Short Week Struggles
One of the downsides of having a Monday Night Football game is only having a few days to prepare for an opponent. It’s even more interesting when it comes to game prep when it’s an opponent that the New Orleans Saints have had circled on the calendar from the second the schedule came out.
“Well, some of that is on the players to come in yesterday, even on their day off and get with the corrections down in the (position) room.” Sean Payton said during a conference call on Wednesday, “A lot of guys watched the tape as a group in their position groups yesterday. That’s just part of the deal when you play Monday night.”
That being said, there is some benefit to playing this week two game against the Los Angeles Rams considering they’ve played four times in the last three seasons.
“It’s part of the way scheduling works sometimes. We’ve got the (NFC) West this year and then we’ve had them because of our first-place finish and their first-place finish. They’re a real good football team obviously and a team that requires a lot of preparation to handle the movements and some of the motions offensively and then defensively they present a lot of problems with their front and their ability to cover and (force teams to) turn the ball over.”
Kamara On a Pitch Count?
Alvin Kamara has been the key for the Saints offense finding a balance since being drafted back in 2017 and the franchise needs him to stay healthy if they want to keep the offensive harmony. One of the things that the Saints are looking to do is keep the former Tennessee Volunteer on a pitch count, but it will vary depending on the opponent.
“It can vary just as the game unfolds. A lot of it depends on how many snaps we receive (in the flow of the game). Sometimes you have a game where you have more snaps, you convert third downs. He’s someone that we feel like any series he’s going to impact played for us and impact our offense.”
A lot of that might also determine how Latavius Murray flows into the game as the season progresses. The former Minnesota Viking was used very sparingly with six carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. If Murray can’t up those numbers in the next couple of games, his time with the black and gold could be over sooner rather than later.
Todd Gurley only played for the first half in the Rams 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers, but he still looked solid in his first appearance since the Super Bowl. He might still be suffering from the after-effects of his injury, but Sean Payton is preparing for him like he will be a full-go.
“We’re preparing like he’s full go.” Payton said, “It varies. I mean some of the tape you see they’ve got a rotation that’s suitable for them. I see a healthy player. A lot of it is the role they choose to use him in.”