Deke: Bobby Hebert and Hokie Gajan recap Monday's practice
It was the next-to-last practice for Who Dats to see their Black and Gold heroes at Training Camp. The Founding Father of the Who Dat Nation was on hand as well:
On the Saints defense: Bobby says says the Saints defense is making strides so far during training camp. "I think the defensive line is coming around. I like the way the secondary is progressing. But I am a little concerned about the linebackers."
At today's practice: Bobby talked about the Saints working on short-yardage situations. "There were 12 plays run. The offense won seven out of the 12 plays. I think when it was the first team offense against the first team defense it was tied 3-3."
Bobby says the short yardage work was a good drill that featured a good bit of physical play. Hebert said that rookie defensive lineman John Jenkins had a good run stuff on RB Travaris Cadet keeping Cadet from picking up a first down.
Bobby's take on the Saints special team's struggles in last week’s preseason game against Kansas City: "Well, they (Saints) struggled last year. That area (coverage units) has to improve this season."
Bobby said that the Chiefs crushed the Saints in punt and kick returns as KC piled up 242 yards in returns. The Chiefs had three kick returns for 136 yards for an average of 45.3 yards per return. And KC added another 106 yards on six punt returns, averaging 17.7 yards per return.
"I know that Coach Payton will be looking to see how much the team has learned from the first preseason game to the Raiders Game this week. And he will be looking to see which players have improved from the first game."
Hokie's Call on today's practice
"They (Saints) worked on short yardage situations. It was about 75% live and the Saints ran the ball right up the gut. At times the defense took the running backs down to the ground, and other times they did not." Hokie said that he thinks the Saints are right on schedule as far as what they want to accomplish during training camp.
"I'd have to say that they (Saints) are about right where they need to be. Coach Payton is still installing his playbook and he and his staff will continue to follow their schedule as planned."
Gajan on the Saints 17-13 win over KC:
Hokie says that the Saints showed him that they are committed to running the ball more. "I think this team will run the ball more this season. I mean when is the last time we (Saints) ran the ball 36 times in a preseason game?"
Gajan said, that other than the breakdown on special teams in covering punts and kicks, that he was pleased with the Saints’ effort against Kansas City. "I saw no glaring mistakes other than on special teams coverage. I thought our defense settled down after that first drive by the Chiefs. There are some mental busts that took place but those mistakes will be corrected."
The Big Chief: After further review!
Well all weekend long all I heard mostly was about how the Saints first-team defense faired against the Chiefs first-team offense. Give credit where credit is due. The Chiefs first team offense did gash the Saints first team defense for 80 yards on 14 plays and a touchdown.
But after that first drive the Saints defense put the clamps down on the Chiefs. Kansas City finished the game with 215 yards of total offense on 58 offensive plays and 13 points.
When you crunch the number you can see that the Saints defense did improve throughout the game. In their final 11 drives of the games the Chiefs ran 44 plays for a total of 135 yards.
Kansas City was held to just six points in that same time span and gained on average just three yards per play. Food for thought!