Kristian?s Quick Hits: Startling without #9
Kristian@wwl.com - To say it was weird not to see Drew Brees on the field as the Saints go through Organized Team Activities would be an understatement. It's startling! Not frightening, because Chase Daniel did a pretty good job leading the offense.
Now, let’s not get it twisted; Daniel is nowhere close to being Drew Brees. That’s no knock on Daniel, it's just that not too many NFL quarterbacks are as good as Brees.
“It’s going to be different until he (Brees) gets here, but as far as those two guys have done, these first 3 days have been real positive," explained offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. . "The ball stayed off the ground, and for them it’s about assignment---are they making the right decisions with the ball, location? I would say all that’s been very positive, maybe a throw or two here missed that we’ve seen Drew make, but it’s been positive.”
Brees and the Saints continue to work toward a long-term contract, and the feeling among the players and coaches is that it will come sooner or later. Let’s hope it’s not later.
Lofton Leading: The Saints pulled a pretty big coup when they stole middle linebacker Curtis Lofton from the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. At the time, it was thought to have been an awfully good insurance policy if Jon Vilma was lost for a significant portion of the season due to the Bounty scandal. Lofton is leading the defense.
“I am excited," Lofton told us. "They expect a lot of me and I expect a lot of myself too. The reason why I came here is to win a championship and that is what everyone’s expectations are. You just have to keep taking it day by day and getting better. That is the number one goal right now."
You can see the natural leadership skills Lofton has. He will be a very nice addition to the defense.
Keep your roster handy: With so many new faces especially on the defensive side of the football, I found myself referring to my roster often at the OTA's trying to match numbers with names. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley is a player that stood out often.
“We are really happy so far with Bunkley. This is a very serious man who is serious about his craft and his trade," said assistant coach Joe Vitt. "He comes to work every day and wants to get better. We haven’t lost confidence at all in Sedrick Ellis but healthy competition is always good. There is a lot of competition in that room right now. It is going to be interesting to see how it shakes out."
Odds and Ends: Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is rehabbing his knee injury and not on the field at the moment for the Saints. Vilma is also involved in an appeals process to his season long suspension for his role in the teams' bounty program.