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Saints Rewind: Negatives standout more than positives in Saints loss

Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia give their takes

Deke Bellavia
August 11, 2017 - 9:50 pm

By Deke Bellavia, @dekebigchief

On the day after the Saints first pre-season game, it’s time now to go back and take a look at the positive as well as the negative things that were on display when the Black and Gold took on the Browns.

Bobby and I hit on a few during the Point After Show.  And then we added a few more things into the mix on Sports Talk.  Weather it means anything or not I have no idea.  But for those keeping track the last time the Saints tasted sweet victory in the pre-season was back on August 23, 2014 when the Black and Gold beat the Indianapolis Colts 23-17.  Since that time New Orleans has lost 10 straight pre-season games! 

Keep in mind this is pre-season, teams don’t game plan in the pre-season like they would for regular season games.  And many starters across the league don’t step on the field after warming up. 

Now Bobby and I pointed out some of the things we liked and disliked.  Many players had their moments in the game including the play of RB Daniel Lasco, QB Chase Daniel was efficient going 4-of-6 in limited action. 

And the Saints lone International Player Alex Jenkins had a sack against the Browns.  Check out some of the other high’s and low’s from the Browns Game below. 

The positives

Saints 1st team Defense got the job done. 

The First unit held the Browns on three straight possessions without a first down.  On the Browns first offensive possession the Saints Defense shutdown Cleveland’s Offense on three plays gaining just three yards.  The Browns had more trouble with the Black and Gold D on their second possession running just four plays gaining just 13 yards.  And the third Browns Drive was a three play 16 yard possession.  However if you factor in the yards the Browns were penalized on their first three drives the end result for the Browns would be 10 plays, two yards, zero First Downs and three Punts.  Not too shabby!

Helmet Stickers for AK, TLL, DO, ML and RB stood out to me!

Yes I like tossing out initials of players so the above mentioned initials equal Alvin Kamara, Tommy Lee Lewis, David Onyemata, Mitchell Loewen, Hau’oli Kikaha and Raphael Bush all had solid showings against the Browns.

If this were the time after the game to give out those helmet stickers we all see players have after they play well, I would give each of the above players a sticker.  Tommy Lee Lewis had 13 total touches for 125 all-purpose yards. 

Rookie RB Alvin Kamara carried the ball four times for 35 yards averaging a whopping 8.8 yards per rush including a long run of 22 yards, DL Mitchell Loewen had a productive night with a sack and half, fellow DL David Onyemata was active finishing second on the night in tackles with four total.  And Hau’Oli Kikaha forced the Browns into two penalties by his passing rushing presence.  And veteran DB and Special Teams Ace Raphael Bush had three tackles including one for a loss.  And #25 added two more tackles on Special Teams.  When it comes to bang for buck and production it’s hard not to mention Bush. 

The Negatives


Still can’t seal the deal

This one falls on the team.  Offense, Defense and Special Teams all missed opportunities in helping enhance the Saints chances of winning against the Browns.  The Saints had too many miscues on Special Teams notably fielding punts, the defense did not get off the field at the end of the game.  And the Saints Offense could not save the day real late when they had a shot to pull one out.  Across the board there were too many misses in this one on the Black and Gold side. 

Bottom line is that the Saints Defense last appearance on the field saw the Browns go on a game winning 8 play 95 yard drive that resulted in the game winning TD.  And on the flip side the Saints Offense squandered a possible game winning drive when they fumbled away their last chance to pull off a win.  The Saints went on a 8 play 47 yard drive getting all the way down the the Browns 21 yard line before bogging down.

After picking up a first down on a 12 yard play that gave the Saints a 1st and 10 at the Cleveland 21 yard line the Saints went incomplete, 4 yard gain, incomplete pass and Nassib was sacked and fumbled on the final four offensive plays of the game.  That’s not the way the Saints wanted to finish the game. 


He’s “Oh G” NOT and O.G.

Using my back in the day youthful Old School Hip Hop language to describe what comes to mind when breaking down the play of QB Garrett Grayson.  If you just watch and listen you can pretty much easily tell that Sean Payton’s patient is getting thin to say the least when asked about the play and progression of Grayson.

Grayson simply put is just not improving like Payton wants him to.  I mean you tell me, has Grayson improved a lot if any since his Rookie Season?  Sadly Double G looks more like another possible future QB that is slowing playing his way off the Saints Roster. 


Coach Speak

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all become pretty much use to understanding when Coach Sean Payton is not pleased with something or some things.  Coach certainly did not look nor did Coach Payton sound pleased in his postgame presser. 

Coach talked about the lack of consistency at various times during the game in ball security department.  Payton did not like certain areas of his Special Teams.  Coach talked about not fielding punts correctly at times and of course a big no-no in professional football is when Kickers kick the ball out of bounds on Kickoffs! 

The Secondary drew some needs to tighten up thoughts from Coach Payton.  And the seven penalties for 56 yards was something SP was not pleased along with the play of QB Garrett Grayson.  But he did point out that Ryan Nassib did some things in the game better than he had shown at practices during training camp. 

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