Saints to hold practice on Hahnville campus

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2005

NFL Saints will hold a 2- 2 1/2 practice session on the Hahnville High School stadium field on Wednesday, August 10 beginning at 7:00 p.m.

A $5.00 donation charge will get you the NFL experience for the kids, an autograph session and a chance to see what the Saints look like for the upcoming season. Concessions will be available.  Bring the family out for an enjoyable evening on Tiger Drive! Questions:  Regina Allemand 985-785-1587 or Coach Lou Valdin 985-758-7329…..The Saints traveled to Jackson, Miss. on Saturday for the BankPlus Black & Gold Scrimmage and the team put on a good show on both sides of the ball at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

After a short break, the team came back on the field for the start of the three-drive scrimmage. All drives started from the offense’s 30-yard line and went until 15 plays were completed — with the exception of drives in progress at the 15-play mark.

The first team offense scored on their drive, thanks to a five-yard touchdown strike from QB Todd Bouman to WR Talman Gardner. QB Aaron Brooks started the drive for the first team offense, but handed the reins to Bouman after completing all three of his pass attempts for 26 yards. Bouman was 4-for-4 passing for 28 yards and the TD toss.

RB Aaron Stecker saw most of the action during the drive as he had four carries for eight yards. Brooks also scrambled out of defensive pressure for a seven-yard gain.

The biggest gainer during the drive was a 17-yard throw from Brooks to WR Devery Henderson on third-and-3 from their 48 to the defense’s 35.

On the defense’s side of the ball, DT Brian Young had a one-yard tackle for loss and S Jay Bellamy had a pass defense.

The second drive was in the hands of QB Kliff Kingsbury. He completed the longest pass of the night, a 25-yarder to WR Az-Zahir Hakim for 25 yards which converted a third-and-3 situation from their 37-yard line. On the seventh play of the drive, K Nate Fikse connected on a 47-yard field goal.

Kingsbury’s group went back out at their 30 after the field goal and the defense got their only turnover of the night as CB Fred Booker picked off a pass at the offense’s 40-yard line and raced to the 15.

The ball was reset at the offense’s 30 and Kingsbury drove the offense to the defense’s 28, where Fikse made his second long field goal of the night — a 46-yarder.

Kingsbury finished 4-of-8 passing for 52 yards. RB Antowain Smith had three carries for nine yards while Stecker had three rushes for 15 yards.

Defensively, LB Cie Grant had a pass defense and DE Jimmy Verdon tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage.

Then, it was QB Adrian McPherson’s turn at the helm. RB Keith Joseph was the workhorse of the third drive as he rushed three times for 22 yards in the first set of plays, which ended on a incomplete pass by the fourth round draft pick on third-and-18 from the defense’s 45.

With the ball back at the 30, Joseph again got the bulk of the work as he had three rushes for 12 yards and a pair of catches for eight yards. McPherson used his speed to get out of trouble and picked up four yards on a scramble. The 15th play was an incomplete pass on second-and-8 at the defense’s 46.

McPherson was 4-of-8 passing for 21 yards while Joseph was a combined six carries for 34 yards.

For the defense, CB Dwight Ellick had a pass defense.

“I thought it was a great start,” said Saints Coach Jim Haslett. “I didn’t want to see dropped balls, pre-snap penalties. From that standpoint, it was excellent. We had a couple of drops in the third group. The surprises to me were Kilff and Adrian. They played much better than they practiced.”

Haslett had praise for both sides of the ball. “I thought the defense played well. I was impressed because they tackle well and I didn’t see a lot of missed tackles.The offense did an excellent job of running the ball. Pass protection was excellent and if our offensive line can block our (defensive) rushers, that says something because we have pretty good rush guys.”

Post-scrimmage, the Saints signed autographs on the field for the crowd of 10,282 for 40 minutes and a fireworks show capped off the night’s work before the team took the almost three-hour ride back to the Saints facility.

The Saints do not practice on Sunday and get back to the practice field with a hour-long walkthrough at 9 am on Monday at the Metairie facility (open to the public). Monday night, the Saints will hold a practice for season ticket holders from 7:30-9:30 pm in the Superdome. Fans who are not season ticket holders can participate in a Select-A-Seat night during the workout.