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Sunday, August 23, 2009
Your observations on the Saints

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Since I wasn't able to watch the Saints against the Texans, I asked for your help. I asked those of you would could catch the game to send in your observations and you did. There were dozens of scouting reports in my mailbag. We can't run them all, but I picked some that seemed to represent the thoughts of many of you. Thanks to all who helped out.

Paul in Lafayette, La., writes: Observations on Saints-Texans game: You can write Mike Bell's name in permanent ink on the roster. The defense did a good job making adjustments. Both first- and second- team defenses allowed a TD on the first series but no point after that. The Saints have forced three turnovers in each of their two preseason games. That's a big change in New Orleans. Rod Harper is going to make it tough for the coaching staff to decide who becomes the Saints' sixth receiver. The goal line offense needs work. The Saints failed to convert on their first two opportunities from within the 10-yard line. P.J. Hill ended the drought with a two-yard run. Porter and Greer hold Andre Johnson to less than 10 yards per catch. Harrington did a decent job running the two minute offense (45 yards in 1:46 and got a field goal).Buck Ortega might only make this team if the Saints keep four tight ends. He hasn't had the best camp and failed to get out of bounds during the two-minute drill.

Archie in St. Bernard, La., writes: I thought the Saints played well. They struggled with penalties on special teams but they will fix that. I was really impressed with our running game. Mike bell had 100 yards rushing and a TD on only 10 carries, he stood out among all the rest. I felt that our D did good considering that we were in our base package throughout pretty much the entire game. Our dbs and lbs got after the football and created turnovers. We did let a few big plays happen but there offense was ranked 3rd overall last year and we were at their house. Our run defense was solid. We got some pressure on the QB, although I would like to see more sacks. Over all I give the Saints a B-. They could have done better. But it still was a very good performance. There is one problem though, we have to many talented wrs. Colston, Moore, Meachem, Henderson, and Arrington should make the final roster but that still leaves Courtney Roby who has been great in camp and returning kicks, and then there is Rod Harper who came out of nowhere during the offseason and has been very impressive in the preseason games. I know I'm still missing a few names but those 7 can all help out a lot. Is there any way at all that the Saints keep 7 wrs on the final roster? Or am I just kidding myself?

Cory in Baton Rouge, La., writes: About scouting on the saints-texans game:Rod Harper is making a case to the Saints organization. In the first preseason game he was as electric as someone from the af2 can look like in the nfl. And here again in the second preseason game he was a very interesting player to watch, returning a punt for a touchdown. I know this is the preseason and therefore there were limited personnel on the field but with some time and coaching he could be another coslton/moore diamond-in-the-ruff.In other news, Anthony Hargrove continues to make a statement and will, WILL, push Charles Grant eventually for the starting job. While he looked a little rough with the penalties, he is showing his talent and relentlessness. No wonder the coaches are high on him.Finally, we see adrian arrington make some very nice catches in this second game. This receiver group is deep but very talented. It will be interesting to see who is let go, especially considering the depth needed/wanted for the defensive backs and the safeties.

Benjamin in New Orleans writes: I found it incredible how dominate both of our lines were. Save for the first and part of the second drive the run, the offensive line blocked fantastic for the run and the pass.Obviously Mike Bell had a huge game for us, and those weren't just padded stats against a second team Houston defense. Bell ran with authority behind a line that blocked well all night.The turnovers the Saints have managed to produce to is remarkable. The attitude the defense was lacking last season came full force against the Texans.It's preseason and a bit early for jubilation and claiming all our woes bygone, but if the Saints have truly found the answer to their lack of defensive production and a solid run blocking line to give holes to our backs I don't see any team that we don't match-up well with.

Troy in New Orleans writes: Several serious observations: Never get excited about a pre-season game. Saints running game on track. Thomas ran well, Bell 10 carries, 100 yards. Saints against the run also on track: 35 yards rushing at the end of three. Not much more in the fourth. The Gregg Williams effect: three more decisive and timely turnovers. Robert Meachem: Most Improved player in NFL. Adrian Arrington: Watch out for him too .Did you notice: Joey Harrington looked effective with the ones, but when he went out, the threes had an immediate and unmistakable boost with Brunell.