From the booth:
Saints coach Sean Payton will call plays Sunday night against the Colts from his perch up in the coaches’ booth in the Superdome. As the head coach and play caller - he typically calls plays from the sideline, but after having knee surgery this week he won’t be on the sideline. “This is going to go smooth, the play calling sequence I’m talking about,” Saints color analyst Hokie Gajan told me. “The only element you miss here is Payton’s demeanor on the sideline, when a butt chewing needs to take place, that’s the part that one of the assistants will have to do face to face.” The play call will come down from Coach Payton to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, to quarterback Drew Brees.
In the locker room this week, Saints players talked repeatedly about the sour taste in their mouth left from the loss to Tampa Bay last week. New Orleans hasn’t played a home game in nearly a month, and they’re stoked about getting back in front of their passionate fans. “It feels like we’ve been on the road forever, I mean Sunday night football at home against the Colts! This is what it’s all about,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The Saints could turn in one of their better performances of the season on Sunday night. The loss to Tampa humbled this team a bit.
The Saints are minus 7 in the turnover margin. That’s a recipe for disaster in the NFL if you continue to cough up the football that many times. New Orleans has to get out of give ways and start forcing more turnovers. Gregg Williams’ defense has only forced 4 turnovers all season. “ They’re growing each and every week, we’ve just got to continue finishing those plays and catch some of those balls that we have a chance on,” the defensive coordinator said. The defense has emphasized “ball out” drills in practice. In other words, the defense has been working on stripping the football away from offensive players in the last two or three weeks of practice. Let’s see if the work pays off.
In and out:
Center Olin Kruetz is obviously inactive for this game after informing the team that he has lost his passion for the game. The Saints have ruled three players out with injuries for Sunday night’s game: linebacker Will Herring (hamstring), tight end David Thomas (concussion ), offensive tackle Zack Strief (knee). Defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis is probable with an ankle injury. Middle linebacker Jon Vilma is probable (knee).
Sure Peyton Manning is a big loss for the 0 and 6 Colts. They’re without their future Hall of fame quarterback. However, they still have 28 players on their roster that have played in a Super Bowl. Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are playing as well as they’ve ever played, and the Colts are no pushover despite their winless record. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcone are playing really well in the passing game for Indy. With that said I like the Saints in this one. It will be close. The Colts have been a tough out this season. New Orleans 28 - Indianapolis 21.