New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens: Who we’re watching
By John Hendrix
We’re just about set to get our first look at the 2015 New Orleans Saints. Whether you have the jitters or are just ecstatic to see the new players, we’re in for a treat with the first preseason game. I previously talked about my keys to the game for the road contest against the Baltimore Ravens, and now I’m giving you my five players that I’m keeping tabs on as the game progresses.
The buzz is real, and we’ve heard nothing but good things about Stephone Anthony’s presence on the field in training camp. He’s a smart and instinctive player, and if he’s going to be the team’s starting ‘Mike’ linebacker, then we’re going to need to see a lot of his qualities shine early. Rob Ryan has committed to simplifying things on defense, which should help. Currently, Anthony is listed as the backup to David Hawthorne, but that may change quickly.
Credit The Advocate’s Nick Underhill for placing Willie Snead on everyone’s radar. Underhill has stuck with Snead since the beginning, and he’ll have a legitimate shot to crack the roster this year if he keeps it going. Whether it’s Luke McCown or Ryan Griffin throwing his way, I’m mostly interested in seeing Snead come down with his targets. After spending his time on the practice squad last year, Snead is out to become more than the next Lance Moore.
You want to see your first round pick get in some good work during real game action. Andrus Peat is currently listed as the team’s second option at right tackle behind Zach Strief. It’s easy to issue a blanketed statement that we want to see Peat effectively block, but I’m more interested in his ability to open holes and how many off tackle runs they use with him in the mix. I’d also love to see his ability to get down the field in the screen game.
Bobby Richardson/Tyeler Davison
This could technically be cheating rolling two into one, but there’s been a lot of good praises for the Saints young defensive line prospects. Most notably, rookies Bobby Richardson and Tyeler Davison are drawing a lot of interest. Davison, the team’s 154th overall pick, was someone high on my radar back during my mock drafts. With a team that lost Tyrunn Walker and Glenn Foster, these young defensive linemen have a strong chance to find themselves on the final roster with a successful couple of preseason games.
For a moment, forget the Garrett Grayson is Drew Brees’ future replacement hype. The Saints thought the world of Grayson during the NFL Draft, and used a third round selection on him. It’s time to see how his mechanics are. I don’t expect to see Grayson in action until the final quarter, and you can fully expect a lot of criticism or praise based off his first outing. With a rookie quarterback, the first thing I want to see is his comfort level in the huddle and taking snaps. Once we see that, then we can build off of it.
Which player(s) are you keeping an eye out for tomorrow when the Saints suit up against the Ravens?