Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints
Shop Horizontal

Saints WR - Who Emerges?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints WRs - Who Emerges? June 26, 2007 By Ryan Patterson Edited by Nicholas Minnix The New Orleans Saints experienced a passing game renaissance in 2006 under head coach Sean Peyton. From 2000-2004, wide receiver Joe Horn was the one ...

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-04-2007, 12:50 PM   #1
LB Mentallity
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,256
Blog Entries: 39
Saints WR - Who Emerges?

Saints WRs - Who Emerges?

June 26, 2007
By Ryan Patterson
Edited by Nicholas Minnix

The New Orleans Saints experienced a passing game renaissance in 2006 under head coach Sean Peyton. From 2000-2004, wide receiver Joe Horn was the one consistent standout. He led the team in receptions each of those years (averaging 87.4 per year) and made the Pro Bowl four times.
However, not only had age and injury started to catch up with Horn last year, but the Saints found several other options in the receiving game, including wide receivers Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Terrance Copper. (Let's not to forget running back Reggie Bush, who led the team in receptions last year.) Add the acquisition of quarterback Drew Brees, and the result was an extraordinarily balanced passing game that finished first in the NFL. New Orleans continued their push towards a younger receiver corps by releasing Horn (who has since been acquired by the Atlanta Falcons) and drafting Robert Meachem in the first round.
Expectations for the passing game in 2007 are through the roof, and although all receivers will likely get a piece of that action, Colston is clearly the top receiver. Past Colston, the pecking order becomes a little more convoluted, where most starting time will be had by either Henderson or Copper. Veteran wide receiver David Patten was brought in for some experienced depth, and Meachem is a wildcard.

Colston

Most people know by now that Colston came out of nowhere and established himself as the top receiver on the Saints. He entered the season as the fourth-to-last pick in the 2006 NFL draft and finished leading all rookies in receiving yards (1,038) and receiving touchdowns (eight). Currently, the only player on the team who should rival Colston in receptions is not any of the other receivers but Bush.
There are several factors that could contribute to Colston's improvement in 2007. First, Colston missed a few games in 2006 because of an ankle injury; if he played all 16 games last year he could've may have been able to approach to 1,400 yards. Second, Colston now has a full season of experience under his belt. Third, the offensive structure and players, for the most part, have remained intact. Fourth, and possibly most important, Horn is no longer in New Orleans, and this leaves Colston as the undisputed No. 1 receiver. This should help strengthen the rapport between Brees and Colston; it may also be reflected in the game plan and play calls.
Not to be a cynic, but it's important to note that Colston has had only one productive season, and if he tanked in his second year, he wouldn't be the first to do so. Other wide receivers in recent memory who have done this include Michael Clayton from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1,193 receiving yards his first season, less than 400 yards in each of his next two) and Keary Colbert of the Carolina Panthers (754 receiving yards his first season and a combined 338 yards over his next two seasons). Colston is in an offense that should give him more opportunity to succeed. How he will function as the No. 1 remains to be seen, though.

Henderson and Copper

Although Henderson and Copper both entered the league in 2004, it was under different circumstances. Henderson was a second-round pick by the Saints while Copper went undrafted but was signed by the Dallas Cowboys. What they do have in common is the Saints used them both as big-play receivers in 2006. Last year Copper averaged 16.7 yards per catch and Henderson a whopping 23.3 yards per catch.
What they also have in common is they are now in competition for the starting spot opposite Colston. Henderson has a slight upper hand in the contest as he is more athletic and has had more experience as a receiver, but that isn't saying a whole lot as he only has 54 career receptions (compared to 31 for Copper). However, because head coach Sean Payton likes to spread the ball around (by no coincidence, much like one of his mentors, former NFL head coach Bill Parcels). Therefore, who sees action may be dictated more by the situation of the game at the time instead of who is the official starter.
That fact may also keep either one from amassing the amount of receptions and yards worthy of a true second receiver on a team that threw for over 4,000 yards last season. In reality, these two aren't even necessarily competing for the second receiver position but the third receiver position, because the top two belong to Colston and Bush. Henderson showed more potential last season, though. With his ability, he has the better chance to break out and fill the deep-threat role that Horn was at times able to. That's a facet of the offense that isn't a certainty going into the season.

Patten

Even though the Saints have the receiver talent to replace the departed Horn, they do not have the experience. This is why Patten was brought in. The Saints had to use a number of different receiver combinations on the field because of injuries (most minor) in 2006, and it was important to bring in veteran talent that can come in when called upon. Patten has played this role for the majority of his career and did it very well while playing for the New England Patriots, where he started 14 games in each of the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Patten made 61 receptions for 824 yards and five touchdowns in his best season yardage-wise, but impressive statistics are not what make Patten valuable. Instead, he will likely be used as clutch receiver as well depth to cover any injuries that may occur. Unfortunately, Patten's last tour of duty with the Washington Redskins did not produce much, primarily because of injuries. Chances are his numbers in New Orleans will be closer to those in Washington (23 receptions for 242 yards in 14 games in 2005-06) than those in New England.

Meachem

The Saints used their first-round pick on highly ranked rookie receiver Meachem, the fourth receiver drafted. Since then, Meachem has struggled in the Saints' minicamp and official team activities in part because he was out of shape. He injured an ankle as well as his knee and had arthroscopic surgery to repair a cartilage tear in the knee.
Well, take a page from the Detroit Lions about first-round wide receiver picks and chalk this one up to experience. Actually, from a career standpoint, it isn't all that bad and definitely not time to throw in the towel. You can certainly forget Meachem competing for a starting position right away like the team hoped he would. New Orleans believes that he will be ready for training camp, but even if he is able to fully participate, don't count on Meachem being productive or seeing any significant action in 2007 until at least later on in the season. Rookie receivers have a steep learning curve, and he's now behind.

There is a "Report Post" button underneath everyone's avatar.
"We may have lost the game, but you'll be hurting tomorrow." Doug Atkins Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt!!!!!
hagan714 is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
LB Mentallity
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,256
Blog Entries: 39
Conclusion
The Saints are gearing up a high-powered offense for the 2007 season, and several players plan to get involved. As the top wider receiver, Colston is expected get his fair share of action and should be able to make the best of it. Fantasy owners should be skeptical of his value as a fantasy No. 1, though; he's ideally a very high No. 2.

The others will likely have to wait their turn and grab what Bush and Colston don't take. Henderson has a slight lead in the race to win the second starting spot, but Copper and even Patten may not be far behind him in production numbers. Henderson has the most upside, though, with the potential to be a fantasy No. 3 or more. Although talented, Meachem has a steep hill to climb before he can make an impact. Altogether, the New Orleans receivers should still make it possible for the team to be atop the NFL in the passing game for 2007.

http://www.kffl.com/article.php/73243/74

Happy 4th yall

There is a "Report Post" button underneath everyone's avatar.
"We may have lost the game, but you'll be hurting tomorrow." Doug Atkins Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt!!!!!
hagan714 is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 01:37 PM   #3
Site Donor
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,789
Good article.

"starter" is a relative term here. Technically Copper was the starter after Horn went down last year. We will see a lot of 3 receiver sets and a lot of different combinations, so who is out there for the first snap is not important.

That said,
I see Meachem coming on slowly, and then playing a big role later in the year.

I love that Patten is healthy and can contribute- he is #2 in my eyes.

Copper does not have the hands to be a 2 or 3. If we keep 2 rookie WR's on the practice squad, he might gone by the end of the year, although he is strong on special teams.

Henderson is at a turning point; it's now or never. His avg might be 23 yards per catch, but his yards-per-drop is even higher. Hopefully he accepts the challenge and steps up in 07.
ScottF is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 01:45 PM   #4
1000 Posts +
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,879
i'll have to stick with bush........
not only do i see him getting his share of receptions, i see him being way more explosive when he does, with a chance to take it to the house much better than last yr everytime he catches the ball............
ssmitty is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
Site Donor 2014
Truth Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Spanish Fort Alabama
Posts: 16,069
Originally Posted by ScottF View Post
Good article.

"starter" is a relative term here. Technically Copper was the starter after Horn went down last year. We will see a lot of 3 receiver sets and a lot of different combinations, so who is out there for the first snap is not important.

That said,
I see Meachem coming on slowly, and then playing a big role later in the year.

I love that Patten is healthy and can contribute- he is #2 in my eyes.

Copper does not have the hands to be a 2 or 3. If we keep 2 rookie WR's on the practice squad, he might gone by the end of the year, although he is strong on special teams.

Henderson is at a turning point; it's now or never. His avg might be 23 yards per catch, but his yards-per-drop is even higher. Hopefully he accepts the challenge and steps up in 07.
Why do you say Copper doesn't have the hands? I know he fumbled twice, but I don't remember many, if any, drops at all.

1. Colston
2. Patten
3. Copper
4. Henderson
5. Meachem
6. Jammal Jones or Lance Moore (depends on ST performances)


From Stats inc...
Incomplete Pass Information
Terrance Copper 2006
Targets 42
Drops 0
Percent Caught 54.8
Percent First Down 42.9
http://shsdemo.stats.com/fb/playerst...d=7109&team=18

Last edited by Danno; 07-04-2007 at 02:24 PM..
Danno is online now  
Old 07-04-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
DARE TO ENTER
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Home Sweet Home, NEW ORLEANS, La.
Posts: 1,154
Don't forget the impact TE Eric Johnson is going to have on the amount of passes that go around. If he stays healthy he will probably get about 35 to 45 passes thrown his way. That's just one more weapon in the arsenal of the most potent offense in the NFL.
blacksaint is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 08:38 PM   #7
Cold as Ice!
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Da Big Easy
Posts: 2,978
i hope they all emerge......victorious baby! seriously, i like 1 colston 2 copper 3 devery, wide open after that.
FireVenturi is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 09:01 PM   #8
Registered
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Conehatta, MS
Posts: 30
At this time of the year all there is going to be is speculation a lot can happen there is always the chance for a injury or a breakdown by a player mentaly, but then there is always the surprise player who no one expects to make the team or just out performs any expectations. Here is my take on how the WR will shake out by the start of the season

1.Marques Colston -Was the steal of the 06 draft and is a lock as the #1 WR.

2.Devery Henderson -Showed a lot of improvement in 06 I belive 07 will be his breakout year (what a difference a new coaching staff made for him).

3.David Patten - A good veteran pickup with Super Bowl rings will provide leadership for the WR corp the team needs after releasing Joe Horn, is better suited for a #3 instead of a #2 where he can exploit opposing defenses nickelback from the slot.

4.Terrance Copper -Is a very solid WR although he doesn't have exceptional speed. To me he is the perfect for for a #3 or #4 reciever.

5.Robert Meachem -Will have a lot of catching up to do but has the potential to work into the teams #2 WR in time.

6.Lance Moore-Will get the nod over Jamal Jones due to his special teams play.

outside looking in:

7.Jamal Jones -Will be a hard cut for the team but in case of an injury will be there for a roster spot.

8.Rhema Mcknight- The rookie from Norte Dame could be the steal of 07 for the Saints was projected as a 4th round draft pick has great hands and a very good down field blocker he will make a push for the last roster spot but will probably end up on the practice squad.

Also don't forget the TE posistion this year Eric Johnson will be an upgrade over oft injuered Ernie Conwell and can easily be around the 40 reception range, Mark Campbell is a good blocker and solid #2 TE and Billy Miller is a very underated pass catching TE
graywolfkris is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 11:26 PM   #9
Site Donor
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,789
Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Why do you say Copper doesn't have the hands? I know he fumbled twice, but I don't remember many, if any, drops at all.
http://shsdemo.stats.com/fb/playerst...d=7109&team=18
Honestly, I do not know what is defined as a drop. I do know he should have caught the ball vs Pittsburgh on the last drive of the game. I think he then fumbled on the next play.

I am not totally down on the guy, I just don't think he will be in the top 3 or 4.
ScottF is offline  
Old 07-05-2007, 11:16 AM   #10
Site Donor 2014
Truth Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Spanish Fort Alabama
Posts: 16,069
Originally Posted by ScottF View Post
Honestly, I do not know what is defined as a drop. I do know he should have caught the ball vs Pittsburgh on the last drive of the game. I think he then fumbled on the next play.

I am not totally down on the guy, I just don't think he will be in the top 3 or 4.
I think a drop is only counted on "on-target" passes. It may be that he dropped several balls that were behind him, or at his feet or too far in front, but ones that a lot of WR's could catch it.

I've read that he's had a really good off-season and is an exceptional locker room guy, great work ethic, and Payton really likes the kid a lot. I would not be shocked if he lined up opposite Colston opening week. I'd be a little surprised, but definitely not shocked at all.



Oh, I found this...
Dropped Pass: Any incomplete pass which was catchable with normal effort. STATS compares and reviews the judgement of multiple reporters to determine if a pass was dropped.

'Tolerance And Apathy Are The Last Virtues Of A Dying Society'

Last edited by Danno; 07-05-2007 at 11:25 AM..
Danno is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:29 AM.


Copyright 1997 - 2013 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts