August 16, 2004

Monday's Practice Begins: Watson the starter, Pathon having a great camp

The Saints began their final week of official training camp practices with two practices on Monday.

"We can improve on a lot of things," Haslett said. "That's exactly what we're trying to do in practice. We're trying to get better in a lot of areas. As I said in the game, there's a lot of good and a lot of bad. We're trying to keep the good and fix the bad."

Rookie middle linebacker Courtney Watson is for now the starter. It is not certain he will etain the job with Orlando Ruff doing a great job and Cie Grant without a chance to compete so far because of injury. Grant remains out with his left knee injury.

Aaron Brooks had a good practice and is looking more mobile, although his quad injury is not fully healed. C LeCharles Bentley has been resting his sore knee which was tweaked in the Jets gaSme.

Haslett also noted that WR Jerome Pathon is having his best camp as a Saint and showed it in the team's first preseason game when he had four receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown with the first team offense. Because of Pathon and the arrival of Devery Henderson, the team will be comfortable running more three-receiver sets.

"He's doing a heck of a job just catching the football, running routes, and all this stuff. To me it looks like he has a greater focus than he's ever had."

Pathon is practicing at all three wide receiver spots for the team. Henderson is working into game shape and dissappointed Haslett by not being in top shape for the game. The rookie walked back to the line of scrimmage under the two minute warning. As a result, he drew the ire of Haslett and less playing time in the game.

The team moved up its afternoon practice to allow the team to watch two upcoming opponents in the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. The Saints play the Packers this Saturday in Lambeau Field and open the regular season in four weeks against the Seahawks in New Orleans.

The Seahawks went into Green Bay and avenged their playoff loss a bit, handling the Packers for a 21-3 exhibition victory. The Packers secondary, manned at the start by former Saint Michael Hawthorne and rookie Ahmad Carroll, was abused by starter Matt Hasselbeck and later by fourth-stringer Seneca Wallace. Clearly, the Packers miss CB Mike McKenzie, who has the team in a tough position by holding out for a new contract.

As always keep it here to NOPF for the latest on the Saints.

NOPF News Archive