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ssmitty 05-19-2003 06:08 AM

i must admit i was awe struck by some of the games the saints have played in the last few years and dumb founded by others. the talent is there, the ground work has been laid and the team has to gel to reach the next level.....gator, among others is right. there should not be any more excuses other than injuries (and even then they should have good enough backups to produce) to get to the next level. i always look to the pre-season games for that back up talent that is needed to step in right away. it is here where i truly get to see the depth of our team, where we stand when injuries happen, (and they will) as to where we'll stand when the season winds down. it will be interesting to see who steps up, and i'm hoping a few will, to take the leadership role. while we do have veterans that can do this, it is always a good sign to see a rookie or 1st or 2nd yr man do this. my question? who do you believe will step up? smitty

pakowitz 05-19-2003 12:00 PM

im looking for james allen to step up and be a big time player on D... grant also.. he showed flashes of becoming a superstar during his rookie campaign.. and i look for him to make quite a leap in his 2nd season.. on O dante stallworth was hampered by hamstring problems early in the season and still broke the team rookie record for TDs i think he will break out also by getting his injurys under control...

iceshack149 05-19-2003 03:42 PM

Yeah, I\'m as eager as I\'ve ever been for this season to start. And ssmitty is right, as geeky as it may be I\'ll watch the preseason games also to see who\'s got what it takes to be a good NFL player. I\'ll be especially looking at Cie Grant. Actually, the linebackers as a whole have my attention. They\'ve got the most to prove in my opinion. I don\'t expect much but I pray that they become overachievers.

I\'m crossing my fingers for the defense. They might be good. It\'s the offense, however, that captures my imagination.
A healthy Aaron Brooks and a proven veteran back up qb. A talented, speedy receiving core. A big, speedy, strong running back with apparently better blockers. A healthy David Sloan paired with Ernie Conwell could be a terrific tight end duo. Once they figure out who goes where on the o-line, we should have a line better than or equal to last years line.

Special teams should be just as special as last year. With the possible addition of Tebucky and probably Cie Grant they might be even faster.

I really like Haslett. He\'s a little too stoic at times when he should encourage his team with some emotion. If the team falls short of the playoffs again the organization would certainly look at the problem areas rather than automatically fire the head coach. Venturi has to get this defense within the top 20 rank or it will be him that\'s looking for a job.

I miss the vaunted defense of Saints teams in the past but I love this teams offense. It\'s better than any Saints offense that I\'ve ever seen. That alone excites me. I\'ve never been able to say that I love to watch the Saints offense before. If most of the players on offense stay healthy this year we\'ll certainly see some team records broken.

One last thing. Show Horn the money!! The team needs their leader.

[Edited on 19/5/2003 by iceshack149]

rusta 05-19-2003 05:08 PM


is my pick for player who will surprise this year, i think the rest of the line will draw most of the attention and give him some holes to shine through

LordOfEntropy 05-19-2003 05:46 PM

Well, this is certainly his year to step up and shine. I\'ve always felt that it takes about three seasons to truly adapt to the speed of the NFL.

If Kenny wants to get 500 tackles, 32 forced fumbles, 16 recoveries, 45 sacks, and 2 interceptions then I certainly won\'t argue. Geaux Kenny!!

JOESAM2002 05-19-2003 06:16 PM

Offense, I look for Deuce to be the leader, if by play alone. On defense, I think I\'d have to agree somewhat with Rusta, I like Kenny Smith. I hope he shows what he can do. I also believe the 2 corners will lead by example. Carter and Ambrose, 2 former Pro bowlers know what needs to be done. :)

lumm0x 05-19-2003 09:28 PM

I like Deuce also on offense, and Joe Horn will get a new deal and come in with a vengence to prove he was worth it. On defense I see Darren Howard becoming a leader by example with his effort and all out play.

WhoDat 05-20-2003 12:26 PM

I\'m looking for the unknowns/unprovens to step up in a big way. The likihood of them all stepping up is unlikely, but they\'ll who I\'ll be watching most. If I had to pick one guy to be the surprise - Mel Mitchell - he\'s got the physical attributes to just be nasty back there.

Other than Mitchell I\'ll really keep an eye on Ruff, Allen, Smith, Sullivan, and Grant... both of \'em.

Offensively, I know what Conwell can do, I\'ve seen him do it to us. I want to see if Sloan can rebound and be the guy he was supposed to be last year... Stallworth will be hard not to watch also... as well as Michael Lewis. If he keeps coming along you may see him streaking down the sideline on offense more often this season.

rusta 05-20-2003 04:14 PM

with sloan\'s big contract and all our new TE\'s i wouldn\'t be surprised to see sloan cut on june 1st, espicially with his injuries

LordOfEntropy 05-21-2003 10:35 AM

I\'ll never forget Sloan\'s performance (or lack of it) last year against Detroit. Was it five dropped balls? I know that we got him from the Lions, but it seemed like he was still playing for them in that game.

I wouldn\'t be all that surprised to see him get cut June 1st either.

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