The third preseason game has come and gone and it has left us with some impressions.
The offense appears ready; the defense appears a work in progress.
To that end, several folks earned their way onto this week’s ‘who helped themselves and who did not list.’
I know…it’s the list you’ve been waiting for all week.
Sunday night’s 40-20 win was the big show for some fringe players trying to earn their way onto the team. Thursday night’s preseason finale will largely be for guys trying to make their way onto other teams, though it is one last chance to play their way onto New Orleans’ roster.
Brian de la Puente (OG/C): Helped himself. de la Puente picked up the start against Oakland and largely proved capable of handling the job. He was a part of a run offense that helped the Saints score 17 points on the first three drives. His game … and the way he has played recently … will give the coaches reason to really think about his value. He could get cut and the Saints would hope he clears waivers so they can place him on the practice squad.
Adrian Arrington (WR): Helped himself. As poor of a camp as it has appeared to some as he is having, Arrington continues to find ways to stick on the roster. He caught a two-point conversion and a long touchdown pass against the Raiders. After the game, Saints coach Sean Payton went deep into his playbook to praise him, meaning he’s a Payton guy and will get the benefit of the doubt if it comes down to him and one other player. Receiver Joe Morgan’s injury helps him as much as anything, too.
Mitch King (DT): Helped himself. King was a standout in the preseason opener against San Francisco and against in Oakland. He had four tackles, but the one that sticks out is the one in which he ran down a player from behind to make a tackle. King showed range and a never-give-up attitude, both of which defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves. He certainly helped himself with Sunday’s game.
Joique Bell (RB): Helped himself. Since our first 53-man prediction in which we had Bell on the roster, he has done nothing to change that. Sunday night, he broke through with the type of game he needed. Back after missing only a week instead of the four he originally was told after spraining his left PCL, Bell showed toughness, grit and a ton of athleticism, rushing for 50 yards on six carries and catching two passes for 92 yards.
Garrett Hartley (K): Hurt himself. Quite literally, Hartley hurt himself after booting an extra point in the third quarter. Certainly he’s not in a fight for his job but it’s hard to say he didn’t hurt himself against the Raiders because, well, he did.
Jeff Charleston (DE): Hurt himself. Charleston is a last-cut type player and being that he didn’t play against Oakland because of an ankle injury, his position is hurt. The old cliché is you can’t make a roster if you’re not on the field and Charleston is giving up ground to Junior Galette, who played
Jonathan Amaya (S): Hurt himself. Amaya’s spot on the roster didn’t necessarily get dinged, but playing time on defense might have. He looked flat-footed and lost in the secondary. Though he occasionally came up with a good hit or a nice play, by and large he was getting run by or wasn’t shedding blocks quick enough to make tackles.
--Bradley Handwerger, WWLTV.com Sports Reporter