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Saints question: Marching on as NFC's elite?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints question: Marching on as NFC's elite? June 28, 2007 The Saints were the feel-good, most fun-to-watch NFL story from last season. Coach Sean Payton, quarterback Drew Brees and two dynamic rookies, running back Reggie Bush and wide receiver Marques ...

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Old 06-29-2007, 08:09 AM   #1
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Saints question: Marching on as NFC's elite?

Saints question: Marching on as NFC's elite?
June 28, 2007

The Saints were the feel-good, most fun-to-watch NFL story from last season. Coach Sean Payton, quarterback Drew Brees and two dynamic rookies, running back Reggie Bush and wide receiver Marques Colston, all came to town and took the team's offense to dazzling new heights while also lifting the spirits of the New Orleans faithful.

The result was a 10-6 record, an NFC South division championship and a trip to the NFC championship game. As seen in this week's back page "Exposure" feature in the print edition of Sporting News, however, the Saints' coaches and players have "laid to rest" what happened last year by performing a traditional New Orleans-style jazz funeral for the 2006 season and are focused on taking that one extra step to the Super Bowl.

Unlike some other teams that have enjoyed a quick turnaround in the modern NFL -- New Orleans went 3-13 just two years ago -- the Saints have the structure in place to be a true Super Bowl contender for a few more years. It starts with Payton and Brees' leadership for the offense and continues with the potential for an improved defense.

Brees, Bush and Colston have plenty of help. The team lost veteran Joe Horn, but he was hurt and wasn't much of a factor in the scoring and yardage machine last season. Rookie wideout Robert Meachem and former 49ers tight end Eric Johnson give Brees two intriguing potential targets, and key cogs Devery Henderson, Terrance Copper and Mike Karney all return. Most important, to balance out all the fancy passing the Saints can do, they still have their stalwart in the backfield: Deuce McAllister. The ability to switch from Bush's open-field explosiveness to McAllister's hard-nosed power running keeps defenses off-balance.

So we know the Saints, with Brees at the controls, will have few problems moving the ball and putting up points. So what does that defense need to do to get them where they want to be -- Super Bowl 42 in Glendale, Ariz.?

The run defense gave up an average of 4.9 yards per carry last season, tied for 31st in the league. The pass defense gave up 26 touchdowns last season, also tied for 31st in the league. The most troubling penultimate NFL ranking, however, was that only the Redskins had fewer takeaways than the Saints' 19. That number especially hurt because of how good the Saints were in protecting the ball (only 23 giveaways).

With a solid pair of ends in Charles Grant and Will Smith, the Saints are OK at rushing the passer but could be much better. Their linebackers, though undersized, are speedy enough to make more plays. If the front seven is applying the pressure from all angles, then the secondary needs to do its part.

The defensive backs produced only eight interceptions last season for a team that consistently played with a lead and put the heat on other teams to pass to keep up. That won't do, but adding former Colts cornerback Jason David and former Bengals safety Kevin Kaesviharn, who had six picks in 2006, should help.

For most recent offensive juggernauts turned Super Bowl-caliber teams, "opportunistic" was the best adjective for the Saints' defenses -- that is, taking advantage of the fact your team will probably outscore the other and aggressively put yourself in position for game-changing plays.

The Saints became a pretty darn good team with the coaching, chemistry and offense they brought to every game last season. With a little more defensive moxie, they can be a great team. Writing them off as a one-season wonder is a big mistake.


I know this idea has been written and posted here so many times. I just can not get enough. I love it.

Click on the link please. a great debate with a Panther fan is posted. We need to look out for the grey haired panthers players. Looks like they are going for the glory one more time before they are put out to pasture.

"We may have lost the game, but you'll be hurting tomorrow." Doug Atkins

Last edited by hagan714; 06-29-2007 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:49 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2007
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I agree with this article. The key to our season will be the defensive rotation in the middle. I've said it here before the fresh bodies rotating in and out will drive offensive lines crazy. I can't wait to see the mayhem caused by a fresh Hollis, Clancey & the boys doing their thing. Last year it was the offense that caught everybody by surprise this year the defense steps up and make teams pay attention. Visions of defensive stops ,turnovers, quarterback pressures and sacks are dancing in my head. Can't wait to see it on the field at game time. Go Saints and make the Black & Gold Nation PROUD.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:04 PM   #3
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"writing Them Off As A One Season Wonder"

But That Happens In The Record Business All The Time......

I Do Like That Quote, Though..............
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