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SaintStoneyMount 05-01-2003 10:55 AM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
Everybody has an opinion. Here is mine.

I think the Saints defense will be better than last year.
I imagine in my mind that Willie Whitehead will be moved inside along side Sullivan with Grant and Howard on the outside. I think that the Fat Boys hurt us in the inside last year. I think this years DL will be better

At Linebacker last year Clemons disappointed me. I don't think he has the vision to play MLB. I don't know enough about the LB we picked up in the offseason. But I do think Hodge is going to be decent at least better than last year and this will be his second year as a starter. I hope he learned a lot in his first. I also think James Allen is going to have a (Oh oh I done said it) breakout season.

I also think that with the addition of Ashley Ambrose and Tebucky Jones plus Dale Cater, Fred Thomas, Keyou Craver, and Mel Mitchell our secondary is not too shabby.

If we land Victor Green maybe even a little better.

Last year we gave up 24 points a game. So better isn't saying that much. I think we can get down below 20 points per game. And if the offense is at least as potent as the first three quarters of last season we may be alright.

That's my opinion...Ya got one?

D_it_up 05-01-2003 11:55 AM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
Yeah...I always have an opinion. LOL. Of everything you stated in your post, there is not one thing I can find that I disagree with. Maybe the James Allen having a breakthrough season comment, but who\'s to say he won\'t? Here\'s my take on the defense:

Defensive Line: I see a starting line of Howard and Grant at the ends and Sullivan and Kenny Smith in the middle. With Whitehead, Jackson, Martin Chase, and Melvin Williams making very capable back-ups. Smith is the man I see as breaking out this year on defense with a full year starting.

Linebacker: Allen, Hodge, and Ruff/Smith as starters...This is the position that intrigues, yet, worries me. Allen could be the linebacker we\'ve been looking for since Rickey Jackson, or he could be another Brian Cox for us. Sedrick Hodge had \"decent\" numbers last year, and those numbers should get better after having a full season starting. Ruff? The jury is still out on this guy. I have a feeling he was a good pick up, but time will tell. Smith at MLB? The guy is pretty instinctive and has a decent nose for the ball, so he could be o.k. there. Cie Grant could have been a huge draft choice for us. He\'s got great speed and could be a great weakside LB on passing downs, but I think the consensus says he\'ll be playing the middle. I hope that Travis Carroll can return healthy this year and give us some hard PT. All in all, the linebacking core seems weak right now. I think one more fairly big FA pick up here would be needed to make my worries lessen.

Secondary: Jones and Mitchell(maybe Green) at saftey; Carter and Thomas/Ambrose at corner. I think we\'re better here than people are letting on. Once again the main problem with our secondary last year was the fact they were mainly covering 3 guys due to the lack of a pass rush. Sammy had to play linebacker more than his position. That left the passing lanes wide open. With what I feel is a better, faster, stronger defensive line and more speed at linebacker, the secondary should be just fine. They\'ll be able to stay at home more and on their assignments. Craver, Hawthorne (if moved to safety), Bellamy and Fahkir Brown make the secondary pretty deep. If Green or another safety is added, then the secondary is going to be possibly the strongest point of our defense.

I\'ve said it before and I\'ll say it again. This Saints defense is loaded with talent and potential. Can it be reached this year? I hope so, but with Rick Venturi at the D.C. spot, I doubt it. I sure hope he can prove me wrong. In summation, I think the Saints D will be better than last year, if only marginally.

[Edited on 1/5/2003 by D_it_up2]

LordOfEntropy 05-01-2003 09:51 PM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
Fan or not, I don\'t claim to be Mr. Knowledgeable when it comes to the technicalilties of football players skillsets. That having been said, I\'ll speak my piece.

D_it_up2, I think you hit the nail right on the head.

I don\'t think the players are the weak point of our defense. Rather, I think the defensive coordinator is. And that\'s a pretty damn key position to be weak at.

SaintStoneyMount 05-02-2003 09:29 AM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
That having been stated, do you feel that short of a Change at Defensive coordinator the defense doesn\'t stand a chance?

D_it_up 05-02-2003 10:40 AM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
All I\'m trying to say is that I don\'t have much faith in Venturi as a coordinator. I\'m not trying to say we won\'t stand a chance in hell on defense, because hopefully these guys can utilize their skills to the best of their ability. I just don\'t see Venturi as been a great defensive coordinator, or even average for that matter. It\'s possible that we can hold teams to less than 20 pts. a game, but just barely under. I hope I\'m wrong and the defense is back to the same level it was back in the day. I just really don\'t see it happening.

JOESAM2002 05-02-2003 10:45 AM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
What concerns me is? Is Venturi becomeing Haz\'s version of Carl Smith? I sure hope not. I like Venturi,he\'s been a loyal team member but the poor guy just isn\'t co-ordinator material.

SaintStoneyMount 05-02-2003 03:12 PM

Will the 2003 defense be better than 2002?
I can\'t see it either. I wanted Venturi demoted and I wanted to see a bigger gun at Defensive Coordinator.

So I guess we will see what happens this year. I just feel that know matter how much the defense improves, it would be that much better.

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