Camp Observations: Two rookies could shine, Carr’s comebacks bear repeating
The New Orleans Saints have only practiced five times – and once in pads – since the start of training camp.
So, that is a small sample size in a process that doesn’t really yield any truths until the regular season starts in September.
Regardless of that reality, we can analyze what is in front of us. Here goes.
When the Saints spent a third round pick on a running back, they told you they like that runner a lot. Tthere’s a lot to like about Kendre Miller, who has been smooth at camp.
Miller doesn’t look the least bit out of place. At 6-foot, 220 pounds, the TCU product has enough burst to turn the corner. Perhaps just as crucial, he’s looked good as a receiver as well.
So far, Miller looks like an every down back and a great stash as a fantasy back.
Remember, in Alvin Kamara’s rookie season, many fantasy players were expecting a big year from Adrian Peterson (remember him?). Kamara got limited work in the 2017 preseason but played superbly but once the regular season started. He scored 13 touchdowns from scrimmage, averaging 6.1 yards per carry and 10.2 yards per reception.
You can’t count on Miller to produce those lofty numbers, but as the season goes on, expect him to be a bigger part of the Saints offense.
BRESEE IT TO BELIEVE IT
First round pick Brian Bresee stuck to the script in his first camp interview with media. The defensive tackle didn’t say much (on purpose), but guard/tackle James Hurst did speak clearly when asked about Bresee.
“The coolest thing to see is a guy who natural pass rush ability,” said Hurst.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen was equally complimentary of the rookie.
“There’s some suddenness inside, some pass rush ability that I don’t know we have had,” said Allen.
The Saints have had some terrific inside pass rushers in their 57-year history. Frank Warren, La’Roi Glover, and Wayne Martin quickly come to mind.
Lately, not so much.
“We have had some great power rushers,” Allen elaborated. “But I don’t thing we have had the suddenness, the burst, the twitch for some of those things that (Bresee) has.”
A lot has been said and written about new Saints quarterback Derek Carr, but little has been said about his prowess in leading fourth quarter comebacks. According to Pro Football Reference, he ranks 13th all-time since 1960 with 28.
For perspective, Carr has done it in nine seasons. Brett Favre retired with the same number of comebacks, and he played for two decades.
Carr has one more comeback than Eli Manning and two more than Joe Montana. If the new Saints QB1 works his magic two or three times this season, it would make a huge difference in how the entire season ends up for New Orleans.
KICK IT UP A NOTCH
Saints kicker Wil Lutz was impressive Monday. He made attempts of 52, 56, and 59 yards.
It is a good sign that Lutz looks a lot like the 2019 version of himself (32 of 36) than the 2022 version (23 of 31).
Much has been made about what the offense will look like this season, and the attention is deserved.
The Saints averaged 19 points per game last season. They were a losing team that was, at times, not interesting.
However, they still have some work to do on defense.
In particular, that unit had way too many penalties for pass interference, roughing the passer and defensive holding. The Saints averaged 22.3 yards per pass interference call against them, according to Warren Sharp’s football preview.
That is not winning football.
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WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…