(AP) — Jimmy Graham didn't hesitate to punctuate a pair of touchdown catches
with the goal post-rattling, basketball-style dunks that led the NFL to ban
such celebrations coming into this season.
Graham drew penalty flags for unsportsmanlike conduct.
relatively little at stake in preseason game No. 2 on Friday night, the crowd
roared its approval, and the Saints went on to beat the Tennessee Titans,
Sean Payton, however, wasn't amused after Graham's second dunk, barking at the star
tight end as he came to the sideline.
the game, Graham fled the locker room without speaking to reporters.
meanwhile, said he was "particularly" upset with Graham's penalties,
but also with much of the team after the Saints (2-0) drew 22 flags for 184
that was painful to watch," Payton said. "It's the first sign of a
team that has no discipline, and that's the first sign of poor coaching. ...
I'm very upset."
holding out the entire offseason for his four-year, $40 million contract,
Graham appeared to be in fine form with five catches for 48 yards in limited
action, including his TDs of 6 and 19 yards from Luke McCown.
lost patience with Graham's insistence upon continuing his post-TD dunks,
Graham's teammates appeared conflicted, considering it was a preseason game.
understand Jimmy's frustration with that rule change," veteran right
tackle Zach Strief said. "I don't think Jimmy is a selfish player. ...
It's selfish in a real game. I don't think Jimmy is like that. I think that was
his one opportunity to make it his statement on it."
one such dunk bent a goal post out of place, delaying a regular-season game.
one time in 40 years a goal post gets tilted and all of a sudden we have to
change the rules?" Strief said. "People love Jimmy because he gets
excited and they love him because he celebrates. The fans love that stuff. And
Jimmy is frustrated because they're taking something away that ... adds
entertainment to the game."
after both celebrations were enforced on the kickoff, resulting in returns to
the Tennessee 38 and 36 by the Titans' Marc Mariani. Tennessee (1-1) scored
touchdowns on both drives.
some developments which pleased Payton.
defense had five turnovers and four sacks. Offensively, New Orleans produced
several long gains, including completions of 52 and 44 yards from Ryan Griffin
to Joe Morgan, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.
encouraging that (Morgan) got behind the defense and was able to make a few
plays that we've seen him make prior to his injury," Payton said.
were competitive early when both teams' starters were on the field.
quarterback Jake Locker was 8 of 11 for 75 yards and a touchdown on a 4-yard
touch pass along the sideline to Justin Hunter, who made a leaping grab over
cornerback Corey White.
great to see the way we came out and started," Locker said. "It was
something we can definitely build off of."
was on the receiving end of Zach Mettenberger's first touchdown pass as a pro.
Mettenberger entered the game earlier than expected after second-string QB
Charlie Whitehurst was shaken up on a sack by Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro.
cheered the former LSU quarterback when he took the field.
was a pleasant surprise," Mettenberger said.
completed his first series by rifling a pass over the middle to Hunter, who
raced off for a 64-yard score.
finished 20 of 25 for 269 yards, but was also intercepted once and fumbled
once. Hunter had four catches for 111 yards.
played OK, but we just turned the ball over way too much and ultimately that
led to a loss," Mettenberger said. "Offensively we did a lot of good
things but we've got a lot to clean up."
rookie kicker Travis Coons made a 50-yard field goal for Tennessee.
Tennessee's fumbles may have cost more than a turnover. Running back Shonn
Greene, who has had right knee surgery twice, appeared to favor his right leg
after being stripped by Vaccaro.
started for Brees, who missed his second exhibition game while resting his sore
abdomen, and was 12 of 20 for 117 yards. Griffin finished 13 of 19 for 179
yards with touchdown passes of 23 yards to Mark Ingram and 3 yards to
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Posted on Sat, August 16, 2014
by The Lafourche GazetteBRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer