Kristian@wwl.com - To say it was weird not to see Drew Brees on the field as the Saints go through Organized Team Activities would be an understatement. It's startling! Not frightening, because Chase Daniel did a pretty good job leading the offense.
Now, let’s not get it twisted; Daniel is nowhere close to being Drew Brees. That’s no knock on Daniel, it's just that not too many NFL quarterbacks are as good as Brees.
“It’s going to be different until he (Brees) gets here, but as far as those two guys have done, these first 3 days have been real positive," explained offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. . "The ball stayed off the ground, and for them it’s about assignment---are they making the right decisions with the ball, location? I would say all that’s been very positive, maybe a throw or two here missed that we’ve seen Drew make, but it’s been positive.”
Brees and the Saints continue to work toward a long-term contract, and the feeling among the players and coaches is that it will come sooner or later. Let’s hope it’s not later.
Lofton Leading: The Saints pulled a pretty big coup when they stole middle linebacker Curtis Lofton from the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. At the time, it was thought to have been an awfully good insurance policy if Jon Vilma was lost for a significant portion of the season due to the Bounty scandal. Lofton is leading the defense.
“I am excited," Lofton told us. "They expect a lot of me and I expect a lot of myself too. The reason why I came here is to win a championship and that is what everyone’s expectations are. You just have to keep taking it day by day and getting better. That is the number one goal right now."
You can see the natural leadership skills Lofton has. He will be a very nice addition to the defense.
Keep your roster handy: With so many new faces especially on the defensive side of the football, I found myself referring to my roster often at the OTA's trying to match numbers with names. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley is a player that stood out often.
“We are really happy so far with Bunkley. This is a very serious man who is serious about his craft and his trade," said assistant coach Joe Vitt. "He comes to work every day and wants to get better. We haven’t lost confidence at all in Sedrick Ellis but healthy competition is always good. There is a lot of competition in that room right now. It is going to be interesting to see how it shakes out."
Odds and Ends: Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is rehabbing his knee injury and not on the field at the moment for the Saints. Vilma is also involved in an appeals process to his season long suspension for his role in the teams' bounty program.
Saints Pep Rally. Saints Pep Rally. As a fan base, and for those fans that are local, we need to act soon. A statement has to be made directly to Mr. Benson. New Orleans and its fans put on the biggest post Super Bowl celebration that the NFL has ever seen. The Super Bowl party continued during the entire off season. It is time to show Mr. Benson that same kind of spirit, once again. At this point, talk is cheap. Action is now required. I am asking on many forums, for the local Saints fans to prepare for a Saints Pep Rally. About 50,000 fans should send the message. On a given Friday, at 6 pm central time, right as the NFL network is about to air NFL’s Total Access, and before the July 16 deadline to sign Drew to a long term contract has come and gone, the 50,000 strong Saints Pep Rally should take place at the Saints training facility. The theme will be simple. PAY DREW BREES! SIGN DREW NOW! Saints fans, we can not put Drew in a position to accept a one year contract, because of the love he has for our city and fan base. We need to back him, now. I want him happy and focused on the upcoming season. I want him to know, that we appreciate what he has done for the region, and simply put, we have his back. To all Saints fans, feel free to post this idea in any forum you desire and begin organizing with your friends to pick a Friday date, soon.