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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I think many share the perception our defense graded out better than they really were. In watching all the games last season, even in a second viewing I still see the same trend. We were a two-faced unit. We'd execute ...

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Old 05-03-2007, 11:36 AM   #21
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I think many share the perception our defense graded out better than they really were. In watching all the games last season, even in a second viewing I still see the same trend. We were a two-faced unit. We'd execute perfectly over a couple of downs and then have a massive breakdown of assignments or individual error. We had flat out dominated and dictated on one down and then fell apart the very next with a blown coverage or missed gap assignment that resulted in a big play. We were not consistent, and yes, many times our success was a fluke on a play with getting lucky and avoiding potential exposure. The only real consistency I did see was on the part of Fujita, Shanle and our DE's. They generally had good instincts, angles and maintained their personal containment.

Our DT play was erratic. Brian Young, for all his heart, is rarely effective. He doesn't take up much blocking and he isn't a pocket threat as a rule. Hollis can dominate the middle but it's always in flashes, and he missed alot of time last year. All the rotation players are equally inconsistent. Simoneau was not a sure tackler or adept at being where he needed to be, a combination that befell Bullocks and McKenzie as well. Thomas was in over his head too often and you can't fault him for being put in positions he was not capable of success. He has skills left, just not to be matched up on an island with bigger, faster players. Losing Harper and suffering the rotation of Stoudamire and Bellamy was painful. Both like to hit but neither is game fast or good in coverage.

I do like having Simmons and Kaeshviharn added to the mix. Neither are massive upgrades but they are more saavy at their positions that we previously had. I think that a healthy Harper, Ninkovich and Jason David will be huge for this defense. Last year saw too many players trying to do their own job but be aware of supporting a weakness elsewhere. Guys like Bullocks, Shanle and Charles Grant did not stand out like they could because they played half their game trying to assist another spot as a fail safe. It made them less effective in their true role. I am very happy we returned a good portion of our defensive unit. I do not think we are far from a consistent top 10 crew here. Our defense is not a big concern for me going into this season and I really think we are gonna be better than last year visibly and not just stat wise.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:59 AM   #22
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Were gonna find out real quick this season where the D stands vs. last year. At Indy, at Seattle & at Frisco all before the end of Oct. Nice!
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:02 PM   #23
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I've got a bad feeling about the '9ers.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by saintsmissile View Post
don't worry about the Niners...their LB's are average...
Not for long...Willis is coming.
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:25 PM   #25
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Well put Hagan. I believe and say the same thing you're saying. I have a good hunch that maybe the Texas College CB or Shanle's Bro or even Jones will try a few practices at SS and be a stud there. Im leaning towards Shanle or Jones. Jones is a ballhawk and with a little technique work he'd look good anywhere on the field in coverage. Cannot wait til Camp starts!
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jergensl View Post
...why so many think we still need vast improvement on defense, the saints did finish as the 11th best defense last year.
Run defense and giving up big plays. The Saints finished 23rd in rushing defense giving up over 125 YPG. Then when the safeties crept up to support the run, everyone threw over the top and picked on Freddie "Gameshow" Thomas.

The team changed the CB position in the offseason. David won't get beat nearly as bad or as often as Gameshow.

The run still needs some improvement. The defense also needs to not give up big plays in the run game. I still cringe thinking about Willie Parker going for 140 in just two plays.

the LB crew was not near the best in the nfc, but it was solid and with the addition of brian simmons and the addition fo some young guys there is a big improvement.

with adding jason david, roman harper returning, bullocks having another year under his belt and picking up a "young" guy (so puny) at corner...the secondary is improved.
Agreed.

our defensive line is not in need of immediate help, but hollis thomas does not have that many years left (maybe only 1).
We need a front 7 that can consistently stop the run. I think that's why everyone is hoping that the Thomas Twins (TM) can be created on the line in the middle to stop the run.

saying all that...i do thing houston might have been a could pick at 27 instead of meachum. now if meachum turns out to be a solid #2 and young takes over for mckenzie by the end of the year or at least is a solid #3 corner, i will take that back.
Meachum is going to be an immediate impact receiver for the Saints. I'm trying to figure out how defenses are going to break down sets with Colston, Meachum, Henderson, and Bush in the backfield or motioning into the slot. Way too much talent for most defenses to handle.

Young is strictly a project. The real dilemma is whether or not he'll have enough of a skillset by the end of training camp to make the 53 man roster. Payton has said and proved time and time again that if you can't contribute is a substitive way, you can't get onto his 53 man roster. So Young will have to show he can play special teams or contribute in some way in order to make the roster.

McKenzie has shown no signs of slowing down. Last year the only time I remember seeing him anywhere near a GameShow moment was that TD pass by Campbell in the Washington game. Both he and Gameshow were in the end zone when the ball got there. Why would he need to be replaced?

i am interested to see how palko develops. i pray that brees doesn't get injured. if he does, the saints season is done.
That's a given. Martin could not carry the load in the one game he played last year.

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Old 05-04-2007, 06:04 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by saintsmissile View Post
with all of this. Young is raw. I don't care how many games he played at Kent State. To be honest, I have a gut feeling the guy Brown from Texas College might have the best shot of actually making a contribution at CB for this team. I say this because of Darrell Green. Green worked this kid out and says his NFL material. Not to mention, he has better size than Young and almost the same speed. Like Young, Brown started TONS of games and has played a lot of football. I really like this kid as a darkhorse to make the 53. Talking about CB, let us not forget the wild card Porter. 200 meter champ in college and certainly has played better competition than Young, Jones and Brown. Porter said just recently that he has "re-dedicated" himself to football (track was a consideration for this kid) and feels he's ready to show what he can do.
Because we are so weak depth wise at SS, Shanle is going to get a real shot. The knock on him is his deep half coverage skills, but his strength is his run support ability which is exactly why I like his chances.
Ditto on Meachem. If the kid has even decent hands, our scheme will have him open on almost every play. I'm not just biased here, but I believe he will be an early candidate for OROY.
1. You haven't seen these guys play
2. Coach Payton evaluates his players not Green
3. Ty Law said the same thing about Josh Lay
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