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SFinAustin 07-01-2003 09:44 AM

Offseason Overview!!!
Here is our Saints offseason overview:


Last season started well for the New Orleans Saints, but culminated in another long December. After marching to fast starts, the Saints are 1-7 in the final four games of 2001 and 2002 -- resulting in a failure to make the playoffs.

Quarterback Aaron Brooks underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason for an injury suffered before the Saints' season-ending three-game skid. Although the Saints repeatedly stated that Brooks' injury wasn't a hindrance to his performance down the stretch, that theory seems far-fetched at best.

What they've added?
The Saints sought to upgrade their secondary with the trade for former Patriots' free safety Tebucky Jones and the free agent signing of cornerback Ashley Ambrose. Their additions to the Saints' secondary should bring needed speed to a team that finished 27th in the league in passing yards (237.8) per game allowed. It will also allow coordinator Rick Venturi to play the zone defense he believes will allow his team to better defend against mobile quarterbacks such as Michael Vick.

They also hope that rookie defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan from the University of Georgia will be able to step in and quickly contribute as did last year's first round pick Charles Grant -- another former Bulldog. Sullivan will be looked to fill the big shoes -- figuratively, but not necessarily literally -- of departed Pro Bowl defensive tackle Norman Hand.

The Saints offense is a different story. With the exception of the last month of the season, the Saints possessed one of the most potent offenses in the league scoring 30 or more points eight times. For the first time in their history, the Saints had a viable triple threat offense. Brooks threw for over 3,500 yards and Deuce McAllister and Joe Horn combined for more than 3,000 yards of offense.

Because of their success, the Saints stayed pat offensively only trading for Vikings' backup quarterback Todd Bouman to back up Brooks and take over if Brooks suffers another costly injury down the stretch. They also sought to upgrade the tight end position by signing Ernie Conwell from the Rams. Conwell is slated to backup Dave Sloan, but maybe able to supplant him as the No.1 tight end by the end of training camp.

They're hoping new offensive tackle Wayne Gandy and draft pick Jon Stinchcomb will further stabilize an offensive line that is a good blend of youth and experience.

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Saints Offseason Overview
[Edited on 1/7/2003 by SFinAustin]

tweeky 07-01-2003 10:01 AM

Offseason Overview!!!
Well Pastabelly seems pretty impressed.
I think we have less question marks than about 28 other teams do.
11-5 and 2nd round of playoff is a must.
8-8 or 7-9 and heads should roll.

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