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Saints fall short of expectations > pt 1

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Posted on Thu, Sep. 27, Saints fall short of expectations Five reasons why Saints are winless By LARRY HOLDER lholder@sunherald.com ANALYSIS Scott Fujita got it right after the New Orleans Saints lost to the Tennessee Titans when he said other ...

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Old 09-27-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
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Cool Saints fall short of expectations > pt 1

Posted on Thu, Sep. 27, Saints fall short of expectations

Five reasons why Saints are winless

By LARRY HOLDER
lholder@sunherald.com



ANALYSIS

Scott Fujita got it right after the New Orleans Saints lost to the Tennessee Titans when he said other than punter Steve Weatherford, no one is playing up to their capabilities.

So far, it's been an overall meltdown for the Saints. During the next two days, let's take a look at the top 10 reasons for the Saints' disastrous start. Today you'll get the bottom five and the top five will be in Friday's edition.

• 10. Faulty play calling - The ultimate sign of desperation came when Saints coach Sean Payton called for a bomb to Marques Colston on fourth-and-1 from midfield. Payton admitted he wanted to inject a shot of momentum into the offense, which he also admitted has been nonexistent.

Payton became one of the top offensive playcallers in the league last season. This season, either other teams have caught on or Payton has called the wrong plays at the wrong time. Either way, Payton said he's going to examine his approach during the near two weeks leading up to the Carolina game.

• 9. Reggie Bush - I chuckled when I heard an angry fan call the Saints' postgame radio show and coin Bush as a $60 million tap dancer. The fan has been right so far as the exciting-yet-inconsistent Bush has struggled.

Bush did punch in two touchdowns from point-blank range against the Titans. The Saints will need it now that Deuce McAllister is out, possibly forever. But Bush has averaged only 2.8 yards per carry and his soft receiving hands have been too soft as he's dropped a couple of key passes.

• 8. Drew Brees - A quarterback rating of 57.1. One touchdown. Seven interceptions. Nine turnovers. Where have you gone, Drew Brees?

I had a hard time trying to figure out where to place Brees on this list. So many times quarterbacks receive too much credit and too much blame. In turn, the players around him don't get enough credit or enough blame.

But Brees definitely has been part of the problem even though there have been multiple breakdowns around him. Bad decisions and inaccurate throws have found their way into his game, and they were rare last season.

• 7. No running game - A disclaimer to this has to be the Saints' propensity to fall behind early and often and the team is forced to abandon the run.

But when they were in running situations, it didn't matter who ran the ball because they weren't going anywhere. The Saints rank 27th in the NFL in rushing, with 239 yards on 69 carries.

With McAllister out, who knows how successful Bush, Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas will be out of the backfield. It can't really get much worse.

• 6. No pass rush - Don't get me wrong. The secondary stinks. But it might not look as bad if the Saints could put pressure on the quarterback.

The Saints have zero sacks. Zilch. Nada. They are the only team in the NFL without a sack.

Charles Grant banks a ridiculous amount of money. Will Smith was a Pro Bowler a year ago. Neither have produced at all. I asked Smith if blitzing more would help and he said probably not.

So what's the solution? If they don't know, they're in major trouble.

SunHerald.com : Saints fall short of expectations

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