Show Up Or Ship Out: 3 Veterans On The Chopping Block
By Greg Barber
Sunday's vanilla dress rehearsal will give all Saints fans a better look at the first-team offense and defense. Fans will not see the team at full arsenal, but they will certainly have a better idea of which players will make the team and which will be sent packing.
The Texans are a better quality team than the Raiders or the Chiefs, but this game will not tell you how good the Saints will really be in 2013. There are still a lot of decisions that need to be made to complete the roster, and there are a few good battles that can go either way.
Today, I am focusing on three players who were on the team last year that are in danger of losing their positions.
Tom Johnson, DE/DT
Johnson is one of those players who is a solid performer on gameday and has a great story on his road to the NFL, but his chapter with the Saints may be coming to end. So far, rookie Glenn Foster out of Illinois has been playing very well and getting pressure on the quarterback, which has resulted in three sacks in two games, increasing his chance to make the team.
The next two games will be a good opportunity for Johnson to turn things around and possibly make the cut.
Expert Opinion: Johnson is out.
Courtney Roby, WR/ST
Right now, Roby is dealing with a toe injury, but this leaves the opening for an undrafted free agent to slide in and take his spot on the roster. It is unlikely that Roby will be replaced but the longer he is out, the more that likelihood will increase.
Expert Opinion: Roby is expendable in my book. Why keep a player who can only produce on special teams when you could be losing a rookie who will be able to produce on special teams and at the line of scrimmage. Plus, this young player may turn into a great player someday down the line, like Rufus Johnson or Rod Sweeting.
As well as he has played the last two years, Abdul-Quddus is in danger of being cut with the addition of rookie Kenny Vaccaro and veteran Jim Leonard. Abdul-Quddus is in a battle with Raphael Bush and Leonard for a roster spot and all three have done well.
This will be a battle to the bitter end, which is why Abdul-Quddus needs a big game against Houston to state his case. The next two games will go a long way in either securing a roster spot or being kicked to the curb.
Expert Opinion: It makes more sense to keep both Abdul-Quddus and Bush since both have played well since they have been with the Saints. Being a veteran and knowing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's defense is a good reason to keep Leonard, but Bush and Abdul-Quddus have shown enough upside to hang onto them.
Those are not the only players who need to watch their rear ends as the preseason draws to a close because as always, there will be some surprise cuts. LBs John Vilma and Chris Chamberlain, as well asRB Travaris Cadet come to mind as those who could potentially find themselves cut from the squad, although I am not sure if Chamberlain would really be considered a surprise.
Well, that is all for now Whodats. Be sure to stay tuned for more on the Saints here on Football.com!