The New Orleans Saints have opened up the preseason 1-0, defeating the San Francisco 49er with relative ease — although no thanks to their offense.
Brees led the first string offense for about ten minutes through the first quarter with little success. He completed 1 of 4 passes for six yards, never converting a single first down.
In an “ah shucks” moment Brees lobbed a beautiful pass right down the middle of the field to Robert Meachem, who dropped it. Just another clear cut sign of how much the lockout has affected players.
Brees gave way to backup Chase Daniel, who sputtered on some drives, yet excelled on others. He finished the game 13 of 21 for 129 yards, but was unable to find the end zone.
Sean Canfield also received a little playing time towards the end of the game, completing 1 of 2 passes for 21 yards.
His lone completion went to undrafted rookie wide receiver Joe Morgan, who made a splash in the special teams department earlier in the game.
Morgan was the teams primary punt returned for most of the contest. In the second quarter he fielded a booming punt which he then zig-zagged into the end zone for a 78-yard touchdown, breaking tackles the whole way.
For Morgan it was a good audition for the Saints as his special teams contributions could be the factor on if he makes the final roster or not.
Adrian Arrington should be worried because he himself has no value as a special teams contributor, as gifted as he is a receiver.
Speaking of rookies running back Mark Ingram’s debut could have been considered lukewarm, rushing for 23 yards on five carries.
His shining moment came in the second quarter when he took a hand off up the middle, broke a few tackles, and found the end zone after a 14-yard scamper.
The negative stuff — he failed to convert a 4th and 3 on the ground, also missed a key pass that would have converted a third down later in the game.
It’s only the preseason so there is certainly no need for concern, but hopefully the Saints get him some extended playing time during the next few preseason games.
Running back Joique Bell is also making a case for a final roster spot, leading the Saints in rushing yards with 52 with a long of twelve yards.
Bell rarely went down on first contact and displayed good vision by routinely hitting the biggest holes made by the offensive line. He also had a pretty good punt return for 28 yards.
Tags: 2011 NFL Preseason Chase Daniel Colin Kaepernick Drew Brees Gregg Williams Joe Morgan Johnny Patrick Joique Bell Jonatha Casillas Jonathan Vilma Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints Roman Harper San Francisco 49'ers Scott Shanle Sean Canfield Will Herring Will Smith