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Saints focus on cleaning up penalties

Preparations for the Packers have begun

Kristian Garic
October 18, 2017 - 8:00 pm

Despite reeling off three straight wins getting above .500 for the first time in 4 years during the season the Saints hardly feel like the team is a finished product.  Saints coach Sean Payton is harping on a few areas his team needs to improve upon in order to have a winning season and a chance at a playoff spot.

“I think our third down numbers, offensively, have to get better. I think our communication, defensively, in eliminating some of the big plays that we’ve given up, even in the last game. I think our field goal protection has struggled. It’s going to cost us in a game. Our penalties on special teams are going to cost us. We’re ranked 23rd (or) 22nd, the bottom third of the league (in penalties on special teams). Those are some specific things," Payton explained.  In winning sometimes it's easy to gloss over the glaring mistakes, but Payton seems bound and determined not to let that happen to his football team. 

So this Sunday against the Packers should be a little easier not having to face Aaron Rodgers under center for Green Bay, right? Figuratively speaking it should be but QB Brett Hundley is dangerous in his own right. “He is very athletic. He’s fast. He can extend plays. He has a really good arm. I can recall when he came out, you see and feel his arm strength. On the move, from the pocket, he can make all the throws. I think the athleticism is something that you see with him. He’s not afraid to tuck it and run and he’s good at doing that,” Payton said. Hunley has spent the last two seasons as Rodgers' primary back in Green Bay. 

The Packers are banged up all over the offense, with three players along the offensive line dealing with injuries that could limit or keep them out of this week's practice ahead of Sunday against the Saints. Green Bay listed 14 players on their injury report today, while the Saints listed 2. LT Terron Armstead (shoulder) was limited in practice today, and WR Willie Snead (hamstring) was also limited in practice.  Armstead, and Snead both made their season debut this past Sunday against the Detroit Lions. 

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