Saints have some time to regroup

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 14, 2010

Drat, no 23-0 season.

Guess we got that out of the way early.

Hey, it was clear on Thursday night that the Saints’ first team has some work to do in terms of shaking off the rust. The protection looked shaky, Drew Brees looked a bit off, and there were some uncharacteristic drops by the wide receivers.

But lets not forget, last season the Saints’ opened the preseason with an equally unimpressive performance against the Bengals, a 17-7 victory that inspired few. The inspirations began to roll in the next week against the Houston Texans — who, hey, look here, are up next in 2010 — and the Oakland Raiders.

So I doubt anybody’s throwing the Baylen out with the bathwater just yet, but if you are, (Super Bowl Hangover! I knew it!), lets give it another week or two, shall we?

Some observations from Thursday night:

Junior. Galette. Easily the most impressive player on the field not named “Edelman”. Many of us had heard the glowing reports out of mini camp and training camp but adopted a wait and see approach. But now, we’ve seen enough to at least start getting a little excited, though perhaps holding off on giddiness. He blew past the edge at will, created a number of pressures and even forced a fumble, though it was negated by penalty later. He could provide a lacking dimension to the Saints as a pass-rushing specialist, though we still need to see him play against A-teamers. But he looked mighty fast, mighty active, and mighty good.

Chris Ivory ran well. Sean Payton has sung his praises in training camp, and his performance on Thursday was a step toward earning a spot on the team at a roster spot vacated by the injured Lynell Hamilton. Nice plunge at the goal for a bigger back … he fits the mold.

It was the best of times and the worst of times for Larry Beavers. That punt return for a score was electric, but then he fumbled his next attempt. I don’t think Sean Payton will accept that trade-off, not with Courtney Roby already holding a wide receiver/specialist roster spot. Beavers probably has to make Roby expendable, and Roby’s a tough out — he’s a good return man and a fine gunner. But you can’t count out anyone sporting 4.25 speed, especially when he holds a pair NCAA kick return records the record for all-time kick returns for touchdowns in the NCAA (13).

Battle for No. 2. Patrick Ramsey and Chase Daniel each looked pretty good, I thought. Ramsey did a nice job considering he’s had so little time with the team. Daniel led the team on a solid game-tying drive, though he came up just short of leading the Saints to a go-ahead score. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Saints keep Daniel all season as a third quarterback again, just as they did for much of last year. Payton seems to like him — the fact that Daniel ‘was’ on the active roster so much last season is a testament to that.

Tough night for Tracy Porter. Gave up a few catches, but I think Saints fans will forgive the “Legend Killer” this once.