Defense shines in Saints scrimmage

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METAIRIE, LA. (AP) - The New Orleans Saints’ defense racked up sacks, broke up passes, nearly returned a fumble for a score and left Drew Brees muttering to himself on the sideline.

The annual Black and Gold scrimmage was not the best of days for Sean Payton’s vaunted offense, which had led the NFL in yardage for three of the past four seasons.

Brees started fast, completing his first four passes for 64 yards while leading a touchdown drive that ended on Reggie Bush’s 6-yard run. After that, Brees connected on only two of his next 12 passes as the defense routinely stalled drives.

Newly acquired lineman Jimmy Wilkerson was among the defensive standouts, making one of his unit’s six sacks and nearly returning a fumble for a touchdown.

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