Deke: Saints delight fans at MHS, J-Byrd is the word!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Aug 21 2014 10:01AM
Card-carrying members of the Who Dat Nation began lining up before 3pm to get a seat, and once the gates opened around 5pm, the stands at Mandeville High School quickly filled up. “I think the fans really get into the practice. They had some good plays to cheer for, and it was a lively night,” said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert. The Saints practiced under the lights for about two hours Wednesday at Skipper Stadium, home to the Mandeville High Skippers.
Our resident pros got a birds' eye view above the field in the press box. Both Bobby Hebert and Hokie Gajan were thoroughly impressed with safety Jarius Byrd: “People can see why the Saints brought him in here. Byrd is one of the best in the game at taking the ball away and making plays. He’s going to be a difference maker for the Saints this season,” Hebert said.
Byrd, who inked with the Saints this off-season has quickly impressed all that has seen him practice. In front of a packed house, the veteran safety picked off two passes for the Saints defense. Saints Color Analyst Hokie Gajan had this to say: “I tell you, he is the real deal. He made an interception tonight that was one of the best catches I’ve ever seen on either side of the football.” Byrd had two interceptions at practice, including a remarkable catch he made when he picked off Drew Brees. Byrd would also pick off Saints back-up QB Luke McCown.
Hokie said that Saints DE Junior Gallette was very active tonight. “Coach Ryan moved Junior around and the results we solid. Gallette got the best of LT Terron Armstead and he did the same against RT Zach Strief. Junior Gallette is having a real good camp, and I think he’s going to have another good year,” Hokie said.
Hokie said that after having a few quiet days at practice, WR Nick Toon came to life tonight. “I know that we’ve been kind of wondering where he has been the last few days, and tonight, Toon had a good practice making a few catches.”
Give it up for the host school! Hey, y’all know that I have a sweet spot in my heart for high school football. Well, being back at Mandeville High School only makes me get more hyped about the upcoming season. Before we did "Sports Talk" Wednesday, I was able to watch a few minutes of the Mandeville High Football team.
The Skippers have been one of the best football teams in the area the last few seasons, as Coach Guy LeCompte has built a solid program. I think that the staff at MHS, faculty and administration deserve a little love; Mandeville was a gracious host.
I think sometimes we tend to take for granted that everyone has seen the Saints practice or play a game. That is not the case in all situations. As I walked to my car I could hear many people talking excitedly about how they were able to see the Saints in person for the first time in their lives. I know it was a lot of work to have practice away from their facility but going on the road for a practice meant far more than perhaps any of us will ever know to a lot of people. Tonight, the Saints made a lot of people happy.