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Kristian Garic

Talk sports and more with Kristian and Seth Dunlap on "Double Coverage!" 

Weeknights 8pm-11pm

Twitter: @kristiangaric
Email: kristian@wwl.com

Kristian: Arrington has surgery, Sproles out for Jag's game

Double-A:  Wide receiver Adrian Arrington had successful knee surgery, and will rejoin the team later today.   No time table was given on when Arrington might return to the practice field.  Running back Darren Sproles tweaked his knee in the Patriots game and rested today in practice.  Coach Joe Vitt says he will be out for this Friday's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Vitt added that if it were a regular season game, then Sproles would be able to go.  DB Patrick Robinson (shoulder) and LB David Hawthorne (hip) returned to practice today.  TE Jimmy Graham (back) participated in individual drills and the walk through portion of practice, but he sat out of the team portion as a precautionary measure by the Saints trainers and coaches.  Defensive end Turk McBride also sat out of practice with ankle injury.

Ball security:  Right now what may separate Chris Ivory from the other three running backs he's competing with (Sproles, Thomas, and Ingram) is his inability to hold onto the football.  Ivory has coughed up the football on several occasions in camp, including another one today.  If there is one sure fire way to ride the bench on this team, it's turning over the football.  Ivory has to do a better job protecting the football if he's going to make his way into the rotation at RB.  Rookie Travaris Cadet continues to push Ivory for a roster spot with impressive plays during camp.  

Man in the middle: You can instantly tell what a difference maker Curtis Lofton is at middle linebacker for the Saints.  Lofton is clearly guiding the defense on the field and is always around the football.  Lofton is a force in the running game, and he always seems to sniff out the plays before they get a chance to get going.  He might have the biggest impact on the defense this season.  "I am just hungry. As soon as I step on the football field, I feel like I have something to prove. I want to improve, and I want to be the best. Whenever the ball is on the ground, I want to be the first one to get it. If the ball is in the air, I want to get my hands on it. I am hungry and want to continue to be the best that I can for this team," explained Lofton.  

Defense wins:  If you're looking for a winner and loser of the day from the team portion in practice, it was clearly the defense that came out on top.  Brees and company started off kind of sluggish, and drew the ire of Coach Joe Vitt when they jumped off-sides during practice.  Vitt made the offense run sprints instead of running the play over again.  Chalk this one up to the defense.  The windows for the quarterbacks are tighter, they don't have the instant reads they had under Gregg Williams' man to man blitz schemes.  I've noticed an intriguing trend in practice and in the preseason games.  Quarterbacks (including Brees) are not getting clean looks at the coverages and are having to pull the ball down and redirect the target on passing plays.  That's all because of the zone concept of Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.  The Quarterbacks don't have nearly the room to put the ball because so many defenders are looking at the quarterback dropping back into coverage.  "They have a lot of moving parts to the defense, with Williams you knew what you were going to get, a lot of man blitz looks. With Spags you never know what's coming; they'll play zone, they'll play man." Saints wide receiver Lance Moore told me after practice.

Turnovers:  The Saints defense placed higher emphases on forcing some fumbles and interceptions today in practice, and it paid off.  Safety Malcolm Jenkins and CB Patrick Robinson each had an interception of Drew Brees in the team portion of practice.  "Today was more of a short-yardage emphasis and just doing all of our heavy packages, getting to the ball, over-populating on the ball, first guy there stopping him with the second guy in trying to strip the ball," said middle linebacker Curtis Lofton. "Some things that we are doing well:  We are stopping the man in our seven-man fronts, and I feel like we are starting to tackle well. Some things that we are not doing well:  Some leaky yards after contact. We would like to see more balls out and get to the quarterback a little more."  It's still a work in progress on the defensive side of the football, but you can see the players are buying into what Spags is selling.

Tags :  
Topics : Sports
Social :
People : Adrian ArringtonChris IvoryCurtis LoftonDarren SprolesDavid HawthorneDrew BreesJimmy GrahamJoe VittLance MooreMalcolm JenkinsPatrick RobinsonSteve SpagnuoloTurk McBride

08/13/2012 1:52PM
Kristian: Arrington has surgery, Sproles out for Jag's game
Please Enter Your Comments Below
08/13/2012 6:15PM
Good luck to AA
Hope AA can come back........so much potential...As far as Sproles, keep him out of next game and however many it takes to keep him well.......we all know what he can do, he has nothing to prove!
08/14/2012 4:20PM
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
Looks like to me if the defense keeps improving and I don't see why not. With the great offense we have with Drew Brees and Company,the offense will come around. Special is also very good. My prediction is 14-2 regular season and home field advantage. An undefeated post season and a Superbowl win. Who Dat Two Dat!
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