Kristian Quick Hits: Pads are popping at Saints camp
The Saints spent most of the day on situational football with "full go" live tackling. With the live hitting, there were some casualties... but nothing believed to be serious. Offensive lineman Ben Grubbs was rolled up on and left the field under his own power, but he did not return. Running back Mark Ingram banged up his knee, but appeared to be no worse for wear. You could see the energy level the guys had getting a chance for a little contact. You can see the physicality of these guys, and oh you can hear it big time. The nearby businesses on Airline Drive probably felt the collision between running back Chris Ivory and defensive end Junior Galette on the run game portion of practice. Ivory got the better of Galette rocking him back on the hit and moving on for three or four more yards.
For the better part of his 10 seasons in the NFL Scott Shanle has faced competition for his job at linebacker. Year in and year out, he comes out as the starter. Some fans ask, 'How does he keep winning the job?' The Simple answer is because he's the better player. Shanle is in competition again this season, but appears ready to thwart off would be challengers. He's still working with the first team defense.
"I guess if you say it long enough that Shanle won't be here anymore, eventually your going to be right," the linebacker said with a wry smile. "I guess people get bored with 58."
Here is the deal with Shanle: He's smart, he's dependable, and he's a team guy. It's that simple! You might not like that he's not dominant, but he keeps throwing the water out of the boat.
Defense vs. Offense (Red-Zone):
The Saints plethora of weapons in the red zone outmatched the Saints defensive unit today. It's an unfair advantage to match TE Jimmy Graham on a 5 ft 10 safety/cornerback. What play will they run? How about a jump ball? Cha-ching! TD! When the defense defended that play, it was 'OK let's check down to RB Darren Sproles and let him make a guy miss in space' and boom... TD! The truth is that the Saints are a nightmare from anywhere on the field for a defense to cover. Inside the 20 yard line they're just plain dominant.
The Saints went 1's vs. 1's for two drives today. The defense stalled the offense after a handful of plays to start the period. That didn't sit well with Drew Brees. So, he proceeded to lead the offense down the field with precision passes to Graham and Lance Moore. In the blink of an eye Brees had the Saints in the end-zone on a 35 yard strike to Marques Colston. "That's more like it" said one fan after the offense started out sluggish.
Johnny be good:
Second year CB Johnny Patrick continues his assault on the "nickel back" spot on defense. Patrick made a nice diving interception today on a busted route from Devery Henderson. Patrick also forced Henderson to fumble later in the period. "He just seems to have a nose for the football, some guys just have that innate ability," NFL analyst Mike Detillier said.
Obviously if this were breaking news it wouldn't be near the end of my column. However, it is a pretty big piece of information. Safety Roman Harper can catch! I'm serious! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes, but Harper reeled in an interception when Marques Colston ran the wrong route, and Brees threw it where he expected Colston to be. Harper was there to collect on the charity. Harper and fellow safety Malcolm Jenkins have dropped a couple of interceptions this training camp, but for today Harper got it done.
Bumps and Bruises:
It's very early, but the Saints remain a little thin at cornerback. Patrick Robinson (shoulder) and Jabari Greer (groin) both missed practice on today. Offensive lineman Ben Grubbs left the field under his own power in the team portion of practice, but did not return.
(Photo by Chris Bennett)
Tags : Topics : SportsSocial : SportsPeople : Ben Grubbs, Chris Bennett, Chris Ivory, Darren Sproles, Devery Henderson, Drew Brees, Jabari Greer, Jimmy Graham, Johnny Patrick, Junior Galette, Lance Moore, Malcolm Jenkins, Mark Ingram, Marques Colston, Mike Detillier, Patrick Robinson, Roman Harper