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subguy 03-31-2003 05:49 AM

Saints gains and loses
WhoDat, no problem speaking for me,you are correct. We should not just throw money around. I do however believe that you correct your weaknesses. We really haven\'t improved. Yes, we do need to take care of the unfinished business,like signing Horn,Fontenot. We have money to spend,we are certainly not shuffling around to make cap room. The simple fact is, if you do not correct your weaknesses,through a couple of KEY free agency D line, D back, we have stayed the same. You are very lucky to reap any benefit from the draft picks in the first year. We should all want to win NOW. The majority opinion on this board is draft picks are the future. To see if they will be our future look at our past. Almost sounded philosophical. Scared me for a second.

WhoDat 03-31-2003 07:47 AM

Saints gains and loses
The Rams signed a lot of free agents when they went back. Williams, Mark Fields, either Greene or Winstrom, I can\'t remember which...

You also have to understand Billy, that just because I want to win right now doesn\'t mean that I am willing to throw away money or picks to do that. I am fully behind the value proposition that the Saints are supposedly using. I do think that there are safeties, particularly Doss, who could very easily be around in the second round. Although Jones is a physical specimen, his play has been erratic. Besides, it\'s not necessarily another safety - it\'s another player. I believe that we can get a player with our number two who will be as good as Jones or better, who we can sign for less. The fact that Turley only drew a second next year and Roaf drew a conditional third this year tells me that Jones is not worth a second round pick.

Look, I don\'t mind how long the Saints wait, assuming, and this is the most important part of this statement, that they can sign impact players this off-season. I think it is very hard to sign players who can really improve this defense after the draft. That is even more true when trying to sign three plus players as opposed to one. Let me ask you this Billy - do you believe that Ruff or Ambrose significantly upgrade our liebacking corp or secondary?

billyh1026 03-31-2003 09:29 PM

Saints gains and loses
Fields sucked. That\'s why he was no longer a Ram after the year. Wistrom was drafted in 98 by the Rams. Greene retired in 98 or 99...if it\'s Kevin you\'re talking about. The big difference was Lovie Smith their new D co-ordinator that year.

To answer your question. No, I don\'t think they\'ve \"significantly\" upgraded anything yet. The thing you have to understand is that the management and coaches have had a plan going into every off-season since they\'ve been here. Up to and including the draft. You can\'t argue against the success they\'ve had at upgrading this team year-in and year-out since they\'ve been here can you? Of course you can pick spots here and there where the moves didn\'t pan out but good lord who\'s gonna bat 1,000%? What I\'m trying to say is that...well, what I\'m trying to say is they\'ve got a plan and they\'re working it. Like it or not you can\'t argue against the success they\'ve had with the previous ones...and they\'re working it again. Have a little faith man....well, maybe more than a little...

WhoDat 04-01-2003 09:08 AM

Saints gains and loses
Hey Billy, I agree that they have a plan. But having a plan doesn\'t mean that you have a GOOD plan. Think about this. Up to this point they have been very successful at improving our offense right? That has been the focus up until now. Well, of the entire offense, only Stallworth, Deuce, and Bentley were brought in via the draft.

Now, I\'m not sure about this, but as of right now I believe that Howard, Grant, Allen, Hodge, Craver, and Mitchell were all Saints draft picks. Of those, only Howard has more than two years experience. Now you\'re talking about adding another two or three rookies to the mix? I don\'t know about that.

WhoDat 04-01-2003 02:44 PM

Saints gains and loses
\"Experience is important in a few positions like MLB and Safety.\"

Wow Gator. Wow. So Charles Grant played as well last year as he will ever in his career? We can expect no more from LeCharles Bentley? Stallworth is a 40 reception receiver from here on out?

Every single player in the NFL, barring any major injury or unforeseen setback, gets better with expereince. Every single one. Experience makes you better at whatever you do, in any situation in life. That\'s why there are no 18 year old Presidents, CEOs, high level researchers, generals, etc etc etc.

There is a difference between being old and being expereinced. The most valuable players in football are 25 or 26 years old. They have 3 or 4 years of experience, but are still young and talented, with sharp skills and a bright future. Rookies make rookie mistakes b/c of lack of experience. C\'mon Gator, I expect more form you.

subguy 04-01-2003 03:54 PM

Saints gains and loses
WhoDat, you are preaching to the choir..........

WhoDat 04-01-2003 05:23 PM

Saints gains and loses
Gator - two new rookies certainly will not hurt. They\'ll be good players in New Orleans for at least the next three seasons, before they have a breakout year, we refuse to pay them, and they go somewhere else where there is a winning tradition, bigger market, and of course, more money.

I have no illusions about what the Saints are really doing. In fact, I made statements about where I thought that would lead this team. I got blasted for them. However, many of the people who are quick to tell me to face facts about what this team is doing in free agency can\'t see how their lack of action will affect this team in the coming season. I\'m not singling you out Gator. We get along great and I totally respect you and your opinoins. I\'m just saying - if you want to be real about free agent moves, then be real about a team\'s potential with a defense that looks to start a group of rookie, unknown, or over the hill players.

Gator, do you really think that they will \"draft for depth according to best player available\"? They won\'t. They\'ll find the best player available at an area of need! They will draft the best corner, safety, linebacker, defensive tackle, or tight end. Not the best player. If the Saints trade up to the top five, and by some miracle Charles Rogers is still around, do you think they will pick him up? No. They won\'t. B/c they NEED to fill HOLES in the defense. If they had spent a little money, and made a couple of smart moves they would have far fewer NEEDS and then they truly could draft the best player available at ANY poisition. But they didn\'t do that, so they can\'t. THey are locked into a corner and lb or dt or te in the first round. I\'ll bet you anything you want that they won\'t draft a player at any other position than the ones I listed in the first round. They can\'t afford it. They have to draft to fill holes. That sucks.

subguy 04-01-2003 05:36 PM

Saints gains and loses
Gator, filling you holes with inexperience is not smart. We have key positions that we haven\'t filled. I would be willing to say during the year you were heard to scream\"What the f is wrong with our D line\",or \"we should do some work in the secondary\".

Now you are faced with a team, with money to lay down. Yes, they need to hook up Horn and in my opinion Fontenot. But then we still have great money left.

You will not admit that a few precious gems of free agents never even came to N.O. for a look?

Give the money to rookies? The unproven one\'s? Unless we do some haggling on draft day, we left our holes unplugged. We replaced people with like talent. Maybe we saved some money,big deal,if you aren\'t willing to part with any of it.

Why can no one seem to see this? OMG...........look at the past. Ruff(unproven),Ambrose(been here done that), I will concede we signed a great punter and everyone knows that is the cornerstone to any winning program

WhoDat 04-02-2003 11:55 AM

Saints gains and loses
OK - let\'s consider some of the rookies we\'ve drafted since Haslett got here - how did they perform in their ROOKIE seasons? Deuce\'s rookie year was not very good, and let\'s be real - every rookie we bring in won\'t be a Deuce McAllister. In fact, very few will be. Stallworth lived up to his reputation for not being able to go a season without getting hurt. He impacted the team positively for the first five games. I believe he will be a great receiver in this league for years to come, but his rookie season was good at best. Grant, Bentley - see Stallworth. Now, consider other Saints draft picks over the last few years. What did Allen, Hodge, Mitchell, Craver, Boo Williams, or any other rookie do in their rookie season? Not much.

My point is not that I don\'t want rookies. Adding depth and finding an impact player or two through the draft is great. But our track record shows that we\'re not going to find more than two or so rookies that can come in and play well in their ROOKIE season. Now, that becomes even MORE true, according to you Gator, when you\'re expecting rookies to play at positions where \"experience is important\" such as linebacker and safety!

My point is, if we could have landed a Shelton Quarles, for example, and let\'s say we ante up a 2nd rounder for Tebucky (which I still don\'t really favor), then where would we be? You could still look at LB, S, CB, DT, and TE as areas of need that could be addressed. But now, if you land Boss Bailey, you\'ve got a really talented young linebacker playing next to a guy like Quarles, instead of a guy like Ruff. If you land Doss, you\'ve got a great fight between Jones, Doss, and Mitchell. A DT comes in and starts....

I\'m not saying rookies won\'t help this team. But with no veteran leadership to learn from, and little talent to help clean up their mistakes, or raise the bar for their level of play, they may easily start and it may cost us. You tell me which recent draftees are playing better now - Pennington and Vick, who had veterans that they could learn from and take time to develop, or Harrington and Carr who were thrown right into the starting line up? I know, it\'s QBs it is a totally different position. My point is that we have had a chance to really upgrade this defense with BOTH free agents AND draft picks. The best teams always seem to have a good mix of veteran leaders, young experienced talent, rookies, and wild cards. We\'ve got a wild card in Ruff, and we will have rookies... but we don\'t have any (except maybe Howard) young talent or good veteran leadership. As a result, I can\'t see this defense getting a whole lot better... Again, I hope I\'m totally wrong. I hope this is the best D in the league this year. I just don\'t see that happening.

WhoDat 04-02-2003 06:11 PM

Saints gains and loses
Gator, Gator, Gator. Tisk, tisk.

1. Do I think that TE is an area of need for this team? Somewhat. Not as much as defense... but that doesn\'t matter. What matters is that HASLETT sees it as an area of need. I am willing to bet that Haslett thinks Ruff is as good a linebacker as Sloan is a TE. If that\'s the case, then TE is as much a need as LB for this team. So again, they will find the best available player at an area of NEED. I am not arguing that in the past they have drafted for need. But over the last few seasons there has not been such a glaring need as there is this year at certain positions. Thus, unlike previous years where needs weren\'t overwhelming, they will look to fill holes this year b/c the holes are bigger than they have been since Haslett got here.

2. You are right, everyone must make a start somewhere. Let\'s look at this another way - name a player on our defense that you KNOW is solid other than Howard. Or, name a player on our defense that has a proven successful track record over the last three years besides Howard. You can\'t. B/c there isn\'t one. You\'re happy about that? I\'m not saying rookies are all bad, but their impact is diminished when you have NO PROVEN EXPERIENCED TALENTED VETERANS on the team to play along side of them. Are you going to dispute that?

3. I\'m not changing the subject. You\'re saying that rookies will make this team better. I\'m saying that there is no assurances of that... your odds are better when you sign a FA of knowing what you\'re getting b/c you have real NFL experience to base your decision on.

4. I\'m not changing my argument at all. Try to understand this Gator. I have never been against improving the defense IN PART through the draft. However, the impact that a rookie can have is weakened if they: A. play on a team where there are no veterans to challenge, coach, or help them, and B. when every mistake they make is amplified b/c the players around them are bad, instead of being taken care of by a great supporting cast.

Go reread Dante Stallworth\'s comments about how much having Horn, Reed, Pathon, etc. on the team helped ease his transition. We don\'t have any players like that on defense. We don\'t have veterans that have been in the league for years. We don\'t have players who have the talent to start elsewhere.

Try to hear me this time Gator. Building a team with a mix of free agents, draftees, and resigned players is the best way to build a team... can you argue with that? Again, this year we are losing players on defense. We do not resign our players - (see glover, johnson, knight, clemons...), and we aren\'t bringing in quality free agents.

Again, the proof is in the pudding Gator. Look at the Super Bowl teams for the last few years... Tampa rebuilt their offense primarily through free agency, Oakland is nothing but free agents, St. Louis rebuilt their defense via free agents and the draft, new england, new york, baltimore... it\'s all the same.

I\'m saying that we could have done more with our money. Adding Quarles, Jones, Trufant, and Bailey is better than adding Ruff, Ambrose, Trufant, and Bailey... or can you argue that point as well? B/c if you think that we don\'t have the money to make those kinds of moves you\'re flat wrong. C\'mon Gator, again you\'re polarizing my argument. It\'s not 100% free agents versus 100% draftees. You need a good balance of both. Right now, no matter how good the Saints draft is there will not be a good balance, b/c they haven\'t done crap in free agency.

You people are so happy about drafting players, b/c we may not be great this year, but think about how good we\'ll be three years from now with all these young players. How many players on on the team today that were here three years ago? You think we won\'t continue to have player turnover like that? Why, b/c they\'re young? Wrong. They\'ll follow money just like all free agents do. C\'mon Gator, can\'t you see that if this keeps up we\'ll be 9-7 every year, and every off-season you\'ll be happy about our new rookies, forgetting that the ones we drafted three years ago all left this year? Weren\'t you the one screaming for results this year... calling for Haslett\'s head if they didn\'t get better... talking abou thow they were squandering talent...? Wasn\'t that you? Now you\'re happy with marginal, if any, improvement after the most important part of free agency is done? Sure they\'ll get more talent through the draft. But we knew that would happen in January. We also thought that they would get better through free agency. But they didn\'t, and now you\'re willing to overlook that failure b/c they still might add talent through the draft... why is OK that they botched free agency to this point all of a sudden?

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