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New Orleans Saints mailbag: More on the 'Meachem Miracle'

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints mailbag: More on the 'Meachem Miracle' By Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune December 09, 2009, 8:44AM Welcome to the first edition of this week's New Orleans Saints Mailbag. Today's file features a gumbo of queries, including the official ...

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Old 12-09-2009, 07:33 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints mailbag: More on the 'Meachem Miracle'
By Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune
December 09, 2009, 8:44AM

Welcome to the first edition of this week's New Orleans Saints Mailbag. Today's file features a gumbo of queries, including the official ruling of Robert Meachem's 44-yard fumble return, how Pro Bowl berths are awarded for Super Bowl players and updates on Lance Moore and Courtney Roby.

I'll have another file on Friday so if you have any questions submit them to saintsmailbag@timespicayune.com. Please limit your queries to one or two per file and don't forget to include your name and place of residence.


Q: Jeff, I understand Meachem's fumble return for a TD was put in the "return yards" category, but is it NOT another defensive TD this year also? I realize Robbie plays for the offense but once possession has changed the safety running with the ball technically becomes the ball carrier (offense) and the WR becomes the tackler (defense). So, we have another defensive TD right? Brian Broussard, Charleston, W. Va.

A: Brian, I've been asked this question a lot the past few days and I'm not sure there is an official answer. The NFL records the touchdown under "return TDs," which include punts, kickoffs, interceptions and fumbles. However, I don't see any way it could be ruled a defensive touchdown. Sure, Meachem was technically a defender on the play once the ball changed possessions but he did not start the play as a defender and I believe that would be the base line. To be considered a defender, you have to start the play on defense. Think of it this way: If Moore would have returned the interception for a touchdown it still would have counted as a defensive touchdown for the Redskins, right? Using your logic, it would have counted as an offensive touchdown because he became an offensive player the moment he intercepted it. It can't work both ways.

Q: I know I should just love that we're 12-0, but the officiating in the Washington game seemed oddly biased towards the Skins until the replay booth decided to challenge a downed ball which I thought they couldn't do. What's the deal? Wasn't that an unchallengeable play? James, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

A: James, the NFL changed the rule this past offseason. The move was made in response to the infamous blown call by Ed Hochuli in the Broncos-Chargers game in 2008. You can now challenge it but the ball can not be advanced by the recovering team. They receive possession at the spot of the recovery, just as the Saints did on Sunday.

Q: With the emergence of Meachem and the injury to Moore, what do you think the Saints will do with Lance's contract after this season? Jeffery Austin, Texas.

A: Moore, like several key Saints players, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. His status, however, could change if a new CBA is not worked out. Under terms negotiated between the players and owners for an uncapped year, free agents would not become unrestricted until they completed six years of service. That would make Moore a restricted free agent again and I think the Saints would tender him accordingly. Moore is a core player on the Saints roster. He's a favorite of Drew Brees. I don't see any of the four receivers going anywhere anytime soon. The Saints were in the same situation last year with Devery Henderson if you recall. Moore was coming off an 80-catch season, Colston was the clear No. 1 and Meachem was a first-round pick with two more years on his contract. Fans wondered if the Saints would offer Henderson and they went out and signed him to a four-year deal in free agency. In the Saints' system, you need four receivers. Multiple-receiver sets are a staple of their offense. They need four good ones and I see no reason why they won't kept this bunch together for awhile.

Q: I was wondering what would be the process for players on the teams playing in the Super Bowl that make it to the Pro Bowl? Being that it's the week before the big game this year, I know they won't play and risk an injury in a meaningless game like the Pro Bowl. Just wondering if you had any info on this? I'm sure it has already been explained, but I missed it. Max. Baton Rouge, La.

A: Max, players selected to the Pro Bowl on Super Bowl teams obviously will not participate. They'll be replaced by alternates at their respective positions. If a player is selected, though, he still gets credit for the honor. In other words, if a Saints has an incentive clause in his contract that pays him $50,000 for a Pro Bowl berth he'll still receive the money from the team. The Pro Bowl invitation supersedes the participation.

Q: Darren Sharper, Chris McAlister and Mike Mckenzie have something like 114 career interceptions between the three of them. Has there ever been three players for a team to have as many career interceptions when they took the field together? Russell Lange, Miami, Fla.

A: Russell, I can't tell you how many times it's happened but I know of at least one instance. The 2000 Washington Redskins featured a Darrell Green, Deion Sanders, Champ Bailey and Tyrone Drakeford. Green had 50 interceptions entering the 2000 season, Sanders had 44 and Drakeford 16. So at some point during the season they would have surpassed the Saints trio because Sanders and Green each had three picks that year.

Q: With Lance on ice recently, has Courtney Roby been getting practice snaps with the first team? Has he been playing pitch-and-catch with Brees after practice? I've noticed that he hasn't seen many snaps or catches, which is no surprise. I'm sure he's seen that it pays to put in the time with Drew to gain his trust and confidence. so I'm wondering whether he's doing all he can to take advantage of his opportunity to get on the field. Kevin Daniels, Memphis.

A: Roby, like all the receivers, spends extra time at practice running routes with Brees. But the Saints see him strictly as a emergency receiver at this point. He replaced Devery Henderson for a few snaps in the Saints' three-receiver set on Sunday after Henderson had his bell rung in the second quarter but that's not his role. The Saints want him to concentrate on specials teams, where not only is he a dangerous return threat but also a very productive gunner on punt coverage units. He's emerged as perhaps the Saints' best special teams player, and, at least for now, that will be his main focus. Once Moore returns, I doubt if Roby will see the field as a receiver.


New Orleans Saints mailbag: More on the 'Meachem Miracle' | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com

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Old 12-09-2009, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints mailbag: More on the 'Meachem Miracle'

Wow if we COULD get Lance back soon I think we would be unstoppable!!
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