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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Mike Triplett For Sporting News PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: A year ago at this time, the Saints were practically starting from scratch, with new coaches and players at almost every position. Now, they have as much continuity and chemistry as any team ...

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Old 05-26-2007, 03:00 PM   #1
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Saints Team Report

Mike Triplett
For Sporting News


PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: A year ago at this time, the Saints were practically starting from scratch, with new coaches and players at almost every position. Now, they have as much continuity and chemistry as any team in the league. The biggest difference from one year ago is at quarterback, where Drew Brees has been firing away with no problems during offseason training activities. Last May, Brees was just beginning to toss the football after undergoing major shoulder surgery. Even before the OTAs began, Brees was working with the receivers, tight ends and running backs in throwing sessions twice per week. Brees has shown no ill effects from the dislocated non-throwing elbow he suffered in the Pro Bowl.

SCOUTING REPORT: OT Jon Stinchcomb is also enjoying the benefits of a rehab-free offseason. Last year, Stinchcomb was recovering from a major knee injury, which was still nagging into training camp. This year, the powerful 6-5, 315-pounder looks noticeably more chiseled after two months of offseason workouts. He was one of the team's most pleasant surprises last year, giving a consistent, reliable effort on the right side of the line. And he should be even more forceful this year. He has great power as a run blocker and a good deal of athleticism to go with his sizeable frame.

MINICAMP MAYHEM: The Saints didn't add any marquee players to their secondary this offseason, but they did the next best thing. They added a ton of depth and youth. The energy and the competition at cornerback and safety have been apparent throughout the first few offseason training sessions. Free-agent CB Jason David and free-agent S Kevin Kaesviharn are playmakers with a nose for the ball. Rookie CBs Usama Young and David Jones add some energy and speed to the mix. And second-year SS Roman Harper is back after his rookie season was cut short with a knee injury. Coach Sean Payton is clearly pleased with the depth and diversity of the group, and he believes the competition will benefit everybody -- whether one of these newcomers breaks through, or whether they just spur improved efforts from returning veterans like Mike McKenzie, Fred Thomas, Jason Craft and Josh Bullocks. The secondary was the Saints' most inconsistent unit in 2006, and the team made it a top priority in the spring.

Mike Triplett covers the Saints for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn...c.php?t=213173

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Old 05-26-2007, 05:38 PM   #2
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it has always been about depth.........
without it, you're as good as your next injury............
i am very worried about qb position though.........
maybe payton can coach jamie to the title and beyond but i'm not ready to see it......
brees is the key..........imo, he did choke in some big games.......
chicago being the killer.........
but look back, cincy, steelers, ravens, hell, even the panthers owned us........
he must overcome the better teams to get us to the super bowl......
this yr, he'll have much more to work with and the jell should be working in everyones favor.....i don't see any excuses other than choking to hold us back.
we should not only own most teams, we should beat all the better teams...
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:05 AM   #3
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Lest we forget how GREAT Haper played before that knee injury, he was a beast with a nose for the ball. He hits just as hard as 1st rounder LaRon "The Great" Landry, and he is in his second year with enough rehab time to get back in there and make plays. I believe that without putting a "Marquee" player in the backfield we still put together the MOST DYNAMIC defensive backfield in the league. Each player is young and quick (Besides their leader McKenzie) they love being apart of every play, and better yet THEY ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE!
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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First of all, I wouldn't say Brees choked in the NFC Championship game. He was playing the best defense in the NFC, and it was 32 degrees outside; he just had a rough game. It also didn't help that we had a lot of guys dropping balls. But I agree with the concern in QB depth; but at the same time, every team has that issue.

Second of all, I don't know if I'd go as far as saying Harper was "GREAT" last season. He had some nice plays, especially in run defense, but the kid was obviously confused at times during pass coverage, and he got burned a few times.
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:47 AM   #5
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I am sticking with great. He did what his team asked him to do. Hit the other guy as hard as possible. That is what he is known for and he did just that.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:29 AM   #6
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We only saw a small sample size of Harper last season. I think it's far-fetched to say he was great last year as Deuce pointed out... he did look confused out there. I do think we're a better team with him in the lineup though and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him.

Go Stinchy! He's only going to get better. Now we know why he was drafted in the second round back then... I'm glad he didn't turn out to be another wasted draft pick. I think he's the type of player that will never get any recognition but will start on the line for the next ten years. The word solid comes to mind.
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:46 PM   #7
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harper will have a good shot to make the pro bowl!!!
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
First of all, I wouldn't say Brees choked in the NFC Championship game. He was playing the best defense in the NFC, and it was 32 degrees outside; he just had a rough game. It also didn't help that we had a lot of guys dropping balls. But I agree with the concern in QB depth; but at the same time, every team has that issue.

Second of all, I don't know if I'd go as far as saying Harper was "GREAT" last season. He had some nice plays, especially in run defense, but the kid was obviously confused at times during pass coverage, and he got burned a few times.
payton played em too.......he rose above and won the superbowl for the colts. no more excuses............do it.....................
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:59 AM   #9
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The saints as an offensive unit got beat by the bears defense. End off story. Look back to the games against the elite defenses in the NFL and we did not do well. There is room for improvement along the entire line. The key hope is OL is jusy getting its chemistry together and next year will be better than last.
Harper is a second year guy, so relax. We saw signs of good things to come from him. He is still learning. He needs playing time now.
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
First of all, I wouldn't say Brees choked in the NFC Championship game. He was playing the best defense in the NFC, and it was 32 degrees outside; he just had a rough game. It also didn't help that we had a lot of guys dropping balls. But I agree with the concern in QB depth; but at the same time, every team has that issue.
I attended the game. It wasn't Brees fault unless he was checking out of plays at the line. The mistake was letting the Bears defense dictate what the offense was going to do. The team abandoned the run, making this one dimensional and easily defensible. You run the ball in that type of situation even when there are 8 guys in the box. The Saints didn't do that.

Second of all, I don't know if I'd go as far as saying Harper was "GREAT" last season. He had some nice plays, especially in run defense, but the kid was obviously confused at times during pass coverage, and he got burned a few times.
Agreed. But he was a rookie. He's had a year to see how the game is played and heal up. He's going to have a great support system with Bellamy and KK to help him play smarter. He clearly had the athletic ability to do the job. I think he'll be fine.

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The Saints have been to playoffs 4 of the last 5 years and a own a SB championship.

I can hardly believe this happened in my lifetime.
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