The New Orleans Saints are the final stop in our tour of team-by-team mailbags.
Sam in Bethesda, Md., writes: I know it's harsh to criticize the Saints offense (especially when the team is winning), but it can't be a good sign that defenses have learned to shut down Sean Payton's deep passing game. How are opposing defenses getting such good coverage? Or is it that Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem are having trouble getting open downfield?
Pat Yasinskas: Although the Saints haven’t done much down the field in the first two games, I think it’s premature to say defenses have figured out how to stop their deep game. First off, they played two very good defenses, San Francisco and Minnesota. They also had to deal with a very strong wind in San Francisco and that definitely had an impact on the deep passing game. I recall a deep pass where Meachem was wide open. Drew Brees missed him badly. It’s rare for Brees to have a throw that’s not even close to the receiver and I attribute that one to the wind. Let’s give the Saints a few more weeks and Payton a little time to make some adjustments before we go writing off their deep passing game
Codeman in Baton Rouge, La., writes: What do you think about Lance Moore taking on some of the roles of Reggie Bush? Bush caught a lot of passes, and I could see Lance being dangerous on some misdirection/reverse plays.
Pat Yasinskas: I like the way you’re thinking. I don’t think the Saints have another running back who can do what Bush did in the passing game. That’s why I think they’ll have to turn to their receivers to pick up the slack. Moore is the guy I think is the most similar to Bush in the receiving game. He’s quick and versatile and can do a lot of different things. Moore had a fairly quiet season because of injuries last year, but I think we’re about to start hearing a lot more from him.
Mike in Vicksburg, Miss., writes: Ok, so we lost Bush for a few weeks, but (re)signed Ladell Betts, which will at least help a little, and you mentioned we still have Chris Ivory, but shouldn't Ivory be coming back soon? Any word on when? He looked pretty promising during the preseason.
Pat Yasinskas: Ivory’s been sidelined for the first two games with a knee injury. But he practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and that’s a sign he’s getting closer to returning. I think you could start seeing Betts and Ivory working into the rotation with Pierre Thomas pretty soon.
Dan in New Orleans writes: I just saw that the Saints added Ladell Betts back to the roster and released DeShawn Wynn. My question is, why didn't they just keep Ladell Betts and release DeShawn Wynn at the end of the preseason? Was it a money issue? Or were they worried about his knee and now see that he's recovering well?
Pat Yasinskas: It wasn’t a money issue. Betts was showing some progress in the preseason, but the Saints weren’t sure he was 100 percent healthy. With a couple more weeks of rest and rehabilitation, Betts probably has gotten healthier. The Saints are well aware of the situation with his knee and they must feel pretty good about it if they were willing to bring him back.