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Monday, August 29, 2011
Saints ready for regular season

By Pat Yasinskas


The New Orleans Saints are already in midseason form. They put up 512 yards of total offense in a 40-20 preseason victory over the Oakland Raiders.

After up-and-down performances in their first two preseason games, the Saints played a complete game against the Raiders.

“I was pleased with the effort and I was pleased with our energy,’’ New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “That is something that was a goal of ours in this game; just playing hard and spending more time about each play then the final score or the score at any point.’’

Quarterback Drew Brees completed 15 of 23 passes for 189 yards and left the game early with New Orleans looking sharp on offense.

“He had enough snaps,’’ Payton said. “It was kind of similar, if you remember two years ago, to I think it was the third preseason game that you want to have an idea of how many snaps you want guys to play and you have to use some game-day awareness in regards to where guys are at. We substituted [Jon] Vilma, and a few others and then gradually got into our second phase, probably early part of that third quarter.’’

After a week in Oxnard, Calif., the Saints got an extra week of training camp and appear ready for the regular season.