There isn't much you can say when you are 0 and 3. "We're not playing well enough at this point, and we need to find a way to play well enough to win a game. We have to do a better job coaching, we gotta do a better job playing and then things will turn around," Coach Aaron Kromer said. For the first time since assuming the reigns as the interim to the interim head coach, Kromer had and edge to him this week. He was pointed and measured with his words, and pretty focused. He was as sharp as I have seen him since he took over for Vitt at the start of the season. I got the same feeling in the locker room. The sense of urgency can be felt throughout the building here on airline drive. The Black and Gold have their season hanging in the balance in week 4.
With the news about a deal between the NFL and the National Football League Referee's Association, the Saints weren't in the mood to talk about the guys in stripes. "All we're worried about right now is how we're getting better, and how we're going to win a game. I really don't have any comments on the officials," Kromer said.
Quarterback Drew Brees had a similar response, "That's not my thought process, it's about how I can prepare and help this team win. If there is replacement officials out there so be it, we still play the game the same way. If it's the other officials, so be it we're still going to play the game the same way."
With a touchdown pass in Sunday's game against the Packers, Saints quarterback Drew Brees can etch his name in the history books along side an all time great passer. Colts QB Johnny Unitas tossed a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games. Brees can tie that mark Sunday, but as is often the case the big picture matters most. "To be in the realm of a record that he has held for a long time, it's humbling. I focus on my job and to help our team win." The Packers have the toughest pass defense in the NFL. What gives Sunday?
Just three Saints players started the week on the injury report ahead of Sunday's week 4 match up with Green Bay. Linebackers David Hawthorne has a hamstring injury and Jonathan Casillas is listed with a sore neck. Defensive end Turk McBride is still recovering from a sprained ankle. The Saints have Ramon Humber back on the roster after serving a three game suspension. Humber replaced WR Greg Camarillo on the roster after the veteran wide out was released.
You bet it stings. You bet it's a big blow to a team that wanted to use the turbulent offseason as fuel to the fire, but the Saints remain steadfast in their belief they have the right people to climb out of a huge hole.
"Every Monday I go in and see Mr. Benson on top of other days, and this organization -including Mr. Benson- is as solid as a rock right now, and we're all in. Everybody's together. Mr. Benson's together (in this). He realizes the situation, and he feels good about the way it's happening. Obviously he doesn't feel good about the record, and we don't like it for him and the fans. Everyone's trying way too hard to lose these games, but we're going to get it fixed. We're going to get it fixed one day at a time and as a group." interim Head Coach Aaron Kromer declared. "We're that close."
While they might be close, the Saints simply aren't good enough. Kromer added that it's as simple as execution as to why the Saints are struggling.
After back to back weeks of allowing an opponent to rush for more than 200 yards on the ground, the Saints defense is clearly in the crosshairs of fans and experts. "It's not the scheme, Spagnuolo's scheme is sound," said WWL NFL analyst Mike Detillier.
Well the question becomes is it the players? It's one or the other. If it's not the scheme, it has to be the players. The Saints lack that difference maker on defense. Sure, they've gotten by in the past without one, but when the offense gives up four sacks, and doesn't secure a first down for the entire 4th quarter and overtime; the defense will be and is exposed. The defense was on the field 90 plus snaps during the loss to Kansas City. That is way too many snaps for any defense.
The Saints refuse to use that as an excuse, but clearly this team is missing the presence of their emotional leader. Sean Payton has presence that is irreplaceable with this organization. It's not so much on game day, but throughout the week in preparation. It was no more obvious than Sunday when the Saints called back to back time outs and were assessed a delay of game penalty. NFL rules prohibit teams for calling back to back time outs. The Saints won't use it as a reason for their struggles, but it's clear to me that is the main factor. I'm not saying the Saints would be 3 and 0, but I can't help but think they would be at least 1 and 2 with Payton.
No Way in Green Bay:
It's easy to make the argument the Saints don't stand a chance this week on the road against Green Bay in the majestic Lambeau field. It's one of the toughest visiting venues in the NFL for any team. At 0 and 3, it's daunting to think the Saints can go on the road in that environment and beat one of the best teams in the NFC. "I refuse to say we don't have a chance to win in Green Bay," said Kromer.
The Saints won’t use “We Miss Sean Payton” as the reason for their 0 and 3 start. I will! Sure, the defense is woefully inept, the offense sporadic, and the special teams not so special. Could Sean Payton make a difference in a 0 and 3 team? Absolutely. I’m not certain the Saints would be 3 and 0, but at the very least 1 and 2. It was no more evident the Saints don’t have a leader at the head coaching position than in Sunday’s 27 to 24 loss to the Chiefs. In the fourth quarter defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo called back to back time outs (against NFL rules) and the Saints were flagged with a delay of game penalty. It’s really not the fault of Aaron Kromer, or Steve Spagnuolo or even the players to be honest. Let’s talk about the team’s approach to leading without the head coach.
“This is Sean’s team”…we’ve all heard that mantra, right? “We’re following the plan Sean Payton laid out for us.” If that’s the case, the Saints need to deviate from that plan quickly. The plan wasn’t to be 0 and 3 against otherwise winless teams. The Chiefs, Redskins, and Panthers each have one win and are a combined 0 and 6 against the rest of the NFL. Coach Kromer can’t put his own stamp on the Saints because of this “It’s Sean’s team” approach. That logic is flawed. For the next 13 games it’s not Sean Patyon’s team. It’s respectable to honor the guy who means so much to an organization. However, General Patton didn’t fight his battles in the same manner as General Douglas MacArthur. Patton ran his command like Patton. Kromer or Vitt have to run the Saints like it’s “Aaron’s team” or “Joe’s team.” The approach is simply ill-conceived, and their unwillingness to deviate from that original plan is going to cost the Saints.
The players won’t publicly say it, but the Payton-less Saints are rudderless. They are without precision command. Sure, the players have to execute. But the premise that it’s “on them” is flawed as well. How good can we expect the execution to be without a solid directive from a leader who is ultimately accountable? In the Marines we never went into an operation with the idea of just taking the hill because we’re trained to take the hill. We took the hill with a precise, detailed strategy. The execution was flawless. When you have a leader who can execute the plan, you’re deadly. Right now Saints simply execute the plan, without precision. Leadership by committee NEVER works. You need the “alpha male”…(or in some cases “alpha female”) every group has one. The approach the Saints brain trust has this season…an interim for the interim is wrong. It’s not Sean’s team (for the time being), its Aaron Kromer’s team for the next three games. Until that approach changes, you can plan on gloomy Monday’s in the Big Easy. Buckle up! It’s going to be a long season.
0 and 3? What was once inconceivable is now reality for the Saints after they fell in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24. The offense sputtered in the fourth quarter, and the defense had no answer for the Chiefs offense, allowing over 500 yards in the defeat.
"They had a pretty clear plan, and we just weren't able to move the ball in the fourth quarter," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said during our WWL Monday Morning Quarterback interview.
Listen to Brees:
The Saints have been in this spot before with Brees at QB. In 2007, the Saints got off to a 0 and 4 start a season after making it to the NFC championship game.
"It's a new team, a new season, that was a long time ago. We have to see what this team is made of," Brees explained.
Saints fans have grown so accustomed to an offense that just makes it look easy, but that just hasn't been the case for the Saints this season. The offensive line is struggling to protect Brees, and that has made it easier to defend one of the leagues best passers. Despite the turmoil and struggles of the young season, Brees is still confident the Saints will turn this thing around.
"We have great people, we have a great scheme. We have a way of doing things that is the right way. If you do things the right way, good things will happen to you; and it might not be now or next week, but when it does turn look out."
This week the Saints are traveling to one of the toughest road venues in the NFL as they visit Lambeau field and the Green Bay Packers. The experts won't give the Saints much of a chance to win this week, but Brees says, "We don't have any other choice, we are going to play the game to the best of our ability."
The Saints are searching for answers, but the reality of 0 and 3 has set in. You are what your record says you are in the NFL and the Saints are 0 and 3, with the earmarks of a bad football team.
Defensive end Turk McBride (ankle) was the only player that did not practice on Thursday. Wide receiver Marques Colston (foot) and LB Jonathan Casillas (knee) were limited in practice. QB Drew Brees (ankle), safety Roman Harper (wrist), and WR Devery Henderson took every rep in practice. The Saints are about as healthy as you can be headed into Sunday’s tilt with the Kansas City Chiefs at noon in the Superdome.
0 and 2:
The saints have their backs up against the wall as they try to avoid going 0 and 3 Sunday against Kansas City. Several players told me this week that the team has remained even keel, almost as if they were 2 and 0. “As much as we would like to go out and win 14 games this week, we can only win 1 game.” Brees said. The Black and Gold are not used to being in this position, but none the less remain as optimistic as ever… despite their shortcomings the first two weeks of the season.
Yeah, I definitely said it in week 1, but I really like the Saints in this match up. They’re at home, they are angry, and frankly don’t want to start 0 and 3. That’s why I like the Saints. They’re favored by 9 points, and I don’t think they cover by 8, but I do think they win. I can see it in the neighborhood of 30-24. The defense makes some strides, but all in all the offense carries the team.
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was officially listed on the injury report to start the week of practice (ankle) but took every rep and said he's feeling good. Defensive back Johnny Patrick (thigh) returned to practice. Wide receiver Devery Henderson was also back at full speed after sustaining a concussion in week 1. "I'm good, I had a good practice today, and everything is all right," Henderson said. Saints coach Aaron Kromer is glad to have his deep threat back on the field, "He has speed, he blocks, he's physical, he can catch the ball... it's going to be a big impact having him back." DE Turk McBride (ankle), LB Jonathan Casillas (knee) did not practice. WR Marques Colston (foot) was limited in practice.
No panic in Saints:
Despite starting the season 0 and 2 for the first time since the 2007 season, the Saints are not freaking out and changing their approach or pointing fingers. "Stay the course," Drew Brees reiterated. "As much as we would want to go out and try to win 14 games in one week, we can't. We can only win one game." It starts this Sunday against the likewise 0 and 2 Chiefs. The Saints are almost taking the approach as if they were 2 and 0... in the sense they can't look past the next game.
Coach Aaron Kromer is preaching turnovers and protecting the football this week. The Saints have turned it over 4 times this season, while forcing 0 turnovers. The Chiefs have given the football up 6 times and also have not forced a turnover. It's the number one stat in football right? How about getting some interceptions from the Saints safeties? Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins have not picked off an opposing quarterback since December 12th 2010, that's a span of 24 games (post-season included). It was a stat that was a bit puzzling for Roman Harper. "Hmm, That's a great stat, who are you telling? I see all these guys getting picks, I want one too. It's been a while," Harper said. Yeah, it's been a while, a loooong while.
So the season hasn't gotten off to the kind of start the Saints envisioned in 2012. 0 and 2 can leave the best of teams searching for answers as to why or what has happened. As I visited with quarterback Drew Brees Sunday after the Saints' second straight loss, the All-Pro quarterback said he isn't ready to panic.
Following the 35 to 27 defeat to the Carolina Panthers, he told me, "Stay the course. It's all about our preparation. Don't allow outside things to distract you. It's a setback, but it's not something that will keep us from accomplishing our goals."
Brees is off to a bit of a rocky start himself, at least by his standards. He's completing 54% of his passes so far this season with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Brees is a 66% career passer, with 285 TD's to his 150 interceptions.
Brees says their past can help the current team weather this storm. "We've faced plenty of adversity since we've been here, it's just a matter of doing it again," Brees explained.
Throughout my visit with Brees he was his typical, confident and optimistic self. He told me at one point, "We don't like losing, but we also have a long season ahead of us."
So we still haven't found the answer to the question: Why are the Saints struggling?
"Everybody is going to search for answers as to why the Saints are 0 and 2. There are a lot of things that happened throughout the course of a game, if we can just make some of those plays, it really changes the outcome. Unfortunately we haven't been making those plays, we need to start making those plays," Brees insisted.
The good news for the Saints is they get back at it this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are searching for answers themselves after starting 0 and 2.
"We're going to have to execute well. We're going to have to do all the things that we preach that is winning football," Brees said as he talked about what will have to happen for the Saints to notch their first win of the season.
The Saints and Chiefs hook up Sunday in the Superdome at noon on WWL Saints Radio.
Saints linebacker Scott Shanle was limited in practice as the Saints prepare for the Panthers (leg). DE Turk McBride (ankle), WR Devery Henderson (head), and DB Johnny Patrick (thigh) did not practice Wednesday. Coach Aaron Kromer confirmed Henderson sustained a concussion in the loss the Redskins on Sunday. DB Jabari Greer (groin) was listed as full participation after he missed the game still nursing a groin injury and offseason surgery. The Saints also made a couple of roster moves. They put WR Adrian Arrington (knee) on Injured Reserve. Arrington is done for the season. LB Barret Ruud went back on the active roster after his exemption expired this week. Finally the Saints re-signed veteran WR Greg Camarillo to the active roster.
The Saints are working on the "little things" this week in practice as they prepare for their week 2 opponent in the Carolina Panthers. "(We had) a lot of little mistakes; a lot of things that killed drives for us offensively, whether it was a penalty or a mental error or you just missed an opportunity. We just had a lot of those, and they came at some pretty inopportune times (against the Redskins)," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said.
The feeling I've noticed in the locker room was that it's not OK to deal with losing, and the players are genuinely ready to atone for their week 1 mishap.
Players insist that division games count for 2 in the win/ loss column, and Brees expects a hostile game Sunday in Charlotte. "I know how good of a team Carolina is. I know what the game was like when we went there last year. It took 60 minutes for us to pull that one out in the end. I think we know what this team is all about. They're healthy. They're probably about as angry as we are right now after their week one loss, so we know what to expect."
The Saints swept the Panthers last year including a week 17 beat down 45 to 17 in the Superdome after the dramatic final minute win 30 to 27.
Following the Saints' loss to the Redskins, I got to talk one-on-one with Saints quarterback Drew Brees:
Q: Drew, when you guys point to things that went wrong, I'm sure you'll look at penalties?
A: Yea, it's what those penalties resulted in. You know, one of them, I know, was special teams, where instead of us getting the ball, all of the sudden it puts their offense back on the field. So defense has to rally and get back out there. There's not something that should happen. There was plenty on offense, where it was a big penalty that would set us back and put is in a 2nd-and-long, 3rd-and-long situation. We were not able to overcome that. At times we can, and today we did not, and it killed a lot of drives, and therefore, it resulted in keeping our defense out there entirely too long. It didn't allow us to get into any kind of rhythm and get points.
Q: From week 1 to week 2, that's when you guys have said that’s when you can see the biggest improvement…
A: Yeah, definitely, because you get that first one under your belt, and I think you learn a lot. Unfortunately, it was some not so good things, but things we can certainly improve and correct. We've got a great team, and we've got a great character. Unfortunately, you the home opener, and everyone's extremely disappointed...Fans, the organization, our team...But the fact is, there are 16 of these things, and it's a marathon. There's no better way to redeem ourselves than to go on the road and beat a good Carolina football team within our division.
Q: I know it’s never good to take any silver lining from a loss.. You were here last year as a one-loss team, and went on to 13-3.
A: Yeah, and similar things last year. I know there was a turnover that was a critical one in that game, we had a big play on special teams in that game, and we had a big play (in the Redskins game) with the blocked-punt touchdown, that was huge. You know, just some of the things that we know better...penalties, that kills you. We just never really got into a great rhythm. We were not efficient at all, offensively. We're used to being that way. It's frustrating, but we're going to get back on track.
Q: What kept you from getting on a rhythm?
A: Well it was the penalties. (Laughs.) The penalties set you back, and you can't convert first downs. I think we had four three-and-outs (in the game.) I think that's enough for the first half of a season. For us, I think just the expectation level is much higher for us offensively, that we're better than that.
Q: For fans who say, "I miss Sean Payton," is it that, or about execution on the field?
A: It's about execution. You know, I think we had a great plan, I think we were ready for this game, obviously it was an emotional week. But, the fact is, that team was pretty good. They played extremely well, offensively and defensively, they had a good plan. They didn't make the mistakes, we did. We were still able to overcome some of them, and had a chance in the end to win, which is unbelievable considering that we had a lot of them. I think it just teaches you that nobody is invincible to those types of things. You just got to continue to work at it, continue to focus on making sure that you are as efficient and as emotionally prepared as possible.
Q: I think one thing you can like about this team: You faced some early adversity, and then still had a chance to come back.
A: Yeah...Yeah. We've proven that time and time again. We're going to continue to need to prove that, because that is the National Football League...Because so many games are decided in the last quarter of the game by one play here, one play there. We want to be the team to make those plays to get us those hard-fought victories, finish games, because in the end that's what helps you achieve your goals.
Vilma move: The Saints have placed Jon Vilma on the 'PUP' (physically unable to perform) list. This was expected, given his injury. It was also expected when you consider that they had to make a decision after getting the roster exemption for week one from the NFL after Vilma's suspension was vacated by the arbitration panel.
Jon was battling that knee injury, and this gives him an opportunity to make sure he gets well if and when they put him back on the field. And I say "if and when," because as we've been telling you, Vilma could very well be re-suspended again very quickly by Goodell after the arbitration panel punted the whole thing back to the Commish. So, while this is expected news, Saints fans should be prepared for Vilma to be kicked off the roster AGAIN by the NFL.
AA: Adrian Arrington is back on the squad. That's no surprise, after Devery Henderson went down with what was believed to be a head injury. That leaves the saints a little thin at WR in this week's game against the Carolina Panthers. Not to mention, the Saints signed AA AFTER week one, so they don't have to guarantee his salary for the entire season, per league rules. They could make yet another move with AA on down the line if and when Henderson gets healthy, or at any point that it suits the team..
Good news: Johnny Patrick’s knee injury is not as bad as once thought. The team might get him back in a couple of weeks.
I'm guilty of buying into the "committee" approach while suspended Saints Coach Sean Payton serves his season long suspension. Now it is clear that approach did not work in week one. The Saints need one leader to hold players and other coaches accountable, be the voice of the franchise to the officials and motivate the team.
Aaron Kromer (above) and the Saints lost their season opener to the Redskins. I think we all thought the Saints would miss Payton's ability to call plays during the game, but we underestimated the undeniable swagger he brings to the sidelines. I didn't see that Sunday against Washington. I didn't see the confidence that was so common place in year past.
What's more? Aaron Kromer didn't distinguish himself as "the guy." He's in an awkward situation as the interim guy that will eventually go back to being the offensive line coach when Joe Vitt returns from his 6 game suspension to retake the interim head coaching duties. How does Kromer separate himself from his peers on the current staff? How does he establish that he's in charge?
The Saints were flagged for 12 men on the field in a critical juncture of the game against Washington. The penalty gave the Redskins a set of fresh downs, ate more precious time off the clock, and led to 3 points. Payton would have asserted himself to the special team's coordinator (Greg McMahon). Kromer can't necessarily do that considering he's technically on the same level as the assistant coaches. Kromer has consistently said the coaching staff will handle things with a "group" effort.
Group efforts are good, and needed with teams, but you always need that "alpha male." You must have the guy that is the clear cut leader of the team. The Saints simply don't have that right now. Kromer's 'I'm doing what Sean Payton would do' approach needs to change. He can't do what Sean Payton does, not many can. Kromer has to separate himself from the rest of the coaches and become the unquestioned leader in Payton's and Vitt's absence.
Leadership by committee doesn't work in business, the military or football. Sure the players have to execute, but without a definitive leader and plan it's difficult to carry out the mission.
After missing practice on Wednesday with a sore foot, wide receiver Marques Colston (above) returned to practice Thursday in a limited fashion. Defensive back Jabari Greer(groin) was also limited. Linebackers David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton were listed as "Full Participation." Only two players missed practice: Wide receiver Adrian Arrington (knee) and Marcel Jones (Knee).
The Saints tallied just 33 sacks all of last season, coach Aaron Kromer says the pass rush might be the biggest improvement headed into the 2012 season. "They've done a great job in pass rush at practice, having a plan on who's rushing where. I think we'll see a vast difference in a four man rush, than we did last year when we did a four man rush," Kromer explained. Defensive end Will Smith is out for the first 4 weeks of the season serving his bounty suspension. Defensive ends Turk McBride, Cameron Jordan, Martez Wilson and Junior Galette will factor heavily into the D-line rotation.
I get asked all the time if the Saints are different without Sean Payton at the helm. The short is Yes. If you asked me. 'Is it a drastic difference?' The answer is clearly no. You can obviously see the Sean Payton signature on this team. I was most interested in seeing it during "game week." What would that be like? Well, it's been their usual workman like approach. The locker room isn't littered with guys hanging around. The players are tucked away studying extra film, or getting in some extra conditioning. The voice might be different at news conferences, but the message is still very much the same. The Saints are heeding Patyon's "do your job" message.
The Saints initial injury report for the week came with a bit of surprise Wednesday. WR Marques Colston (left foot) did not practice. Coach Aaron Kromer says he expects Colston to return to the field Thursday. LB Curtis Lofton (ankle), LB David Hawthorne (knee), and DB Jabari Greer (sports hernia) were all listed as limited participation. WR Adrian Arrington (knee) was full participation. While it was a bit of surprise about Colston, let's wait before we get nervous about his status for Sunday's season opener against Washington. The really good news was RB Darren Sproles was not even listed on the injury report. Sproles battled a knee injury that kept him out the entire preseason.
The Saints were a pillar of strength for the Gulf South region, and the communities after Hurricane Katrina. The Black and Gold and the Who Dat nation share a special bond that's unlike any city. Coach Aaron Kromer says the players and coaches recognize their role in the community following Hurricane Isaac. "It's an honor to be honest, our leaders on our football team feel like they are a part of the community, and the community feels a part of us. It's just a feel you're doing something for your family member." Kromer also pointed out that the team still has to go out and execute, the raw emotions alone won't produce the win over the Redskins.
Brees holds court:
Saints QB Drew Brees can dazzle at the media podium almost as well as he can dissecting defenses. Brees talked a length about the city of New Orleans and why the bond between the city and its team is so special. The Saints have been in this position before. In 2006 New Orleans hosted the Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome for the first time since Hurricane Katrina wrecked the building. In 2008, the Saints opened the regular season at home following Hurricane Gustav against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both games resulted in wins for the team. Brees says the week 1 contest against Washington is important for a number of reasons. "Going out and playing well, and giving some inspiration to our fan base is important, everything that happened this offseason. When to come out and put our best foot forward and make sure that people know we are unfazed and we're business as usual. Every win counts a lot," Brees said.
Sean Payton has been known to tell the players not to listen to the white noise and don't listen to the elevator music on the way to the top. That advice may be even more important in his absence. The Saints players have a tremendous ability to shut out distractions and play. Most teams would not be able to handle the stormy offseason filled with bounties and suspensions, coupled with a destructive hurricane on the eve of the regular season. This team can handle it. Why? It’s because of leaders like Drew Brees and Zach Strief… along with Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper. Some teams give it lip service to say they are playing for "each other" but when guys on this team say that, they mean it.
With assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt beginning his 6 game suspensions, Offensive Line Coach Aaron Kromer is now leading the Saints through practice, as the team gears up for the season opener Sunday against the Redskins. "Today we went out and had an initial early start, a jump on the Washington Redskins. We had three periods of team and got some first and second down work done. They were playing really fast. We went away for the hurricane, came back and this was a chance to get those guys' legs fresh from camp; and it looked like they were playing very quick today,” Kromer said.
The Saints appear to be pretty healthy. Although the initial injury report will not come out until Wednesday, the only player that did practice Monday was middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle). Lofton later said he will be back on the field this week. "I'll be out there, can't wait. Today was an extra day; it was just another day of rest for us. As of Wednesday I'll be ready to go." Lofton also said he will play Sunday in the season opener at the Superdome.
The Saints elected 5 team captains. On offense QB Drew Brees and offensive lineman Zack Strief will lead the way. Strief was really humbled by the selection from his teammates. "It's 53 good people, hard workers and to be picked out of that group is extremely humbling, and I'm honored to be able to represent this team." Strief has risen from 7th round long shot draft pick to one of the main voices in the locker room. When he talks, the other players listen. On defense, the captains are the two safeties... Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins.
As I mentioned above, LB Curtis Lofton says he's going to be back on the field Wednesday. LB David Hawthorne returned to practice Monday, but stopped short of saying that he'll play against the Skins. "I'm just trying to do anything I can to make sure I am out there on Sunday." Defensive back Jabari Greer also looks like he's ready to go for the opener. "I feel great, I feel good, I feel wonderful," he told me with a smile. Wide receiver Adrian Arrington practiced as well, but looked like he's still working his way back from knee surgery during the preseason. Arrington didn't look like he was moving around too well
Saints GM Mickey Loomis and Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt officially began their respective suspensions Monday morning. Loomis will be back in week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. Vitt returns in the last week of October as the Saints travel to the Denver Broncos on a Sunday night. Remember, it's games not weeks. Vitt has been suspended for 6 games. Loomis has been suspended for 8 games.