Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Long Weekend

The Saints completed their work on Thursday morning as the team started a three-day weekend for the bye week.

Coach Jim Haslett said that the weekend is a chance for everyone to get away from the game for a few days.

"We like them to get home and see their families," he said. "You've got three days off and you can go home and relax. You end up going to college games or watching Sunday's games so you never get away from it. It's really the only profession in the world where you can practice, then go home and watch it on TV and still enjoy it. I don't think that happens in too many businesses."

The Saints worked three days this week on what they found after self-scouting the team. "The things that we feel we're lacking on, we've put a lot of effort in this week and we still have guys working on some of the things we're trying get better on offense, defense, and special teams," Haslett said.

One area the club is concentrating on is the running game, led by RB Deuce McAllister.

"We made a tape for him and he looked back at last year's runs compared to what he's doing this year," Haslett said. "It's good to see what he did when he had the 1,600 yards rushing and the way he's running now, and he's not far off. He's going to get healthy, and I thought he's had two good days of practice running the ball. He's a guy that has to play big for us in the next couple of months."

"Part of it is the ankle; he needs to run with authority and to not worry about fumbling the ball," Haslett said when asked about McAllister. "He's got to use his great stiff arm and needs to get in the back end where he can get one-on-one with the safeties."

Haslett also discussed the team's linebacker corps. "Sedrick Hodge is the guy that was missing when we started," he said. "Sedrick is a steady player who doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He is extremely fast and has great cover ability. It took him awhile after he came back from the suspension to get back to where he's at now. This bye week will help him. Orlando Ruff has played well in the two games that he has started against Tampa Bay and this last game at Oakland. Derrick Rodgers has been consistent and that gives us guys that are dependable, reliable, and who we can count on."

No comments: