Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke's Saints - Jags preview: Home in the Dome!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Aug 17 2012 9:56AM
The Black and Gold open up their ten-game home schedule tonight as they entertain the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags had a good debut a week ago in their 32-31 win over the reigning world champion NY Giants.
The Jaguars are under new head coach Mike Mularkey, who is very familiar with the Saints, serving previously as the Offensive Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. Jacksonville also has a new owner, Shahid Khan.
Another note when discussing the Jaguars is that they are without their best player, and perhaps the best running back in the NFL, in Maurice Jones Drew. Drew is currently holding out as he is obviously not happy with his current contract.
The Saints will now get into their regular season schedule as training camp has officially ended.
Things to look for
First thing is that the starters will play a little longer than they did the last game, according to Coach Joe Vitt. After having a solid opening drive that led to a score in the Hall of Fame Game against the Cardinals, the Saints offense struggled last week against the Patriots.
This week should be a better opportunity for the Saints offense, as they will see the most action thus far in the preseason. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will play this week after missing last week.
In the Saints first two games Travaris Cadet has taken full advantage of his playing time. Through two preseason games, Cadet leads the Saints with 14 receptions for 109 yards and one TD.
Courtney Roby has had an impressive training camp as well. Long known for his ability to make plays on special teams, Roby has nine receptions for 139 yards with an average of 15.4 yards per grab in two preseason games.
Fellow wide receiver Andy Tanner has been playing well with eight grabs for 120 yards. The battle to see which wide receivers make the Saints roster has heated up with the play of Roby and Tanner, and Joe Morgan is certainly in that number as well.
Another thing to look for is how the Saints defense continues to progress in their new scheme under Coach Steve Spagnuolo. So far the defense has come up with three interceptions and has recovered one fumble.
LB Lawrence Wilson and DT Tyrunn Walker have both played well in the first two preseason games. Wilson has seven tackles and one interception in two games, while Walker is off to a good start with six tackles and one sack.
In the Saints defensive backfield, Corey White has played well. White leads the team with nine tackles, and he has made a tackle on special teams. LB Curtis Lofton shares the lead of tackles with White, as he also has nine stops in two games.
Coach Spags told us what he’s looking for from his defense against the Jaguars: “I’m going to present the same goals and objectives that we have for the first two games, which basically is to find a way to outhit our opponent, tackle well and make sure we’re in pursuit of the football. That’s not all exciting stuff for you. It’s cliché, but I think if we go past or beyond that and start talking about other things, you don’t get a good foundation laid, so that part won’t change.”
The Saints would like to rush the ball at a better rate this game, as the team has totaled just 174 yards rushing in two games for an average of 87 yards per contest. The Saints also need to protect the ball better, as they have been intercepted three times and fumbled the ball away once.
And on special teams, the battle for kicker continues…while the Saints remain as sound as any team in the league at Punter. Thomas Morstead is averaging 42 yards per punt this preseason. As far as the kicking battle is concerned, Garrett Hartley has made his lone field goal attempt while John Kasay is 2-of-4 on his attempts
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) @ New Orleans Saints (1-1)
Friday, August 17, 2012 7PM Kickoff Mercedes Benz Superdome
Last week’s results: Jacksonville beat New York Giants 32-31 / New England beat New Orleans 7-6
Like listening to all of y'alls comments on wwl.com
I live in SE Alabama, but my wife and I are huge Saints and LSU fans.
dollar bill on the wall behind chipper jones
What's with the dollar bill on the locker room wall behind chipper jones (on Chipper J. Bobble-head night in Atlanta). Noticed the obvious "ONE" on the wall behind Chipper during his post-game intrview...which you can see on the atlantabraves.com web site.