Aug 22, 2008

Preseason Game 3: Saints at Bengals

This weekend the Saints will play their third and perhaps most important preseason game against the Bengals. The third preseason game is the one where team's regulars get the most action, usually playing into the 3rd quarter.

Here are some things to look for Saturday night:

1. How will Jeremy Shockey fit in the offense?
Shockey will be seeing his first game action in a Saints uniform and will got about a quarter. He's been in and out of practice throughout camp, so it will be interesting to see how his knee holds up in the game. It will also be fun to see how often Drew Brees looks his way when he's in the game.

2. Will new starter Tracy Porter look better than demoted Jason David?
David looked terrible last week, so Porter will have to play pretty poorly to not look any better. Porter has a lot of talent, but he's still raw on the NFL level. Last week was his first time to play in a game, since he missed the first preseason game with a hamstring injury. David will play with the second team, and I'll be looking to see what kind of impression he can make with that unit.

3. Will the defense overall look better than last week?
Mike McKenzie will play this week as well, so the defense will be closer to full-strength than they've been all of preseason. Randall Gay will be the nickel corner with the first team, and other than that, we should see the a similar defense that we saw last week. Let's just hope they play better.

4. Will the running game get going?
The running game has yet to really get going in the preseason. Seeing Deuce McAllister out there last week was encouraging and he should get a few more touches this week. Hopefully, he continues to look good with his recovery from knee surgeries. Reggie Bush provided a highlight TD on a short pass last week, but still struggled finding running room. Let's see if the o-line can establish the run against the Bengals.

5. Is Devery Henderson fighting for a starting job or a roster spot?
Most Saints fans figure that Henderson is fighting for a spot on the roster after years of inconsistent play, but this week Coach Payton had Henderson running with the first team and said that he's fighting for a spot on that unit more than a spot on the roster. Maybe the light bulb has finnally come on for the former LSU star. Saints fans hope so, but until he shows consistent hands, there are doubts.

6. Does Skyler Green still have a chance to make this team?
Green has gotten a lot of touches returning kicks in the preseason, but he's yet to really stand out in that area. Pierre Thomas has pretty much locked down the kickoff return spot and the punt return job can be handled by a few players including Reggie Bush, Tracy Porter and Lance Moore. Green's days on the roster seem to be numbered, unless he breaks a big one or two in the next game.

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