Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: Bobby and Hokie break down Wednesday practice
by Deke Bellavia,posted Aug 14 2013 5:41PM
Today, the most physical portion of training camp occurred when the Saints worked on goal line Situations. A 12-play period saw live action as the Saints got after each other, with the saints offense scoring 8 times, while the defense had four stops.
Below is the breakdown of what our resident pros had to say:
Bobby’s Take on the Saints working on goal line: "When the defense did stop the offense, they got into the backfield,” Bobby noted. Hebert pointed out that on three of the four defensive stops, those stops occurred in the Saints backfield. “They (defense) got doo penetration on those plays. That was encouraging.”
Bobby was impressed with Saints DL Tyrunn Walker. Walker thrust himself into the Saints backfield, stopping RB Pierre Thomas for a two-yard loss. “Walker is doing good. He came out of nowhere last season to make the Saints Roster and now he looks more comfortable out there this season.
Hebert said the worst part of goal line play was that of the Saints linebackers. “They (the LB’s) were getting burnt.”
Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan was very vocal, to say the least, at this morning’s practice. Ryan was not pleased with his defense giving up eight scores on 12 plays ran in goal Line play. During practice, Bobby pointed out Saints LB Coach Joe Vitt getting on to his LB’s.
Bobby said that the most impressive tackle during goal line work came when LB Eric Martin stuffed RB Travaris Cadet. On the flip side, Bobby said when the offense did score, they scored with relative ease. “Other than the run by FB Austin Johnson that was a close call, the offense scored without trouble.”
Later in team drills, back-up QB Luke McCown hit new Saints WR Patrick Crayton for a 15 yard Red Zone TD. OLB #97 Baraka Atkins had a sack on QB Seneca Wallace. And, #94 Cam Jordan also had a sack this morning on QB Seneca Wallace.
Kicker Garrett Hartley went long this morning during work on field goals. The veteran Kicker was 2-for-2 on making 55-yard field goals. But, Hartley came up a little wide to the left on a 58 yard attempt. The kick had the distance, but it was a slight hook.
Akiem dropped the ball - Again!
Yes another day at Saints Camp brings another unique observation from our resident pro and former Saints QB Bobby Hebert. After the Saints took a short water break following their work on goal line situations, the Saints then worked on special teams.
During special teams work, the Saints practiced kickoffs and kickoff coverage. And that’s when I heard Hebert say “Deke, Hakim dropped the ball. Say what? What Bobby was telling me is that Saints WR Saalim Hakim dropped the ball when fielding a kickoff. Of course, Hebert was referencing back when the Saints won their first ever playoff game when Saalim’s older brother, Az-Zahir Hakim, dropped a punt in the Saints' 31-28 win over the Rams in the 2001 Saints Playoffs.
Saalim did redeem himself later with a nice return that drew cheers from fans at practice this morning.
The sky was darker than normal and the temp at this morning’s practice was in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. “Anytime the sun is not out you feel better,” said Hokie. Hokie told me that back in his playing days, whenever there was a little cloud cover he and his teammates were a little more fired up to practice.
Today the most action at Saints Practice came when the team worked on toal line situations. Hokie got a little excitement in his eyes during Goal Line play.
“That was as much action as we saw in the entire Black and Gold Scrimmage. I thought when the offense scored they were good TD’s and when the defense held the offense out they shut down the run," Hokie told me.
Hokie did say that he was disappointed with the Saints defense and their ability to pass cover during goal line play. “I was concerned about how wide open the players were when the Saints passed the ball down on the Goal Line. That is something that they will work on.”
The Big Chief’s final analysis
Today Bobby and I spoke with Saints DL Tyrunn Walker. Big #75 is entering his second season in the NFL. “I feel more comfortable out there. I’m better than I was a year ago and right now our defense is improving each day,” he told us.
Walker played high school football at Westgate High School in New Iberia, then went the JUCO route to play for Jones County Community College.
“Yes I flew below the radar," he said. "But the Saints Coaches tell all of us that it does not matter how you got here. How you play is what matters most.”
Tyrunn Walker had a nice career at Tulsa in 2010 and 2011 before being picked up by the Saints after the 2012 NFL Draft.
Right back at ya!
I know that the players and coaches don’t pay any attention to what the media says. But it seem like to me that the Saints offense was fired up today a little more than usual, after all the talk this training camp has been about how much improvement the Saints defense has made.
This morning TE Jimmy Graham spiked the ball rather hard I might add after scoring a TD. And later, WR Lance Moore did a little extra something-something after he hauled in a nice pass. “It’s always competitive out there. Every time we have the ball we want to score,” said Moore.