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BillyC 11-14-2003 09:57 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
I went into this season looking for big things from the Saints. I thought the offense would be even better this year. I thought with an extra year of experience in the system and with the addition of Conwell, that this offense was going to be near unstoppable. So far that hasn't been the case. I've tried to figure out the primary reason for the lack of productivity on offense, but I can't really point to one thing. I think the reason that you can't point to one thing is because it's several things that are contributing to the lack of success on offense.

I've blamed dropped passes, penalties, poor blocking, bad play calling, bad throws, etc, etc.... Still I was looking for that one reason as to what was wrong with the offense. But now I've come to believe that it's all of those things TOGETHER that are the reason. In other words, it's the Saints offense that is their own worst enemy.

The other things I feel that are reasons as to why the offense hasn't been as successful as last year are special teams and the defense. Last year Michael Lewis gave the offense great field position. That isn't happening this year and I feel like it has hurt us. I also think that the terrible play by the defense early in the season hurt our offense. Our defense just wasn't able to get off the field and give our offense enough chances.

While none of this might not be earth shattering news and no one might not agree with me, this is the way I see it. Also, I think this is good news because most of these things are correctable. It's not like we are the Bengals and don't have the talent to make a run at the playoffs.

I've always heard it's not the way you start the season, but the way you finish it that counts. Things seem to be lining up for the Saints to make a playoff run. We've got the injuried players coming back. A pretty easy schedule. We play the teams that are contending for the final wildcard spot. Oh, and don't forget the new field.

Coming off the bye week the Saints team could get on a serious roll. They just need to correct their own mistakes and they should be fine.....

ScottyRo 11-14-2003 10:51 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
I agree, BillyC, that there is some room for optimism when looking at the Saints \'03 offense even as compared to \'02. Like you said there are a variety of problems that caused the early season failures.

What I like about this year\'s offense is that the entire unit seems to be contributing. We\'re not relying solely on Aaron, Deuce and Joe, but are utilizing two TEs in the passing game and occassionally K Carter and J Pathon. If Stallworth can step up and finish out the season well, I believe we\'ll have a nearly unstoppable offense the rest of the year.

I can only hope that this will be enough to help us go 7-0 the rest of the way, because that is what I fear it is going to take for the Saints to make the playoffs, unfortunately.

BROOKSISBANKS 11-14-2003 11:09 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
Gentleman, we are looking at 8-8. You know it and I know it. We beat the Falcons, lose to the Eagles, beat the Skins, lost to Tampa, beat the Gaints, beat Jax and lose to the Cowboys. Look deep down into your souls and you know it\'s true.

BillyC 11-14-2003 11:11 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
Hey Dog -- Didn\'t we just beat Tampa? Did you predict that too?

ScottyRo 11-14-2003 11:34 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
What makes you so sure we\'re going to lose to either the Eagles or the Cowboys? Both of these teams have looked fairly weak this year, regardless of their records.

I believe that we CAN beat all the teams remaining on our schedule. I also believe that it will likely take that (a 7-0 run) to make the playoffs. I tempered my optimism with the word \"unfortunately\" at the end which you apparently missed. This means that even though I have hope and see that it is possible, I don\'t think it is likely.

canucksaint 11-14-2003 11:41 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
Yea, Billy that is an optimistic look. I hope that you’re right. I think that the D has emensly improved since the beginning of the season. Plus we are now getting healthy again. But the O has not improved. We now have Lewis back, and he is doing ok on O and ok on Special Teams. But not outstanding like last year. Deuce is amazing, but everyone else isn’t carrying their weight. Horn hasn’t been bad, but too many drops. Pathon??? Where is he these days? Stalworth.. when he gets done pulling things (muscles or otherwise) he may turn out to be something special. But that’s a big if. How about the TE’s? We’re actually using them, which is a step in the right direction, once they learn to catch, things will really look good. I am still confident that the Saints will make the playoffs. But then what? Then we’re playing quality teams, unlike the last part of our season. Is at that point that I’m not so optimistic.

BillyC 11-14-2003 11:50 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
canucksaint -- Just looking at the NFC, I don\'t think there is an elite team. I don\'t think there is very much difference between the best team in the NFC and the 4-5 teams. So, if we get to the playoffs, I don\'t think I would say we would be overmatched. Now the AFC teams are a little better IMO.

The odds are not in our favor I will admit. But, it would not surprise me one bit if a team came out of nowhere and went on to win the super bowl. That seems to be the norm these days, more times than not.

Coming off the bye week, I\'m hoping the Saints reverse their tread of the last couple of seasons. All I know is that they have been playing with more heart and desire the last 4 games, which is something they was sorely lacking. We shall see..........

canucksaint 11-14-2003 11:58 AM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
Yea, that\'s true. I was thinking AFC teams. Not the NFC that as I agree, doesn\'t have an elite team as of yet. Most of the teams that will win the division in the NFC are just the best out of the bad.
How are our injuries looking this week? Will Smith or Carter be back? How about the O line? I know we are getting people back, but we still aren\'t at 100%. And that worries me with the birds, as they have a habit of beating us at home.

saint5221 11-14-2003 12:09 PM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........
I don\'t think the point is whether or not the rest of the NFC is beatable, because it sure is, we all see that. The point for the Saints is, are they going to be able to muster the consistancy necessary to win over such a long streach. 7 game win streaks are mighty hard to come by, even against poor NFL teams. While the teams we play have looked beatable they have looked very good at times as well. The Saints will have to find a way to eliminate the mistakes they have shackled themselves with. No small feat for a team that has been as erratic as the Saints have been so far. Alot of winning football is not doing the other teams work for them. How we learn to stop beating ourselves is of more concern to me over the last streach of this season than the teams lined up to help us fall.

BillyC 11-14-2003 12:21 PM

Optimistic look at the Saints.........

How we learn to stop beating ourselves is of more concern to me over the last streach of this season than the teams lined up to help us fall.
I agree. That was basically what I said in my original post. I also think some players are going to have to contribute more. Like:

1. Donte\' Stallworth.
2. Jerome Peython
3. Michael Lewis (return game)
4. Dale Carter
5. Secrick Hodge
6. Darren Howard
7. Tebucky Jones

These are players that have been disappointing either because of their play on the field or due to injuries. If we are to indeed make a run at the playoffs, I feel it is important to get better production out of these guys.

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