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New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune After watching Tampa Bay Buccaneers punt returner Michael Spurlock return a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers' ...

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Old 01-02-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs
By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune


After watching Tampa Bay Buccaneers punt returner Michael Spurlock return a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers' 20-17 win against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, Coach Sean Payton has seen just about all he can take. Changes are on the way.

Perhaps not for Sunday's season finale at Carolina, but the Saints plan to use more of their starters and faster players on the special teams' coverage to prevent big returns.

"When the postseason comes, all hands are on deck, " Payton said. "You are going to see players who you may not have seen in the kicking game playing. You are going to see the Roman Harpers and you are going to see the (Scott) Fujitas. You are going to see anybody who we think helps us, where in the regular season our approach may have been a little more conservative.

"That's certainly been an emphasis, and we understand the importance of that being something that has to be better when we get into the postseason when it comes to the coverage units. So you will see anybody who we think can help us, whether they are a starter or not."

Spurlock's return was the only punt or kickoff returned for a touchdown against the Saints this season, but the coverage unit has been sporadic throughout. The Saints are allowing 15.3 yards per punt return and 24.7 yards per kickoff return.

"Any time a return for a score happens, you've got to go back and try to correct whatever took place to allow that to happen, " said Saints special teams ace Courtney Roby, who ranks second on the team with 21 special teams tackles. "The coverage units, we work hard week in and week out.

"We have the ability to stop those returns, but for whatever reason we just had breakdowns. We take a lot pride in that. We definitely don't want to be the downfall or be responsible for a long return. We have a lot of great athletes out there who are capable of making plays."

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Last edited by hagan714; 01-03-2010 at 07:25 AM..
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: ew Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

one would think jenkins would be back on ST too now that hes not starting. he was killing it early in the season, he should help.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:39 PM   #3
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Re: ew Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

Good. Can't allow mistakes like that in the playoffs.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

I would hope he is.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:32 AM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

Special teams is the reason I think the saints will add one or more new secondary players for next year. We are not fast enough or deep enough back there.

CB and or S is cool with me.

Major Wright*, FS, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2010): 1-2

Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
Height: 6-0. Weight: 177.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2010): 2-3

Crezdon Butler, Clemson
Height: 6-0. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.39.
Projected Round (2010): 3-4



LB support on the cover teams has been dissappointing to say the least. I also see some tweeking here. Draft a SLB and or WLB early in the draft.

Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Height: 6-1. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2010): 1-2

Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 254.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2010): 1-3

Quan Sturdivant*, North Carolina
Height: 6-2. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2010): 3-4

Keenan Clayton, Oklahoma
Height: 6-2. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2010): 4-5

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Old 01-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints special teams likely to be tweaked for playoffs

Jenkins and a healthy Young would help, plus Mitchell

Question for SP: You are up by 7 late in a game you need to win to clinch HFA. Wouldn't that be considered a playoff situation when you should have had "all hands on deck"? So if Harper and Fujita were out there, TB wouldn't have scored?
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