Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Friday, August 12, 2011
Observations on the Saints

By Pat Yasinskas

We know the New Orleans Saints can play offense and there’s no doubt that will happen when the regular season comes along. But the Saints didn’t even need their offense in a 24-3 victory against the San Francisco 49ers in their preseason opener at the Superdome.

The defense and special teams gave the Saints a fast start as Drew Brees and most of the first-team offense didn’t even stay in long enough to get a first down.

New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams looked like he was prepared for a playoff game, not an exhibition. He blitzed like crazy and the first-team defense was all over San Francisco starting quarterback Alex Smith. Safety Roman Harper spent as much time in the backfield as any of San Francisco’s running backs. Heck, Williams was even calling run blitzes.

The Saints also got a big boost from undrafted rookie Joe Morgan, who returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown. People thought Darren Sproles would make everyone forget Reggie Bush, but Morgan might be making a case to stay on the roster to handle some returns.

Some other observations on the Saints.