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Gold Rush - 5 questions with a 49ers expert before Monday's game with the Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Monday night can't get here soon for fans of the New Orleans Saints because in some ways, it almost feels like the offseason in the Big Easy once again. By the time the Monday night game against the San Francisco ...

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Old 09-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
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Monday night can't get here soon for fans of the New Orleans Saints because in some ways, it almost feels like the offseason in the Big Easy once again.

By the time the Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers rolls around, the Saints will have been off close to a week and a half. One might wonder about the long layoff causing them to get lackadaisical or maybe even a bit over confident thinking they deserve this lofty position. Well, they're right. They do deserve the lofty position of playing the first game of the season and then virtually getting an extra bye week.

But my instincts tell me they don't feel that way. Coach Sean Payton, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and Drew Brees are not going to let this team think they are better than anyone and that they should ever take any game lightly. That includes a team that just got destroyed 31-6 in week one to a Seattle Seahawks team that wasn't really expected to do much of anything this year.

With that in mind, it seemed like the appropriate time to have a back and forth with the San Francisco 49ers Examiner, Samuel Lam. We put our heads together and thought we'd ask one another five questions each about the upcoming nationally televised game between the former NFC West foes. Here you will find my questions to him and his responses while I'll also provide a link to his article showcasing my answers to his questions.

Danny Cox: Against Seattle, the 49ers came out and just totally dropped the ball in every way imaginable in a lopsided loss. Sure it was only the first game of the season, but this is a team that came in being talked up by every sports writer round...what went wrong?

Samuel Lam: The team was only a few successfully executed plays away to scoring two or three early touchdowns on the Seahawks. They were that close to taking the momentum right from the beginning. The offense hasn't been known for being too defined and on Sunday we saw just that. The team played well enough early on to take the lead but they just couldn't finish.

On defense, had the defensive backs not bit on some pump fakes, the big scores wouldn't have occurred. The team isn't so far off where they aren't a good team, but it's the little mistakes that put the team in the big hole.

DC: Alex Smith was kept on this season with renewed faith in him from coach Mike Singletary and the rest of the 49ers' coaching staff. Do you believe that was the right move and is Smith the quarterback of the future for this team?

SL: The move had to be made because the team had invested so much in him. Not giving Smith the chance to have another year with the same playbook would not only hurt Smith's effectiveness, but also hurt the team's image. The team had to give Smith that chance to start the season as the quarterback.

He can be the team's future all depending on how he performs this year. He has the talent to do so, but it all depends on how well he can execute on the field. He hasn't had a dominant game with the Jimmy Raye offense just yet, so I'm not so sure how much potential he has just yet.

DC: How important is it to make sure that San Francisco doesn't just start out 0-2, but that they don't lose on national television? Can they rebound if they do end up in a two-loss hole?

SL: An 0-2 start, no matter on what level, is going to be hard in football. The 49ers have a tough stretch to start the season and if they can't find their identity early, then it will be hard for them to climb out of the hole. There have been teams that have started 0-2 and have ended up going to the playoffs. In the weak NFC West, that possibility is not out there. However, the 49ers are not that good of a team just yet to overcome an 0-2 deficit with ease. A loss on Monday can really hurt the team.

DC: In what ways can Patrick Willis and the 49ers defense stop the Saints' offense if they go back to their high-scoring and pass-happy methods of last season?

SL: When the 49ers played the Saints a couple seasons ago, the 49ers stayed close for most of the game. What they were able to do was to not only hold on to the ball, but also add some pressure on Drew Brees. That's what the 49ers have to to do on Monday. Adding pressure with blitzes on Brees should force the passing game to change up a little. If Brees is given time in the pocket, the 49ers secondary will have a hard time.

One of the best assets of the 49ers team is their ability to hit hard. The Saints have to be aware of the ballhawking 49ers. Like the last time the 49ers were on Monday Night Football, the secondary's hard hits could cause a lot of turnovers.

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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Samuel Lam was honest about the Saints being too powerful to stop. But come on.....we win by only one touchdown?
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
Samuel Lam was honest about the Saints being too powerful to stop. But come on.....we win by only one touchdown?
He said the Saints win by "at least one touchdown." That covers a three TD blowout.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Lets see. I don't care if we win by a FG - just win baby!!
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