Kristian's Quick Hits: Defense stands out in Saints-Patriots
Defense: Well, even if it was a snooze-fest at times, there were a lot of positives to take away from the Saints-Patriots preseason game. In particular, the defense, and their ability to affect the passer and put pressure on the quarterback with their front four guys. Also, Curtis Lofton at middle linebacker. He had a number of solid plays.
Outside of the first-team defense, there wasn’t much to talk about. Now, you can see this defense is making significant strides under first-year Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and they’re taking his new schemes pretty well.
Picking at the scabs: The fill-in referees caught a lot of flak from fans. There were a lot of flags last night that I didn’t think were necessarily penalties. They just don’t seem NFL quality. There was some stoppage of plays at time, and the NFL has to get that fixed. You don’t want games going three and a half hours in the regular season; fans will get restless. As an official, the goal is not to become part of the game. These replacements ARE becoming part of the game, which is a big no-no. So I’d like to see the NFL come to an agreement with the regular officials and get this thing rolling.
Who’s back next week: Linebacker David Hawthorne didn’t play, but I think you’ll see him return to action next week against the Jaguars, and I think you’ll also see CB Patrick Robinson. For the most part, I think Devery Henderson and Mark Ingram will be back. The big factor here, they’re playing five preseason games and they still have three to go…they don’t want to get anybody injured early. Jabari Greer probably won’t be back, but I think most everyone else who sat out the Patriots game will be back on the field next week at home against the Jags.