For football junkies, this is the time to pay attention. Why? Because in another week or two, they’ll have nothing to do for the better part of two months.
It’s sad, but true. The NFL dead zone is fast approaching … no NFL Draft, no big free agency moves, no team training activities, nothing much of anything except the rare contract signing.
Oh sure, the true fanatics can play Madden endlessly or fine tune their fantasy football draft boards. But the majority of us are going to go through some major withdrawal symptoms.
So with that in mind, we offer a Saints minicamp preview, to prime fans for what may be the last significant Saints activity for the next several weeks. And besides, a lot can be learned from minicamp.
1.) Did that major first-round investment at defensive tackle pay off? Coaches will always tell you that the defense should be ahead of the offense at this stage of the offseason, so if the Saints defense comes out and shuts the offense down … well, let’s not all get too excited.
That said, minicamps are the first real opportunity for coaches to see what they’ve got in their rookie additions, and perhaps no addition is quite as significant to an NFL team as Sedrick Ellis’ is to the Saints.
Provided Ellis participates this weekend (and all players, including him, are expected to be present), the former USC defensive tackle’s performance could have a profound impact on a Saints defense that, perhaps more than anything, needs a better push up front. On paper, Ellis fits that bill. He earned praise from coach Sean Payton for his performance during OTAs; now he needs to bring it in more of a game-like environment.
Here’s guessing he will.