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Saints facing the NFL's blueprint

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints facing the NFL's blueprint Mike Detillier What else can I say about the 2009 New Orleans Saints? The Saints are averaging 36.9 points and 430.5 yards per game. They have scored a league-best 369 points, 63 points more than ...

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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Saints facing the NFL's blueprint

Saints facing the NFL's blueprint
Mike Detillier
What else can I say about the 2009 New Orleans Saints?

The Saints are averaging 36.9 points and 430.5 yards per game. They have scored a league-best 369 points, 63 points more than the Minnesota Vikings.

The Saints defense has allowed just 204 points this season. Only four teams in the NFC Conference have allowed fewer.

The Saints defense has 24 sacks and is a plus-10 in the very important giveaway-takeaway ratio and have intercepted 20 passes this season.

More importantly, the Saints defense only has given up two fourth-quarter touchdowns and outscored opponents 105-24 in the final quarter.

Most importantly, the Saints are 10-0.

And on Monday Night, they are playing the team everyone else has measured themselves against since the 2001 season — the New England Patriots.

The Patriots have a 104-34 record since the start of the 2001 season. That is a winning percentage of 75 percent.

The Patriots have been to four Super Bowls and won the Lombardi Trophy three times.

New England coach Bill Belichick has dominated NFC foes, posting a 33-5 record (87 percent winning percentage) over the last nine years.

I could go on, but you get the point.

This is the type of organization the Saints want to be like eight years from now.

The Patriots are the measuring stick for every NFL franchise because they have won at high rate since the 2001 season. When you play in four Super Bowls and win three in this a free-agency world, you have indeed built a dynasty in a league set-up for that not to happen.

I truly believe that the Saints are the better team this season. They are more balanced on offense. They have a quarterback in Drew Brees that can match great pass for great pass with Tom Brady and their receivers are every bit as talented as the ones on the Patriots roster.

More importantly, the Saints defense is better.

Once the Patriots' cornerstone, the defense is not nearly as good as we have seen in the past. Gone are Ted Johnson, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, Ty Law, Asante Samuel and Richard Seymour, all defensive stars of years past.

The Patriots have a couple of really good defensive players in defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and inside linebacker Jerod Mayo and a promising young safety in Patrick Chung, but the defense is not nearly as good as it has been.

But give Belichick his due. He gets more from his combined talent than any other coach in the NFL.

No matter what you might think about “Spygate,” and most of us in this business have heard of similar stories from other NFL coaches and players, Belichick is the one coach I would select to win one game.

As much as this is a game of talent and having proper depth to help overcome injuries, it is also a contest of gamesmanship between Sean Payton and Belichick.

No matter who has gone up against Belichick in the past, they have come away impressed with his game plan and his ability to piece together schemes and looks they had never seen before.

You can bet the aura of a 10-0 Saints team and all the publicity the boys in black and gold are getting has indeed stoked his internal coaching flame to put the brakes on the hottest team in the NFL.

Belichick has done it before, but he has done it with better talent on defense.

For what is on the line and who they face, this is indeed the biggest game in Saints history, and it is on the NFL's biggest stage — “Monday Night Football.”

The Saints will face one of the all-time greats in Brady, who is the NFL's version of the assassin for his cool demeanor under pressure.

Brady is our generation's version of Bart Starr, who was a two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback for the team of that generation, the Green Bay Packers.

When Brady and Brees square off Monday night, it will mark only the second time in NFL history that two quarterbacks with more than 4,800 yards passing in a season will face one another.

The only other time was the 1986 season opener when Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins played against Dan Fouts and the San Diego Chargers.

Brady has one of the NFL's all-time great deep-threat targets in Randy Moss and our generation's version of Raymond Berry in Wes Welker to throw to.

The Patriots are explosive and match score for score with the Saints.

And you are facing a first-ballot Hall of Fame coach in Belichick.

If any coach can figure out a way to stop the Saints' vaunted offense, that guy would be Belichick.

Wrestling great Rick Flair used to always say in his monologue either before or after a match, “To be the man, you have to beat the man.”

Monday night, the Saints have the chance to prove, and there are still some doubters out there, they are “The Man” in 2009.

I have a strong feeling the doubters will be few come Tuesday morning, and it will be a special “Who Dat Nation” week.

JACKSON MAY BE A GOOD FIT AT NICHOLLS

Immediately after Nicholls State fired football coach Jay Thomas, I thought about one name that would be the perfect fit in Thibodaux.

That coach is current Central Arkansas running backs coach and director of football operations chief Hud Jackson.

Nicholls State needs someone who knows the recruiting area, knows the conference and can run a more wide-open offense that is suitable for the talent in the state.

Hud went to E.D. White Catholic High and attended McNeese State. He coached high school football at Central Catholic High in Morgan City, Rayne High, Assumption High and Oberlin High.

He has been on former Nicholls State All-American linebacker Clint Conque's staff at Central Arkansas since the 2005 season, and he has some strong family ties to the Nicholls State program.

While he has no experience as a head coach at the college level, he seemingly is on the fast track to gaining a head-coaching spot somewhere in the near future.

I am not in the business of recommending coaches to athletic directors and administrators, unless asked, but right now, Jackson looks to be the right fit for Nicholls State.

HISTORIC WEEK IN THE NFL?

If the Saints beat the Patriots on Monday night and the Indianapolis Colts defeat the Houston Texans on Sunday, it will mark the first time in NFL history that two teams have opened the season with 11-0 records.

LSU MAY BE LOSING PORTER

Despite numerous “insider” reports from the Memphis area during the past week that Washington Redskins defensive assistant Jerry Gray had landed the head-coaching job at Memphis, it now appears that LSU running backs coach Larry Porter will get the job.

Porter is a former Memphis player.

If Porter lands that job, and an announcement is expected today, watch for Memphis and Porter to spend plenty of time in Louisiana recruiting. This would be another out-of-state team, like SMU, Tulsa, TCU, Tennessee and Auburn, to heavily increase its recruiting efforts in the state in recent years.

Porter is considered the elite recruiter on Les Miles' coaching staff. While his loss may not affect the top-line recruits in the state, look for Porter to really press the south Louisiana soil to sign many of the second- and third-tier players in the state.

Porter has a good eye for talent and has a winning personality when dealing with players and parents.

NFL analyst Mike Detiller lives in Raceland.



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