Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints


this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; jeff duncan: Saints Team Report 12/18/2005 By Jeff Duncan New Orleans Times-Picayune For the first time in seven years, the Saints figure to make some dramatic changes this offseason, whether or not they keep Jim Haslett as their head coach. ...

Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-25-2005, 05:40 PM   #1
100th Post
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 332

jeff duncan:

Saints Team Report

By Jeff Duncan
New Orleans Times-Picayune

For the first time in seven years, the Saints figure to make some dramatic changes this offseason, whether or not they keep Jim Haslett as their head coach. They benched QB Aaron Brooks with three weeks to go in the season, snapping his 82-game starting streak and likely ending his six-year tenure with the team. The team could go in a number of directions at the position next year, starting with a likely top-five draft pick. They might get into the Philip Rivers bidding war or settle for former Tulane star Patrick Ramsey, if the Redskins are willing to deal him. They could stick with current starter Todd Bouman, especially as a stopgap to a younger draft choice or current project, rookie Adrian McPherson. Or they may dive into a thin free agent market. Regardless, this lackluster season will change the philosophy of minor tweaks here and there that they have maintained since winning the first playoff game in franchise history back in 2000. The Saints also benched veteran DE Darren Howard for the final three games this season (Haslett's first-ever draft choice) and will certainly let him leave in free agency. . . .

Howard was unhappy about being shelved for the remainder of the season but knows that it makes sense to rest a chronic knee injury that has bugged him all year. He did not miss a start in the first 12 games, fighting through the pain, and though his production dropped from a year ago, when he had 11 sacks, the 6-3, 275-pounder still showed his playmaking skills at times, tallying 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. At 29, Howard will still attract a lot of attention in free agency, but this season may have cost him a few million dollars. . . .

Although the Saints figure to be in rebuilding mode next year, they don't have an abundance of holes to fill. But they must address the linebacker position -- which has been one of their most blatant needs for years. They thought they could make due this season with three young starters in James Allen, Courtney Watson and Colby Bockwoldt. But both Allen and Watson went down with season-ending knee injuries. Watson had lost his starting job to veteran Ronald McKinnon before he was injured. If everyone comes back healthy next year, the Saints could have decent depth. But they need to land a young explosive playmaker early in the draft.

SCOUTING REPORT:Sixth-year TB Aaron Stecker has once again proved his value this season, even though the Saints signed veteran backup Antowain Smith in the offseason. At 5-10, 213, there have been questions as to whether Stecker could handle a full-time load at tailback. But he is excellent in small doses as a change of pace back and receiver out of the backfield. He has shared the rushing load with Smith since starter Deuce McAllister went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 5. Even when McAllister returns next year, the Saints will surely use Stecker in the same role. He is a different kind of runner than the bulkier McAllister and Smith, so he keeps defenses off balance. He can move laterally behind the line of scrimmage to find holes and can turn the corner on screen passes.

2006 BREAKOUT PLAYER:The Saints certainly could have used some defensive help this year, but they have no regrets about selecting OT Jammal Brown with the 13th pick of the draft. The massive but athletic 6-6 313-pounder has held up great during a long and trying season -- both on and off the field. He missed two games with an ankle injury and was one of the few Saints to lose his house in Hurricane Katrina. Brown, a right tackle, performed ably against the likes of Michael Strahan and Julius Peppers (twice), among others. He has been whistled for a large amount of false start penalties, but not many holding penalties. And he has not allowed many sacks. Brown, who began his college career at Oklahoma as a defensive end, has such a tremendous athletic ability that he should only get better and may even wind up as a left tackle -- like former Saints star Willie Roaf. He also is a much-needed young stud on a veteran-filled Saints offensive line.

Winwin is offline  
Latest Blogs
2017 Saints Pre-Combine Draft Last Blog: 02-26-2017 By: hagan714

Super Bowl thread Last Blog: 02-05-2017 By: OldMaid

Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:49 PM.

Copyright 1997 - 2014 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts