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blacksaint 09-28-2007 06:42 PM

5 more reasons the Saints are struggling > pt 2
Posted on Fri, Sep. 28, 2007


METAIRIE, La. --There were some close calls on the New Orleans Saints' top 10 list of deficiencies in 2007. The play of Olindo Mare, Mark Simoneau and Scott Shanle, while troubling, didn't make the cut.

Now, on with our countdown as we go down from No. 5 to No. 1:

• 5. Bad O-line - Left guard Jamar Nesbit realized how badly the Titans' Albert Haynesworth manhandled him in the Saints' third consecutive loss to kickoff the "magical" 2007 season. It's been a troubling trend through the entire season.

None of the linemen, especially All-Pro left tackle Jammal Brown, has played near the high bar they set for themselves last year.

• 4. Spotty secondary - Jason David's sketchy play is too blatant to miss. While his interception and fumble recovery are the only Saints takeaways on the season, he's given up more than a handful of big-play touchdown passes. And now he's out for at least a month with a fractured right forearm.

Saints coach Sean Payton said there will be more Jason Craft and (everyone brace yourself) Fred Thomas at cornerback. It's that bad.

Josh Bullocks made his first productive play last week in the secondary possibly ever as he looks lost the vast majority of the time at free safety. Roman Harper is a big hitter at strong safety, but struggles in pass coverage.

• 3. Offseason moves haven't panned out - They haven't panned out at all.

David and tight end Eric Johnson are the only two to start all three games. The only highlight reel play for safety Kevin Kaesviharn was when Tampa Bay's Michael Clayton annihilated Kaesviharn on the first of Joey Galloway's two touchdown catches.

Linebacker Brian Simmons is nowhere to be found. Defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy has been serviceable after overtaking Hollis Thomas at the nose. But that's all you can really ask for since he was available in June. Mare's kicking issues have fans still wondering why John Carney is in Jacksonville.

The draft has been brutal. Last year's draft was a gem. This year's is more like fool's gold.

Cornerback Usama Young is the only player from this year's draft to be on the gameday roster and sees the field sparingly. Wide receiver Robert Meachem, guard Andy Alleman and tackle Jermon Bushrod have never been activated. Trading up for Antonio Pittman was an obvious blunder.

Meachem, the team's first-round draft pick, continues to hobble around practice and probably won't play at all this year. If he wasn't the team's top draft choice, he wouldn't be on the roster.

• 2. Turnover ratio - The Saints sit dead last in this category with a minus-8 turnover ratio. Jason David has the only two takeaways this season with an interception and a fumble. Drew Brees claims nine of the 10 turnovers with seven interceptions and two lost fumbles.

Those ranking in the bottom five of the NFL in this category have a combined 1-14 record. The Chicago Bears are the only team with a win. Last year, the Saints were 31st in the NFL in turnover ratio. It was a miracle that they made it as far as they did last year with the stat looming above their head.

• 1. Emotional letdown - Saving a Katrina-dizzy region is no longer spoken of in the Saints locker room. Without the sense of almost civic duty, the energy level isn't what it was last season.

And it's showed on the field. Maybe making the NFC championship game was enough for a franchise with only two playoff wins in team history.

For the first time, winning was expected for the Saints. Experts and fans should have known better.

The loss of fan favorite Joe Horn may have taken a weight off the Saints' pocketbook, but his fire is definitely missed. I'm not saying Horn the player or teammate is missed, but there's no one in the locker room with the energy he displayed on and off the field.

Marques Colston and Lance Moore each made a first-down motion after making a catch against Tennessee trying to bring some sort of enthusiasm. It almost looked forced.

Grant talked about being arrogant and cocky throughout training camp. There might be too many nice guys on this team. Usually being a nice guy isn't a terrible thing. For the team with the heavenly mascot, some feistiness might bring the Saints back from the depths of the NFL cellar. : 5 more reasons the Saints are struggling

hagan714 09-28-2007 08:06 PM

Re: 5 more reasons the Saints are struggling > pt 2
sunherald at it again. they are right though on 80% of it

ScottyRo 09-28-2007 09:41 PM

Re: 5 more reasons the Saints are struggling > pt 2
They're right on none of it. The O-line is the #1, 2 3 4 and 5 reason why we are not winning games this year - why we haven't even been competitive in games this year.

Fix that and and they'd be at least 1-2 maybe even 2-1.

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