Aug 28, 2008

Preseason Game 4: Saints vs. Dolphins

The Saints will end their preseason tonight against the Miami Dolphins. A few of the big name players will sit out, but there's still roster spots to secure, so we'll see a lot from the team's 2nd and 3rd stringers. Oh yeah, some guy named Shockey will debut and play about a quarter as well.

Here are some things to watch for:

1. How will Jeremy Shockey look in his one quarter of action?
There was a little bit of disappointment last week when Shockey was held out of the Bengals game, but he is scheduled to play tonight. He'll go about a quarter with Mark Brunell leading the offense. It would be nice to see him catch a few balls and play to the SuperDome crowd.

2. Will the real Saints defense please stand up?
The Saints defense was terrible against Houston and steller against Cincinnati. So which is the real Saints? They are probably somewhere in the middle, but there are a lot of guys fighting for roster spots (Jason David, Jason Craft, Aaron Glen, Orien Harris, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, etc.) who will give 110 percent tonight.

3. Can Tyler Palko secure his spot on the roster?
Palko bounced from the active roster to the practice squad and back last year. Will he show the team in his about 3 quarters of work tonight that he deserves to stay on the 53-man roster permanently or will he show that with every good throw he makes, a fumbled snap is around the corner?

4. Will one of these kickers outshine the other?
Coach Payton is going to have a tough decision to make this weekend if neither Martin Gramatica or Taylor Mehlhaff can outperform each other. Both have been consistent in the preseason, with a slight edge maybe going to Gramatica. Mehlhaff has been good too, but his kickoffs aren't as advertised.

5. What will Hurricane Gustav do?
This doesn't have much to do with the game, but it's weird that 3 years ago, the Saints were playing a preseason game at Oakland around the same time that Hurricane Katrina was coming in. With tomorrow being the 3 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana wants nothing to do with Gustav.

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