear off his back & Kreutz to ''kick...ass''
by Kristian Garic,posted Sep 16 2011 2:08PM
Saints safety Roman Harper returned to practice on Thursday after missing practice on Wednesday (ankle). Harper was listed as limited participation. Wide receiver Lance Moore practiced for the second consecutive day (groin) also listed as limited. Cornerback Tracy Porter did not practice (calf), Kicker Garret Hartley (hip) did not practice. Wide receiver Marques Colston (shoulder) did not practice. Defensive lineman Tom Johnson (calf) did not practice. "We sat Porter and Johnson with both their calves, and we'll see where they're at tomorrow. Both of them had tightness this morning and pain when they're walking, so we'll see where they're at when we go tomorrow," Coach Sean Payton said. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers was excused from practice on Thursday with a family matter. Porter's injury was sustained during practice according to Payton. It's really encouraging that Moore and Harper returned to practice. I would be surprised if either of them misses the game Sunday.
Sense of Urgency:
In the NFL there is a vast difference between 0 and 2 and 1 and 1. The Saints have some urgency to not dig a hole for themselves this week against Chicago. "When we started the week our focal point was putting three good practices together, mentally and physically getting rested and getting into our normal routine now that we're on a Sunday schedule and getting as much film study done and making sure we're doing all the little things in regards to our preparation. I think they understand that formula, and all of us are driven by that routine. I think mostly that's where the focus and energy have been," Payton explained.
Devery stepping up:
With Lance Moore out last week, wide receiver Devery Henderson came through with 6 catches for 100 yards against Green Bay. This week with Marques Colston out, Henderson will have to help lighten the load again. Payton says Henderson's health has been a big part of a solid start to the season. "He did play well, and he's been practicing well, and he's been healthy all during training camp. I think all those things combined have helped really get him off to the good start he had on Thursday night," the coach said.
That was the phrase that running back Pierre Thomas used when describing Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. The Pro Bowl LB returned to Bears practice on Thursday after the death of his mother. Thomas later said, "He's a hard hitter, but I'll be ready for him."
Saints center Olin Kruetz spent 13 seasons anchoring the Bears offensive line before joining the Black and Gold during training camp. Kruetz said that it will be emotional facing his former teammates, but once the game starts that goes out the window. "We'll be trying to kick each other's ass!" Kruetz said.
The Bear on Brees' back:
The Saints are 0 and 3 against Chicago since Drew Brees' arrival in New Orleans in 2006. Brees is 0 and 4 against the Bears as an NFL quarterback. In fact Chicago is only 1 of 2 teams remaining on the "did not conquer list" for Brees. "I know I haven't beaten these guys, and I've played them there (Soldier Field) every time, all four times in Chicago, three times with the Saints and one with the Chargers. Obviously I have to figure something out," Said Brees with a smile on his face.
All around back is his Forte:
The Saints defense is well aware of Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, after totaling 150 all purpose yards in their week 1 win over Atlanta. "He has very good hands. I think he's very comfortable in the passing game and you can see that, and he is a true runner and has good vision. He's someone that has been a really good football player for them, and I think you're starting to see him do a lot more than just play the running back position. He's a guy that has a lot of skills, and you have to be alert for him not only as a runner but also as a receiver," Payton said. Forte is undoubtedly the key the Chicago offense.