Saints RB Darren Sproles was officially listed as "limited" in practice to start this week of preparing for the Raiders, but Coach Joe Vitt said that Sproles was "full go" in practice. Vitt explained Sproles took every rep in practice, but was listed as "limited" because it was a "no contact" practice. Sproles did wear a glove on his surgically repaired left hand.
What are the chances we see Sproles back in the mix this week against the Oakland?
"We'll evaluate that as the week goes on," Vitt explained. He also called Sproles work out "dynamite" Wednesday.
WR Courtney Roby (shoulder) was also listed as "limited." DE Junior Galette (ankle), OL Zach Strief (groin), and DB Corey White missed practice.
Raiders Coach Dennis Allen is affectionately referred to as D.A. among the coaches and players with the Saints. Allen was a part of the Saints 2009-2010 Super Bowl Championship team as the defensive backs coach. In 2011, Allen was the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, before taking the Raiders head job this past spring.
"He's a good teacher, I would think that D.A is implementing a lot of things out in Oakland that he learned here under Sean (Payton)," Coach Vitt explained.
Allen's rapid ascension in the coaching ranks in the NFL is no surprise to several players that I talked to. "He's got the 'it' factor," one player told me.
The Raiders are 3 and 6 in Allen's first season, but it won't take long before he'll have them winning more often than not.
Much has been made about the Raiders 55 to 20 pasting at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens this past week. Vitt is pulling out all the reminders that you can't count on a poor performance in back to back weeks from Oakland.
"Since 2005, any team that has given up 55 points, and they now return home, it's a different football team that you're going to play," Vitt explained.
In that span Vitt is referring too, teams are 5 and 1 after giving up 55 points. I know Vitt has to motivate the team, but that's about as obscure a stat as there is in football. Whatever works right? The bottom line is that Vitt recognizes what's on the line Sunday for the Saints. That is a chance to get to .500 this season for the first time.