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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; When the New Orleans Saints opened training camp, one of the expressed themes was improvement, even marginal. There are areas in which every team can get better, Coach Sean Payton declared, and one clear such zone for New Orleans was ...

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:39 AM   #1
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When the New Orleans Saints opened training camp, one of the expressed themes was improvement, even marginal. There are areas in which every team can get better, Coach Sean Payton declared, and one clear such zone for New Orleans was kick coverage.

Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune
New Orleans Saints punt returner Larry Beavers miscue on this punt could have been the final straw in his being cut. Special teams play has been anything but special for the Saints.
Payton's target was certainly a fat one. New Orleans was the best team in the NFL in 2009, but they achieved that level while ranking 29th in kickoff coverage and 32nd -- dead last -- in punt coverage.

Halfway through the preseason, that challenge can be labeled as unmet.
The Patriots returned a punt 40 yards and a kickoff 52 yards in the first preseason game, and then, as Payton said after the Saints beat the Texans last week while surrendering kickoff returns of 66 and 53 yards, "every time we kick off, you're holding your breath."
Saints special teams players and coordinator Greg McMahon said this week that, unfortunately, the problem isn't confined to one or two players. Were that the case, the culprit could be cut and the problem solved. Instead, the kick coverage units are hampered by one player making a mental error or a missed tackle on one play, and a different player doing so on the next.

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:14 AM   #2
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Have to look at the coaching on this for sure. No, the coaching cannot make the tackles or stop guys, but something is obviously wrong. One would think this group should be much improved by now, especially considering it's basically the same group of guys. As for punt coverage, that one can easily be corrected. Simply angle the ball out of bounds. I would rather see a 32 yard punt with no return vs a 42 yard punt with a 10-15 yard return. The only problem with kicking it out of bounds is you lose your chance at a big play like creating a turnover or something. For kickoffs there is no real easy answer. Guys simply cannot kick it out of the end zone on a regular basis anymore since the rule change many years ago pushed the kickoff spot to the 30.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #3
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I agree with Matthew T....both coaches on the offense and defense has gotten results from their players...cant say the same for Special teams...i hope they improve big time before regular season comes because we need all facets of the team to do their job.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:38 AM   #4
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the players need to step up
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