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Hebert: Ready for regular season, but Saints still have work to do

The Cajun Cannon's analysis after the team's final training camp practice

Seth Dunlap
August 22, 2019 - 6:30 pm
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The final day of Saints training camp practice is in the books, but that doesn't mean the team's hard work in the preseason is over. 

They'll leave tomorrow for New York, where they'll play the Jets on Saturday.  Well, technically, that game will actually be played in New Jersey at MetLife Stadium.  Then, next week, they'll continue practice leading up to their final preseason tune up at home against the Dolphins.

Former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert is somebody who wishes the preseason was indeed over, and the Saints were beginning their regular season march next week.

"I wouldn't mind if we were playing the Texans this Monday night.  I'm ready for the regular season," Hebert said, his voice raising a half-octave in anticipation.

First, though, it's the Jets; a team starting from scratch — again — with a new head coach.  The third preseason game is usually the best exhibition test teams get as regular starters typically get more playing time than other preseason contests.  New York's defense suffocated the Falcons last week, using an unusual amount of blitz pressure for an exhibition game.

"I think it's a good challenge when you're looking at a team like the Jets, especially their defense and (defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams and what they're going to do," Hebert explained.  "I don't know if they'll use the same blitz packages but Drew (Brees) says they'll be ready for it."

The Saints defense won the day at Wednesday's practice.   That was a bit of a bounce-back effort for the group that had taken it on the chin earlier in the week.  

"A big plus for the defense.  I thought the ball hit the ground too much," Hebert explained. "You've got to give the defense a lot of credit.  They made plays."

An eye sore for the Saints offense this preseason has been their execution inside the red zone.  Those troubles have showed up during the first two preseason games as they went 2/8 inside the red zone.  A success rate like that in the regular season is sure to spell problems for the team.  Execution in that part of the field has been a priority the past few days.

"Situational football.  Sean (Payton) has been emphasizing that," Hebert said. "Right at the end of practice they'll do 30, 40 seconds left in the game and you're driving down the field.  The defense was able to hold . . . the offense out of the end zone."

Hebert was also keeping an eye on Deonte Harris, the rookie receiver and returner who has been a standout on punt and kick returns in the Saints first two preseason games.  Hebert says he'd like find out what Harris can do in the offense.

"They want him to be much more than a returner.  I just did the comparison with Tommylee Lewis.  I said hell, yeah, he's way better than Tommylee Lewis as a punt or kick returner.  I don't think he's at a level right now as a receiver as Tommylee Lewis."

Watch Hebert's post-practice breakdown in the video below.

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