Reporting Paul Gallant
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Another busy week means another late post. Your reward? Arnold Schwarzenegger clips.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Who the hell are these hogs?
No J.J. Watt. No Antonio Smith…
Earl Mitchell gave us a scare when he took a while to get up from a hit. He spent the rest of his time doing what he’s done all pre-season…what Conan loves.
The cherry on top? The play of Jared Crick and Tim Jamison. The trio were an absolute terror for the Saints – an offense that sure as hell doesn’t slouch (until the 3 left the game). You’d prefer to have J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith on the field at all times, but it’s nice to know the D-Line has some quality depth. This unit is CLEARLY the deepest on the team.
Apparently, there was only one receiver on the field…
This was Andre Johnson after the first half:
During the first half, he looked great. Matt Schaub looked his way early and often, and Johnson did his job. I don’t expect to see as Andre-centric an offense during the regular season (when Hopkins and Posey are back). But the guy is a top 5 WR, and proves it every game day.
The Saints defense…sucks. Still, it was nice to see Ben Tate jump into the DeLorean back to 2011. A lot of that was due to great blocking by Brandon Brooks, Derek Newton, and the X-Factor: fullback Greg Jones. That guy is an absolute terror as a blocker. Arian Foster could be in for a big year running behind that guy.
DAS BOOTS. Again.
Between Lechler’s coffin kicks and 60 yard punts…plus Randy Bullock’s bombs out the back of the end zone with 55 yard field goals, maybe the special teams units won’t look so bad!
WHAT WENT WRONG
Well…pretty much everything defensively
Sorry to bear bad news. But once the hogs up front checked out, so did the secondary. Yeah, it’s the preseason. Sure, the schemes were vanilla. And duh, Drew Brees is a damn good quarterback.
Problem: Brees only burnt you once…on a 51 yard catch and run by Pierre Thomas.
Bigger problem: Luke McCown toasted your first team D more.
Biggest problem: Rookie Kenny Stills roasted Johnathan Joseph.
Again…preseason…blah blah blah. But you can’t be satisfied with that performance against an elite passing attack, especially when that was your Achilles’ heel last season.
Hey Bros…we can catch too!
Remember at the end of Predator, when Arnold is trying to get the alien’s attention?
Outside of the “kill me”, that was likely exactly how every Texans receiver working with Schaub felt in the first half. That said, you can’t entirely blame Matt.
Lestar Jean played well for the second straight game. But for the second straight year, KeShawn Martin struggled at receiver in preseason game three. The “One Shining Moment”? A drop on third and 10. Tough to be confident in your other targets when they can’t catch.
The Joe Marciano Moment of the game is brought to you by…
Yeah, that hasn’t happened to Marciano quite yet. And may never happen.
But there were two MARCIANO! moments:
- The holding that nullified a punt return TD for Keshawn Martin.
- A 52 yard kick return by the Saints’ Preston Parker to open the 2nd half
Yates V Keenum
Remember when I said the battle for backup QB should be over? Might be time to flip flop…
Both played well for the third straight game. And while I maintain Case Keenum has more upside and potential, T.J. Yates definitely won round three. Keenum won’t jump Yates on the depth chart unless T.J. is HORRENDOUS against the Cowboys.
Brandon Harris v The Cold Hard World
Whenever you see a flag, more often than not Brandon Harris is at fault. Lo and behold, the “No Fly Zone” was guilty of a block in the back on a punt return score by Keshawn Martin, then a big pass interference penalty that led to another touchdown.
Not a good look. That said…
Both calls were a tad questionable. And unfortunately for Brandon, a penalty prone player ends up on the short end of the stick more often than not. He’s got to be smarter in bang-bang, 50/50 plays like that going forward.
After that, I thought Harris played very well, with 4 tackles and a couple of deflected passes. I know he doesn’t exactly have the biggest fan club. But neither did Kareem Jackson his first two seasons. This year we’ll know for sure if he was worth that second round pick.