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ESPN article........

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NEW ORLEANS -- Those who were in New Orleans a year ago may recall the chants of "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!" erupting in restaurants, bars and social gatherings all over town after the Saints landed Southern California star Reggie Bush with the ...

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Old 05-01-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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ESPN article........

NEW ORLEANS -- Those who were in New Orleans a year ago may
recall the chants of "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!" erupting in restaurants,
bars and social gatherings all over town after the Saints landed
Southern California star Reggie Bush with the second pick in the
NFL draft.

The Saints had little hope of matching the buzz in the 2007
draft because circumstances were vastly different, on and off the
field.

With last year's roster largely intact and draft picks not
coming until late in each round, New Orleans focused on rounding
out a defending division champion with prospects whose skills and
work ethic simply give them a chance to make the team.

"The biggest change was where we were selecting and how that
changes the dynamics of the draft," Saints coach Sean Payton said.

Off the field, the Saints a year ago were reconnecting with area
fans after a season of hurricane-forced displacement in San
Antonio. They hoped to fill the Louisiana Superdome, which was
under repair and months from being ready to host a football game.

Bush's arrival sent fans streaming to ticket windows at the
Saints' suburban headquarters.

That wasn't going to happen this year -- the 2007 season already
is a virtual sellout.

Payton, meanwhile, is now the reigning NFL coach of the year
after an inaugural season in which he did major roster surgery.

When the 2006 regular season began last September, more than
half the players on the 2005 3-13 squad were gone. Bush developed
into one of the Saints' top offensive threats. New Orleans started
three other rookies -- receiver Marques Colston, guard Jahri Evans
and safety Roman Harper -- in an opening day triumph at Cleveland.

Two other starters -- center Jeff Faine and defensive tackle
Hollis Thomas -- had been acquired in draft-day trades.

Barring injuries or other unforeseen setbacks, only one player
added through this year's draft, Robert Meachem, seems to have a
chance of starting when the Saints open the regular season at
Indianapolis in a nationally televised Thursday night game on Sept.
6.

Meachem -- a tall, fast, big-play receiver from Tennessee -- comes
to New Orleans as the 27th overall pick. He'll likely compete with
veteran free agent acquisition David Patten and fourth-year pro
Terrance Copper for the third starting job at receiver behind
Colston and Devery Henderson.

That job became available after Joe Horn declined to take a pay
cut and signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

Otherwise, the Saints essentially will pick up where they left
off after last January's loss in the NFC championship game.

The Saints have preserved most of last year's roster, while
Payton has held onto all of his top assistant coaches.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of key free agents to help on defense
and at tight end left the team with the flexibility during the 2007
draft to stockpile talent on their league-best offense, which they
did by taking Meachem and Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman.

Payton said there was no strategy to target a receiver in the
first round, but Meachem was easily the highest-rated player on the
Saints scouting list when the team's turn to pick came. When the
fourth round began on Sunday, Pittman was among the highest rated
players on the Saints list, so New Orleans traded up 16 slots to
get him.

Pittman may not add much to a running attack that is expected to
be shared by Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush. The Saints were
fortunate that neither back went down with serious injuries last
year and Payton did not want to take it for granted that this year
would turn out the same way.

"It's important to pay attention to find good football players
rather than say we're going out to get the defensive tackle we
need," Payton said. "We're trying to find guys that we feel have
a chance to make the team. In his case, that was the reason for the
selection (of Pittman). We're excited to have him."

The rest of the Saints draft class -- Kent State cornerback Usama
Young, Akron offensive lineman Andy Alleman, Towson offensive
lineman Jermon Bushrod, Wingate cornerback David Jones and
Tennessee linebacker Marvin Mitchell -- are not familiar names.

But Payton pointed to a handful of current NFL starters as
examples of why it's far too early to judge the overall success of
his second draft in New Orleans. Beyond players already on the
Saints roster such as Colston and Evans, Payton mentioned Tom
Brady, who was a sixth-round pick by New England, and Dallas
quarterback Tony Romo, who wasn't drafted and signed as a free
agent.

"Each guy has a different story and some guys don't really
develop or mature until later in their careers," Payton said.
"There's no science to it. You're just trying to identify some
guys that ... you're excited to bring into that organization and
that you feel are going to represent this team well and have a
chance of making the team. Hopefully these guys take advantage of
that opportunity."

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?...nfl&id=2853830

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, over, and over again...and expecting a different outcome!
biloxi-indian is offline  
Old 05-01-2007, 03:43 PM   #2
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So True!!

Thanks for the article.
saintsfan1976 is offline  
Old 05-01-2007, 08:16 PM   #3
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"It's important to pay attention to find good football players
rather than say we're going out to get the defensive tackle we
need," Payton said. "We're trying to find guys that we feel have
a chance to make the team. In his case, that was the reason for the
selection (of Pittman). We're excited to have him."

I like what Payton did last year, but I actually have a disagreement with this philosophy. If there's a hole that needs fixing, why wouldn't you want to fix it? I would understand if there was nobody good at positions like DT or LB that we needed left when we were picking, but there were. I would think that if there's a good player available who fits a need, you HAVE to take him. Can anybody explain to me, rationally of course, why Payton seems so against this?
TheDeuce is offline  
Old 05-01-2007, 08:28 PM   #4
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Maybe they thought that those players weren't right for his system.Maybe they had problems we didn't have access to. It could be any number of reasons that they weren't selected. Who am I to say? I'm not the coach. LOL
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
"It's important to pay attention to find good football players
rather than say we're going out to get the defensive tackle we
need," Payton said. "We're trying to find guys that we feel have
a chance to make the team. In his case, that was the reason for the
selection (of Pittman). We're excited to have him."

I like what Payton did last year, but I actually have a disagreement with this philosophy. If there's a hole that needs fixing, why wouldn't you want to fix it? I would understand if there was nobody good at positions like DT or LB that we needed left when we were picking, but there were. I would think that if there's a good player available who fits a need, you HAVE to take him. Can anybody explain to me, rationally of course, why Payton seems so against this?
I think what Payton means is that he will not comprimise the standards that he holds all of his players to, just because a certain player fills a need. In that context, Payton felt that there was nobody "good" at DT in the entire draft. This doesn't mean that they aren't talented, just that they don't contain the correct mix of measurables and intangibles that Payton looks for. I think the fact that he didn't pick a DT in the draft says a LOT about this crop of DTs. This class of DTs was very weak across the board, and this would have been a bad time to have to fill a need through the draft. What the draftniks and experts think is irrelavent. They aren't the ones making the picks. Filling a need is just one piece to the puzzle. Obviously intangibles are something that Coach Payton holds in very high regard. Looking back at where we picked, there were no DTs at 27 worth picking at that spot. Also, I would tell you that Coach Payton doesn't feel that LB is a need area at the moment. I would agree.
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
"It's important to pay attention to find good football players
rather than say we're going out to get the defensive tackle we
need," Payton said. "We're trying to find guys that we feel have
a chance to make the team. In his case, that was the reason for the
selection (of Pittman). We're excited to have him."

I like what Payton did last year, but I actually have a disagreement with this philosophy. If there's a hole that needs fixing, why wouldn't you want to fix it? I would understand if there was nobody good at positions like DT or LB that we needed left when we were picking, but there were. I would think that if there's a good player available who fits a need, you HAVE to take him. Can anybody explain to me, rationally of course, why Payton seems so against this?
I don't know if the team needs a DT or not, but if they do, then they still have time to get one, somehow. The offseason is not over yet. They might get a DT before the season starts, just like they did last year, with the LBers.
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