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Saints RB Joique Bell (Source: timesunion.com)

1. Joique Bell and Patrick Cobbs are fighting for a roster spot at a very crowded position with the Saints, running back. Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Darren Sproles are a lock to make the roster. Rumblings are that Chris Ivory may get a roster spot, not an injured reserve or PUP list designation.

Realistically the Saints could moved forward to the 2011 season with just these four running backs on the roster, but Payton may have learned his lesson after the amount of injuries last season at running back to reserve an extra spot on the roster for a fifth rusher.

Cobbs is a proven special teams contributor, an area of great focus for the Saints this off-season, and Bell has looked stellar in the preseason games he has appeared in.

Last week against Oakland Bell destroyed the Raiders defense with a bum knee and all, catching two passes for 90 yards and rushing six times for fifty yards with one touchdown.

Cobb has held his own averaging 6.7 yards per carry over the last two games — their performance tonight will likely greatly impact their chances to make the roster or not.

2. Run defense and the defensive line play over recent weeks has been anything but stellar. The Saints signed two of the leagues best run stuffers in Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers to fix a very leaky rush defense that ranked 16th in the league last year.

Franklin sprained his MCL against the 49ers and has since watched from the sidelines. He will not be placed on injured reserve but he will also not be ready by week one. The jury is still out on just how effective he will be, but it’s safe to assume when healthy he will become an impact player.

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Tags: 2011 NFL Preseason Adrian Arrington Andy Tanner Aubrayo Franklin Cecil Newton Dexter Larimore Dwight Roberson Isa Abdul-Quddus Joique Bell Michael Higgins Montez Billings New Orleans Saints Patrick Cobbs Sean Canfield Shaun Rogers Swanson Miller Tennesse Titans Terrail Lambert