Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2008-09-09 (Tues) Saints Vs. Bucs

>>>>>>For pictures of the LdL gameday narrative, click here: Saints vs. Bucs 09.07.08

Here are a few observations having attended and re-watched the win over the Bucs.

• White jerseys at home. Hmmmm.

• The Saints were able to win with Colston only getting 26 yards and the following players never touching the ball: Stecker, Karney, and Deuce. This is not to say we can win without these guys. Rather it demonstrates the depth of talented weaponry on the roster.

• Shockey seems to be filling the void left by Kyle Turley

• Pierre had more rush yards than Reggie on fewer carries. Tres bien!

• The Tampa Bay offense’s only sustained drive of the first half was accomplished via two-minute drill. And it still only ended with a field goal.

• Not a single LB blitzed during the first half. Coach O gave Garcia fits just by sending the front four (Ellis, Smith, Grant, Clancy) on every play.

• Gary Gibbs started two rookies on Defense. Cedric was included in the aforementioned. Tracy Porter saved a touchdown in the endzone – on 3rd down, no less.

• For every run play Jonathan Vilma was on the field, if he didn’t make the tackle, he made the runner change direction. His total was 9. This tally was matched by…

• Scott Fujita, whose interception ended the game.

Sublime and/or Ridiculous:

• As seen in picture #12, fan across the aisle from us wore an eye patch with a fleur de lis

• During the fourth quarter, the camera went right to Gruden, just in time for him to put in a big ol’ dip.

• The NFL has a new commercial that features a remake of “Everyday Is Like Sunday” by Morrissey

Given his understanding of the ironic and the macabre, Moz would fit in perfectly as a Saints fan.

Monday, August 18, 2008

2008-08-18 (Mon)

Well, I went to the Saints / Texans pre-season game on Saturday night in the Dome. Even though I left my camera at Mike & Nikki's, I was able to soak in plenty. We met up under the underpass with a healthy representation of the two ticket blocks of usual suspects: Joey, Jay, Dave, Bob, Smoker, among others. The appetizer before hand was Modelo in a can. And a white can, at that. When was the last time you had a beer out of a white can? Love it.

Any report on this game could focus on any number of offensive highlights. Reggie’s hurdle into the end zone whipped the Dome into a frenzy. But he was arguably outdone by Colston’s one-handed touchdown grab. And hell, that never would’ve happened had Deuce not converted on three third downs during that drive.

However, the only thing anybody on less than a dozen gin drinks could take away from that game in Jason David’s underwhelming performance. The Saints are in a secondary pinch. They sunk a ton of money into getting David, and now they can’t give him away. However, the organization signed a new safety that played in the Pro Bowl…nine years ago. Check it out here: Schulters

After the game, I met up with Joey, Bob, and Jay to check out Dave with Juice at Le Bon Temps. Aside from a jukin show, we got to check out the USA vs. Brazil women’s beach volleyball during setbreak. Como se diz “delicious” em portugu√™s?

Check out this nugget from the second set for some tasty axe and keys.

Speaking of volleyball, the next day Mike and I competed in the more frequently held, but equally momentous, Gastrolympics. We hopped on a streetcar for my first post-Storm visit to Mandina’s. While he and I may not posses the aesthetic appeal of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, we ingested and imbibed with the gritty, medal-worthy resolve of the Bryan Bothers.

Our Opponents:
1 Order of Onion Rings
1 Veal Parmesan
1 Giant Speckled Trout Filet
~25 Oysters
4 Stoli Bloody Marys


Thursday, August 14, 2008

2008-08-14 (Thurs)

Given its talent, depth, and variety, the Saints D-Line has not been a question mark going into the season. But now Hollis Thomas is out for at least two months, and maybe the whole season. Could it be career ending? Who takes over? Read about the mole-men shake-up here: Hollis Thomas

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2008-08-12 (Tues)

Here's a Claiborne Avenue Classic. You know, right down from Pierce's old place.

Monday, August 11, 2008

2008-08-11 (Mon)

Well, you might say Mother Nature put a damper on things with the dampness. Yesterday afternoon's practice was cancelled, and this afternoon's practice - the last to be held in Jackson (afka LeFleur's Bluff) - was moved up to 1:30. In other words, no more camp reports. But, as Pierre Thomas would say, "Ce'st la vie, mon frere." However, now that I think about it, it just would not have felt right. Rainy and in the low 80s? That's not the 2008 Camp I know. Any practice I can't work on my farmer / Keen tan is for the birds.

With this being the last Camp entry, I was going to try and top yesterday's "Fan in shrimp boots" with a great video. Two years ago I received this great clip of 5 or 6 crazy costumed Saints fans. They were dancing in a Superdome tunnel, around a box one of them had apparently brought into the game. Most notably, one of these gyrating gentleman was dressed head-to-toe as Darth Vader - complete with helmet painted as a Saints helmet. Unfortunately, when you click on that particular link in 2008 it reads, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Universal Music Group." The song they were dancing to: 1999. Thanks Prince. I'm sure they were making a killing off that.

Nonetheless, I found this cool shot. And don't go too far, the season hasn't even started yet.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

2008-08-10 (Sun)

Payton cancelled this afternoon's practice. There are reports that it's supposed to storm some kind of fierce. Then again, they might just be winding down. Who knows. Who dat. 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

2008-08-09 (Sat) Afternoon

>>> For more pictures of today, click here: 2008-08-09 Afternoon

With this being the first day of open practices since Tuesday, I was pretty fired up about going to practice. As I’ve done the past two Saturday’s, I pre-game mealed with an oyster po-boy, dressed, with lemon and hot sauce, at Good Time Deli. Hell yes. Back at the upper fields, it was sunny but breezy. Really nice, actually. I later found out it was 94 degrees. Sounds like I’ve acclimated. The guys were in shorts and shoulder pads. Deuce, Shockey, and Devery were all in pads. Reggie was not. Hmmmm.

During the pre-practice, the QBs and Centers went through their standard snaps and dropping back mechanics. The DL was walking through drills with no helmets. The OL, LBs, & TEs were just standing around. However, on the other field, something new was amiss.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the noted sneakiness of new special teams coach Greg McMahon. A while back I described the Surf & Turf: a kick off return that combines the time-tested methods of the wall with a (mini-)wedge. Well today they added a new wrinkle. It involved the mini-wedge (three blockers, returner, and spotter) heading straight for one sideline. But at the spotters signal, one of the blockers and the returner break off and take an angle for the other sideline. So, the kicking team gets drawn to one sideline, but once they’ve committed, the ball actually goes the other way. Genius! And, oh so sneaky. The first string of S&T mk. II was Pierre and Skyler as returner/spotter and Karney, Zach Strief, and Antwan Lake as the mini-wedge. I would not want to face those guys. [*air horn*]

For this period, they revived splitting the team between the two fields, and each walking through 11-on-11 to work on the playbook. [*air horn*]

Plies, 2, 3, 4…[*air horn*]

In running to the drills of this agility period, some of the OL & TEs gave sarcastic yells of glee. “Yaaaaaaay! Alright!” Can’t blame them. Not only are two-a-days mentally and physically taxing, but the team just spent two days in the dry heat. The O snapped the ball and then ran 20 yards. On the other field the D would watch for the snap and take the angle of pursuit for 20 yards. After several reps by each of each, they broke down into positions. DL went through several dummy slalom variations. QBs & RBs worked on the exchange. WRs ran one-on-one. TEs were on the in-traffic drill: when the whistle blows, they turn a 180 and catch a ball as three guys hit them with shields. DL moved on to getting one good hit and then disengaging with the one-man sled. QBs and WRs merged for some route work. Corners and DBs separately drilled coverage. OL went 1-on-1. And the RBs worked on blocking [*record scratching*] Wait a minute! Nobody told them they were going to have to block! Oh, the humanity! [*air horn*]

First Period of 11-on-11. Drew kicked things off with a left sideline throw to one Jeremy Shockey. After a drop, an overthrow, and a stuffed Pierre run, Drew hit Deuce in the backfield for a mighty fine screen led by a pulling Jamar Nesbit. I can’t wait to see that during the season. Instant screen to the left was read like a book.

Pierre had much better luck on Brunell’s first play, a student body right. For the next three plays, they worked Brunell on bootlegs. The first was an incompletion to the Stecker in the flat – he just wasn’t open. The second was a textbook to Ghent up on the second level. The third was actually a fake with a counter give to Pierre that didn’t go anywhere. Palko, who I only realized today(?) has a full beard, threw several incompletions and overthrows while at the same time showing excellent pocket mechanics. [*air horn*]

[Ipanema 12 inch]

For the teams d’especial, they worked on S&T mk. II. First it was just the golf cart tires vs. the five specialists at full speed. But then they practiced 11-on-11. That play is going to get us some yards. It looks great. [*air horn*]

For the next period, LBs & DBs faced O skills, and OL faced DL. Or as Johnny so eloquently put it, “fat guys and skinny guys.” [*air horn*]

A little more 11-on-11. Two of the first three plays were Deuce running a perfect counter to the right and then catching an unpulled screen in the flat. Both were to daylight. Patten also caught a nice left sideline grab. From here, the period gets hazy. The pictures will show that the view was obstructed by not only the plays progressing away from the crowd but also the other players standing behind them. The only other play I really saw was Craft intercepting a Palko bomb and returning it at least ten yards. [*air horn*]

The team huddled and that was it. Post practice presented two unusual things. The first was Charles Grant running voluntary conditioning. (That’s funny, Bob never has a second cup of coffee at home.) The other was all three QBs and most of the WRs and TEs going through route drills. It appears they were trying out a mysterious #15. Interesting. Do they really need to sign another WR considering they already have to cut a few? Hmmm.

Autograph Props: Payton and Mehlhaff. Yes, you heard me right, Mehlhaff. He must believe in the power of positive thinking. I’m not saying he won’t make the team, but let’s at least wait for the eggs to hatch. I overheard several kids say, “I got Shockey, Brees, and #4.”