Quarterback Drew Brees, in top form, spearheaded the Saints' 552-net yards by completing 18 of 27 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Brees and backup Patrick Ramsey completed passes to 15 different players, highlighted by Reggie Bush's “game-best” 7 catches for 70 yards. Bush and Pierre Thomas both ran hard with Bush getting yardage between the tackles, unlike past seasons.
Rookie Chris Ivory made a strong bid to become the Saints No, 3 running back with 45 yards rushing and turned a swing pass into a breaking, zigzagging football-classic 76-yard touchdown.
Ivory was released from the Washington State program in 2009 and transferred to Tiffin University, A Division II school in Ohio.
"I know I've got to come out and work hard, open some eyes and just prove that I want to be here," said Ivory.
Middle linebacker Jon Vilma, the quarterback of the defensive, led the Saints defensive attack with seven tackles, two for losses before leaving the game with a groin injury.
Brees, in rhythm early, found a weak link in the San Diego secondary and with
five seconds left in the first quarter, tossed a bomb to Devery Henderson, who tipped the ball away from Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason and made an acrobatic 46-yard touchdown catch.
Brees was facing a 3-4 defense again and had to overcome pressure. "There are definitely differences in a 3-4 and a 4-3," said Brees. "It's just a mindset going into it knowing that in your base personnel you are going to see 3-4. There are some different fronts you can play out of a 3-4. It's just being able to recognize. It's the recognition aspect of it so everybody knows who they are blocking in pass protection and the run game."
Brees saw his most action of the preseason. After playing three series in each of the first two games, Brees played into the third quarter and had a passer rating of 119.4.
He had a 15-yard touchdown pass to Robert Meachem in the second quarter.
Ramsey didn't hurt his chances of becoming the backup quarterback by completing 10 of 18 passes for 191 yards, including the 76-yard pass-run play to Ivory.
However, he also threw an interception which is major mistake to Coach Sean Payton.
The Saints (2-1) close out their preseason at Tennessee (1-2) on Thursday night. The Titans lost to Carolina 15-7 on Saturday night.
Brees and the starters will not play long in the fourth preseason game because they are already looking ahead to the NFL opening game on next Thursday night against the Vikings in the Superdome.
Former Saints running back Mike Bell finally got back on the field for the Eagles' 20-17 win over the Chiefs on Friday night. He looked a little rusty, but that's to be expected. He carried 8 times for 17 yards and it's clear that the Eagles are going to expect him to do more than he's used to in this offense, like say, staying in to block, and make plays as a receiver. Bell was unable to pick up a first down on third-and-2 and came up short on a third-and-1. His best rush was a 4-yard pickup where he was hit behind the line of scrimmage, but battled for a positive gain. He has been bothered by a calf injury.
Brian Alee Walsh, for years a Saints beat writer for the The Times-Picayune, guesses who will be the final 53 on the Saints roster this season for New Orleans.com. Here are some of his selections picks:
Quarterback: Drew Brees, Chase Daniel.
Running back: Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory.
Fullback: Heath Evans
Wide receiver: Margues Colston, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, Cortney Roby, Adrian Arrington.
Tights end: Jeremy Shockey, David Thomas, Jimmy Graham, Tory Humphrey.
Offense linemen: Jermon Bushrod, Jon Stichcomb, Zach Strief, Charles Brown, Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, Jonathan Goodwin, Matt Tennant, Terrance Metcalf.
Saints have book on super Bowl season for sale
The Super Bowl XLIV World Champion Saints announced last week the publication and sale of a special edition commemorative book that highlights the Saints’ 2009 Championship season, as captured through the photography of official team photographer Michael C. Hebert.
This is what the Saints are saying about the book.
The 264-page hard cover book highlights the unprecedented behind-the-scenes access that Hebert experienced in capturing images throughout the entire season, as well as in team meetings and in his travels with the Saints. Photographs of the team and the individuals that compromised the 2009 New Orleans Saints are highlighted throughout the book and range from a look inside the defensive meeting room in the late hours of an evening leading up to the team’s 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Countless other images taken by the Saints’ long-time photographer bears witness to the team’s Super Bowl Championship Parade through New Orleans, the team’s Super Bowl victory party and Super Bowl XLIV Ring Ceremony, as well as hundreds of never-before shots of team Saints’ march to the World championship..
Among the special moments captured by Hebert is a shot of Head Coach Sean Payton stoically contemplating the merits of calling the now famous onside kick in the Super Bowl. Payton is shown leaning against a wall in the team’s Miami headquarters the night before the game, moments before he gave his night before the game address to the NFC Champions, and later remarked while looking through the proofs of the book that it was the moment that his conviction in calling the play was solidified. Countless other images throughout the full color high resolution book capture equally poignant moments, including a photo of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams making halftime adjustments to his play-calling sheet during the NFC Championship overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings at the Louisiana Superdome.
The forward of the book was written by Saints’ Owner Tom Benson, while special commentaries on many of the images accompany the corresponding images, including remarks by Owner Rita Benson LeBlanc, Head Coach Sean Payton, Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis, Super Bowl MVP quarterback Drew Brees, and players and coaches. The book is on sale and priced at $44 in celebration of the team’s victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
"World Champs: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Perspective of the Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints" offers fans of the Saints the ultimate look inside the New Orleans Saints. The special edition book is now available at the New Orleans Saints Team Shop, located at Gate A Plaza level at the Superdome, or by visiting www.NewOrleansSaintsTeamShop.com.
By Ed Staton
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