Today's the day that will reveal if all the new season talk we heard from the Rams comes to fruition. A week away from football, some time for quiet reflection, meditation and study is supposed to be the cure for a dyspeptic football team, not to mention the added benefit for fans suffering from their own bad case of football induced heartburn.
New Orleans' defensive front is dealing with an injury epidemic not unlike our o-line, although not as terminal (I don't know what's with the medical references today). Even without the casualties to the NO front seven, the Rams, on paper anyway, should be able to move the ball and score some points. We've heard that before. Execution and poor coaching decisions have restricted this offense at least as much as the o-line injuries. Ideally, Bulger and Co have made some real progress toward recovery from their ineffectiveness, building on the limited success they had against Cleveland. The run up the middle on 4th and 1 with the Browns' defense clearly anticipating such a move haunts me. Hopefully, it had a similar effect on Linehan, and we won't see such tired prescriptions for the offense again this week.
The return of Steven Jackson should be a dose of potent medicine as well, if he can keep from relapse into his own health issues.
The defense will have its hands full today, as Brees has been an unstoppable force over the last four games. Although, I'm sure many of the people Haslett worked with here are long gone, the psychological effect of returning to New Orleans could well come into play either positively or negatively, not to mention the fact that a large part of the game plan will be incumbent upon the success of his defense. Oh, and there's also the matter that Haslett is auditioning with each game this season for a head coaching job somewhere.
The reunion theme is everywhere in today's game as Martz fill-in Joe Vitt now coaches the Saints' linebackers.
Be sure to head on over to Canal Street Chronicles for more on the game from the Saints perspective.
Is today really the start of a new season? We'll have that prognosis soon enough.