Monday, November 30, 2009

Saints Injury Report for Patriots game

We're only hours away from the Saints Patriots showdown on Monday Night Football and I for one am nervous beyond belief.  Not so much because of the perfect record, which to me is a bit of an albatross round our collective necks, but more because I fear loosing home field advantage to the Vikings.  My nervous disposition is not helped therefore by the following Saints injury report.

It looks like we could be without the heart of the defence Jonathan Vilma.  Along with that we also have the ongoing tragedy of the Saints banged up secondary.  It looks like we will once again be without the likes of Tracy Porter, Randall Gay and Jabari Greer.  That's not the best news when going up against Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Randy Moss and Co.

On the offensive side of the ball we could be without Reggie Bush, Lance Moore, Jonathan Goodwin and Carl Nicks.

Here's the complete list at the time of posting a couple of hours before kick off:

Bobby McCray Saints DE - Knee injury, status questionable

Jonathan Vilma Saints LB - Knee injury, status questionable

Carl Nicks Saints G - Illness, status probable

Lance Moore Saints WR - Ankle injury, status doubtful

Tracy Porter Saints CB - Knee injury, status doubtful

Reggie Bush Saints RB - Knee injury, status questionable

Randall Gay Saints CB - Hamstring injury, status questionable

Jonathan Goodwin Saints C - Ankle injury, status questionable

Jabari Greer Saints CB - Groin injury, status questionable

Big love and peace to the Saints nation.  Here's hoping we blow them out the water early but somehow I don't feel it right now.

For the latest Reggie Bush injury news week in week out please visit the Reggie Bush Injury Report.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The New Orlean Saints... as my mum would say

My mum has always been different. Not for her calling the New Orleans Saints by their official name. Oh no Siree, she has to call them the 'New Orlean Saints hun'. Likewise the Falcons are the 'Fowlcans', the Minnesota Vikings the 'Minn Viks' and the Miami Dolphins the 'Mimi Delphs'.

So I thought I would delve into that wonderful brain of hers this week and asked her to predict the 10 most unlikely things to be said about the Saints in the national media between now and the end of the season. Enjoy!

1 - My, don't they have an abundance of healthy cornerbacks in New Orleans.

2 - Drew Brees is definitely the best Quarterback in the NFL, end of discussion.  We apologise for always banging on about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady so much.

Drew Brees 2009 chant
It's Official - The Drew Brees 2009 chant is led by THE best QB in the NFL

3 - That Sean Payton really needs to be a little less conservative with his play calling sometimes.

4 - The Saints are so one dimensional on offence, cover David Thomas and the game is done.

5 - David Thomas is a legend in his own time.

6 - So the recently renamed New Orlean Saints go out of the playoffs at the Wild Card stage to the unstoppable Washington Redskins.  Next up, the mighty Detroit Lions.

New Orlean Saints chearleaders
The New Orlean Saints Chearleaders - Nothing to cheer following Redskins defeat

7 - Reggie Bush who?  And what's a Kim Kardashian?

8 - Jeremy Shockey needs to get more tattoos on that right arm of his.  It's just so lacking in any color right now.

9 - The New Orleans Saints halftime song is number 1 in both Saudi Arabia and Iran this week.

10 - The Drew Brees 2009 chant clearly has no effect in raising team morale.  Why does he continue to bother?

And that's all from my mum for this week or as she calls herself XDUK5FKZMF7V

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mike Bell Saints MVP Vs. Bucs

The Saints player of the week award of recent has gone to guys on the Defensive side of the ball.  This has partly been in recognition of their great progress this season, the way they have forced turnovers at key points in games and also (probably) because I'm always slightly biased towards the D (I was a pretty good CB in my playing days and grew up watching the Dome Patrol dominate all they surveyed).

As such it feels unnatural for me to flip to the Saints O but I can't ignore two worthy winners on that side and one effort in particular:

Mike Bell Saints Running Back:  Mike Bell put in a hard days work Sunday with his running between the tackles and two touchdown display.  I love the way he exploded into people and furrowed forward for an extra yard on each carry.  It's gritty no nonsense running at times but oh so valuable to the team effort.

Mike Bell Jersey

His numbers were not as good as those put up by the man wearing the Pierre Thomas jersey, which did give me pause for thought, but here is why he just got the nod ahead of his running compadre.

On the Saints second possession of the second half Pierre Thomas saw daylight for the first time in the day and broke a run for 17 yards.  The very next play Mike Bell breaks one for 28 yards but has 15 taken off for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play.

Now that could have been costly and tempered his aggression.  Instead he comes back a play later and apologises to his team mates by doing it where it counts and running hard up the middle for 13.  Not content with that he takes the next ball and leaps the pile for a 3 yard touchdown run.   

That run of plays demonstrated his character, his competitive streak and his will to win and for that he just pips Pierre Thomas to the Saints MVP jersey for week 11.

His final numbers were 13 attempts for 75 yards and 2 TDs with 1 reception thrown in for good measure.

Pierre Thomas Saints Jersey Number 23:  Mr Thomas can feel hard done by for missing out on the MVP award for he had a stellar game posting 92 yards on 11 attempts and a further 11 yards off 3 receptions.  His second half efforts yet again enabled us to move the ball freely and wear down the opposing D to see out the game.  His one two power play with Mike Bell enabled us to perfectly balance the Offence again as he broke through the lines at vital times.  The Saints are lucky to have two such competitors in their backfield.

Pierre Thomas jersey
Mr Number 23 - Saints Pierre Thomas Jersey of choice

Honourable mentions to...

Drew Brees Saints QB Master:  Once again Drew Brees calmly went about running the most potent offence in the league with one of his trademark authoritative displays under center.  He didn't have to be flashy.  He simply marched us to the 1st down marker time after time with ruthless efficiency and still ended up with a 3 TD passing haul.  His final numbers were a respectable 19 of 29 for 187 and 0 picks.

David Thomas Saints Legend in the Making:  The Saints backup TE showed again what an effective weapon he can be with some great run blocking and 66 yards through the air off 4 receptions.  He also chipped in with his first Saints TD which deserves an honourable mention.

Malcolm Jenkins Saints Rookie CB:  The Saints 2009 1st round draft pick looked completely at home in the Saints secondary and put in a great starting display.  His coverage was excellent and the only time Freeman really beat him was with an inch perfect pass.  He ended the day with 5 tackles and an excellent pick to keep family Jenkins singing all week.

The Rest of the Saints Team:  Overall it was a great team effort and everyone deserves praise for a professional display.  The Saints O was perfectly balanced and eventually clicked into rhythm in the second half whilst the Saints D continued turning the ball over at vital points.  It would be nice to see the Run D solidify in time for the Pats game and the return of Sedrick Ellis can only help in that department.  We will need the A team out for that one so here's hoping y'all are home resting up today.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NO Jerseys Vs Bucs 4th Quarter

We open the 4th Quarter with the Saints dominating this game and Josh Freeman looking like a guy with amnesia who doesn't know he's a Quarterback. The Saints lead 31 to 7 and have possession at the Bucs 41.

Bell up the middle picks up 6.  2nd and 4.

Brees overthrows Darnell Dinkins to bring up 3rd and 4.

Next play Pierre Thomas takes the ball 7 yards for a 1st down to the Bucs 27.  Nice work Tommy boy.

Pierre Thomas Jersey
The Pierre Thomas Jersey Getting it Done

Mike Bell hammers his way for 2 more.  2nd and 8.

Mike Bell this time hops around for a while before deciding to pick a hole and gains a massive 1 yard more.  3rd and 7.

Draw play Pierre Thomas and after spinning, twisting and dancing he takes it 19 yards to the Bucs 7.  Great run by Thomas.  That's 92 off 11 carries today for the Saints ace number 23.  I think I'm going to ask for a Pierre Thomas jersey for Xmas... but then I've asked for a Mike Bell jersey already... and a Darren Sharper jersey... and a... basically I want them all, OK?

1st down and goal.

Mike Bell drives up the middle for 2.  2nd and goal at the 4.

Mike Bell battles his way for 3 and a half yards.  3rd and goal.

Mike Bell dives over the pile and... TOUCHDOWN!!  And the 2 Bucs fans still in the stadium are booing bless their little crying hearts.  Great effort again there by the Saints RB's and linemen on that drive.  Talk about a perfectly balanced offence who can dominate through the air or ground on consecutive drives.

Mike Bell Jersey
Is it a Bird?  A Plane?  No it's SuperBell

Saints 38 Bucs 7.  So that's 38 unanswered points?  Most excellent.

1st down Bucs at their own 20.

Freeman to someone for 6.

Derrick Ward pounds out a load up the middle for a 1st down at the 35.

Freeman looks deep to someone who wasn't there but Usama Young is called for doing something bad (pass interference).  Bucs ball at the Saints 45.

Freeman to Bryant who gets hammered after a pick up of 6.

Freeman to Winslow for 4 and a 1st at the Saints 35.

Freeman decides it's time to throw to a Saints player again but this time Chris Reis decides we've had enough interceptions for the day and drops the ball.  2nd and 10.

Freeman looks for a Buc this time and completes to Ward for 4.  3rd and 6.

Freeman to Ward again for a couple so we're looking at 4th and 2.

Freeman drops back and throws to a camera man with a long zoom lens on the sidelines.  I'm assuming he didn't want his picture taken so was trying to take the cameraman out... it's literally the only thing I can think of given that a guy paid millions of dollars threw a ball so beyond any team mate on 4th and 2.  Those 2 Bucs fans left in the Disney World stadium look bemused.

1st down Saints at their own 27 with 6.47 on the clock.

Mark Brunell checks into the game as Drew Brees hits the showers early to clip his toe nails as he's taking Mrs Brees out for a steak dinner tonight.

We're quickly to 3rd and 3.

Future Saints Hall of Famer Lynell Hamilton takes it 2 yards to bring up 4th and 1 and Sean Payton is going for it... and gets it, no sweat.  Hamilton ran hard.

Hamilton again for 5.  Next up Hamilton slips on that banana skin from the 1st Quarter and only picks up 1.  3rd and 4.

Hamilton picks up a couple more to bring up 4th and 2.  Hamilton gets the call again and he's stuffed for a loss so the Saints give up the ball on downs and I give up writing about it as there's only 2 mins left and this one is in the bag.

No sooner do I write that than Freeman bombs the ball straight to Chris Reis who adds another pick to the Saints tally and takes the team total to 20.  We now lead the NFL in takeaways and wrap up the game with a nice pretty red bow.

So can I first thank Josh Freeman for being such an obliging host today.  It's rare you encounter an opponent who is so willing you to win on their home turf.  Secondly start to whisper it and then get louder and louder:

N.O. Ten and 0
N.O. Ten and 0
N.O. Ten and 0
N.O. Ten and 0
N.O. Ten and 0!!!!

NO Jerseys Vs Bucs 3rd Quarter

Welcome back to the half empty Bucs home for the second half of this divisional matchup with the Saints leading the Bucs 17 to 7.

The Bucs will start at their own 9 after a penalty on the kick off.

Freeman to Graham for 5 and is wrapped up by Malcolm Jenkins.  2nd and 5.

Cadillac Williams is pounded to the turf by the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Will Smith) to bring up 3rd and 1.  Nice play Saints sack king.

Will Smith Saints
The Fresh Prince run stopping

Roman Harper takes Williams legs in the back field but Williams is able to dive forward for a 1st.

Freeman wide for a pick up of 5.  Back up CB Leigh Torrence has popped his shoulder making the tackle and the Saints secondary continue to drop like flies.  He looks in agony on the sidelines.  Fingers crossed he'll be OK.  Do we even have another CB on the sidelines? 

2nd and 5.  Scott Fujita blitzes from the outside and gets Freeman who spills the ball to Anthony Hargroves.  Another Saints forced turnover and a great effort by Scott 'I'm da man' Fujita.

Saints ball at the Bucs 15.

Pierre Thomas up the middle for 2.

Brees on a screen pass to Thomas who is up-ended after a pick up of 2 bringing up 3rd and 6.  If we get this we can put the game away.

Brees to David Thomas and... TOUCHDOWN!!  The Saints legend TE in the making grabs his 1st TD of the season and gets props from Jeremy Shockey on the sidelines.  I think Shockey is trying to convince Thomas to get some tattoos if he's going to qualify for legendary status.

Jeremy Shockey tattoos
Jeremy Shockey Tattoos - A must have for all Legends!

Saints 24 Bucs 7.  10.36 in the 3rd.

1st down Bucs at their 20.

Freeman to someone for 4.  2nd and 6.

Williams hard running up the middle... come back Sedrick Ellis!!  Picks up 5.  3rd and 1.

Graham is stopped short by Will Smith but he can't wrap him up so the Bucs have a 1st down at their 31.

Freeman does his slippery eel bit again and breaks one for 14 to the Bucs 46.  If he could pass as good as he can run he would be a great Quarterback... but he can't... so he's not.

1st down Bucs.

Freeman to Graham for 5.  2nd and 5.

Freeman overthrows his next man AGAIN.  3rd and 5.

Freeman looks over the middle and decides Jonathan Vilma deserves an interception and throws to him.  That's the Saints 19th pick of the season.
Thanks Josh.

1st down Saints at their 45.

Brees incomplete.  Now Brees hands off to Pierre Thomas who sees day light and picks up 17 big ones to the Bucs 38.  Great run Pierre.

1st down Saints

Bell breaks one 28 yards and then gets 15 taken off for trash talking as he got up.  Sales of the Mike Bell jersey look set to drop.

1st down Saints at Bucs 24.

Drew Brees to Marques Colston for a pick up of 8.

Mike Bell on a draw play and... He picks up 13.  Excellent head down running by the Bellmeister.

1st and goal at the Bucs 3.

Mike Bell up the middle and... TOUCHDOWN!!  Great hard running on that drive by the Saints backs and Mike Bell jersey sales go through the roof once again.  Hey, what can I say, I'm fickle!

Mike Bell Jersey
The Mike Bell Jersey - Get it whilst it's HOT!

Saints 31 Bucs 7

1st down Bucs at their own 20.

Josh Freeman tries to throw to a Saints DB but opts for some Buc for a 6 yard pick up.  2nd and 4.

Freeman to Bryan for 12.  Leigh Torrence made the tackle and goes straight back out the game as he's popped his shoulder again. 

1st down Bucs.

Freeman pressured and throws the ball at the turf.

This time a miracle is witnessed as Freeman completes to Winslow for 6.  3rd and 4.

Freeman again throws to a crowd of Saints and it goes incomplete.  Is he color blind perhaps?  Even if he was the Bucs would be black and the Saints white so that theory doesn't work.  Theory 2: Josh Freeman is a bit shit?  Yep that's the one.

1st down Saints at their own 18, 2.38 in the 3rd.

Mike Bell over left tackle for 3.  2nd and 7.

The Mike Bell jersey containing Mike Bells body takes the ball 2 more to bring up 3rd and 5.

Drew Brees yells at Jeremy Shockey to catch this pass and... Jeremy Shockey takes it for 13 to the Saints 36.

1st down Saints.

The Pierre Thomas jersey containing the body of Pierre Thomas takes the ball 23 yards to end the 3rd Quarter and I'm off to grab a beer.  See you in the 4th.

NO Jerseys Vs Bucs 2nd Quarter

NO Saints 7 TB Bucs 7

The 2nd Quarter opens with a hand off to Pierre Thomas on a draw play and the white jersey spins his way for 7.  2nd and 3.

Brees to Devery Henderson who looses 2.  3rd and 5.

Drew Brees to David Thomas and the ball pops out of Thomas's hands and falls incomplete.  Thomas goes from living legend to vaguely appropriate status.  Thomas Morstead punts.

Thomas Morstead Saints
Thomas Morstead doesn't even bother getting suited up these days.

1st down Bucs at their own 30.

Ward picks up 5.

Ward again but he is stuffed by Remi Ayodele.  3rd and 3.

On the next play Freeman demonstrates his inability to hit a barn door with his passes and the Bucs will punt.

Devery Henderson gets jacked up on the return and the Saints will start at their own 33.

1st down Saints.

Brees incomplete to Pierre Thomas.  2nd and 10.

Brees to Thomas again who spins, ducks, dives, weaves and other such actions on his way for a pick up of 6.  Great effort Mr 23.  3rd and 4.

Brees to David Thomas for a 13 yard pick up and Thomas returns to MVP status.

1st down Saints.

Brees looks deep to Robert Meachem and... the ball is incomplete but a beautiful yellow flag comes out and then... inexplicably goes back in.  That was pass interference all the way.  Damn zebras.  2nd and 10.

Brees short to the Saints 21 jersey filled amply by Mike Bell for a pick up of 3 to bring up 3rd and 5 at the Bucs 43.

Brees to Jeremy Shockey but the ball is broken up by Barber so the Saints will have to punt AGAIN.

Thomas Morstead Saints punter
Thomas Morstead really wishes he had put his pants on now

The Thomas Morstead punt is batted down at the one by Courtney Roby and Usama Young downs it there to give Freeman a headache when he takes the field.  Great play by the Saints special teamers there.  They must have been practicing extra hard since the poor mid term grade.

1st down Bucs.

Derrick Ward is tripped up in the end zone by Roman Harper but just about gets out.  That was damn close to a safety.

Next play Freeman to Graham for a pick up of 6 on the play fake bringing up 3rd and 3.  Come on D!

False start by Buc 65 helps the D no end and pushes them back to a 3rd and 8 situation.

Next up Freeman completes somehow against Saints rookie Malcolm Jenkins.  Jenkins had great coverage but Freeman proved he can actually hit something even smaller than a barn door with that 21 yard pass completion.

1st down Bucs.

Hard running for 7 by some guy in red.  2nd and 3.

Scott Fujita comes in and shows the Saints running D how it's done by taking Ward down for a loss of 1.  3rd and 4.

Next up Freeman looks down field and... It’s picked by Malcolm Jenkins for his 1st NFL INTERCEPTION!  Congratulations to Malcolm Jenkins and family.

1st down Saints at the Bucs 29.

Hamilton up the middle for 3.  2nd and 7.

Brees throws incomplete bringing up 3rd and 7... It's being challenged however by Tampa as they think they intercepted a ball that clearly bounced off the ground first... idiots.  But hey that's 2 failed challenges already by the Bucs so congrats to them for helping us in our hour of need.

Brees to Courtney Roby on the crossing pattern but he's tackled a yard shy of the 1st down marker.  Brees wants to go for it on 4th and 1.5 but is told to 'get off the field please' by John Carney as his mum wants to see him kick a field goal for the first time in years... and he's good!!

Saints 10 Bucs 7.  4.11 left in the half.

1st down Bucs at the Bucs 23.

Cadillac Williams for 5.  2nd and 5.

This time Williams hits a Saints wall led by Jonathan Vilma to leave the ball with 3rd and 4 to go.

Freeman is rushed by Scott Shanley and throws incomplete so the Bucs will punt.  Freeman is now 4 of 10 and clearly got the money I left for him in that brown paper bag this week.

1st down Saints at their own 31.

Brees' pass it tipped and falls incomplete after 4 Bucs dived for it.  2nd and 10.

A Pierre Thomas draw picks up 2.  3rd and 8.

Brees is hit as he throws and the ball flies into the sidelines.  This really is pretty ugly stuff.

1st down Bucs at their 22.

Williams is dropped for 0 gain after Vilma got in there early and stuffed the run to bring up the 2 minute warning.  2nd and 10.

Freeman throws another incomplete.  Malcolm Jenkins had pretty good coverage and is looking sound so far today.  3rd and 10.

Freeman again incomplete as Jonathan Vilma gets his bear claw in there to break it up.  Bucs punt.

1st down Saints at their own 36.

Brees to Colston for 16 to the Bucs 47.

1st down.

Brees pressured and throws it away. 

Brees to Colston over the middle for a pick up of 19 to the Bucs 26.  45 ticks on the clock.

1st down Saints.

Brees to Colston again for 20 to the Bucs 6, 35 secs to go.

1st down Saints.

Drew Brees rolls out right and... TOUCHDOWN ROBERT MEACHEM!!  That's Meachems 6th TD of the season off just 16 receptions.  Great pass and catch and a perfect example of how the Saints offence seems to click when under pressure.  63 yards in 5 plays in 1.10... Maybe we should play hurry up offence on every drive today? 

Robert Meachem stats
TD number 6 for the Robert Meachem Stats sheet

Saints 17 Tampa Bay 7 with 28 secs left in the half.

1st down Bucs at their 28.

Freeman to Winslow who is taken down by Jonathan Vilma who has been all over the field today.  Ball spiked so 3rd and 5 with 5 to go on the clock.

Leigh Torrence and Roman Harper converge on Freeman for a QB sandwich and sack to take us to half time.

So the Saints are again a little indifferent today.  Josh Freeman is enjoying far too much time in the pocket for my liking.  We're just lucky he's young and pretty stinky at this point in his career.  On the other side of the ball Drew Brees is getting pressured more than is comfortable so it would be nice to calm that side of things down in the second half.  Overall we're professional without being explosive.  But it's all about chalking up win number 10 and keeping enough of the roster healthy.

NO Jerseys Vs Bucs 1st Quarter

So the banged up New Orleans Saints visit the no hope Tampa Bay Bucs in a sunny but half empty Florida stadium straight out of Disney World.  Way to show your support Bucs fans.

Courtney Roby takes the Saints opening kick off to the 23 where Drew Brees will lead the mighty Saints offence onto the field.

1st play sees a nicely designed draw to Pierre Thomas which picks up 7.

Brees dumps the next pass off to Thomas for a 1st down at the Saints 33.

Brees out of the shot gun throws to Jeremy Shockey who takes it to the 38 (105th consecutive game with a catch for Shockey according to Fox).

The Mike Bell jersey containing the body of Mike Bell takes the ball and rams it for 4 more to bring up 3rd and 1.

Brees pitches to Pierre Thomas who steps on a banana skin and up ends himself 3 yards shy of the 1st down marker.
    So Thomas Morstead comes in and pictures that kid who used to call him names in school and puts his foot through the ball for a mighty punt to the Bucs 5 yard line.

    1st down Bucs, 11.53.

    Run by Cadillac Williams meets a wall of Saints linebackers and grounds out 2.

    Williams runs through a Sedrick Ellis shaped hole for 6 bringing up 3rd and 2.

    Pass by Freeman under pressure from Jonathan Vilma completes for a 1st.
      Draw play by Bucs for another 1st down out to the Bucs 42.

      Next play sees Will Smith go unblocked and drops Freeman for a sack of 8, his 8th and a half of the season. Feel free to leave Will Smith unblocked all day Tampa.  2nd and 18.

      Saints 92 Remi Ayodele lines up in the neutral zone and takes 5 off that.  Will Smith gives him a dirty look and Ayodele looks as far from the NO Saints Hall of Fame as ever.

      Williams runs up the middle, gets bounced back so tries to go outside but Saints Rookie Malcolm Jenkins and Darren Sharper combine for the tackle for no gain.

      On 3rd and 13 Freeman looks down field, sees no one so takes off and beats all Saints linebackers to the 50 and a 1st down.

      Cadillac Williams again for 2 up the middle.  2nd and 8.

      Graham takes the ball, bounces again and picks up a 1st down.  The tackle by Darren Sharper came about with the aid of a facemask so the Bucs move all the way down to the Saints 21.

      1st down Bucs.

      Derrick Ward for 3.

      Freeman goes to the end zone on the next play and Roman Harper reads it the whole way and almost picks it off.  Damn that was almost great.

      Freeman does a great impression of a slippery eel and gets away from Will Smith and Co before launching to the back corner of the end zone for a TOUCHDOWN.  The Bucs ran on us all too easy through that drive.  Hope we can find a better way to fill the middle or we'll loose a lot of the game clock to this power rushing.

      Saints 0 Bucs 7.  4.58

      Courtney Roby impresses his watching girlfriend with a 20 yard return to the Saints 29.

      1st down Saints.

      Pierre Thomas goes over left tackle and is stopped for 0.

      Drew Brees to Saints legend in the making David Thomas takes the ball 13 down the field and then makes a great break and run all the way down to the Bucs 32 for a pick up of 37.

      1st down Saints.

      Pierre Thomas draw play picks up 7 and injures a Buc in the process... So basically a perfect play.  2nd and 3.

      Brees to Colston over the middle to the Bucs 15 for another 1st down.

      Mike Bell delay draw picks up 5.  Boy does that jersey run hard.  He explodes into people.

      Brees to David Thomas again for a pick up of 6.

      1st and goal at the 4.

      Brees to Robert Meachem and... TOUCHDOWN!!  Meachem on a crossing pattern took the ball at the 2 and lunged for the line.  Great response by the Saints and impressive showing again by David Thomas and of course Mr Saints himself, Drew Brees.

      Saints 7 Bucs 7.

      The Bucs will start at the 31.

      Josh Freeman has all kinds of time and then... almost throws a pick.

      Cadillac Williams cuts back for a 5 yard gain.  3rd and 5.

      Freeman throws to the sidelines against Scott Shanley but the ball is caught out of bounds so the Bucs will punt.  Darren Sharper takes a fair catch to close out the first quarter and the Saints will take over at their own 18 when we return.

      Reggie Bush Gets Jacked Up

      Poor little Reggie Bush.  No sooner does he put in a stellar performance against the St Louis Rams than his knee gets bent out of shape and he misses the Bucs game as highlighted in yesterdays Reggie Bush injury status post.

      The Saints RBs' career has been plagued with injuries and little wonder when you take a look at this video in which Reggie Bush gets jacked up first by Sheldon Brown of the Eagles and then in a USC college game.

      Reggie Bush Gets Jacked Up

      Those are two of the hardest shots you could possibly take on a football field.  It's little wonder that Reggie spends a fair amount of time on the sidelines when his body has taken hits like that in his career.  I don't care how much prep work and conditioning you undertake, you are not going to take those kind of blows and not wear the old body down.

      It's a great shame to see him out yet again given what a fantastic athlete little Reggie Bush (as his mum surely still calls him) is but the physicality of the game is one of the main reasons we love football and without shots like that it wouldn't be the same sport.  In fact it's shots like that which compel kids to go to the effort of even posting up Madden jacked up moments like the following on YouTube:

      Reggie Bush Gets Jacked Up by Troy Polamalu on Madden

      Talk about a hit.  I'm glad only virtual Reggie felt that one as real life Reggie has enough on his plate dealing with his past injuries.

      So, to leave this post on a more even note, why don't we sit back and enjoy NFL players other than Reggie Bush getting jacked up.  

      Saturday, November 21, 2009

      Reggie Bush Injury Status

      After last weeks tongue in cheek Reggie Bush injury report post I'm sad to say I've tempted fate for the Saints speedster has picked up something more serious than the paper cut previously reported.  So without further ado here is the latest Reggie Bush injury status report courtesy of Saints NFL and Falconer Productions:

      Reggie Bush injury status:  The former Heismen Trophy winner and Saints RB did not participate in practice this week due to a troublesome knee injury that restricted his participation in the second half of the Rams game.  Will Reggie Bush play?  Well he is listed as questionable for the Tampa Bay Bucs game so reading between the lines he is unlikely to suit up given the impending match up with the New England Patriots in Week 12.  The break will give Saints number 25 more time to work on the infamous Reggie Bush best friend Christmas card list.

      The Reggie Bush best friend Christmas Card list - Coming soon to a mailbox near you!

      Jabari Greer injury status:  The Saints cornerback did not practice again this week because of his troublesome groin problem, the same injury that kept him out of the Week 10 match up with the St Louis Rams.  Here's to hoping the great man is resting up on the couch as I write this.  Get well soon partner.

      Lance Moore Saints WR:  Ever since writing my Lance Moore New Orleans Saints post the ace in the sleeve slot receiver has been plagued by an ankle injury that has kept him out for some 3 weeks.  I will hold of praising any more Saints players until number 16 is back and healthy.  In the meantime let's hope this rest time will ensure he is healthy and at his best come the playoffs.  

      Tracy Porter injury status:  Following the most innocuous of clashes with Usama Young in the Rams game Saints ace CB Tracy Porter has sprained his left medial collateral ligament (it's something in his leg apparently) and is out indefinitely.  That's the bad news.  The good news is Porter is likely to be back before seasons end and in the meantime can spend longer on his Emmanuel Joseph Siey├Ęs thesis on the French revolution.

      Sedrick Ellis Knee injury latest:  The Saints big man spent the week bench pressing his way to a new team record with an incredible 5 reps at the 1 million lbs weight (Warning: maybe exaggerating).  He did participate in some practice sessions and is listed officially as questionable.  Let's hope we go with caution on this one as he'll be of more value returning against the Pats in Week 12.  

      Jonathan Goodwin Saints Center:  The man with the name that sums up most Saints games this season is still having problems with his ankle.  He is said to be probable to return.

      Darren Sharper Saints Safety:  The man with the plan, the big cheese, the unstoppable, indefatigable, Safety legend is set to return against the Bucs and I for one am doing cartwheels in my head.  Hopefully Super Sharper can add to his league leading tally of interceptions and grace us with another 90+ yard touchdown return in Week 11.  Here's hoping anyway.

      And finally, the man who stops traffic in the down town area himself...

      Mr. David Thomas Saints TE:  After his stellar performance against the Rams in Week 10 it is a relief to know that Saints legend in the making David Thomas participated fully in practice on Friday and is probable for the Bucs game.  With the Reggie Bush injury status looking grim it's a relief to have our quality back up Tight End healthy for the short pass play.

      And that's all for this week.  Here's hoping for a Jonathan Goodwin tomorrow against the Bucs...  Oooh man that was bad, I'll get my coat.

      Tuesday, November 17, 2009

      Reggie Bush Highlights

      As well you might know I love the New Orleans Saints more than just about most things in my life (replace the Bud Light for the NO Saints in that beer commercial of recent and you get the picture).  That said, and whilst I am appreciative of the fact we are winning games we would normally loose in years gone past, I can't help but feel we've had a few weeks of fairly indifferent Saints displays (it's dem displays dat win dem championships laddy boy... or so my Irish innerself tells me).

      Reggie Bush Highlights Cardinals Playoff Game

      So I thought I'd scour YouTube for some New Orleans Saints highlights from seasons past to remind us of the explosive brilliance that is the Saints offence at its best and always a lock for football betting.  And where better to start than with Mr Love him or hate him himself, and I for one love him (just for the record), Mr Reggie Bush.

      Presenting the Reggie Bush Highlights reel

      Reggie Bush Highlights what you can do with +22 mph speed
      Damn that boy can run.  On that reception against the Niners the Reggie Bush mph measure must have broken the +22 mark surely?

      Here's some more Reggie Bush Highlights but taken from some slightly different angles and with extra IN YOUR FACE music for extra IN YOUR FACE effect!

      More Reggie Bush Saints highlights
      Seeing Reggie break one for 55 yards against the Rams on Sunday reminded me of what we've been missing so far this season.  What I love about the Saints offence of today is that we don't even need to go to this incredible athlete all that often to get the job done but when we do he is there ready and poised on the pad to break one.

      Reggie Bush Punt Returns Vs. Vikings on Monday Night Football

      I bet there are Head Coaches throughout the league who would love that kind of an option.  We should count ourselves lucky for that fact alone whilst not forgetting the selflessness Reggie brings to the team when other big ego's would be bitching in the press week in week out.  That talks to me of a winning attitude and team work ethic.

      Reggie Bush USC highlights

      I hadn't seen that one for a while, boy could that boy shift.  That's further reinforced to me just what a luxury we have waiting to explode within our team.

      Everyone has their day and hopefully Reggie's will come in late January.  Man it's a good time to be a Saint!

      Mini Reggie Bush High School Highlights

      And finally Pee Wee Reggie.  Some of those moves remind me of the Falconer on the dance floor after a couple of Bourbons most Saturday nights (Warning - may be lying).

      • Brown's Hit on Reggie Bush Featured On SI Cover | College Football ... - Reggie Bush had never been drilled like this in his life. In high school and college he had always been the best athlete on the field, too fast and too elusive to leave himself open to a clean shot. But here, in an NFC divisional playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, his initiation came suddenly.

      Monday, November 16, 2009

      Usama Young Saints Player of Week 10 Vs Rams

      The award was a tough call this week following some indifferent displays all round.  There were a number of Saints who could have walked off with this as a result of so many earning 7 out of 10 ratings but I've forsaken the Reggie Bush vote (he's won enough accolades in his short career) so as usual the Falconer is going for the underdog namely Usama Young and here's why:

      Usama Young Saints Cornerback - The 3rd year man from Kent State came into the banged up Saints secondary and did a great job of nullifying passes on his side of the field.  He made an important interception in the Saints end zone snuffing out a potential scoring drive and managed to return it 24 yards.  He ended the day with 4 tackles and 1 pass deflection but more importantly ensured the banged up unit were not left embarrassed andproved we can rely on him for future games this season.

      Usama Young Saints
      Usama Young Saints MVP Week 10 Vs Rams

      And the runners-up are:

      Reggie Bush Saints Running Back - He was due a big game and Rocket Reggie duly delivered with a season best 83 yards off just 6 carries and 2 2nd Quarter touchdowns, 1 on a pass from Drew Brees the other on a 3 yard draw play.  The Reggie Bush mph speed-o-meter looked to easily hit +22 on the crossing pattern as the former USC man beat his man to the corner for the go ahead score.  Later in the game Bush exploded out of the backfield for a 55 yard pick up, his longest carry of the season. 

      Devery Henderson Saints Wide Receiver - With Marques Colston and Robert Meachem conspicuous by their absence it was left to the former LSU man to represent the Saints wide men with an impressive 4 for 72. 

      David Thomas Saints Tight End - The back up man with just 7 receptions all year coming into this game ended it with 5 more.  He made a number of important grabs in the 1st half to help maintain drives and provided an important outlet to Brees with many of his marquee receivers well covered.  Perhaps his most telling contribution was throwing a vital block for Robert Meachem en route to a 41 yard run in the 2nd.  A sound performance all round by the former Longhorn. 

      Courtney Roby Saints Kick Return Specialist - Roby took the 2nd half kick off and flew down the sideline to score the first such touchdown by a Saints player since Michael Lewis in the 2004 season.  This was a vital score for the black and gold coming so early in the second half and Roby must be congratulated for his turn of speed in breaking clear on the play.

      Jonathan Stinchcomb Saints Tackle - Along with the other unheralded Saints Offensive Linemen he kept the Rams pass rush at bay affording Drew Brees ample time to pick his targets from the pocket.  His run blocking was also a major factor particularly in opening up the hole that Reggie Bush was able to exploit on his 55 yard gain in the 3rd.

      Sunday, November 15, 2009

      Saints Vs Rams 4th Quarter Analysis

      So we open the 4th with the Saints leading Steven Jackson 21 to 17.

      1st and 10 Saints ball at their own 41 yard line.

      Brees to Thomas on a screen for a gain of 5.
      False start against Saints number 80 Darnell Dinkins who sheepishly runs to the sidelines looking for a towel to hide under at least until Sean Payton forgets he's on the roster.

      Brees to David Thomas (back up TE) for 5th catch of the day and picks up the first down.

      Brees to Colston for 9.  New Saints legend in waiting Kyle Eckel takes the ball over right guard for a first down.

      Brees looks deep and... Hits Robert Meachem for a 27 yard TOUCHDOWN!! 
      Meachem was running a perfect post pattern en route to his first reception of the day.  We needed that.  Great job guys.  That is now the 4th touchdown chalked up on the Robert Meachem stats sheet for 2009.  Solid drive 7 plays 77 yards in 3 minutes 15 and now a half decent lead.

      Robert Meachem stats
      The Robert Meachem stats sheet just gets better and better.

      Saints 28 Rams 17

      1st down Rams with 12.15 left in the game.

      Jackson runs straight into Charles Grant who eats him up for a loss of 2.
      Jackson again over right tackle and SCOTT FUJITA makes the tackle.  SCOTT FUJITA people, he's back!!

      3rd and 9 and guess who they throw it to?  I'll give you a hint, his name rhymes with Meevan Saxon. 

      So the Rams punt it to Reggie who takes a cheap shot on his knee as he goes out of bounds at the Saints something or other.  A pen knocks it back to the 25.

      1st down Saints.
      Bell up the middle for 1.
      Brees looks deep and finds Jeremy Shockey for a 25 yard pick up to midfield.

      1st down Saints.
       Brees looks deep to Devery Henderson but a flag comes out and... The Rams nosetackle is called for off sides which suits me just fine but causes havoc with the big mans inner monologue.
      1st and 5.  Mike Bell over right tackle to the Rams 39.

      1st down New Orleans.  The St Louis Jacksons have a LB down so we go to a commercial break for some inspirational message from the people at Dodge.  They instantly make me want to rush out and buy a pick up truck so I can drive it straight through the lobby of the marketing company who came up with that cynical heart string tug rubbish... bar humbug!

      Brees to Devery Henderson who drops a badly thrown pass.  2nd and 10.
      Mike Bell runs to the sidelines and picks up 3.  Good job as he could have got stuffed for a loss.

      3rd and 7.  Brees looks right and the ball is battered down.  Drew looks upset with himself there.  The Saints will punt it...  however a dirty Ram runs into Thomas Morstead and will be called for a 5 yard pen so we'll replay 4th down.  Will we go for the field goal or a 4th down conversion? 

      Sean sends Brees back out.  Gutsy guy.  Ok here we go, 4th and 2.  Brees changing the call and... Then burns a timeout as the play clock runs out.  John Carney looks eager to kick but Payton is not looking his way.  Carney looks upset and for good reason as Kyle Eckle is given the ball and runs into a wall of Rams and we give the ball over on downs.  What does that say about Paytons faith in Carney's leg?  Hope that lack of faith doesn't bite us in the ass come playoff time.

      1st down Rams at their own 32.

      Incompletion then Jackson for 9.   3rd and 1.

      Bulger to Rams number 16 who brilliantly drops it when he had a wide open field ahead of him.  Like any good man who stares at goats I managed to force Ram number 16 to leave that ball well alone (and yes I am claiming that one on my powers of mind control because I shouted 'DROP IT' and he obliged... and no I'm not crazy, well I don't think I am anyway).

      It brings up a 4th down and... They’re going for it.  They hand it to Steven Jackson and... Will Smith of I Am Legend fame stuffs him for a loss of 1.

      Will Smith Saints
      Saints Will Smith - Coming soon to a back field near you

      1st down Saints with just over 6 minutes to go.  Ball at Rams 40.
      Mike Bell for 5 to start the drive.  2nd and 5.
      Now Thomas over left tackle for a gain of 1 and we're quickly to 3rd and 4.
      A Ram manages to break the great Saints O line and drops Brees for his first sack of the day.  4th and 4 and Morstead punts into the end zone.

      1st down Rams at their own 20.

      Mark Bulger to Steven Jackson on a screen that doesn't work out and he's dropped for a loss of 3 but Fox cut to the action at the Redskin game so we don't know who made that great tackle.  Pass completion for a 1st down.  3.44 left in the game.

      1st down Rams at their own 42.  Pass to Jackson for 7.
      Another pass and another completion out to the Saints 42.  Bobby McCray limps off to add to our great overall D health.

      1st down Rams.
      Bulger to someone or other and ANOTHER 1st down to the 19 with 2.50 left in the game.

      1st down St Louis.
      Bulger to Donny Avery and TOUCHDOWN.  Great pass and catch there over the back of Randall Gay at the goal line.

      The Rams are going for 2 points and... It’s incomplete.  So we now await the joys of a squib kick.  Which way will it go? 

      It goes Marques Colstons way and he gets to rectify his earlier fumble with an important take.

      Saints 28 Steven Jackson 23

      Saints 1st down at the Rams 42.
      Mike Bell up the middle and picks up 6 with 2.38 left.
      Pierre Thomas now over right tackle for 1 more and now we look at 3rd and 3.
      Brees throws incomplete to Henderson.  Bull crap.  4th and 3. 
      Morstead to punt with 2.29 left on the clock. 

      This game was not meant to be this close.  I was looking forward to a nice comfortable ride for my nervous disposition but oh no, we have to go and make hard work out of playing a one man team.  I still love you guys though.

      1st down Rams at their own 20, 2.21 on the clock.
      Surprise, surprise as Steven Jackson takes the ball for 5 and we hit the 2 minute warning.

      Bulger runs out of bounds to stop the clock and pick up a 1st.

      1st play, incompletion.
      Next up Bulger to Jackson for a pick up of 6. 1.30 and counting.
      Bulger throws incomplete and now it's 4th and 4 with 1.21 on the clock.  This is the game...

      Bulger to Gibson and it's ruled... complete on the field... but the Booth will review it and for good reason because that looks like it touched the turf before he caught it.  This is damn tight.  Which way will it go? 

      (Well, you as the reader will know because by the time you read this the decision will have been made but for me right now... I'm like a small child who's bed light has been turned out for the first time after watching the Wickerman, namely, SCARED senseless). 

      And no the call is not overturned so 1st down Rams at the 48. 

      Next up a pass completion and another 1st down.

      Now Bulger to Jackson on a screen for 5.  30 secs on clock.  My nails have gone, they've simply disappeared.

      Bulger looks down the left side line but the ball hits the back of Malcolm Jenkins helmet, his best input in the game to date.

      19 secs left.

      Bulger to Jackson for 3 yards.

      4th and 2. Clock ticking down so they have to go for the end zone and...

      The ball falls incomplete.  Thank **** for that!! 

      Jeez man that was tight. 

      Again a fairly indifferent Saints performance from certain personnel. 

      To be fair we've got so used to the A game that when they fall below some of their early season heroics it looks bad, but still I did expect us to enjoy a fairly comfortable day.

      Overall we still did a decent enough job with a massively banged up defence.  Some of the secondary on display looked like they had barely been introduced.  And lest we forget we are now 9 and 0 and on course for the playoffs.  So to come out with yet another win when we're not playing at our best is a further indication that we have championship quality within us (and I say us because clearly I have 'loads' to do with it what with never playing a pro snap in my life but you know what I mean). 

      I'm now going to go and look at the stars in my back yard for a few minutes whilst I reflect on this one.

      Saints Vs Rams 3rd Quarter report

      Trent Green and Chris Rose are eulogising about Steven Jackson.  It really has been a game of 1 Vs 22.  I've not seen such a one man team since Barry Sanders used to have to do it alone for the Lions... but what an athlete Jackson is.  I guess if that's your main weapon then use it, especially if the Saints can't find a way to stop him.

      Courtney Roby takes the second half kick off and... Returns it all the way for a 97 yard TOUCHDOWN!!  That's the 1st kick off return for a TD in nearly 5 years (since Michael Lewis in 2004 according to Green and Rose) for the Saints.  That will do.  The Saints Special Teams now get marked up to a straight C from my New Orleans Saints mid term paper report.

      Courtney Roby touchdown
      Courtney Roby TOUCHDOWN!!

      The Rams will start the second half at their own 23.
      Bulger to Gibson, breaks 2 tackles and takes it to the Rams 48.  He beat Tracy Porter and Usama Young with fine moves.  Youngs leg collided with Porters and the Saints 2nd year man is down as we go to commercials.

      That's all we need, another member of the secondary out with and injury.  Oh no, I spoke to soon, the Direct TV commercial is all I need after that bad news.  Some rubbish about something or other, blah, blah. 

      We return and Tracy Porter is only just getting to his feet now.  Our first round pick in the 09 draft, Malcolm Jenkins, is coming in to take his place.  I hope the rookie has stretched his legs as he could be in for the long haul here.

      So back to the game and it's a 1st down for St. Louis at their own 48. 
      Steven Jackson hands off to himself (being a 1 man team them's the breaks that come your way) and takes it for 1 after every Saints lineman jumps on his turtle back.

      Next up a screen to Jackson but he can't hold on so it's 3rd and 9.  Good break for the Saints as we don't want Jackson getting into the banged up secondary with the ball in his hands.

      3rd and 9 and... Mark Bulger overthrows Jenkins who was worryingly wide open. Rams will punt and Reggie Bush fair catches at Saints 17.

      1st down New Orleans.
      Pierre Thomas bursts through the hole between centre and right guard for a big 11 yard pick up. 

      The Saints Pierre Thomas Jersey getting it done!

      1st down Saints.
      Brees to Henderson on a crossing pattern for a 26 yard pick up into Rams territory.  1st down at Rams 47.

      Next up Thomas stopped for 0.  Oooh man Tracy Porter is being carted off with head in hands.  Not looking good.  Let's hope that's not as serious as his demeanour tells it.

      Brees tries to thread the needle to Shockey but over throws and... It’s picked off.  That's a double 'not looking good' moment in a few brief seconds.  We could have really built up a healthy lead there but alas no.  We're making this look hard work against a team of 1. 

      TV cuts to Saints sideline as Drew Brews yells at Jeremy Shockey - nice blame shift.  Actually maybe that was on Shockey... only those guys know as I don't have the play book in front of me.  Drew Brees Jeremy Shockey fight coming soon anyone?

      1st down Rams at their own 40.
      Jackson now for 1.  Next play… pass incomplete, 3rd and 9.
      A pass completion for 10 sees the Rams move the chains.

      1st down.
      Steven Jackson cuts back and picks up 8.  2nd and 2.  Guess who the ball will go to next?
      Nope I'm wrong as Mark Bulger is caught in the backfield but somehow manages to wriggle free and completes for 20 over the middle.

      1st down St. Louis.
      Bulger throws incomplete before Jackson runs up the middle for 7.  3rd and 3.  Fox announce Steven Jackson has just hit 6,193 career yards to move into 3rd place in franchise history behind Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson.  Not bad going.  Neither of them carried a whole team on his back.

      Bulger throws back across the field and Roman Harper does just enough to break up the pass.  4th and 3 so the Rams will attempt a field goal and... Get it.

      Saints 21 Rams 17.

      Saints will take over at their own 20 after Courtney Roby takes a knee in the end zone with 7.08 on the 3rd Quarter clock.

      1st down Saints. 
      Bell over left tackle for a pick up of 2.
      Reggie Bush breaks through the big right tackle hole and takes it 55 to the Rams 22.  Great hole by Stinchcomb and Evans and a great run by Mr. Bush.  Rocket man Reggie was due a big one and today he's looking good.

      1st down New Orleans. 
      Thomas runs for 2.
      Colston end around for gain of 6.  First touch of the ball for Colston today.  3rd and 2.
      Thomas takes pitch over right tackle and gets the first down.  Good job guys.

      1st and goal at 9.  Brees to Colston who leaps the pile at the 1... But looses the ball and it trickles out the end zone for a touch back.  Oh man, Colston can not catch a break at the moment (although at least he's back to catching passes after last weeks debacle).  It will be the Rams ball at their own 20. 

      1st down Rams with 3.33 on the clock.
      Rams penalty so 1st and 15.
      Jackson takes pitch and is wrapped up for a loss of 2... FINALLY.
      Pass to Jackson in the flat but Roman Harper makes a great tackle for a loss of 1.  3rd and 17.

      Pass completion but the Ram (who cares what his name is as I need some beer) is short of the first down marker. 

      Rams punt to Bush who makes some moves and gets it 20 odd yards before the gain is called back against Leigh Torrence for holding so we continue killing ourselves and start at our own 23.

      1st down Saints
      Thomas over right guard for 5.
      Slant pass to Henderson for a first down.  Great pick up by Devery to the Saints 41.  It's between Usama Young and Devery Henderson for Saint of the Week at the moment as we close out the 3rd Quarter.

      Saints Vs Rams 2nd Quarter Analysis

      You join me in the Saints Vs Rams 2nd Quarter having just been advised that I'm watching FOX NFL Sunday by a baritone voice.  That's lucky they confirmed that or I would have been left thinking I was watching the sound of music in Slavic.  Now a fan holds up a sign confirming we are watching Fox as we return to the game; did the PR department pay him for that?

      OK so the score is Saints 0 Rams 0.

      Drew Brees throws to David Thomas who is stopped short and then forces his way for an extra 3.  GREAT effort.  4th catch of day by the backup Tight End.  Only 7 catches before today, how bout that?

      1st down Black and Gold. 
      Draw to Bush who does his Michael Jordan leap and gets a... 3 yard TOUCHDOWN!! His 5th of the season.

      Reggie Bush mph
      The Reggie Bush mph read +22 on that one!

      That was a 13 play, 78 yard drive in 7.30. Brees went 6 for 6 for 58 yards.  Textbook drive - Very impressive. Brees spread the ball around to receivers and tight ends and was complimented by some good runs by the backs.  There were also 3 straight 3rd down conversions on the drive which is akey indicator of ruthless efficiency.

      New Orleans Saints 7 St Louis Rams 0

      1st down Rams at their own 25, 14.09 on the clock.
      Steven Jackson big run for 14 - An important open field tackle by Usama Young or he could have broken it.

      1st down. 
      Steven Jackson again through middle for 8.
      Play action pass and a big gain.  Great hit by Usama Young - CRACK!!

      1st down at Saints 35.
      Steven Jackson again over right tackle.  He is running at will against us.
      2nd and 2.  Some other Rams back up runs through the middle for 3.

      1st down at 29.
      Toss out left and Will Smith tackles for 0.

      Mark Bulger is sacked and looses the ball which Jackson manages to recover for a loss of 3.  He had loads of time but still got sacked.

      3rd and 15.  That's the 16th forced fumble in Will Smiths career; he also has an Oscar I believe.
      Mark Bulger to Avery deep and... TD.  He beat Randall Gay for 29 yard TD reception.

      9.23 left in 2nd. 8 plays 75 yards.

      Saints 7 Rams 7,

      Courtney Roby takes the kick off out to the 27 where the Saints will have a 1st down.

      End around to Robert Meachem (great block by David Thomas) who takes it a season long 41 yards for a Saint to the Rams 36. 

      1st down New Orleans. 
      Thomas scampers for 3.
      Brees to Henderson to the Rams 15, a gain of 13.

      1st down. 
      Brees is hit as he throws incomplete.  1st time Brees has been pressured so far.
      Brees throws it away on the next play bringing up 3rd and 10.
      Brees to Bush over the middle and... TOUCHDOWN!!  Bush caught it at the 12 then used his speed to get to the end zone and dive to the put ball over the plain of the goal line.  Great catch and run.  6 plays 72 yards in a cool 2.32.

      Reggie Bush vertical
      The 'Reggie Bush Vertical Leap' as patented by Bush Inc.

      Saints 14 Rams 7

      1st down Rams 27.
      Steve Spagnola is talking to the LB beaten by Bush.  He's demanding that he be a bit more like Usain Bolt in future please.

      Rams pass for 7 yards.  2nd and 3. 
      Encroachment by Remi Ayodele.  1st down Rams at own 38.

      Jackson 8th rush over left tackle of the day picks up 5.  (69 yards rushing and 21 receiving already today).

      Mark Bulger is pressured and sacked by Remi Ayodele and Charles Grant.  3rd and 7.
      Bulger completes to Gibson.  Usama Young makes the tackle again after Gay slipped which left him open.

      1st down Rams.
      Jackson is tackled by just about every Saints player although Charles Grant gets the official credit.  2nd and 8.  Bulger throws a pass for another 1st down - 10 yard pick up.

      1st down. 
      Jackson tackled by everyone again although Bobby McCray is credited. 
      2nd and 8.  Saints burn a second timeout.
      Steven Jackson again but Demario Pressley wraps him up in the backfield for a loss of 1.  Ball at Saints 28.  Steven Jackson again for 13 up the middle.  We just cannot stop this guy.

      2 minute warning.  1st down at 15.
      Jackson AGAIN for 2.

      The Saints call another timeout.

      Jackson stopped 3 yards short of 1st down marker but then carries WILL SMITH ON HIS BACK DOWN TO THE SAINTS 4. 

      1st down.  Jackson up the middle for 1.
      Jackson ploughs in for... A TOUCHDWON OVER LEFT TACKLE.  Mike Karney, the ex Saint FB, led the way - TRAITOR.  Although we did cut him the day before his wedding so I guess we owe him that.  Cut throat business or what?

      Saints 14 Rams 14.
      Courtney Roby returns the kick off out to the 24. 

      50 seconds left in half, 0 timeouts New Orleans.

      1st play and Brees is going down for a sack but flips it to Bush for 0 pick up.  Great effort to avoid the sack and keep the play alive.

      Brees to Shockey for 9.  Brees stops clock but that makes it 4th and 1 so the Saints will punt with 6 seconds left.

      End of first half with the scores level:

      New Orleans 14 Steven Jackson 14

      Saints Vs Rams 1st Quarter report

      Welcome folks as we enter the blandest dome in the NFL for the Week 10 match up between the undefeated New Orleans Saints and the mighty (bad) St. Louis Rams.  As kick off approaches the Falconer promises to eat his own hat if the Saints loose this one (and the Falconer has some very big hats... actually 3 Sombreros and 3 cowboy hats... I hope it doesn't come to that as a) I rather like my hat collection and b) I'm not very good at eating straw and felt if truth be told).

      The weekend starts here as Thomas Morstead kicks us off and Jo-Lonn Dunbar stuffs the returner at the 13, great job by Dunbar. 

      The Rams start with an incomplete pass.
      On 2nd and 10 Charles Grant lines up offside for 5 yard pen.
      Steven Jackson breaks a big one out to the Rams 48.  He broke a Vilma arm tackle at the line of scrimmage on the way to that big gain.

      1st down Rams and a slant pass for an 8 yard gain.
      False start pen against the Rams.  2nd and 7.
      Steven Jackson up the middle for 4.  That's 2 runs so far to the right - is that a weakness they've identified?
      3rd and 4.
      Vilma almost sacks Mark Bulger who just about gets it away.
      So the Rams have to punt and it goes out of bounds at the Saints 25.

      So in come the New Orleans Saints offence led by General Drew Brees, Colonel Colston, Major Meachem, Private Pierre Thomas and Brigadiers Bush and Bell.  Sergeant Shockey is peeling potatoes.

      1st down Saints.  11.57 on the clock.
      Bell 3 yards up middle.
      Pitch to Bush to the right and a gain of 16.  Nice.

      1st down at the Saints 41.
      Thomas breaks a tackle and picks up 3.
      Brees to Shockey but the big man is hit as the ball gets there and a Ram intercepts at the Saints 47.

      1st down male sheep.
      A running back is stuffed by Scott Shanle.
      Bulger to Jackson who takes it in but is tackled by Shanle. 3rd and 2.
      Slant pass, 1st down.

      Pass to Jackson, missed tackle Fujita, and Steven J needs all the Saints to tackle him.  Impressive.

      1st down 19. 
      Roman Harper tackles Jackson for 1.
      Mark Bulger throws and...Usama Young intercepts in the end zone and returns the ball to the Saints 25!  Great job Usama.  Darren Sharper on the sidelines looking very happy with Mr. Young.  The Saints now lead the NFL in the interception category with 17.

      1st down 6.44 on the clock.

      Brees to Saints TE David Thomas, number 85 for those checking the roster, for a pick up of 3.

      Reggie Bush flipped after a 3 yard carry.  3rd and 4.
      Brees to Shockey on the sidelines for a 1st down at the 36.

      1st down New Orleans. 
      Mike Bell over left tackle for 3.
      Thomas over left picks up 3.  3rd and 4.
      Brees to David Thomas (AGAIN) to the Rams 40, a pick up of 18.

      1st down Saints. 
      Brees to Thomas for 1.
      Draw play to Reggie Bush for 4.  3rd and 5.
      Drew Brees to Devery Henderson downfield and... Completes to the Rams 14 for a pick up of 21.  That maintains his average of 21 yards per catch throughout his career, quite incredible.  Also quite incredible/mildly impressive, that's the 3rd straight 3rd down conversion in a row on this drive.

      1st down. 
      Thomas runs for 2.
      Bush up the middle, cuts back for 3.  3rd and 5.  Good move by Bush to pick up something from that.

      END OF THE 1ST QUARTER with the scores Saints 0 Rams 0.

      Marques Colston Highlights Reel

      The Marques Colston highlights reel grows ever larger thanks to the skill set the Saints ace receiver brings to the New Orleans offense.  He can go deep with his great speed, go up over the middle or jump high to wrestle the ball off a DB in the end zone.

       Marques Colston Highlights Reel

      Colston is rightly regarded as the Saints primary receiver in an offense bursting with talent.  He is the big player outlet that Drew Brees rightly goes to in many clutch situations in the red zone.

      High Quality Marques Colston Highlights Reel

      Colston is big, strong, quick and has great hands.  In short he has all the attributes you need for a premier NFL receiver.  At the time of posting Marques Colston holds the NFL record for most receptions in a player's first two seasons with 168.

      Marques Colston Career Highlights

      Saturday, November 14, 2009

      Reggie Bush Injury Report

      The Reggie Bush injury report news is that... he's fine and dandy and looking forward to a big day againt the Rams (I just used that headline to grab your attention for some lesser known Saints and their injury status going into week 10).
      Latest Sedrick Ellis injury news: The Saints DT did not participate in practice because of his ongoing knee injury.  The big man is still a few weeks away from a return.  However the Sedrick Ellis bench press work out routine is in over drive building up the numbers with all the time spent on his back.  I've heard he can now bench press the entire Falcons team in one rep.

      Groin - The Jabari Greer injury hotspot of choice:  Greer also did not participate in practise giving him more time to spend with his 'Jabari Greer Saints Helmet Player of the Week Award' following his excellent performance against the Falcons in Week 8.

      Jabari Greer injury

      Lance Moore Ankle Injury:  No practise for Moore this week (apart from on Madden 2010 which he's reported as being quite good at now).

      NEWSFLASH - Reggie Bush Injury Report Latest...  He's STILL fine and dandy so we return to our scheduled programming...
      Jonathan Goodwin Saints Centre:  His Ankle injury limited his participation in practice leaving him with a questionable status according to the NFL... What, the Ankle or his mind?

      Darren Sharper Knee Injury:  Sharper is reported as questionable following limited participation in practice. Unfortunately that means more time to help Mrs. Sharper with the house work and gardening chores.

      Marques Colston Injury more of an Illness:  The Pro Bowl bound Saints wide receiver did not fully participate in practice as he reportedly has the snuffles.  His chances of playing are rated as probable, dependant on the amount of Vix inhaler he can shoe horn up his nostrils.

      Scott Fujita Injury Update:   The Saints veteran LB is still trolubled by the calf injury that has kept him sidelined for some weeks now.   The latest reports say he is probable to play which will be a big relief to Michelle over at Saints Rants.

      Garrett Hartley Status:  A left ankle problem is reportedly troubling this man monster but there's no way such a minor fault is going to stop him from playing.  No way Jose! 

      Marvin Mitchell Foot Injury:  The Saints LB is rated as probable which comes as huge relief to the city of New Orleans.  What?  I'm being serious, I like the guy.

      And finally

      Zach Strief Saints Tackle:  Is ill but rated as probable (What no rubbish quip?  Ed.).

      And that's your injury fix for the Week 10 match up with the St Louis Rams...

      But what's this?  Hold the back pages, the latest Reggie Bush Injury Report is in and...  He has a paper cut on his left index finger.  A paper cut people.  Oh the humanity.

      I think I speak for all of us when I say the people of New Orleans Parish will be praying as one for Reggie tonight.

      New Orleans Saints mid term paper: A

      We're at the half way point in the campaign and there have been thrills and spills galore with the Saints this season but overall you couldn't ask for a more complete team effort.  They are setting the NFL alight with their potent offence and keeping us fans on the edge of our seats most game days.  That said, as any coach will tell you, there is always room for improvement so here is my break down of how we're doing so far.

      New Orleans Saints offence mid term paper: A+

      What can you say about this group that hasn't already been said?  They are playing thrilling, exciting, don't blink or you'll miss it football.  They lead the NFL in points scored with a cool 303 with 8 games played.  That is a huge 67 points more than their next closest rival in these stakes, the Minnesota Vikings.  Factor in a league leading net points differential of 129 and you've got one hell of an argument for unit of the year so far.

      The Saints offence is of course led by the indomitable Drew Brees who has thrown for a league leading 17 touchdowns to date and 2,336 yards.  Throw in an unbelievable completion percentage of 68.3 and an NFL best 106.1 QB rating and you've got the premier Quarterback in the NFL right now.

      Brees is spreading the ball around to all his options which makes it very difficult for opposing defences to key in on any one individual.  If you take Marques Colston away you've got Robert Meachem open.  You take Meachem out and you've got Devery Henderson.  Cover Henderson and Jeremy Shockey pops up.  Double team Shockey and Reggie Bush runs... You get the idea.

      Jeremy Shockey highlights
      The Jeremy Shockey highlights reel has grown

      So the Saints are well fixed as far as their offensive weaponary is concerned.  What has been particularly interesting to watch has been the teams resilience in two particular come from behind wins.

      Against the Dolphins in Week 7 the Saints fell behind early and went into the locker room 24 to 10 down at halftime.  Cue a second half fight back which saw Brees adding to the Jeremy Shockey highlights reel with a great second half display and the Reggie Bush mph meter hitting a cool 22 again on his way to a spectacular touchdown leap in the 4th.  Against the Panthers in week 9 the Saints again left it late before establishing their much improved running game (did I mention they are 5th in the NFL in this department?) after relying, for much of the game, on their stellar defensive unit.  Which neatly leads us onto...

      New Orleans Saints defence mid term paper: B+

      The Saints much maligned defence of recent years is a new beast in 2009.  Gone is the porous secondary that made grown men cry whenever an opposing QB looked deep.  In it's place has come a run stuffing, interception hungry aggressive unit that you would be scared to introduce to your grandmother.

      The catalyst for this change has come from new Defensive Co-ordinator Gregg Williams who has instilled a disciplined work ethic and aggressive attack minded philosophy into this unit.  The chief on field protagonists of this change are middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma and strong safety free agent acquisition Darren Sharper.

      Sharper has proven to be a great catch for the Saints with his league leading interception record of 7 with 2 returned for touchdowns.  Factor in his blitz stunts, tipped balls and hard tackling (he leads the team in this department) and you've got yourself a Saints Pro Bowl contender at the safety position, something unheard of for quite sometime.

      Defensive captain Jonathan Vilma is also having an All Pro year with his pursuit of the ball.  In the win over the Dolphins in particular his tackles, at key moments, kept the Saints in the game and his team leadership is telling.

      Jonathan Vilma girlfriend
      The Jonathan Vilma girlfriend Christmas card - Available now from Falconer Products Inc. 

      The unit as a whole has improved to 16th place from 23rd a year ago, although that only tells half the story.  The fact the Saints D can now be relied upon to keep the team in the game if the offence is ever sluggish, plus the high turnover rate, means you've got a major reason why the Saints of 2009 are 8 and 0 at the mid way mark.  Just don't mention special teams...

      New Orleans Saints special teams mid term paper: C-

      I'm not going to go into one on this.  Courtney Roby is doing pretty good with returns, Reggie Bush less so but it will come.  John Carney is sound, Thomas Morstead the same but the less said about the coverage teams the better.  Instead I will sum it up as my old teenage self would have done, namely, shrug shoulders, look disinterested and kind of sigh with an 'ehh' sound.  Get the picture?  Job done.

      Drew Brees Chant 2009 to 2010

      People keep asking me the following questions:
      1.  What are the words to the New Orleans Saints chant 2009?
      2.  Do you know what the Drew Brees chant words are about?  
      3.  Is the Drew Brees chant 2009 available to buy on CD anywhere?
      4.  Does my bum look big in this? 
      Err... OK actually that one is private but the rest are public. 

      If you're looking for information on the new 2010 Saints pre game chant then please visit the Drew Brees Saints Who Dat chant page.

      Drew Brees Chant 2009 in action

      So I've compiled a bunch of Drew Brees chant videos I found for all those who keep asking what the great New Orleans Saints chant of 2009 is all about and in order to give you a definitive answer to each of these questions.

      1.  What are the words to the New Orleans Saints chant 2009?

      As you see from Darren Sharpers response in that first video they appear to be saying:
      One For You
      Two For You
      Three Four Some More
      Five Six For Kicks
      Seven Eight Its Great
      Nine Ten Again Again Again

      When you watch it back I'm not so sure Mr Sharper is on the money there.  Maybe the 13 year veteran ace is having hearing problems in his old age...  Although clearly it's not affecting his play so we'll let him off.

      Here is what the majority of Saints fans believe to be the Drew Brees chant words (NB. Since orignally writing this post Brees has confirmed these are the words to his chant as can be seen in the video below filmed in Lucy's bar following the Saints Super Bowl parade):

      Brees: 1; Chorus: 2
      Brees: Win; Chorus: For You
      Brees: 3; Chorus: 4
      Brees: Win; Chorus: Some More
      Brees: 5; Chorus: 6
      Brees: Win; Chorus: For Kicks
      Brees: 7; Chorus: 8
      Brees: Win; Chorus: It's Great
      Brees: 9; Chorus: 10
      Brees: Win; Chorus: Again
      All: Again, Again, Again, Again!

      Drew Brees Chant at Lucy's Bar

      Here are two Drew Brees pregame chant videos in action.

      Drew Brees Pregame Chant Words

      New Orleans Saints Chant 2009

      2.  Do you know what the Drew Brees chant words are about? 

      Drew Brees is pretty secretive about the chant words although we do know he picked up the feel for it following a visit to the Marines at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  He's followed their methodology of Core, Unit, God, Country to their logical extreme by instilling the same virtues of commitment to the shared brotherhood of the Saints team unit.  So far it seems to be an inspired choice!

      3.  Is the Drew Brees chant 2009 available to buy on CD anywhere?

      Not that I know of.

      4.  Does my bum look big in this? 

      If you are a guy I advise you never to answer that question.  You cannot win no matter what you say... Although if your girl is a big enough Saints fan you might just get away with it you recite the Drew Brees chant lyrics to her.  Actually I'm being told over my shoulder to get real as I type this so maybe best to avoid Falconer dating tips for now.  Looks I'll be buying my girl a new pair of havaianas flip flops for that indiscretion!

      And that's it I think.