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Saints Team Report

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Mike Triplett For Sporting News PERSONNEL ANALYSIS There might be no bigger surprise in the NFL through two weeks than the Saints' struggles on offense. Last year, they led the league in total yardage and passing yardage. This year, they ...

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Old 09-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #1
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Cool Saints Team Report

Mike Triplett
For Sporting News




PERSONNEL ANALYSIS


There might be no bigger surprise in the NFL through two weeks than the Saints' struggles on offense. Last year, they led the league in total yardage and passing yardage. This year, they continue to shoot themselves in the foot. The Saints did not score their first offensive touchdown of the season until the final minute of the third quarter in Week 2 at Tampa Bay. Everyone seems to be at fault. The line has struggled to establish the run. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush have both fumbled. The receivers have dropped passes and struggled to get open. Quarterback Drew Brees has been off-target more often than he was at any point last season.

No one can put their finger on the over-riding theme, but they at least admit that overconfidence is part of the equation. The Saints had grown so comfortable and confident in their offense that they expected to be able to turn it on with the flip of a switch. They've been impatient and tried to force big plays, which has been difficult against the Cover 2 defensive systems of Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. The good news is that the Saints have a lot of competent people in the right places, especially Brees. So this slump shouldn't last long.

The Saints placed tight end Mark Campbell on injured reserve because of a back injury he suffered at the end of the preseason. It's a bigger loss than people realize because Campbell was a steady and reliable blocker who helped both the running game and the short passing game. But the Saints are still deep at the position after signing Eric Johnson in free agency. Johnson isn't as effective a blocker as Campbell, but he's a better receiver and he gives the Saints offense an added dimension. This definitely ups Johnson's value as a fantasy player, because he'll probably be on the field more. Backup Billy Miller will replace Campbell in two tight-end formations and other situations.

SCOUTING REPORT

One of the few Saints offensive players who doesn't seem to be struggling early this year is receiver Marques Colston, which is especially good news since some observers wondered if his rookie season might have been a fluke last year. Colston had a great offseason, a great preseason, and he has continued to make some tough catches in some tough games this year. Colston has 14 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown this year. He stretched across his body to catch a couple passes thrown behind him at Indianapolis, and he hasn't struggled with drops. Colston added about 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason to his already physical frame. He carries the weight well and he hasn't lost any noticeable speed.

PROBLEM SPOT

This is starting to sound like a broken record, but the Saints don't have any problem spots as glaring as their secondary. For two years now, the Saints have been burned repeatedly by the deep ball. They are especially vulnerable against the league's fastest and most dynamic receivers, like Steve Smith, Joey Galloway, Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. In two games this year, the Saints have given up five deep touchdown passes and 11 passes of 24 yards or more. In Week 1, cornerback Jason David was on an island, being burned in both man and zone coverages. But in Week 2, the Buccaneers exploited the Saints' nickel defense, getting Galloway open against the Saints safeties. The Saints should fare better against Tennessee this week. The Titans' deep passing attack isn't very polished yet.

SportingNews.com - NFL - Saints Team Report

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:55 AM   #2
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Re: Saints Team Report

That was nice to hear.
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