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The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game One of the secrets to the Saints' success this season has been their ability to eclipse the stars of opposing teams. Identifying an opponents' go-to guy and preventing ...

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Old 11-10-2009, 10:35 AM   #1
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The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

One of the secrets to the Saints' success this season has been their ability to eclipse the stars of opposing teams.
Identifying an opponents' go-to guy and preventing teams from going to them has become a Saints' staple. The Saints see the stars, then eliminate them.
Their strategy is simple: You might beat us, but you're going to do it with your role players, not your prime-time players.
"I think it's a combination of the coaches putting together a great game plan and getting us prepared during the week, and the players going out there and executing the game plan," Saints cornerback Jabari Greer said. "So far, it's worked well."
Steve Smith and Julius Peppers were the Saints' latest victims.
For four quarters, the Panthers' Pro Bowlers might as well have been assigned to a witness protection program. They were missing in action.
Smith caught four passes for a harmless 64 yards. His one big play, a 46-yard reception, came in the final two minutes when the game was out of reach.
Peppers, who missed a few snaps in the second half because of an injury to his right hand, had one tackle and one quarterback hurry.
Trent Cole, Aaron Schobel and Osi Umenyiora can relate to Peppers. They previously received the star treatment from the Saints' pass protection scheme.
It started in Philadelphia where the Saints stymied Cole, holding him to one sack. The next week the Saints kept Buffalo's Schobel at bay. He did manage to sack Drew Brees and force a fumble in the first half but wasn't a factor in the second half as the Saints broke open a tight game.
A few weeks later, Umenyiora and fellow Giants Pro Bowl lineman Justin Tuck combined for one quarterback hurry and pass defensed.
Miami's Joey Porter and Jason Taylor probably were the lone exceptions, overwhelming the Saints' blocking schemes for a combined 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed and a tackle for loss.
But the Saints' coaching staff quickly addressed the protection issues. In back-to-back games against NFC South rivals Atlanta and Carolina, the Saints limited Pro Bowl defensive ends John Abraham and Peppers to one quarterback hurry apiece and zero sacks.
"Those guys create a lot of headaches and a lot of game-plan preparation to prepare to handle them," Saints Coach Sean Payton said. "It's through formations, it's through tight ends, it's through how we set on these guys and what the backs are doing. There's a lot that goes on to just say that we're going to double-team one of these guys. In other words, it's more complex than that. But they are guys that really can affect -- if you're not careful -- they can affect the outcome of a game single-handedly."
The man primarily responsible for protecting Brees' blind side, left tackle Jermon Bushrod, said he knows there are times when he'll need help from a running back or tight end to stonewall ends the caliber of Peppers and Abraham. And he's fine with it.
"The coaches do a good job of coming up with schemes each week to put me in a position to be successful," Bushrod said. "I don't care who you are, I don't think one person can successfully block John Abraham, Trent Cole or Julius Peppers one on one. Those guys are game-changers. It's a combination of things: great coaching, great scheme, a great quarterback who gets the ball out. It all helps."
The game plans of the Saints' defensive staff have been equally effective at taking away enemy playmakers.
While running backs Michael Turner and DeAngelo William enjoyed big games the past two weeks at the Superdome, the Falcons' and Panthers' passing games were neutralized.
Roddy White had 108 receiving yards on four catches, but he was targeted 13 times by Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Saints rendered Smith an afterthought until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Earlier this season, the Saints did similar numbers on Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Buffalo's Terrell Owens.
Johnson finished with a respectable 90 yards on three catches, but his numbers were misleading. Sixty-four of his yards came on one catch, a slant that victimized rookie Malcolm Jenkins on the first play after he replaced injured starter Tracy Porter. Johnson was targeted 13 other times in the game and managed to catch only two passes.
The Saints did an even better job on Owens, who was held without a catch, ending his streak of 185 consecutive games with at least one reception. He was targeted five times but failed to grab a single pass. Afterward, an obviously frustrated Owens pouted to reporters and said he was "just going with the plays called."
He's not the only star to feel that way after playing the Saints this season.

The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com

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Old 11-10-2009, 10:40 AM   #2
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Re: The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

The reason why Williams and Turner had such big games was the starting defensive tackles are both hurt. They come back and the run defense will improve. Oh and the refs decided not to call holding during the Atlanta game
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:53 PM   #3
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Re: The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

Of course TO is going to blame the coaches and not the defenders who out played him
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

The defense actually did a pretty fair job at stopping the Carolina running game. Take away that one play by DeAngelo Williams and it really wasn't all that good for the Carolina running game.

Yes, the Saints are doing a very nice job at reducing the effectiveness of the top receivers they have been playing. The Saints secondary is obviously the strength of the defense this year.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:23 AM   #5
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Re: The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

Exactly MatthewT
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: The New Orleans Saints are taking opposing stars out of the game

I agree that our secondary is one of our strengths this year, Although it feels strange to hear myself say that. The defense has implemented an excellent game plan each week and tweaked it as needed. Also, I believe that if Fujita and Ellis had been playing then our defense wouldn't have struggled the last few weeks.
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