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pakowitz 04-30-2003 10:09 PM

Saints’ draft fails to impress

In the National Football League, great teams just don’t meet up at the stadium and decide to play ball each Sunday.

They have to be hand picked by a front office crew that is experienced and knowledgeable, bonded together through a tough and rigorous training camp and perfected by a coach that is stern yet wise.

They don’t just meet at the right place at the right time.

Unfortunately for the New Orleans Saints, I don’t believe they have the first tool listed in order to be a real contender in the NFC South or the NFL as a whole for that matter.

If you have a high-powered offense, but a defense that is weak at positions that allows it to give up at least 21 points per game, then what do you think the first priority in the draft should be?

It’s no surprise that the Saints’ defense needs an upgrade with linebackers and defensive backs.

So why not pick up some in the draft?

The best linebacker in college football, E.J. Henderson, didn’t get taken off of the board until the second round when the Minnesota Vikings took him with the 40th overall selection. Talk about getting more for your buck.

Why not pick up that guy and have a base to build your defense around? The guy is young, he knows the game and even though he may not be a "workout warrior," he will definitely go out there and give you 100 percent every time he sets foot on the turf.

It’s no secret New Orleans will miss Pro Bowl strong safety Sammy Knight. So why didn’t they pick up a hard-hitting safety in the draft? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

They traded Norman Hand and brought in another defensive tackle, Johnathan Sullivan, who will be an instant starter. Some scouts believe Sullivan won’t give every bit of himself on every snap and the Saints should have taken a cornerback like Washington State’s Marcus Trufant.

When former San Diego Chargers safety Rodney Harrison came to town to check out the football scene in New Orleans, he didn’t believe the Saints had a passion or ambition to win. And I can’t say I blame him.

After old, and possibly senile, Tom Benson fired Randy Mueller as general manager, I sort of knew that all hell would break lose when it came time to pick up on some new talent.

So where do the boys’ in black and gold stand at for next season?

Defensively, I don’t see much improvement. They keep bringing in these older defensive backs, but when are they going to realize that the future of the NFL lies in the NFL draft.

If you don’t bring any new blood in at the positions needed, then you will never be able to completely upgrade your roster. You will never have a truly great team.

For about six or seven seasons, everybody talked about New Orleans’ high-powered defense, but its offense was a lost cause. Now that it has a high-powered offense, its defense has fell by the wayside.

Well, it’s just too bad that they didn’t use the draft in their favor defensively.

Days like these make me wish Randy Mueller was back in town.

Courier sports writer Juan Anthony Nathan may be reached at 857-2210 or

JOESAM2002 04-30-2003 10:35 PM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
Sounds like their not to happy in the Houma-Thibodeaux area. Ya think the Saints moving training camp to the city erked a few people? Bad thing about this post is I have to agree with some of it.

subguy 05-01-2003 07:14 AM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
I am glad to see that I am not alone in my bitterness. There is venom dripping off of this guy\'s fangs. But, many of us thought we needed to address our weakness. As far as picks go,maybe they are all good picks. The point is, do they address our needs?

SaintStoneyMount 05-01-2003 10:11 AM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
I\'m just going to wait until these guys get in camp before I go calling the draft a disaster. I am bitter about Boss Bailey and I don\'t know that the Saints met all their needs. I don\'t know if our young talent, 2nd and third year players are going to break out his season. Everybody is crying out for secondary help. Well I want to see how much Keyou Craver and Mel Mitchell have improved. Let\'s see if Sullivan is an animal on the line and if he can create pressure up the middle and collapse the pocket. Let\'s see what James Allen can do in there and let\'s see if Hodge is better after a years worth of NFL Live action. I think we could have done better, but I also see a lot of potential in what\'s been done. So I am just going to wait and see. Besides Benson is not about to let me start making picks and signing players any time soon.

pakowitz 05-01-2003 01:36 PM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
yea.... i like givin u guys something to read about.. that way u dont bore urself to death...

JOESAM2002 05-01-2003 05:16 PM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
Now see how nice I am Pak? I could have said something mean. Like, Yea thats why we have you, to bore us to death. LOL. Of course that\'s assumeing that we can read. Keep em coming. :D

nocloning 05-01-2003 05:59 PM

Saints’ draft fails to impress

They keep bringing in these older defensive backs, but when are they going to realize that the future of the NFL lies in the NFL draft.
Sounds to me like the Saints\' drafts have been disasters every year for the last decade or at least the last four years. Not quite what happened, is it?
He doesn\'t like some of the decisions, would have liked E.J. Henderson or a safety, maybe Doss? Fine. Now, what has the not-drafting of these guys to do with \"passion and ambition to win\"? Is he implying the Saints passed them up \'cause they don\'t want to win?!?
Maybe you can get all your frustrations out in one article, but it better make sense. Don\'t just mix it all up, give some reason why you bring up Harrison\'s comment.
Does he honestly believe Benson is senile or does he honestly not know there was a plausible - at least for Benson - reason to fire Mueller (he was a control freak who basically crossed the line when he tried to make it \"his\" team without talking about important decisions with the owner first)? I doubt it.

Isn\'t it great you can vomit your guts out and get paid for it as a professional sports journalist?

deadflatbird 05-04-2003 08:51 AM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
I don\'t know... I look back at it now and feel it was a good solid draft for us. I would have been happier to get Boss and Trufant. Trufant wasn\'t in the cards for us with no trade to get him but the run and DT which Hasslet forsaw figured we better get one of the top DT when we could. GOOD CALL. This Sullivan guy is a great guy overall. We are set at DB\'s now... unless something falls in our laps June 1st. I think after this year you will see the Saints go after a rookie DB\'(s) I think the undrafted CB from Tulane will make the team even.

deadflatbird 05-04-2003 08:56 AM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
The writer of that article up top... doesn\'t know what he is talking about... after I looked at it more... \" Well, it’s just too bad that they didn’t use the draft in their favor defensively. Days like these make me wish Randy Mueller was back in town.\" Muller was with the team and in the Saints Draft room... he ok\'ed everything and all the tips on who to draft was his... he even was favored for getting Simms. IDIOT sports writer who doesn\'t know what he is talking about.

iceshack149 05-04-2003 11:17 PM

Saints’ draft fails to impress
Well deadflatbird I won\'t argue that the sportswriter is an idiot, but Randy Mueller wasn\'t in the draftroom. His brother Rick was.
Randy\'s a smart guy and I too wish that he was back in town. Although I agree with you that the Saints had a solid draft.

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