Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) on the bench in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports

Hebert: Michael Thomas shines for Saints

Seth Dunlap
August 24, 2019 - 11:39 pm

The Saints first-team offense finally saw the field together in the preseason.  It was a short stay for the group, but an effective one. 

An eight-play opening drive that took just 3:08 was all Drew Brees & Co. needed to march into the end zone against a beleaguered-looking Jets defense.  It was an emphatic statement that this offense, regardless of the struggles down the depth chart, is still a marvelous machine when operating with their pivotal pieces intact.  

Former Saints' quarterback Bobby Hebert loved what he saw in the opening minutes for the offense.

"Just a great first drive.  How else are you going to describe it?" Hebert asked rhetorically on 'The Point After Show' on the Saints Radio Network. "The individuals involved are who you think would be involved."

Brees was there, as was his entire first-team offensive line.  Running back Alvin Kamara touched the ball four times, including on the first three plays of the game, and looked like his typically-elusive self.  The only expected starter missing was tight end Jared Cook, who didn't play in the game.

Especially impressive during his short stint on the field was wide receiver Michael Thomas, who caught two passes from Brees on the opening drive for 39 yards.  The second catch was a picture-perfect back-shoulder grab for a score near the ride side of the end zone.  Thomas showed on that play why the Saints were willing to make him the highest paid receiver in the NFL a few weeks ago, fighting through good coverage to make a difficult catch seem easy.

"Great catch, and we talked about this; late hands, no panicking.  Drew threw a good ball, not a great ball, but Michael Thomas make the play having late hands," Hebert said.  

The Cajun Cannon went on to describe what he meant by 'late hands.'

"What it is, at the last second . . . you just put your hands up and catch the ball.  You don't put your hands up and wait for the ball do get there.  It's kind of simultaneously, so the defender doesn't see the ball coming because he's looking at the back of your head."

While the remainder of the game was blighted by a downpour of penalty flags, Hebert remained focused on those first few minutes.  In addition to the quick score, the defense forced a Jets turnover on their first possession.  That set up the second-team offense in great field position, although they would come away with only a field goal.

"That's what you want in that third preseason game," summed up Hebert.  "That's why Sean Payton is almost like, 'Well I've seen enough.'  Because we obviously Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, and Michael Thomas ready to roll week one against the Texans."

That's likely all you'll see from most of the starters on both sides of the ball this preseason.  The fourth exhibition game, which will be next Thursday in New Orleans against the Dolphins, is typically reserved for players down the depth chart, many of which won't make the final-53 man roster.  After that, the Saints will open the regular season at home against the Houston Texans on Monday, September 9. 

"I wish the game Monday night would be next week," Hebert said anxiously.  "I think we're ready to go."

Listen to the Cajon Cannon's full post-game commentary in the podcast below.

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