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Defensive Front Four.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Kenny Smith Bio Mobile, very athletic inside performer who has good movement skills and agility. Smith has quick hands and feet and he does a nice job knifing in from the inside. Kenny has good pursuit and body adjustment skills. ...

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Old 07-06-2003, 06:14 PM   #1
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Defensive Front Four.

Kenny Smith Bio

Mobile, very athletic inside performer who has good movement skills and agility. Smith has quick hands and feet and he does a nice job knifing in from the inside. Kenny has good pursuit and body adjustment skills. Kenny has the foot speed to be a very explosive inside pass rusher and he gets heavy penetration from his tackle spot.

Smith has been a good special teams player, excelling at blocking kicks. Like most Alabama players, Smith needs to get bigger and stronger in the weightroom. Kenny needs to do a better job holding his ground at the point of attack on running plays. NFL teams will also want to thoroughly check out his surgically repaired knee. He did not quite play with the same intensity and all-out nature that he did as a junior. Fine performer, who has some real top flight athletic skills, but he needs to completely get over the knee injury, get stronger and play with the same intensity he did in 1999, to reach his full potential.

The coaches have been very impressed with Smith this year, He could be the biggest surprise on the roster this year.

Charles Grant

Grant had 7-sacks as a rookie last year, not too bad, considering he was on a defense that had little going for them last year. With a year under his belt, Grant figures to be even better this year.

Darren Howard

Proven starter who is a very good pass rusher and is also good at stopping the run. Howard had 8-sacks last year and is in the prime of his career.

J.T. Sullivan


Wide-framed athlete who plays with impressive quickness off the snap … Pursues until the whistle and is known as an all-out hustler … Has great hand strength, delivering a punishing jab to disengage from the blockers … Shows excellent balance and body control turning upfield … Can generate tremendous force upon impact and fights pressure continuously on the pass rush … Has that explosive short burst needed to collapse the pocket and get to the quarterback … Reacts to the plays instantly and has the strength to split double coverage.

Some feel that J.T. Sullivan will will eventually be the best tackle taken in this years draft.
Given Jim Hasletts experience on the defensive side of the ball, I don't think he drafted Sullivan with the 6th pick for nothing. Defensive line players can have a big impact in their rookie years because they don't have to worry as much about thinking and they rely more on their athletic ability. If Sullivan is the player that the coaches think he is the middle of our line will be much improved.

Overall

I'd say overall that there is a lot of talent here. There is also a lot of speed here, especially compared to last years group with Hand and Grady Jackson.

I'm sure there will be some growing pains, but given the Panthers rise from worst to near the top of the defensive standings, I think the Saints defese truely has a chance of being much, much, improved this year.

The front four's ability to generate pressure will make the whole defense's job easier.

How does everyone else see the front four doing this year??


[Edited on 6/7/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]
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Old 07-07-2003, 08:27 AM   #2
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Defensive Front Four.

BTW: Billy you left me off your list too. Pak and I feel totally unappreciated, booohooo...

Our front 4 I think we\'ll be about average vs the run, but I think we\'ll be above average against the pass. We\'ll have an extremely quick front 4 that should cause many QB\'s nightmares.
I\'m concerned about the old addage of how to attack speed, run right at \'em. I think we\'ll be tested early and often right up the gut. Our schedule is disaterous if we can\'t stop the run.
Shaun Alexander
Eddie George
Edgerin James
Stephen Davis (twice)
Anthony Thomas
TJ Duckett (twice)
Alstott (twice)
etc

The coaches feel they\'ve addressed the problems up the gut and we\'ll certainly find out, but if they haven\'t it could be a lonnnnnnnnnng season. I\'m a bit more hopeful than I am convinced.

Whether we agree or disagree; its all for Him.
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Old 07-07-2003, 08:52 AM   #3
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Defensive Front Four.

Sullivan--6\' 3\"/313

Smith--6\' 4\"/295

Grant--6\' 3\"/282

Howard--6\' 3\"/281


I dont\' think I would consider our front four small. I don\'t know how we compare to some of the better defenses in the NFL as far as size, but after the heavy lunch bunch experiment, it proves to me it\'s not all about size.


Tweeky, I enjoy reading your posts also. I agree with most of them.

Pak, What do you say to a guy who has: when in doubt I whip it out, on his post..lol
Hey, but I am a big Nuggent fan.

[Edited on 7/7/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:07 AM   #4
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Defensive Front Four.

Sullivan--6\' 3\"/313

Smith--6\' 4\"/295

Grant--6\' 3\"/282

Howard--6\' 3\"/281


I dont\' think I would consider our front four small. I don\'t know how we compare to some of the better defenses in the NFL as far as size, but after the heavy lunch bunch experiment, it proves to me it\'s not all about size.
That was his weight last year. The coaches said he came into mini-camp bigger, stronger and faster. I\'d guess he\'s at least 310. When he brings his A-game, he\'s a force. He just happened to bring his B-game too many times his 1st couple of years in the league. But thats why he was a 3rd round pick. Scouts know middle round picks need a few years to develop.
Kenny Smith was your typical 3rd round DE/DT. POTENTIAL! 2003 is the time to see if he\'s turned that potential into reality. Same deal with Melvin Williams, Stinchcomb, Kelly, Gardner and Holland. Look for them to contribute a few years down the line.
Too many people evaluate the upcoming season based on returning starters and this years draft. Few people take into account previous drafts picks that needed a few years to develop, like Smith, Craver, Allen, Hodge, and Mitchell.

Whether we agree or disagree; its all for Him.
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:15 AM   #5
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Defensive Front Four.

Tweeky,

In my opionion, that\'s a very good point. Let\'s face it, unless our defensive front 4 is effective against both the run and pass, our offense will not carry this team to the big dance.

I will go on record right now and say that I think our defense is going to be night and day compared to last year.

There has been a lot of emphasis placed on defense this year and with the added development of Grant and Kenny Smith, this should be a good unit.

I know a lot of people don\'t have faith in Jim Haslett, but I do. The guy knows defense and defensive talent.
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:18 AM   #6
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Defensive Front Four.

Tweeky,

In my opionion, that\'s a very good point. Let\'s face it, unless our defensive front 4 is effective against both the run and pass, our offense will not carry this team to the big dance.

I will go on record right now and say that I think our defense is going to be night and day compared to last year.

There has been a lot of emphasis placed on defense this year and with the added development of Grant and Kenny Smith, this should be a good unit.

I know a lot of people don\'t have faith in Jim Haslett, but I do. The guy knows defense and defensive talent.
You\'re just begging for some Venturi slammin\' smack aren\'t you? :P
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Old 07-07-2003, 10:17 AM   #7
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Defensive Front Four.

You\'re just begging for some Venturi slammin\' smack aren\'t you? :P

Haslett knows what\'s on the line this year. He\'s not going to let Venturi screw it up for him.
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Old 07-07-2003, 10:31 AM   #8
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Defensive Front Four.

Haslett knows what\'s on the line this year. He\'s not going to let Venturi screw it up for him.
Yeah, we beat this to death a few weeks ago, I agree, Haslet is the DC, Venturi is simply an assitant. That would be like someone blaming Hue Jackson if the Redskins offense fails, when everyone knows its really Spurrier calling the shots.

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Old 07-07-2003, 11:38 AM   #9
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Defensive Front Four.

In my honest opinion, I think our defensive line could be a force for years to come. Howard is a proven end. Grant showed flashes of greatness last year on the pass rush. Kenny Smith has been a perrenial back-up, but I think he\'s due to show what he can accomplish on the field. Jonathan Sullivan is young and untested in the NFL ranks, but I don\'t see it taking very long to him busting running backs in the mouth and ripped QB\'s heads off. Even though I have yet to see them play as a unit on the field, I\'m much more excited about them than last year\'s front four. If they can all learn to play together and get everything down quick enough, I\'d expect to see some explosions at the line and opposing QB\'s running for their lives.

People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.
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Old 07-07-2003, 11:43 AM   #10
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Defensive Front Four.

I think everyone is going to be very surprised this year by our defense. It might not be the best, but then again, with our offense, we don\'t need it to be.
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