The interesting take from the annual black and gold scrimmage is how the defense performed overall. There was a sense of a "here we go again" as the 1st team offense marched down the field with ease on the 2nd team defense for an opening drive touchdown, but from there out it was pretty much all about the defense. Led by Junior Galette, the defense made numerous plays and largely won the day.
Sean Payton made the interesting comment that Galette's performance, which was clearly the best of the roster for the scrimmage, was "much better than his practices" which suggests they may have been uncomfortable with him leading up to this point. Rob Ryan definitely suggested the opposite. On each sack by Galette he took turns roasting Charles Brown and Terron Armstead. Brown was also guilty of a false start. My friend Marijn made the good point that getting through a scrimmage is a weird thing for a fan. If the offense does well, you're worried about the defense, and vice versa. So what is the perfect balance? I'm not sure one exists. But if this scrimmage proves the Saints have a defensive playmaker, I'll take it.
Other guys that were solid and strengthened their case were veteran corner Chris Carr, who was all over the place all day. He finished the day with an interception, as did David Hawthorne off a tip. The only other touchdown was a pass from Ryan Griffin to backup fullback Austin Johnson. Eric Martin had a nice punch out of the ball on a forced fumble (Mark Ingram fumbled). The offense ran the ball affectively, with Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson all showing flashes. Robinson was perhaps most impressive and he'll continue to get lots of reps. He did take some huge hits, though. Akiem Hicks also had a sack, and Rafael Bush looked pretty good.
The only injuries were to Joe Morgan and Travaris Cadet. Eric Martin was the one responsible for Cadet's injury with a devastating blow on special teams. Both players have said on twitter that they are fine, and Andy Tanner was banged up but came back in. Kudos to the fans too, who showed up at over 5,000 strong.
The big take away for me was the defense's ability to rush the passer, which made the defensive backfield's job easier. So, is that really an improved pass rush or a suggestion that we should be really worried about the offensive line? Your thoughts?
I do not think you can't really have any thoughts. You can see how well your guys are playing. More the coaches can since they got the inside view. That is the only thing. Not as a person but as a group, signaling each other, making sure everyone is covered by the defense. For the offense you can see who is not getting it. Offense is imo about having a play and then reacting to your defense. Since they know the defense as no other they see what they are doing and make adjustments accordingly. The only thing you can do as an offensive guy is fuck up. Either not understanding the audible, or not ding the thing you are supposed to do, or worse, not being able to do it.
In the end this is about players and not about a team. Which is perfect since you do want to see who is good and who sucks.