Well, today we acted like the 10-6 team, we were last season. Brees went marching down the field; we didnâ€™t. Our offense sputtered during situational football, theirs didnâ€™t, particularly in hurry-up offense where Brees just absolutely shredded our nickel (how about a little nightmarish flashback?). Dr. Brees moved the chains at will, and gutted the D like a catfish. Brady couldnâ€™t get his offense downfield, and was so mad, you could cook up a steak with a side of potatoes on his helmet. Not a good sign for the most part, but it was a fantastic learning experience for the youngsters. I think the joint practices was very very good for the team. It quite literally was the equivalent of three preseason games all wrapped in one practice. They got an unfamiliar opponent, and a top notch team, and QB whose tell they donâ€™t know. They donâ€™t know the call of the players, their tendencies, etc. and got to play against that in a variety of scenarios in situational football, midfield, red zones, no timeouts, etc. Special teams got quite a workout in punts and kickoffs, onside kicks, time-kill kicks, short field punts, both offensive and defense. It was overwhelming and brought out the insecurity in the youth corp. Got there a little late, but you could tell the atmosphere was electric. The place was jammed, and the players were feeding on the intensity. Chung was very amped up, doing pushups and bolting in sprints- just about foaming at the mouth. Even Moss was into it. Could see Guyton stretching with the teams- looks like he will be returning soon. It was interesting to see BB and Payton together.. both are of the same build, height, and both had a visor on, the difference of course stops there. Only one of them ruins perfectly good team gear with a pair of scissors. It was interesting to observe the Saints. It is very obvious that Payton has done a great job crafting a top-notch team. Like the Patriots there is very little wasted motion about that team- their practices are very efficient and everyone is involved and paying attention, and they take their jobs seriously. I really would have to say I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see them in the superbowl again. There is no loss of focus. Saints took the field away, and Pats took the closer field and finally I was able to watch the D up close. Practice opened with BB talking to the D at length about gap penetration- did not look like he was happy about what happened this morning. He had blue barrels double as the Saints OL, and it looked like he was discussing getting on the same page as far as weakside/strongside gap contain and knowing where the LB penetrates to make plays. Then the defense worked on shifting the defense and I was able to confirm that it is indeed Peppers who has a cannon for an arm- he was doubling as the other teams QB and had an assistant double as TE, motion to weakside or strongside, to force defensive shifts. I notice that instead of simply swapping the assignments, Mayo and Spikes switched places, then the D drops back in zone coverage and Peppers fires the ball at a player who â€śinterceptsâ€ť and then runs behind protection. A lot of team drills by both teams- too much to keep track of. Agility drills, catching drills, etc. I notice the Saints work a lot with cones. Pats WR worked on red zone catching, and RBs worked on blitz blocking. Joint drills: Pats WR vs. Saints DB Pats RB vs. Saints LB OL vs DL, etc. And the same in reverse (e.g., Saints WR vs. Pats DB). In front of me, the Pats WR were going against the Saints DB. Its too easy to get carried away by the results because there are no jamming, no bump and run coverage, and thereâ€™s a big cushion to start with. People got excited- Welker faked Torrence out of his shoes, and Edelman beat Chip Vaughn.. and basically our WRs were having their way, but across the field, you could see the Saints were having their ways with our DBs as well. Saints fans will be happy to learn that Larry Beavers is the real deal. He cooked Butler on a deep route. Situational football: Was surprised to see the umpire in his old position, in the defensive backfield, rather than in his new position (per new rule changes for 2010). That really befuddled me- if anyone knows why this happened, please clarify. I have no idea what purpose this serves. Special teams got a great workout- the Saints ST definitely had the upper edge over ours and was consistently getting through. Our glaring weakness is setting protection and having everyone find their man. Every time the ST deployed, there was always a Saints player getting through without a hand on him. You can bet the video room will be very busy tonight. The situational football today was great. It exposed a variety of elements- and I think today was Hernandezâ€™s wakeup call to the NFL. He definitely wasnâ€™t at his best. Will Smith beat him badly off the edge and was able to strip Brady. Hernandez also incurred a false start and had to run a penalty lap, and also in hurry up offense made the dumb mistake of leaving the ball on the ground rather than giving it to the referee (because this burns off valuable seconds). However it is good that this happens in practice than in real game condition. I think he was humbled today. And as I mentioned earlier, the offense sputtered. Brady had a few miscommunications- a long bomb to Jenkins fell short because he ran a 7 to the inside, where Brady threw outside.. Welker quit on a long route, probably I think because he was on top of a stack and expected Brady to throw under. Moss also defaulted on a hitch; a matter of timing, but it was interesting to see Brady blow up to the point of slamming his helmet on the ground and using a word that rhymes with duck. This is the dark side of Brady, the incessant perfectionist- and someone who demands excellence and is very hard to get along with if you donâ€™t perform up to his standards. But there were good things- quite good things. Gronk showed he can absorb massive hits and keep chugging. By all appearances he is 3rd on the depth chart, but I donâ€™t think he will be there for long. I really see a lot of Jason Witten in him. He displays ease in catching passes outside of his frame, something that Crumpler cannot do at this point in his career what with the bulk he has. At the end of situational football both sides did hurry up offense (2nd string also took reps, which was great). And as I mentioned elsewhere Brees just shredded the backfield to the point where BB got upset and called for another series which went the same way- but the 3rd one he let them have it and the result was much better. Almost had an interception, and Brees had two incompletions to David Thomas and I believe Jimmy Graham. Then on 3rd and 10, there was a strongside overload stunt that ended up in a Wheatley interception because the strongside completely collapsed the left side of the OL and forced Brees to throw into coverage.