Notable performances for Saints in win over Chiefs
Here are some player efforts that stood out from the Saints’ victory over the Chiefs to open the preseason.
Sixth round draft pick A.T. Perry has been quiet during much of camp but the New Orleans Saints rookie receiver made a little noise Sunday.
Hauling in six passes for 70 yards, all in the first half against Kansas City’s better competition, Perry showed his upside.
In the first couple of series, albeit against the Chiefs backups, Trevor Penning showed solid technique and effort. His reps at left tackle included a pair of pancake blocks. The second-year player is expected to live up to his first round billing.
Running back Jamal Williams ran effectively. His nine rushes for 28 yards may not pop off the stat sheet but he ran hard and was involved as a blocker picking up a couple of blitzes.
Linebacker Pete Werner recognizes play development quickly and finds the ball. He made a couple of plays running across the field to make a stop near the line of scrimmage.
No. 1 draft pick Bryan Bresee started the game and was very active.
Ex-Tulane linebacker Nick Anderson contributed with two stops.
Fourth round pick offensive guard Nick Saldiveri was afforded quite a few reps at left guard and appears to performed well overall.
Linebacker Nephi Sewell, an undrafted free agent pick up last year, played meaningful reps and showed well with three tackles.
D’Marco Jackson, a fifth rounder in 2022, has had a good camp. His efforts spilled over into the first preseason game. Jackson had three tackles and seemed very comfortable while getting an opportunity with more regulars since Demario Davis has been out with a calf injury.
Alontae Taylor has waged in a battle with Paulson Adebo for a starting boundary cornerback job. Trying to show his chops in the slot, Taylor was stung on a double move followed by a go route by Chiefs wideout Richie James on a 43-yard reception. Taylor made up for the error on another drive, deflecting a pass intended to wide receiver Justin Ross. The batted ball hung in the air, allowing teammate Ugo Amadi to make the interception.
“I knew what was coming based on the formation,” commented Amadi following his pick. “We practice that everyday.”
Jake Haener went 10 of 17 for 105 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He completed a few attempts but at times threw wide of his target and released balls off of his back foot.
Wide receiver Bryan Edwards came back to the ball on a Haener offering for a 19-yard contested catch fof a third down conversion. He managed three catches for 37 yards.
Defensive tackle Malcolm Roach made a pair of tackles and showed good hustle inclhding assisting on a tackle nearly 20 yards downfield.
Don’t sleep on rookie Ellis Merriweather. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back totaled 24 yards on nine carries and added a two-yard touchdown catch from Jake Haener. Although more of a practice squad candidate, there may be an opening to make the initial 53-man roster. Due to Alvin Kamara’s upcoming suspension and the fluid nature of the running back position, who knows?
Merriweather, injured much of 2022 while at UMass, managed 575 yards in his final college season. His 1,138 rushing yards in 2021 marked the first time in school history a runner reached 1,000 yards in a single season. He did not fumble in 283 carries for the Minutemen.
The undrafted free agent hits the hole hard. He’s not a fancy bal carrier. With excellent vision to recognize a backside hole, Merriweather is decisive.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…