Two weeks into the pre-season games and the two largest areas of concern are
- Offensive Line
- Offensive Line
Honestly, my initial thought while watching the game Saturday night was that for the first time in a long time the weakest unit on the field for the Saints was not their defense. Are we talking a hall of fame defense, no, but the product that was out on the field Saturday for the 1st half of the game was exactly what the Saints have needed for the last two years.
The problem area was without a doubt on the offensive line. Running game was non existent, when you take out McCown’s 25 yards and Grayson’s 16 yard run, you are down to below 2 yards a carry……..When the offensive line was busy not opening holes for the running back they were also not redeeming theirselves when it came to pass blocking. Although the Texans had 2 sacks there were too many other times when the QB’s were hurried.
All in all it was about as bad an offensive performance as I’ve seen from a Saints team in a very long time, of course this sets off the rumor mill as to what other options are out there that the Saints can sign.
Besides the offensive line the other problem areas were wide receivers and tight ends, I had the impression with Cooks and Snead out of the lineup that the Saints would get a chance to see what Thomas, Coleman and Fleener would/could do. Thomas and Fleener combined for 3 catches for 17 yards, Coleman did manage 6 catches but he would be the first to admit he left a lot of plays out on the field.
Is it time to give up on the season, no, but it is time for the Saints have a sense of urgency. With Payton as the HC and Brees running the offense, there are always options. Using more max protection options in the passing game, putting the best 5 lineman on the field are just two of the scenarios. Like I said earlier, it’s too early to give up on the season but you have to believe in the coaches office the priority is fixing the O-Line play.
Next up – Steelers
First pre-season home game is up next. Steelers have lost both of their practice games as well, losing to Detroit and Philadelphia. Game will be Friday and 7 PM CST.
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab