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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; This is about the indoor practice held last night. Some of the louder shots came during scrimmage plays as defensive backs hit and wrapped up running backs before letting them go to complete their runs. One of those defensive backs, ...

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Old 07-29-2003, 08:27 AM   #1
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Mel Mitchell

This is about the indoor practice held last night.

Some of the louder shots came during scrimmage plays as defensive backs hit and wrapped up running backs before letting them go to complete their runs. One of those defensive backs, S Mel Mitchell, has impressed Coach Jim Haslett with his work ethic.

"Mel is going to be a good football player," Haslett said. "Mel is really into it right now. He is always going to have his speed and stature. He is a physical guy who just loves to play the game and I think he is going to be a great player."
I know Sammy Knight was a good player and a fan favorite, but with Mitchell and Tebucky this should be a very good tandem.

Anyone have any thoughts on our secondary....LummOx, B&B????
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:02 AM   #2
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Mel Mitchell

Don\'t know if anyone has read this but this is a good article.

Saints fulfill Mitchell\'s NFL dream

Rockledge grad goes in fifth round

By Barbara Caywood

ROCKLEDGE -- Mel Mitchell collapsed in tears in his mother\'s arms, as much with relief as excitement.

All around him, 50 friends, relatives and former teammates erupted with shouts of joy.

The wait was over. The dream had become reality. The New Orleans Saints had just made Mitchell their fifth-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft.

The rest.....

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Old 07-29-2003, 09:04 AM   #3
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Mel Mitchell

Sammy was a fan favorite and the year prior was a Pro Bowler. Had he declined so much? I think we have improved if Tebaggy is all he is suppose to be. I still feel it would have been nice to have been able to keep Sammy. And Haslett may really be high on Mitchell, but it is human nature to substantiate your moves(Knight), and also to soapbox your team pre season. What is he gonna say? I made a bad move, Mitchell stinks. I know Sammy was slow.

[Edited on 29/7/2003 by subguy]
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:32 AM   #4
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Mel Mitchell

What scares me is depth at safety. Mel and Tebaggy are really all we\'ve got right now.
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:45 AM   #5
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Mel Mitchell

What scares me is depth at safety. Mel and Tebaggy are really all we\'ve got right now.

Cie Grant is a potential safety.
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:12 AM   #6
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Mel Mitchell

I think our secondary will be vastly improved over last year . I still would like to see another corner ,younger with speed and size to really challenge the top recivers but what team would\'nt, hopefully we\'ll deal with that next year.

As for this year The group of safties should be much more versatile and punish over the middle. Tebucky has all the skills and will add alot to our scheme with his cover and run support ability. Mel Mitchell I have not seen play much yet so I hope the hype is real, he has the skills ,but does he have the sense for the game? Most early reports say he does, we\'ll find out soon. Jay Bellamy is awfull Randy Muller brought him in and was one of his mistakes, why is he still here? I still have several horrible missed tackles for long scores vs. Atlanta in my mind. I\'d love to see us go out and get one of several vereran safties that are available for depth rather than this guy. How about Victor Green he\'s as slow as Bellamy but at least he can tackle. Hawthorne has size but was just toast as a corner I\'m not sure hell be any better as a safety. I hope Gleason steps up other wise our depth at this position is a real concern.

The corners should be much better as well. Dale Carter seems to be back and hopefully will not screw up again. His return to his form will do alot for our cover ability. I like Ashley Ambrose just wish he were not as old and slower. Would be a great nickle back. Fred Thomas has great cover skills but he is to small, I saw him in perfect position only to have the recption made over him for touchdowns several times last year. He would be a good nickle back also, we still need a second corner. Ilike Keyuo Craver he seems to have a real instinct for the ball and made some good picks last year before he got hurt. He\'s small as well but makes up for it with his leaping. He just flew into the air for one play last year that was amazing.

If the front seven can get better heat this group will do well. Depth is a concern so injuries will be huge also. This group should be much improved over last year, I can hardly wait to find out how much.

[Edited on 7/29/2003 by saint5221]
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:14 AM   #7
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Mel Mitchell

We are soft at the DT position, which will expose our secondary. I think they will be judged unfairly as a result. Remember the 8 second rule.
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:27 AM   #8
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Mel Mitchell

Well Billy since you asked:

I actually think our secondary has improved. Now this is contingent on both health and lack of off field distraction (aka Dale). A healhty and focused Dale Carter is not a top tier corner, but at this stage in his career he can still get near top 10 if he is on. I really like Fred Thomas. I think his is fiesty and he challenges for the ball and is as physical as his stature allows. Ambrose is a good depth pick, he doesn\'t get beat too often although he does allow plays to develop in front of him, which is safe but unfortuantely still moves chains. Keyou Craver will hopefully make an impact here. I think that hearing that Carter has adapted a mentor role and that Ambrose is here for that reason is a very positive sign on this group. Craver may be the X-factor that makes this a stronger unit than most will predict.
As or the safeties we will be better. A monkey with a tambourine is an upgrade over Jay Bellamy so Tebucky is a huge advancement. Given the athleticism of Jones and Mitchell I think we will change the way the safties look over the course of the year as Mitchell learns his position and the two will be more interchangable, like the way Dallas uses Roy Williams and Darren Woodson, neither is a defines SS or FS, but they mix packages to disrupt a QB\'s reads. The combination of Mitchell and Jones will improve the physicalness and range of the safety position compared to Knight and Bellamy. The will lose in the area of experience and recognition, a problem that hurt Knight because he was not allowed to play his style and had to be a cover man or a in the box safety. He needed to centerfield and our defense didn\'t allow that last year. Not Sammy\'s fault. With Bellamy, Hawthorne and Gleason as depth we\'re okay, but that\'s it. I don\'t see Grant projecting as a safety unless it\'s as a quasi-nickle backer in pass packages.
All said, our secondary is better. That sheer speed improvement of the group will allow our defense to be more flexible, implement a greater range of coverages and blitz packages that would have murdered us in the last couple years because our group did not have the athletic ability to run such schemes.

What we lack, and here is where someone needs to fill Knight\'s shoes, is the QB of the defense. When Sammy was allowed to do this we had more success. I look to Tebucky to earn some camp respect and grab the horns here. He is a veteran, has learned from guys like Green and Milloy, and needs to become like Lawyer in New Orleans.
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:36 AM   #9
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Mel Mitchell

Thanks LummOx. I always like to hear what your take is.

B&B, made a very good point about the 8-second rule. At this time of year I try to be realistic about everything and I think our D-line should be good. The fact is though, that if our D-line doesn\'t force the issue, it\'s going to put added pressure on our secondary.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:43 AM   #10
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Mel Mitchell

8 second rule is a very good point. It doesn\'t matter who you have as coverage if you allow the qb to have all day to pick a receiver he will find an opening. It all starts and ends with the pass rush. Yes we do need quality coverage guys and I think we do now but we still need to put maximum pressure on the qb. This will force quick passes, bad throws, forced throws dropped passes and INT\'s. It all starts up front.
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