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fox team report 7-11-06

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; With a primary goal of stopping the run with more consistency than the past three years, the Saints will have a new look on defense this season -- with the linebacker positions getting the biggest overhaul. The Saints will have ...

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Old 07-11-2006, 07:03 AM   #1
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fox team report 7-11-06

With a primary goal of stopping the run with more consistency than the past three years, the Saints will have a new look on defense this season -- with the linebacker positions getting the biggest overhaul.

The Saints will have at least two new starters -- maybe three -- as middle linebackers Ronald McKinnon and Courtney Watson and veteran strong-side 'backer Sedrick Hodge are no longer with the club. In addition, James Allen has already been lost for the season because of a knee injury.
Who lines up where when the regular season begins on Sept. 10 won't be decided until training camp as a host of newcomers will battle for the three spots. Even weak-side linebacker Colby Bockwoldt, a starter for the past 1 1/2 seasons, will have to fight for a job when practice begins July 28.

Among the new players trying to win starting berths are four veterans -- Scott Fujita, Anthony Simmons, Tommy Polley and Jay Foreman. Also in the mix is second-year pro Alfred Fincher, a third-round draft pick in 2005 who showed signs of promise during the team's final mini-camp in June.

With defensive end Darren Howard gone, former first-round draft pick Will Smith -- a relentless player who has 16 sacks as a spot player in his first two seasons -- will get a chance to blossom as a starter. While he's a solid pass-rusher, Smith is also strong against the run.

The Saints tried to shore up the interior of their defensive line by trading for tackle Hollis Thomas, a solid run-stopper for the past decade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Saints certainly didn't neglect the back end of the secondary, which can also play a role in stopping the run. The team signed unrestricted free agent Omar Stoutmire to team with second-year pro Josh Bullocks and also acquired Bryan Scott via a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

In addition, the Saints used a second-round draft pick to select Alabama safety Roman Harper. He earned a reputation as a playmaker in college and turned heads in the team's mini-camps and organized team activities during the spring and summer

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's been interesting to say the least. There has been a lot of movement with staff as well as the players. There have been a lot of transactions, and hopefully, we can come together as a team and a family and win some games." -- Saints RB Deuce McAllister on the team's extremely busy off-season


http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/teamRep...pe=InsideSlant
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:22 AM   #2
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RE: fox team report 7-11-06

I like this LB corps more than I have at any time in the last 6 or 7 years...competition is good
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:12 AM   #3
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RE: fox team report 7-11-06

I think the Saints brought in more LBers, this offseason, than any other team. And it should make the defense better. Although, with that offense they don't have to keep teams under 20 points, just under 30 points. The Saints will score 30 or more.
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