Preseason or not, a win is a win

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Saints win! Saints win!

Ok, fake Saints win. Preseason Saints win. And even, dare I say, ugly Saints win.

But a win is a win is a win. And we hadn’t seen Saints football in almost eight months.

So Friday was a good night. It was as enticing at times, while also frustrating. We saw the Saints force turnovers off of big hits and deflections, something that’s been lacking in recent seasons. We also saw those turnovers result in a missed chip shot field goal and a lost fumble by the man who intercepted the pass in the first place, Jonathan Vilma. Both miscues came inside the Cincinnati 5, and the Saints fumbled another opportunity away inside the 5 after the starters left the game.

So three trips inside the 5 — yes, I can count — and no points. In a regular season game, that would be infuriating. Right now, it can be mildly amusing to us, if not to Sean Payton and Gregg Williams.

But hey, the positives were certainly there. Jeremy Shockey and Robert Meachem each made big scoring plays, and each are guys who are in make or break years with the team.

And you have to be happy with the early results in Williams’ defense. No, it didn’t look like an iron clad unit, but if the Saints can force turnovers on a regular basis, that could be enough to go along with this team’s offense. Darren Sharper was all over the field and looked impressive. Jabari Greer seemed to hold his own. So two additions to the secondary seem fruitful, at least so far.

We also saw a subtraction to it a few days later. As of Monday, cornerback Jason David is gone for good, which has given many Saints fans cause for celebration. Personally, you hate to “celebrate” anyone’s misfortune, but it is what it is: when I logged onto Facebook on Monday, the first four posts I saw exhibited a “dancing in the streets” level of joy.

But while fans came to a breaking point with David about 60 minutes into his tenure as a Saint in 2007, Friday night’s preseason game was apparently the last straw for Payton. He gave David the chance to run with the starters in the first half, and the scene was familiar — receivers breaking loose, particularly on third down.

David was a good player in Indianapolis, playing in their base Cover Two zone scheme.

A return to Indy, or another zone heavy squad, could probably jump-start his career again. Even in New Orleans, he showed a knack for forcing turnovers, so someone could well give him a shot. I hope someone does.

But I also hope he exhibits better judgment in selecting his new number. Really, after all but making “42” an obscenity among Saints fans, he gets a chance to change it and opts for 29…the number of another former whipping boy for Saints fans, Josh Bullocks. Eek!

John Carney is also back two years too late, due to what is reportedly a forthcoming four-game suspension for kicker Garrett Hartley. Not much to say on that, except that it’s a mistake the youngster may end up regretting. With the Giants, Carney took over last year for the injured Lawrence Tynes. He basically held onto the job after Tynes’ return and made the Pro Bowl. Most of us remember this because we sat through the “Automatica Gramatica” era hoping the Giants would cut him for New Orleans to gobble up.

So, Tom Cable punched one of his assistants and broke said assistant’s jaw. Wait, let me rephrase that. RAIDERS head coach Tom Cable punched one of his assistants and broke said assistant’s jaw. Ok, now it makes perfect sense. Say what you will about the Detroit Lions, the Raiders are the biggest trainwreck in sports.