New Orleans Saints Flop Vs. Tennessee Titans, Look To Green Bay Packers
Written by  // Friday, 02 September 2011 10:34 //
TitansThe Saints committed five turnovers and fell to the Titans 32-9 in a game that was more like a practice in the preseason finale at the Superdome on Thursday night.

The Saints' record fell to 2-2 while the Titans improved to 3-1. The Saints kept most of their starters on the bench. Saints starting quarterback Drew Brees, like all the offensive starters except left guard Carl Nicks,sat out.

"If you commit five turnovers, you really have a chance to win," said Saints coach Sean Payton after the game. "Regardless of who plays, those are signs of sloppy play."

Third-string quarterback Sean Canfield played every offensive snap and completed 29-of-39 passes for 249 yards and a passer rating of 77.8.  He threw for a touchdown with two interceptions.

"It was sloppy," was the quarterback's take on the game. "The first half was the sloppiest football I've been a part of. Every time we had something going there would be a fumbled snap or whatever."

Tennessee rookie quarterback Jake Locker added a bit of sparkle to an otherwise lackluster game. He completed 15-of-17 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. He had a quarterback rating of 118.6.

The Saints had a few highlights:

Running back Joique Bell led the Saints in rushing (80 yards) and receiving yards (44).  "He's been a steady performer for us," said Payton. " He's not 100 per cent (knee), but he is battling through it, giving us some tough yardage."

Running back Patrick Cobb had a solid performance with 5 catches for 36 yards and 19 rushing yards on 8 carries.

Wide receiver Montel Williams caught 4 passes for  37 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive end Junior Galette led the Saints in tackles with 7 (5 solo)

Rookie linebacker Montez Wilson had 3 tackles and a sack.

The Saints signed veteran kicker John Kasay on Tuesday after Garrett Hartley suffered a hip injury while kicking an extra point against Oakland. Kasay missed a 39-yard field goal attempt and an extra point before connecting on a 38-yard field goal.

"I thought that third kick was critical” said Payton.

A report had Garrett being out for 10 weeks. "That report isn't accurate," snapped Payton."

The Titans agreed to a $56 million, six-year deal with running back Chris Johnson earlier Thursday.

The Saints didn't guarantee four good preseason game. Only four games.

The few thousand fans who stuck around were at least treated to an entertaining halftime show by the 610 Stompers, which far surpassed the Saints performance in the Superdome.

It's ridiculous to make season-ticket holders pay equal value for preseason games.

After this performance, the Saints should refund ticket prices upon request.

The Saints will play the Packers on Thursday night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay in the NFL's season-opening game.  It will be the third straight year the Saints have played in the season-opener of national television.


 Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints ● Thursday, September 1, 2011


Opening Statement: “Obviously with that many turnovers you really have no chance to be in a football game. We’ll have a chance to see this tape tomorrow morning. Players will be in to meet and go through a weight workout, lift and run. We’ll begin this process in the next 48 hours of getting the roster down to 53 where it needs to be. We have a short week being that it’s Thursday, we play a week from tonight, and we have a lot of important decisions.”

On how much tonight’s struggles affects him: “It always eats at you. It’s the miscues, it’s the sacks for a safety, it’s the interceptions and fumbles, those things bug you. Regardless of who’s playing, those are signs of sloppy play. Considering, I thought our defense battled and hung in pretty well.”

On how he feels as a team at this point: “It’s a process. I don’t know that there is day it begins, and each year it’s a little different in regards to leadership and the make-up of your team. Hopefully, that’s something that’s happening right now, it’s something we’re working to have happen. It becomes a little clearer tomorrow and Saturday.”

On a report out that Hartley could miss 8-10 weeks: “We’ll talk about injuries for us on Monday, but I would say that report is inaccurate.”

On how tough it is to keep two kickers: “It’s not tough, it’s required. But when that happens there is one spot less.”

On Kasay’s track record allowing to ignore the two misses: “I thought that third kick was critical. I thought it was important for his own confidence. Look, he’s kicked in a lot of big spots and a game like this might not seem that important to a lot of people, but for that very moment in time, the veteran kicker who has missed the first two, it’s a very important kick. I was encouraged and I was glad we had another opportunity to put him out on the field.”

On what he saw that he liked: “I think it’s going to be easier to put the tape on and see some consistent play from some individuals. I thought we did some good things in the running game. I thought the fullbacks have played pretty consistently during this preseason. But the amount of turnovers in the skill group areas, whether it was the tight end, receiver, quarterback or halfback putting the ball on the ground, but just some early observations I thought we got some good movement when we ran it. We’ll be able to see more when we put the film on and it would be easier than for me to say this individual stood out, but its hard to point to a skill player now when we had that many turnovers.”

On putting this bad effort behind them: “We have to (put this loss behind it). That being said, you have to look at it, you don’t cover it up and sugarcoat it. You have to look at it and make the corrections. There is a handful of guys that were on that field that are going to be on the team next week so we have to do what we do each week, and that’s make the corrections and get on to the next plan.”

On Joique Bell: “I think he’s been a pretty steady performer for us. He is not at 100 percent; you can see that a little bit tonight maybe a little more that you did last week. To his credit, he is battling through and giving us some tough yardage. I thought he played his best last week, he played well early in the preseason, but he has been pretty consistent.”

On the overall health of the team: “I think it’s pretty good. The only thing that is a challenge is that in this evaluation process there are a handful of players that we just didn’t have as many snaps on that we normally would at this juncture in years past so we are going to have to be smart with the evaluation. Some of the evaluations will be with limited exposure but I think that is the case with everyone else (other teams). That’s the number one thing that we pay attention to, so overall from a  health standpoint we feel pretty good. We’ll spend time with the trainers tomorrow and continually making sure our guys are up to speed and ready to play.”

On primary concerns going into Green Bay game next week: “I think what wins games, it’s playing smart on the road, understanding the emotion of a game like that with a team that just won the Super Bowl, and handling those challenges, especially early in the game, that early wave of momentum and being smart with the football. The things that we value and think are very important in winning games. Those are concerns because they are focal points. It’s doing the little things and being ready for all that comes into playing that game as an away team as opposed to a home team.” 

Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints ● Thursday, September 1, 2011



On his performance: “It was sloppy. You can’t expect to win with turnovers like that. It seemed like every time we got something going that we would fumble or miss a snap. That’s what came down to it offensively for us especially in the first half.”

On playing a whole NFL game: “Absolutely. I felt excited and ready. I was confident and poised. It had been a while since I played a while game. I had that little bit of time against San Francisco, Houston and then last week in the fourth quarter against Oakland. It sure is different when you’re playing the whole game. It felt good. It felt good to get out there.”


On tonight and going into the regular season: “I think we look at the entire body of work and how we’ve developed throughout the training camp and preseason. You don’t want to go off tonight too much. We have the same group of core guys back this year defensively.”


On the season opener: “I think we have been there and done that. It’s about not getting caught up in the game and the hype that surrounds it. It’s about going up there as a business trip and coming out of it with a victory.”

On his impression of the team: “I like the high character guys that we have on the team. We have guys who are willing to work and get better both old guys and young guys across the board. We are well aware that this is not the finished product even though the preseason is done. We are trying to get better and striving to be dominant. The potential is there. The motivation is there. We just have to keep working at it.”
Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints ● Thursday, September 1, 2011


On signing Chris Johnson: “It was good news this afternoon. Everything officially got done (with Chris Johnson). I’m sure that he is very happy. I know that we are. I’m glad that we’ve got that part behind us and I’m looking forward to seeing him in town tomorrow.”

On how long it will take him to get into game shape: “It’s just getting him into town and seeing where he is at….Now, we will get a chance to get him on the field as quickly as we can. The good news is that we have ten days before we play, so that is a plus. At least we have ten days to get him to workout. We will kind of see where he is at.”

On the play of the young guys tonight: “It’s just good to see when you play a lot of guys. We didn’t play sloppy. We didn’t turn the ball over. Our defense (played well) getting five turnovers and a safety. That’s just a lot of good stuff there. We didn’t turn the ball over at all. We had three different quarterbacks and three different centers. We got all of our ball carriers out there. That has been going on all four pre-season games…I hope that will carry over into the season. That is a real positive to see.”

On the play of the defense:  “In the first half, I think we had three turnovers and a safety with a good pash rush, too. That was some good stuff from the defense.”

On the play of Jake Locker: “I was overall happy with the way that he has progressed. Each week he is getting better.”



“It’s a totally different culture here on this team. We have a lot of new players and a new coach so everything is exciting. We are behind what the staff is doing so as a team we want to come together and practice hard this final week and be ready for Jacksonville in time for the season opener.”

“Both quarterbacks played great tonight. They made the right reads and it showed up on the field tonight. I think we are really ready to start the season.”


Opening statement: “I think we played well. Even though it’s the pre-season it was a game and we executed well. It was good to see a lot of guys play well.”

On signing of Chris Johnson today: “This entire situation with Chris reminded me a lot of what I experienced in Seattle with Walter Jones. He would basically hold out for at least three different times before the season and as a team we had to move on together but at the same time respect what he (jones) was doing. We were hoping all along that Chris will show up and its happening. I don’t think we as a team let it be a distraction. We are glad he’s back on our team and I am looking forward to some real exciting things from him. I know he’s explosive and electric, and I can’t wait to see him play real soon.”


Opening statement: “It was great to get a lot of work out there tonight. I thought we played great as a unit. The more snaps I get as a rookie the better. I can’t wait for the regular season to start so it counts for real.”

On his touchdown run: "It was great to see some green grass in front of me. Scoring is always great.”

On signing of Chris Johnson: “It goes without saying it’s a good day for this team. I’ve never seen him play before, but I know he’s exciting and a terrific player. It’s a great thing we now have him back and we are looking for some great things from him.”

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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