Kristian on the road: Saints mix it up with Pats, & getting thin at CB
by Kristian Garic,posted Aug 7 2012 10:27PM
Kristian@wwl.com - 8.7.12
Depth erosion: The Saints’ depth at cornerback is really being tested. Jabari Greer had surgery last week on a sports hernia injury. Patrick Robinson is working his way back from a shoulder injury. Tuesday as the Saints practiced against the Patriots, defensive back Johnny Patrick went down with what is believed to be a groin injury. That leaves 2nd year veteran Marquis Johnson, and rookie Corey White running with the first team unit. Patrick will be evaluated and we will see if he’s on the field tomorrow when the Saints and Patriots practice against one another at 9am.
Bumps and Bruises: Linebacker David Hawthorne, running back Mark Ingram, and wide receiver Devery Henderson did not practice against the Patriots. For Ingram and Henderson it was described as a ‘’rest day’’ for both of them, given the number of reps they got in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday. LB Will Herring replaced Hawthorne with the first team defense. Rookie offensive tackle Andrew Tiller also did not practice. Defensive back Patrick Robinson worked in individual drills in helmets and shorts today, so that’s a positive sign he’s coming back from his shoulder injury.
Star Studded cast: The Stars were plentiful both on and off the field in Foxborough. Jon Bon Jovi made an appearance with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. On the field, does it get any better than Drew Brees and Tom Brady on the same field? What about at TE where you had Alex Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, and Jimmy Graham all on the same field. The aforementioned three players are just match-up nightmares for opposing defenses. “Gronk” and Graham are big bodied guys that no matter how good the coverage is by the defender, the quarterback will still complete passes. “There are a lot of Hall of Famers on that field today, especially the two trigger men (quarterbacks). I believe they’ll have busts in Canton one day,” Saints assistant Coach Joe Vitt said after practice.
Winner and Loser: It’s hard to tell who beat who in these kinds of practices. The offense is at a clear advantage in the NFL with the rules, but even more so in practice with very little contact. You can’t tell if a player would have been separated from the football on a reception, or if the defense would have sacked the QB. The prevailing thought among the media members covering the Patriots and the Saints all felt like the Saints got the better of the Patriots.
Replacement game: The “scab” officials were out at practice, and I saw more flags in practice than I saw at the H.O.F game in Canton on Sunday. The league has to do something about this labor dispute with the regular officials. The league places so many emphases on efficiency and player safety, but to me it’s a contradiction in those principles to have replacement officials that are untrained at the NFL level calling the games. Typically the league would never put more than one “rookie” official on a crew. In this case you could have an entire crew of “rookies”. Not a good sign for fans, players, and coaches.