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Meachem Update

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Meachem making strides in recovery- NOLA.com Meachem making strides in recovery Saints' top pick has been encouraging in practices Friday, November 09, 2007By Jimmy Smith It's difficult not to sympathize with Saints rookie Robert Meachem's plight. Midway through the 2007 ...

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:44 AM   #1
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Meachem Update

Meachem making strides in recovery- NOLA.com

Meachem making strides in recovery

Saints' top pick has been encouraging in practices Friday, November 09, 2007By Jimmy Smith

It's difficult not to sympathize with Saints rookie Robert Meachem's plight.

Midway through the 2007 season, he is the forgotten man on the roster. He toils through weekly practices, dutifully carrying out his assignments, struggling to improve physically and mentally.

He willingly accepts the responsibility that goes with being a rookie, whether it's carrying a veteran's equipment or being the lunch go-fer.

Yet on game days, Meachem stands on the sideline wearing a gold T-shirt and black warmup pants. He has never dressed for a regular-season game, each week being among the inactive players on the 53-man roster.

Of the draft picks that went toward the bottom half of the first round last April, Nos. 20-32, Meachem, a wide receiver from Tennessee taken with the 27th pick, is one of two who has not seen game action, the other being Browns quarterback Brady Quinn. Seven of the 13 are, or have been, starters.

"For any competitor," Meachem said, "it's hard to watch. But if you're doing everything you can to help your team win, from Monday through Sunday, when we're winning, it's like you're winning, too, because you're a part of it.

"We're all one. So by us winning and me being a competitor, yes, I'd love to be out there. But the coaches know what's best, and they know what I can do. When they feel like I'm capable of doing what I once did, they'll put me out there."

Meachem's road from Knoxville to New Orleans has been filled with Crescent City-sized potholes.

He arrived for his first rookie minicamp admittedly out of shape, almost immediately sprained an ankle, struggled to get back on the field from that, then irritated the meniscus cartilage in his right knee during minicamp a month later, necessitating an arthroscopic clean-out on June 6.

Meachem reported for training camp six weeks later at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and limped through the month while the Saints' veteran receiving corps, and even some camp-body free agents, made him look feeble.

"This was minor surgery," Meachem said, "but I wanted to hurry up and get to training camp. So I may have rushed myself a little too fast. That probably held me back a little more than I expected."

With Marques Colston, David Patten and company now performing at optimal efficiency, barring injury, it's going to be difficult for Meachem to break his NFL maiden any time soon, although decision-makers are beginning to take notice.

"I mean, for the majority of the offseason and even early on in the season, you could just tell he wasn't healthy," quarterback Drew Brees said. "He wasn't 100 percent, still limping and that sort of thing. But he's coming around. I think you see those bursts, that acceleration, that ability to go up and get the ball. He's made big improvements just on scout team and that sort of thing. Obviously, if there ever came a time when we would work him in, he would, I think, just exponentially get better and better."

Wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson said that early on, Meachem's struggles, including times when he'd catch more passes with his chest than with his hands, were probably connected to his gimpy and slow-healing right knee. And it's still slowing his growth, Johnson said.

"He's just not strong enough right now with his injury, but he's doing fine," Johnson said. "I think he's doing a lot better. You see he's working every day. He's starting to do some of the things that Lance (Moore) did for our scout team. But I think those other guys are starting to get into a groove, and they're starting to play well.

"So it's hard to put a guy in there now. He has a little bit to go as far as getting the little things in the offense. I think if we need him, I think we could play him. But right now, I don't see him being really, fully, 100 percent."

Coach Sean Payton, though, has taken notice of Meachem's improvement, especially, Payton said, in recent weeks.

"The first thing I see is someone who is running better, who's healthier, and it starts with that," Payton said. "You don't really see the gait in his step, and that has helped him. Secondly, his overall knowledge of what we're doing formationally and as an offense has helped him because he's getting more reps. He's doing a good job running the scout team. I'm pleased with the last three weeks."

For now, Meachem said, he relies on tolerance and faith to help him persevere, counting the days until he can pull on a game jersey instead of a T-shirt.

"I feel better and better each and every day," he said. "With me, it's all my coaches and what they see. They've coached in the NFL a long time, and they know what's best right now. I'm just waiting patiently, letting God handle it and letting the coaches handle it."

. . . . . . .

Jimmy Smith can be reached at jsmith@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3814.

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, over, and over again...and expecting a different outcome!
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: Meachem Update

I just don't see the problem with accepting this as a redshirt year for the guy. It wasn't the optimal pick, but we're stuck with it. Meachum will become an excellent NFL receiver down the line. It's a position that the Saints rely on heavily in Coach Payton's pass happy offense.

Let the kid heal up completely and learn the ropes. Hopefully he can get some real time reps somewhere down the line this season.

Henderson hasn't panned out and will be walking at season's end. Patton has been great but is on the backside of his career. In 2008 and beyond there will be a significant role for Meachum in the Saints offense.

Let just hope he's ready when his time comes.

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Old 11-09-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Meachem Update

Originally Posted by SaintFanInATLHELL View Post
I just don't see the problem with accepting this as a redshirt year for the guy. It wasn't the optimal pick, but we're stuck with it. Meachum will become an excellent NFL receiver down the line. It's a position that the Saints rely on heavily in Coach Payton's pass happy offense.

Let the kid heal up completely and learn the ropes. Hopefully he can get some real time reps somewhere down the line this season.

Henderson hasn't panned out and will be walking at season's end. Patton has been great but is on the backside of his career. In 2008 and beyond there will be a significant role for Meachum in the Saints offense.

Let just hope he's ready when his time comes.

SFIAH
I think that some fans look at and compare Meachem to Colston. Colston was a 7th round pick and played and contributed significantly in his first year, but Meachem is a 1st round pick and has yet to play or contribute.

I am not judging the fairness of the comparison, but this could be but one reason for some calling Meachem a bust! Additionally, there was a greater need in the 1st round of the draft for a defensive player...LB, DB, or DT...and what did the Saints draft...a WR that has had his troubles since becoming a Saint.

All this being said, and given the stable of WR the Saints have, let Meachem redshirt this year if they all stay healthy. IMHO

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, over, and over again...and expecting a different outcome!
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Meachem Update

I don't mind him sitting out this year to heal. If and when he becomes healthy and becomes this "Great" WR. When it comes time for a new contract, I just hope he remembers this team could have, and by all rights should have, cut him.... but didn't.

He's eating humble pie right now, and I do hope he becomes what we need in a WR.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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Re: Meachem Update

"He's eating humble pie right now, and I do hope he becomes what we need in a WR."

Catch the ball and get some YAC!

Eating humble pie...at least it is more than I can say for Henderson. Don't worry, Devery's sorry HANDS will be in line at the end of the season holding a very large bag for all the money he will want/expect!
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:00 PM   #6
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Re: Meachem Update

Devery has just plain let us down. There is a really good WR inside him somewhere, I just don't think we can keep waiting around for him to find it.

With Purple and Gold tears in my eyes.....bye bye Devery.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Meachem Update

Yeah, I agree that it's not a bad decision to let Meachem just ride this season out and get ready for next year. He should pan out if his injury bug gets put behind him. I also agree that Devery has all the potential in the world, but is just lacking something. It's probably time to let Devery walk after the season is over. He could wind up being another Eddie Kennison, Eddie was pretty much inconsistent early in his career with the Rams, and then that one year for the Saints, and he pretty much turned it on later in his career with the Chiefs. Amazing that both are LSU products.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
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Re: Meachem Update

i still scratch my head when i think about this rookie, why is he catching the ball with his chest? when do wr learn to stop doin that? was it junior varsity or varsity. i hate when teams take players this high wit only one decent year in college or a great pre-draft workouts, guys like me-chump, henderson we can do with out.....think doucet will fall to the second round lol
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: Meachem Update

I have at least noticed that Dev has done a better job of hanging on to the ball lately. I don't know what his problem is, maybe consentration. Whatever it is I hope he hets it straight. If not his big payday might be a long way away.

As far as Mech, I agree with most here on the board. Give him the year,we alreadt made the investment, or if one of our starters gets hurt and Payton thinks he's ready, then maybe some field time. I'm not ready to give up on him just yet. There are others on this team that I might give up on in a New York minute. But I won't say who they are.

Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt!!!!!

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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Re: Meachem Update

hahaha i actually wanna know who u think they are...
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