5 things to watch for Saints vs Cardinals

Kristian Garic
August 17, 2018 - 11:20 am

All right here we are into preseason game number two for the Saints tonght.  The Saints are far from a finished product just reaching the halfway point of the preseason. This week and next will be the most important stretch of the preseason for the Saints. 

The Arizona Cardinals come to town tonight.  

Here are five things to look for:

1.  What's the energy level?  The Saints should be amped up in front of the home crowd.  Also, that was something they lacked in the preseason opener last week.  Look for the Saints to get off to a faster start defensively or offensively early in this ball in order to try and set the tone for the rest of the game. 

2.  Tackling has to improve!  Last week the Saints had a hard time tackling against Jacksonville, and that was understandable considering the team didn't have one live portion of tackling during camp leading up to the game.  That changed this week with two goal line sessions during the week of practice. I would imagine you'll see much better tackling and angles to ball carriers this week. 

3.  Who's the punt returner and kick returner?  Last week we didn't get to see too much from the punt return position because the Saints only forced one punt from the Jaguars.  WR Brandon Tate has looked the best in practice so far followed by RB Boston Scott as a the primary return guys. 

4.  Special Teams! Take note of which players are making tackles in the kicking game.  That's a good indication of who is going to make the roster.  Guys like Trey Edmunds last year made the team because of his ability to play special teams and make tackles.  A guy like LB Jayrone Elliot is someone to watch.  He played on special teams last week and contributed on defense with 2.5 sacks.  Those are the kind of numbers that will force the coaches to keep him around. 

5.  RB Jonathan Williams, appears to be the leader in the clubhouse in the bid to spell Mark Ingram during his four game suspension.  Williams has been impressive this camp, and he scored a touchdown last week. It appears as though the Saints are going to give him every opportunity to earn that job this year. 

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