Saints discuss takeaways from preseason win
Metairie, La. — The Saints came-out on the winning end of their first preseason game of the 2018 season, beating the Jaguars 24-20 Thursday night in Jacksonville. On Friday, they were back to practice working to fix their mistakes they saw on film.
"Typically you come away from the game and you have a list on your notepad and have a lot of things to go through," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. "Hopefully we began doing that today and covering some of the things that need to get cleaned-up-- third down defense, contesting throws. We dropped a coverage one time on a bunch formation. We left the shallow cross free. Those types of things."
"Going into this morning's meetings, I thought it was going to be good but if it's good then coaches aren't doing their job," said Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith. "Coach CJ was on me more than I expected to be. Then looking more into details into the film I really see that I could have done this better. I could have blocked him much longer. It's just a matter of making your corrections and looking at the film and knowing what you did wrong and coming out to this practice today and fixing your corrections."
"I know that win doesn't count but coming home with that win makes everything a little bit easier but we've still got to get back to work," said Saints corner back Ken Crawley.
Taysom Hill started the second half of the game, and after a 4th down sack on his first drive of the third quarter, he settled-in. Hill, who also saw playing time during the game on special teams, finished 8 for 9 passing for 72 yards and also carried the ball 7 times for 52 yards and had a rushing touchdown in the 4th quarter from 3 yards out.
"Given first preseason game, first time playing quarterback in the offense, certainly a few plays I'd like to have back," Hill said. "But overall I was happy with how we moved the ball up and down the field. I was certainly happy with getting the ball in the endzone during that last drive. There were a lot of things that we can improve on-- myself included-- and I'm excited for the challenge."
"I thought he did some good things," Payton said about Hill's performance. "He played well in the kicking game. He moved the ball offensively. There's a few plays where he took a sack and maybe got caught with the pressure and he had a chance to get the ball out, but overall I though he did a good job."
Defensively, the Saints finished with 6 sacks and had a crucial fumble recovery with 5 minutes to play, which led to the the game-winning touchdown on the Saints ensuing drive. Their play as a team seemed to improve as the game went on.
"Second half, I feel like those other groups came in and guys got pressure on the quarterback," Crawley said. "I feel like we settled-down in the second half."
"It's always a pleasure winning this game," said Saints safety Vonn Bell. "It's a tough environment at a high level. Always winning numbs everything but it's still a few mistakes we've got to clean-up on film so we're where we want to be at the end of the day for this defense and what we want to accomplish and our goals and what we hold each other accountable for. There' a lot of things we can clean-up on film. We've just got to keep getting better each week and get ready for next week."
The Saints continue with training camp over the weekend, with Saturday and Sunday's practices both open to the public.