Saints' Spagnuolo happy with effort, wants better tackling - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Saints' Spagnuolo happy with effort, wants better tackling

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Coach Steve Spagnuolo called the win against the Oakland Raiders "gratifying" and thought the players' approach to the game was "really good".

Spagnuolo said after early mistakes the defense settled down, "I would like to remove the first two plays of the game and then say after that I thought our first three series which finished in stops, the third one being Malcolm Jenkins' interception for a touchdown, was a good way to start the game."

The coach also singled out Will Smith's sack before half time, saying, "I have always said to our defense that the first and last series that we play in either half is vitally important. The way you begin the game and end the half and the way you begin the second half and end the game. I thought that sack at the end of the first half was big."

Spagnuolo said the second half tackling was a bit "sloppy" and the defense needs to correct that before the 49ers game.

"I think (Raiders) are going to be a good football team. They have some players there and Dennis (Allen) is doing a good job. I have a lot of respect for (Carson Palmer). I know they had their running backs out, but I think they are going to be pretty good.

"We are right on to probably the biggest challenge we have had to this point. We have had a lot of them but San Francisco's offense is pretty good."

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