NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- J.T. O'Sullivan got what he wanted -- game
O'Sullivan, who played for Division I-AA California-Davis and
was the second-highest ranked quarterback in NFL Europe this
spring, made his only other NFL appearance in a 2002 preseason
"Anybody has a chance around here," Saints coach Jim Haslett
said. "J.T.'s a gamer. When he gets in a game he plays pretty
Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks was in street clothes on the
sideline. He returned to practice this week, but his strained
quadriceps was still tender, and team officials did not want to
risk further damage. Backup Todd Bouman, who was hobbled by a
pulled stomach muscle this week, started.
Bouman struggled, but put the Saints up 7-3 late in the
first-quarter with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jerome Pathon. John
Carney stretched New Orleans' lead to 10-6 at halftime with a
36-yard field goal.
Bouman completed 9 of 16 passes for 59 yards, one touchdown, one
interception and was sacked once.
"We did some good things," Pennington said. "We ran the ball
effectively and made some big plays in the passing game, but we
didn't finish it off in the red zone. But that will come."
Coach Herman Edwards didn't want to risk his starting
quarterback more than that. A year ago, he lost Pennington in the
third preseason game with a broken left wrist. Pennington returned
midway in the season, but the Jets missed the playoffs for the
first time in three years.
Backup QB Brooks Bollinger had his share of problems. A 29-yard
completion to Matt Domininguez that would have set up the Jets at
the New Orleans 5 was nullified by a penalty. New York was in an
illegal formation -- a call made against both teams twice.
"You can't have those mistakes early and I think those cost us
the game," Bollinger said. "Those hurt us pretty bad and New
Orleans was able to convert on them."
Bollinger, who was 6-of-11 for 85 yards and was sacked three
times, got the Jets in field goal range with a minute left in the
first half. Brien hit a 27-yarder.
In the third quarter, working against the Saints' second
defense, Bollinger led New York on a 58-yard drive fueled by
38-yard and 14-yard receptions by rookie Jerricho Cotchery. LaMont
Jordan ran it the final 3 yards for a 13-10 lead.
Saints running back Deuce McAllister made a cameo appearance in
the first two series, carrying the ball twice. Aaron Stecker, who
is in a three-way battle with Ki-Jana Carter and Lamar Smith for
the backup running back spot, had 11 carries for 42 yards.
"From the first day I came in here, they told me they were
going to use me to complement Deuce," Stecker said. "So I'm just
going to go out there and show what I can do."
In the third quarter, it looked like Jason Glenn picked off
O'Sullivan's pass at the goal line, but a pass interference call
gave the Saints the ball on the 1. Two plays later, Smith ran it
in, putting New Orleans up 17-13.
Rob Hart put the Saints up 20-13 with a 32-yard field goal in
the fourth quarter. His 26-yarder closed out the scoring.
Jets first-round pick Jon Vilma played well, if briefly. In
about one quarter, the linebacker had four tackles and two assists,
including a tackle of McAllister for a 2-yard loss.
"I had a pretty good evening," Vilma said. "I wish I could
have gone a little longer. I was just excited to be out there."
Fred Booker, a free agent who signed with the Saints on
Wednesday, returned an interception 57 yards to set up the Saints'
final field goal.
^Notes: The Saints beat the Jets 22-17 in a preseason game a year
ago at the Meadowlands. ... New York is 4-4 in exhibitions against
New Orleans, but has won five of nine games during the regular
season. ... New Orleans coach Jim Haslett played for the Jets as a
linebacker in 1987, his last year as an NFL player.