*NewOrleansSaints.com is proud to welcome a new addition to our staff in the form of veteran tight end Billy Miller. The 6-3, 252-pound Miller suffered an Achilles injury in the team's final preseason game of the 2009 season against the Miami Dolphins and needed season-ending surgery to repair the injury. Miller, however, has offered to lend his unique perspective of news surrounding the Saints in his weekly column entitled "Billy's Blog," which will run each Tuesday during the season. As one of the most well-liked and popular players in the Saints' locker room, Miller's presence on NewOrleansSaints.com will lend fans of the team a truly unique insider's perspective for a player's point of view.
*WEEK ONE: "Bring The Ring"
So, looking back I feel my guys did a good job on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. This year, 2009, we set our goals really high. That being said, we all have been challenged to take our game to a higher level to do something we've never done before: Win an NFL championship.
Although we did do a lot of good things on offense, defense and special teams, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal.
For starters, let's talk about the good things:
·The running game looked great. Mike Bell ran for 143 yards due mostly to the offensive line and fullback Pierre Thomas/Heath Evans.aspx">Heath Evans. Although Mike will get most of the credit, players like Jahri Evans had many dominating blocks to open the holes for Mike to run through. This was one of the major emphasis this off season that this team needed to improve on.
·Drew Brees: Need I say more? Ok, I'll elaborate. My man threw for 358 yards and 6 touchdowns! These yards came from eight different receivers, which means everybody's getting involved. In watching film on Monday, Drew had great pocket presence stepping up to avoid rushers and making huge throws down field. The entire offense did a great job of controlling the tempo of the game.
·A healthy Jeremy Shockey: Last year Jeremy struggling with injuries, but he was able to step up and contribute in a major way at the tight end position. I hope the questions of "if" Sean Payton should've traded for him is over. Jeremy showed the kind of weapon he is and is a player defenses have to account for one every snap. And even when they do think they have him, he can and will make plays. Although we undoubtedly lost our best looking tight end, I was glad to see the success he had on Sunday.
·New Look Defense: In 2009 our defense needs to create more turnovers, and they did just that. Darren Sharper had two interceptions, and the most underrated linebacker in the league, Scott Shanle, had the first pick of his career. The secondary did a great job shutting down a premier wide receiver due largely to the efforts of Jabari Greer. We really stopped their run game all day and I would like to thank Minnesota for some weird law that allowed Mark Brunell/Charles Grant.aspx">Charles Grant and Will Smith to play!
·Young Punter/Kick Off Man Thomas Morstead: So we drafted the kid as a punter but he handled the kickoff duties for us on Sunday and he did a great job while also punting the crap out of the ball. Throw in "Old Reliable" and I do mean OLD, John Carney and Thomas Morstead had a great day!
TURNOVERS! To win the Championship, we can't turn the ball over.
·Giving up special team big plays: Coach Mac (Greg McMahon) is a great coach who spends a lot of time helping the special teams players be successful. We have to continue to take that coaching and implement it onto the field.
· The last thing I saw that we need to improve on is our celebrations! The ever-creative Lance Moore looked rusty. The defense needs to improve their celebrations, as well. And Jeremy Shockey was very indecisive, even with two opportunities. We've got to get our swagger better in our celebration game to win a ring!
Every week something new: Next week I will tell you about a funny play that happened in the game that you can only get from me!