Kristian Quick Hits: Sproles back, Call more run plays, Vilma out
by Kristian Garic, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Nov 7 2013 8:42AM
It looks like Jonathan Vilma may have played his last down in a black and gold uniform. Vilma played in 12 snaps in the 26 to 20 loss to the New York Jets and had just one tackle. The veteran linebacker came to New Orleans in 2008 after a trade with the Jets and helped New Orleans win a Super Bowl in 2009. He battled knee injuries for the better part of the last 2 and a half seasons, and the team placed him back on injured reserve Wednesday. The Saints didn't offer any information on the transaction, but it's logical to assume his knee didn't respond very well to his first action of the season. The Saints had to let this process play out. He's been one of the valued veterans of this organization and helped build the team into a strong close knit group in the locker room.
Run, Run, Run, Run... a do Run Run:
Averaging just 79 yards a game on the ground this season through 9 weeks has the running game under the microscope for the Black and Gold. It's gotta improve. It absolutely has to get better.
"It starts with us (the offensive line) and it trickles down to other positions. Honestly it starts from the very top all the way to down and that's what we talk about. It starts with the play calling and falls to us. The reason it's not being called is because we're not doing a good job with it," Saints offensive lineman Zach Strief said after practice.
The Saints called 13 running plays last week, and Sean Payton said earlier in the week that he needs to do a better job in keeping the offense in more balance.
After just one play last week against the New York Jets, Darren Sproles was knocked out with a concussion. Sproles was back on the practice field Wednesday, taking every rep in practice and getting ready for the Dallas Cowboys. Defensive end Cameron Jordan(ankle), tight end Jimmy Graham (elbow/foot), offensive lineman Jahri Evans (hip), and linebacker David Hawthorne (toe) sat out of practice. Safety Kenny Vaccaro (chest) and wide receiver Marques Colston (foot) were limited in practice. Safety Roman Harper practiced fully for the first time since week 2 as he's battled a knee injury for the previous six games.