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John DeShazier's New Orleans Saints Mailbag

Senior writer tackles your questions

Checked myself to make sure there's no B.O., because there was a definitely sense of abandonment in this week's Mailbag. As in, very few questions submitted, with few answers provided. But it's not the quantity, it's the quality. So, once more, into the breach:

‏@JohnsonCarter9: Can we ever expect to see a Brandon Coleman jump ball?? The man is huge?

JD: Just because the second-year receiver is big (6 feet 6, 225 pounds) doesn't automatically make him a great lob target. It's hard to fathom that Saints coaches haven't tried Coleman in such a role in practice (we don't view practice during the regular season), and learned that it just doesn't fit his skill set. Maybe he doesn't properly position his body; maybe he doesn't secure the ball; maybe he's not as athletic as you're assuming. There could be any number of reasons that he isn't used in the role, and it might not be for any of the reasons than I mentioned. But it's hard for me to believe that he hasn't been given the opportunity in practice to prove that he could be an asset in such situations, and it simply hasn't developed as well as anyone would have hoped.

@CGrummert: How do you see the running back workload split tentatively shaking out?

JD: The Saints are going to ride the hot running back. Both Tim Hightower(23 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown) and Mark Ingram(15 carries for 158 yards and a touchdown, and a receiving touchdown) were effective against the 49ers. (An aside: Ingram's bounce-back performance, perhaps, is Exhibit A of why a coach doesn't publicly belittle a productive player after a bad game, and doesn't throw him on the scrap heap; the team might just need him, sooner than later, and if he's a competitor he doesn't need a tongue-lashing because he's harder on himself than the coaching staff would be.) It could shift back to Ingram getting more carries than Hightower, or it could remain where Hightower gets a 60-40 or 55-45 split in his favor. Production will be the determining factor.

‏@osc3201: I'm coming to the game from Los Angeles. Can safety Kenny Vaccaro sign my jersey this Sunday?

JD: Not much I can do for you there, champ. My advice is to get to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome early, position yourself on the railing near the entrance where Saints players exit the field after warmups, and get his attention. If you have his jersey, it won't be too hard and he's real accommodating.

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