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Top Four Remaining Position Battles

With the preseason winding down there are some remaining position battles that are really heating up here are the top ones to watch as we gear up for the regular season. As with every offseason some of these battles can be just as entertaining and competitive as the actual games we watch starting in September and this year is no different.

There is always heartbreak for players such as linebackers Stanley Arneaux and Mark Simoneau who are lost for the season due to injury and there is also moments of joy when unexpected players step up and make a name for themselves in camp such as defensive end Anthony Hargrove, and wide receiver Rod Harper after his 87 yard punt return against the Texans.

Joey Harrington vs. Mark Brunnell
This battle could have the most effect on the overall roster depending on who the winner is, if Brunnell wins and remains the #2 I believe the Saints will keep 3 quarterbacks on the roster due to Brunnell’s age. If Harrington wins it I can see the Saints going with just him and Drew Brees on the 53-man roster opening a spot for someone else at different position. Advantage? Mark Brunnell, Brunnell has looked sharp so far and is on his way to securing the #2 spot behind starter Drew Brees.

Lynell Hamilton vs. Herb Donaldson vs. PJ Hill
This to me is the most exciting battle to watch and at one time this was a 4 way battle for 2 spots but after the Texans game Mike Bell has secured himself the #3 spot leaving 3 players vying for the 4th and final spot on the roster. Hamilton who looked to be the 4th RB lost his grip on the 4th spot after fumbling twice in the preseason opener against the Bengals opening the door for rookies Herb Donaldson and PJ Hill. Advantage? Right now I think Donaldson looks to have the advantage in this battle over Hamilton and Hill after averaging 4.2 ypc so far. I believe Hamilton will get another year on the practice squad and PJ Hill will be the odd man out.

Robert Meachem vs. Devery Henderson
This battle is for the #3 receiver spot behind Marques Colston and Lance Moore looks to be the closest of all the position battles. Robert Meachem has finally looked like he “gets it” and this is the first time he came into camp in proper shape and he has appeared to have a grip on the playbook a lot better giving him a much needed confidence boost. Henderson continues to be a solid deep threat and has improved on his concentration and route running allowing him to be more than just a deep threat. Advantage? For right now it’s too close to tell and this may not be settled until after the season has started. I think in the end Meachem will take the #3 spot and at that point will begin to push Moore for the #2 spot he has all the physical tools you could want in a receiver he just needs to keep focused and he will be fine.

Jonathon Casillas vs. Anthony Waters vs. Troy Evans
This could be a battle for 2-3 spots depending on how other positions affect the roster. Casillas has shown the best speed of the three and both him and Waters seem to be around the ball more often than not, while Evans has either disappeared or just looked lost on defense. Advantage? Casillas and Waters are running really close with Casillas having a slight advantage both are players I wrote about early on that could be pleasant surprises during and camp and both are working on living up to my early predictions.

Like every year there is always excitement about a new season and what the new faces can bring to the team this year. This year though stands out with a different feeling to me than in the previous two and feels much more competitive like the 2006 camp and offseason. Competition almost always brings out the best in people and we finally have that competitive atmosphere back. The Saints seem to be finally geared up to return to the playoffs.


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