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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; My guess for this coming year is, the NFC South will be an all out battle. This is one division where nobody likes anybody. I honestly think every team in the division got better this offseason. I really don\'t think ...

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Old 05-09-2003, 01:29 AM   #11
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My guess for this coming year is, the NFC South will be an all out battle. This is one division where nobody likes anybody. I honestly think every team in the division got better this offseason. I really don\'t think there will be a clear cut winner in this division until the last weekend of the season. At this point in time I wouldn\'t even hazzard a guess who will take the top spot. It\'s far to early for that.

P.S. Don\'t count on Mike Vick to be any worse than last year. Sure we all (NFC teams) have a year under our belt to try to defense him but remember he had a year too. I look for him to be BETTER than last year. That scares the hell out of me. We got faster on defense, I just hope we got fast enough.

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Old 05-09-2003, 07:55 AM   #12
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i might be crazy on this one but i don\'t think tampa is going to make another run this year, think about it they have had virtually the same team for the last 4-5 years, they have had the talent for years, they lacked motivation which is what gruden gave them, but how much motivation can they have coming off a super bowl win, having their team captian talking about not being a buc after this year, they lost a few key players, for people with past motivation problems i question their drive for this year

atlanta...well again i think people give vick too much credit, the only things people seem to remember are highlight reels, look at vick\'s numbers from last year, not probowl stuff there, the only reason his INT\'s were low and his % decent was cuz he never threw the damn ball, this year he will run less and throw more, just like AB in his second year as a starter, you\'re going to see his INT\'s go up considerably due to throwing more often, also his running is a circus act like the rams offense a few years ago, it\'s only gonna take this year and maybe next before everyone starts copying what the bucs have done against him, as far as their running game, i\'m sorry truck but i think you are way off on this one, they might have run on us but who didn\'t run on us last year? dunn/duckett is going to be another failed barber/dayne experiment, and dunn is no barber

i think people are underestimating carolina big time, look at last year\'s games, very rarely did carolina get blown out last year, 4 of their 9 losses were only by a field goal, and their offense has made huge strides, davis is a beast when healthy, dyson and proehl while not super stars have loads of playoff experience and know what it takes to win and are solid performers, muhamed is no slouch, as far as delhomme even if you don\'t think he\'s that good...how much worse can he be than peete or weinke? remeber they went from 1-15 to 7-9 in one season and i don\'t remeber them signing anyone real good other than peppers in the offseason last year

providing that we don\'t have another end of year collapse i predict the division to finish like this:

1. NO
2. TB
3. CAR
4. ATL

i think the differance between TB and CAR finishing 2nd (which probably will be a wild card spot) will come down to a one game differance
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Old 05-09-2003, 08:21 AM   #13
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You cannot dismiss a single thing in the South- you can try, but you\'ll end up with egg on your face.

Sure we all (NFC teams) have a year under our belt to try to defense him but remember he had a year too. I look for him to be BETTER than last year.
This was the best point made in this entire thread. I think a few of you are too eager to see Vick fail- hell, I\'m guilty too. Yeah, we\'ve had a year to analyze Vick, but guess what- the guy is 22 years old. He\'s not even close to approaching his prime yet. I would look for his completion percentage to jump up into the 60% range this year, while his yards rushing to drop into the 500 yard range (similar to what happened to Brooks). All those talking about it\'s only going to take one hit, hell, he was sacked 33 times last year. It wasn\'t like he was completely protected throughout the year- less we forget that playoff game against Philly? Great thing about Atlanta is they had a crap-tacular draft. Experts are saying that Tampa did poorly as well, but I don\'t see it. White is a tough SOB who was a high 2nd rounder, that fell to them. He\'ll start in the future. Simms was a smart pick, as they will have time under Johnson to groom him for the future. They reached on a couple of picks, but should be happy with the results, considering they didn\'t have a 1st rounder this year. But who needs it when you are as stacked with talent as Tampa is.
Carolina, like the rest of you, scares me. They did damn good in free agency and damn good in the draft. They didn\'t get one starter on the offensive line, they got two. Nelson is a monster of a man, once he gets into an NFL program, he will gain the necessary weight and start for this team. But he may not start until next year. They addressed key positions in free agency that have upgraded their team tremendously (dammit, now they have a running game).
But hey, we did good in the draft as well. We have two players that will start this year (yes, eventually Riley will piss the coaching staff off enough that they will start Stinchcomb, who has tremendous upside- forget about what you\'ve read thusfar at the mini-camps), and a possible 3rd player who could start next year (Holland). Mark every friggin word I\'ve typed here, and come back for review after next season.

[Edited on 9/5/2003 by BlackandBlue]

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Old 05-09-2003, 10:04 AM   #14
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No Dunn is not an every down back but he sure as hell ran over us last year.

Who didn\'t?


I think a few of you are too eager to see Vick fail-

Yeah, I\'m guilty of it. My whole point on Vick, though, is that if he IS forced to play from the pocket more, his numbers will be average to just above average. If this guy isn\'t using his legs, then he\'s not near as much as a threat. I can see it now.

\"Vick drops back....can\'t find a receiver open....he scrambles....looks like he\'s got a lot of room to run.....OHHHHHHHHH....OUT OF NOWHERE TEBUCKY JONES CLOBBERS HIM FROM THE BLIND SIDE....THERE ARE TEETH LAYING ALL OVER THE FIELD\"

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Old 05-09-2003, 01:00 PM   #15
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As far as Vick is concerned, I think his progress as a QB depends on what type of QB he intends to emulate. I think the two best examples for him are J. Garcia and D. McNabb. The problem is McNabb is a pocket passer with great running ability which is not something Vick is capable of at this stage in his career. He spent way too much time running last year for him to get much experience with being a pocket passer. If he tries this, it\'ll be a disaster. If he plays more like Garcia, he is going to continue to be dangerous. His best bet for succes this year is to be like Garcia and run at every opportunity. however, this approach will stunt his growth as an intelligent QB and when his legs finally wear down, he wont have that pocket passer exerience to fall back on.

Thus, I think Atl will be good if Vick is still a runner and not so good if Vick spends the season learning to be a pocket passer.

Carolina has made some good moves this offseason, but I don\'t look for them to be much better than last year. Remember, they benefitted last year from 1st year euphoria - meanng they were all pumped coming into Fox\'s 1st year as a Headcoach. I think there will be a bit of an emotional let down from the entire team. Also, their offense was horrible last year which obviously helped their defensive stats. If you\'ll recall the year we had Shuler at QB, our D was ranked 4th in the NFL. That was mainly because our offense kept turning the ball over on our side of the field. Opposing offenses needed to go only 30-40 yards each possession to score. That kept our defense stats looking better than the defense really was. The same applies to Carolina although I think their D is closer to what we saw last year than ours was in the past situation I described.

Regardless of all the other reasons, TB will have a hard time this year simply because they are SB champs. I don\'t see them as having a leader that can control their emotions like the Broncos had in Elway when they repeated. I think with this team it\'ll really come down to whether Sapp is their leader or someone like Derrik Brooks takes the lead. If it is Brooks, they\'ll have a better shot.

Bottomline, I think the Saints and the Bucs will fight it out for the 1st spot, leaving the other in 2nd (wildcard). 3rd and 4th will be determined by Vick and how he decides to approach this year regarding his career. If he\'s willing to learn this year (instead of just going out and making plays with his legs), the falcons aren\'t going to be good, but will be deadly in the future.

Of further note, if AB\'s shoulder doesn\'t heal well, you can put the Saints at the bottom unless Bouman really turns into something now that he\'s in the better part of the country.
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:06 PM   #16
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I pretty much agree with everything said by all regarding the other teams in our division. My only point is I could just as easily see us fourth as I could first. Regardless of whether Atlanta will be good or not, we have yet to stop Vick. Who cares if the guy runs or throws, he won two games for his team against us. And yes he deserved to make the pro bowl- stats are not everything. He single handedly won more games for his team than any other player in football last year- period (see Atl v Minnesota, see Atl v Saints). Carolina will be improved and they could even steal the division (and they could also finish fourth). If Dellhome is good and Stephen Davis is healthy, their D is straight up better than ours. Tampa, while they may not be as good as last year, won the Super Bowl. SO I think they have as good a shot as anyone at this division too. I agree with the point made that Sapp may be a distraction but the guy has always been a professional and it is also possible that he plays his tail off to cash in next year (contract years do have that effect on some players).
I think we have a really good shot next year but let\'s not forget that we are a total wild card. Ruff and Tebucky have NEVER dominated in the NFL before. Sullivan is a rookie. Our corners could wear down b/c of age (or drugs). Plus, Brooks has yet to show that he is a leader. I love the guy and want him to succeed but he teases you with great performances followed by games where it seems he doesn\'t even care to be on the field. Was it b/c of injury last year? I sure as hell hope so. SO while I think Rusta\'s division predictions are pretty accurrate, I do not feel that we are a lock to win or come in second in this division.
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