Black and Gold scrimmage Saturday finally arrives! KTDL and I arrive around 5 AM; a good three hours before for the gates open up. Way too early you might say but there is a method to our madness, we know to get the best seats in the shade you have to be one of the first ones in. When we got there we were about 15 to 20 people from the entrance….perfect. Good thing because as the morning dragged on the WhoDatNation showed up in force, I have been too many Saints practices but can honestly say I have never seen the amount of people who showed up for this scrimmage, unbelievable. They just kept coming and coming, I do believe the WhoDatNation is ready for some football and a little catch back if you know what I mean.
Walking Wounded: Pretty much the same ones who have been sidelined throughout camp. Marques Colston, Tom Johnson, Patrick Robinson, Ray Shipman and Seneca Wallace did not participate in the scrimmage.
I won’t bore you with the pre scrimmage stuff and will get right to it.
Opening Kickoff, Saalim Hakim takes it out to around the twenty. Drew Brees to Mark Ingram on a screen that goes for ten yards. The next play in what I thought was excellent running, Ingram up the middle for twelve yards and moves the pile for the last four yards, the crowd erupts. Joe Morgan for six yards, and when he gets back by the huddle he goes down. The trainers work on his right leg, they weren’t stretching it so I don’t think it was cramps, probably a pull. Ingram up the middle for five yards to which Rafael Bush comes up and pops him pretty good, Bush is going to make this team, he’s been solid all throughout camp. Jed Collins for five yards on a swing pass. Kenny Stills and Andy Tanner are getting some work with the first unit. Stills for ten yards on an out route. Ingram for five yards on a sweep to the left. Good coverage by Corey White for the incompletion on a sideline route to Benjamin Watson. First penalty of the day; off side’s defense. Darren Sproles on a short gain up the middle. A short Pass to Lance Moore followed by another short run by Sproles. Finally Ingram punches it in for the score.
That drive (first units) the offense pretty much dinked and dunked the defense, they took what the defense gave and I’m sure Saints fan will like this, they were balanced with the run and pass.
Saalim Hakim takes the kickoff out to the twenty. It seems the second team offense is going to go up against the first team defense, good they need the work. Jed Collins for fifteen yards on a screen pass from Luke McCown. Benjamin Watson for a seven yard reception. Travaris Cadet goes for twenty on what should have been called back in my opinion for a hold on Will Smith. Cadet goes for no gain on a nice run stuff by Kenyan Coleman. JR Galette schools the rookie Terron Armstead on a spin move for the sack on McCown. The next play illegal procedure is call on the O-Line; I really couldn’t tell who moved. Keenan Lewis with a nice read to come up and hit Travaris Cadet in the backfield but Cadet delivers a nice blow and gets back what would have been lost yardage, good toughness from Cadet there. McCown goes deep to Chris Givens but Galette was definitely held and would have had a sack, Galette has been nothing but disruptive today, body bags indeed JR. Galette again on a run stuff. Cadet with some hard running for four yards. Illegal procedure on Andrew Tiller. Jabari Greer makes a nice break on the ball but couldn’t hold on for the interception, and then Chris Givens couldn’t hold on to the deflection that would have been a score.
Travaris Cadet takes the kickoff out to the twenty but as in what seemed to be slipping down, he gets tagged and is shaken up pretty good, and his day is finished. It looked to me like he just got his bell rung but we’ll find out later what type of injury it is. Kirby Robinson with a long gain to the outside in what looked like broken containment, that being said this guy ran hard whenever he was in there, he’s shifty with real good speed. Chris Carr with a drop of an easy interception from Ryan Griffin (he will make up for it later) Tyrunn Walker gets in on the action with a sack on Griffin. Kevin Riddick does a nice job of dropping back in coverage and knocking a ball away. Chris Carr doesn’t drop it this time as he picks off Griffin, to be honest Griffin struggled today but he’s green behind the ears and I’m sure his head was spinning out there, I’ve seen him all week and he’s better than this.
After the Cadet injury the special teams stopped the full tackling drill and just did the full speed drill with the gunners/receivers and blocking.
Alright Brees back in and his first pass is dropped by Michael Higgins. Junior Galette is in full beast mode as he gets another sack, he’s hungry, you can tell. Pierre Thomas showing his form with a gain for 17 or 18 yards. Thomas again on a swing pass that goes for fifteen yards. Kenyon Coleman coming up for a no gain run stuff. Charles brown on the false start penalty. Jed Collins on a touchdown catch, really nice. Akiem Hicks continues his strong day with a sack. Mark Ingram while fighting for yardage get’s the ball stripped and Rafael Bush is there to recover the fumble. Jay Richardson who has caught my eye all camp comes up big with a sack; he flushed the QB from the pocket and then chased him down. Sproles up the middle for no gain. I don’t know what defense the Saints were in (amoeba?) but it sure confused the offense as Hick blew by with an easy sack, the offense wasn’t ready for that, I love it. Eric Martin with good pressure to force an incompletion, Martin seemed to be a little shaken but wanted to still play, the coaches pulled him. Kirby Robinson up the middle for about ten yards where he is met by Isa Abdul-Quddus and the vicious hit has Kirby doing a 360 flip over Isa, nice play by both players. Good hands by David Hawthorne on the deflection for the pick, Chris Carr caused it.
Ryan Griffin is back in. He starts out with an incompletion to TE Keavon Milton. Dion Turner in what I thought was great coverage goes up and uses his body to shield the receiver and comes down with the interception on the long sideline pass, he got called for interference. Myself and the crowd disagreed, it looked like good coverage and the refs heard it also. Ten yards on an out route to newly acquired Tim Toone. Robinson running hard again up the middle for six yards, and again to the outside for seven. Griffin buying time finds Austin Johnson for a leaping catch over two defenders in the corner of the end zone, really nice way to wrap up the scrimmage.
The practice ends with the player shedding their pads and doing 100 yard wind sprints, I think the Who Dat ladies in attendance really enjoyed the show. Anyways I thought the Defense won today, not by much but overall did some nice thing out there. It was a long day out there today but well worth it and I want to thank KTDL for helping me with info and for really getting all the tech stuff down, a lot of the film, photos, twitter feeds and multiple social media is her. I would also like to give a shout out to Jason Bernos from the Nola Rundown website/podcast for hanging with us; it was a good time enjoyed by all. Whelp that’s a wrap for now, the next scheduled practice open to the public is Tuesday, if the Saints don’t move it indoors, we will be back out. So until then, you know what time it is….WHODAT!!!