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truck 05-08-2003 02:10 PM

I was just wondering what people's expectations are as to next year. I think we have a really good team but I think Tampa and Atlanta are both SUper Bowl contenders and the Panthers are not so pathetic anymore- Stephen Davis could be the biggest impact fa this year. SO that being said, does Haslett ahve to make the palyoffs to keep his job or does he just have to keep this team hungry the entire year? I'd assume everyone agrees with me that one more breakdown at the end (regardless fo our final record) would and should be the end of Haslett (although I hope that does not happen b/c I think Haslett brings a lot to the table as a coach). Opinions?

rusta 05-08-2003 04:02 PM

how do you figure atlanta is a super bowl contender?

they barely made the playoffs last year and they haven\'t really improved in the off season, they lost ambrose to us, they lost simoneau to philly, they still have no recievers

and don\'t give me that price crap, hes a deep threat who only accels with a solid possesion reciever opposite him (moulds?), one good year and now he\'s a superstar?

besides as often as vick almost got injured last year this will be the year he goes down giving atlanta an excuse for not making the playoffs this year

lumm0x 05-08-2003 04:04 PM

Keeping in perspective that we are in arguably the toughest division in the NFL (NFC for sure), I think a major goal for this year is to be consistently tough to beat. I can handle losing when the team leaves it\'s heart and blood on the field and just gets beat by a better team. I can\'t handle it when we beat ourselves. If we lose both games this year to Tampa but leave them saying, \"I hate playing the Saints because you have to have your A game to even squeek out a win\", I am happy with that. If we give 100% every game all year we will make the playoffs and be at least 10-6.
Haslett has to get consistent effort. If another late season collapse happens he will be hung to dry. If we lose simply because Atlanta and Tampa Bay compiled better talent then he has done his job as a coach and regardless of how much input Haslett has on personnel, Loomis bears that burden.
I agree that the Panthers are building a solid team, maybe not a contender this year, but in a positive direction. The Falcons will be hard to beat as will the Bucs. We need to make every non-divisional game count and hope to get .500 within or we will be in trouble.
I\'m optimistic that things will gel on the defense and a faster group of athletes will benifit by playing a simpler defensive scheme where their athleticism will offset the lack of experience and/or instincts (depending on who we\'re talking about). I think the offense will only be better with the additions to the OL and TE and with a year in the system for guys like Stallworth and Pathon. Both are solid weapons. We really need Joe Horn back and cannot afford him to miss time with the club as a distraction.

rusta 05-08-2003 04:15 PM

i have to disagree, i think carolina wil be a bigger threat next year than atlanta

carolina proved it had the def to go to the playoffs if the offense would just help a little, with the moves they made their offense has improved 100%

while atlanta has lost key players and not replaced them because they have been to preoccupied with the receiver position which they still have not solved unless one of their 4th or 5th string guys step up, atlanta went on a tear last year but who did they really beat? the only teams they beat last year that had winng records was us and NYG, they still barely made the playoffs

i think people give atlanta too much credit based on the popularity of vick, vick who\'s QB stats should not have gotten him into the probowl, which goes to show that being a probowler is slowly becoming the equivalent of being an allstar in mlb = pointless, vick is great, he\'s an awesome RB and a capable QB but a team doesn\'t become a super bowl contender based one guy i don\'t care what espn says

deadflatbird 05-08-2003 04:58 PM

In the NFC, I feel that the team that is going to win it all this year is a dark horse team. The team that didn\'t make the play-offs this past year. Look for New Orleans and Carolina... In the AFC, Miami and Tennesse

rusta 05-08-2003 05:57 PM

it\'s gonna be a steelers/saints super bowl baby!!!!!!!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

D_it_up 05-08-2003 06:24 PM

My expectations are always high every year. It\'s after game 17 in the season when my expectations are shot to hell. For this year? I don\'t see us missing a beat on offense as long as we get Horn in there and the rest of the team stays healthy. On Defense, even though Venturi is still there, I think the Saints have improved the team speed dramatically. I do think they\'ll hold teams to less than 20 ppg. I see a 10-6 or 11-5 year out of the Saints. Of course I would like better, but that\'s where I see them at the end of the season. Playoffs? Maybe.

As for the other teams in the division, here\'s my take on them.

Tampa Bay: Kept the core of their starters from both sides. My early favorite for the Super Bowl. Sapp could be a distraction running his mouth about his contract, but they\'ll still rise above it. Not much to say about them. Except I hope we take two from them again this year.

Atlanta: Don\'t expect these guys to make a repeat in the playoffs this year. They were very lucky last year. Vick is one \"blind-side shot from a free safety\" away from being a pocket passer or a flash in the pan. I think once he gets his teeth rattled a bit, it will take the spring out of his knees. Peerles Price \"Pfister\" is not the answer the Falcons needed on offense. He\'ll be above average at best. The rest of the receiving corp isn\'t very deep. Warrick Dunn is not a feature back no matter what anyone says. I\'ve never seen him more than a 3rd down back because of his receiving skills and elusivness. His small frame is also one lick away from being an NFL casualty. If they don\'t give the ball to T.J. Duckett more, then the Falcons will struggle. Defenses are piling up their defenses to stop the likes of Vick and any other mobile QB. Speaking of defense, the Falcons aren\'t that great in that area either. Decent, but not great. There weren\'t many changes on the defensive side of the ball with the exception of Ambrose. I have a strong feeling the Falcons are in for a long year.

Carolina: The Panthers have the best \"young\" defense in football right now. They remind me a lot of the old Saints with their ball-hawking style. They are definitely on their way up and I don\'t see much changing that any time soon. As far as the offense, Stephen Davis was a tremendous pick-up for them. The only problem is that the Panthers don\'t have a strong enough offensive line to block for him. Sure they drafted Jordan Gross, but he\'s a rookie. How many rookie offensive linemen have we seen drafted in the first round that have turned out to be total busts? Plenty. I\'m not saying Gross will be a bust, but I don\'t see him being the answer THIS SEASON for the Panthers. Maybe in the future. Now at the QB spot, we have Rodney \"Where in the hell did I come from last year\" Peete and homestate hero Jake Delhomme battling it out for the starting position. I see Jake getting the nod here. As much as I hated to see Jake go, I still don\'t see him \"settling\" into Carolina\'s offense very quickly. We loved him here, he knew the system, and he produced every time he stepped on the field. Jake is still unproven. I could be wrong, but Jake could see some struggles this year in Carolina. The receiving corp is decent, but I don\'t think they are going to be that major of a factor. It all depends on that offensive line.

rusta 05-08-2003 06:38 PM

damn skippy D2

that\'s what i was trying to say only i was less eloquent

truck 05-08-2003 11:44 PM

Point taken on Atlanta not being a SuperBowl contender, but I think you guys are dismissing them a bit too easily. Michael Vick was an all-pro last year and he damn well earned it. It is possible he could be an even better passer next year (some qb\'s have been known to improve with experience). If Duckett comes into his own, this team could have the best running game in football. No Dunn is not an every down back but he sure as hell ran over us last year. We had no idea how to defend Vick last year and while we may get better at it, we looked like a jv high school football team when he was on the field. Price may not be a superstar but he is an upgrade for that team. Ambrose was not a loss b/c they signed tyrone williams from gb (probably a better palyer than ambrose). Brooking and Kerney are unbelievable players (I cant name a star on our D).
My point is we could very well finish last in this tough division but that does not mean (in my opinion) haslett will do a bad job. I think this division is anybody\'s to win (and anybody\'s to finish fourth in too). So while I think 10-6, 11-5 is possible, so is .500. Would my fellow Saints fans call for Haslett\'s head if we finish out of the playoffs, or are there circumstances where Haslett does a masterful job running the show despite falling short of our goals?

iceshack149 05-09-2003 12:33 AM

D it up is right about Vicks vulnerability. And truck is probably right in assuming that Vick will be a better QB and not so much of an RB due to the slight upgrade at receiver and the use of Duckett more AND his coaches making him stay in the pocket more.

I don\'t think that the Panthers have everything in place just yet. Peete? Wow that guy is old. And Delhomme looked good for those few plays that he was involved in with New Orleans, but he has yet to prove that he can hang in a complete NFL game. Who know\'s if Weinke gets another chance? This is a better team than the one he had led two years ago so maybe he gets another chance.

Tampa? Thier offense is not that great. Brad Johnson made them better than they actually were. You knock him out and they suffer, having to depend on their defense for touchdowns--which they can do. And did last year.
And c\'mon, Vick over Johnson for probowl vote? Bunk.

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