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Who Dat Nation: would you be happy with the same Saints team from last season?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; With all that is going on in the NFL these days, football fans are sitting back and beginning to wonder if we will even have a season in 2011. Judges and mediators are starting to step in more now which ...

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Old 04-13-2011, 10:00 PM   #1
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With all that is going on in the NFL these days, football fans are sitting back and beginning to wonder if we will even have a season in 2011. Judges and mediators are starting to step in more now which leads my gut instinct to believe that not only will we have football this year, but that the season will start on time.

Needless to say though, but we've already lost some time. Free agency was supposed to begin at the start of March which now means the league is almost two months behind in normal operations already. A judge's ruling isn't supposed to come for at least another two or three weeks so there goes even more time. That of course depends on if she rules for the league to resume operations anyway.

But let's say that things get back in working order soon and the league is shooting to begin the regular season on time at the beginning of September. Chances are there may not be that much wheeling and dealing with players since time is kind of short. So therefore I need to ask the Who Dat Nation this question:

Would you be happy if the Saints played another season with almost the exact same team as last year?

Last year's team finished the season with an 11-5 record, second in the NFC South, and then a heart crushing loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the first found of the playoffs. The team had more injuries than one could imagine yet they still had what can be looked at as a very successful season.

~ Drew Brees finished the season with over 4,600 yards, but had more interceptions then we care to remember. Chances are he can turn that around and fix that little issue.

~ Marques Colston started the season off slow but came about, midway through and had a very good year overall with 84 receptions for over 1,000 yards. Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson's production dropped off from the year before and there were a lot of drops and missed opportunities on both of their hands. Lance Moore stepped up his game though from an off season (and often injured) in the year before.

~ Injuries in the running back department absolutely destroyed the Saints as time missed by Lynell Hamilton, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, Reggie Bush, P.J. Hill, and LaDell Betts never really gave the team a clear running game. It was hard to tell or imagine who was going to be in the corps of running backs from one game to the next.

Ivory will be back as will Thomas who already signed a four-year contract extension with the team. P.J. Hill is already gone and Lynell Hamilton could return in full strength from his season-ending injury. His time on the field though depends on if Bush ends up renegotiating his contract and staying in black and gold or not. I expect Betts and Julius Jones to both be gone completely.

~ Jeremy Shockey is gone and Jimmy Graham is the new kid in town so he'll take over as the starting tight end and pair up with David Thomas. I have no problem with that whatsoever because it is a great pairing and Graham is going to be huge in this league.

~ The offensive line is good, but not as great as they were the year before. Some adjustments really need to be made so that Brees isn't hitting the turf nearly as much as he did in 2010.

~ Up front defensively could be an issue because Alex Brown just didn't show up on the other end of the line opposite Will Smith like everyone hoped he would. Smith actually led the team in sacks but with only six, that's not saying much. Shaun Rogers is a new addition and will help fill the middle with Sedrick Ellis a bit better than Anthony Hargrove or Remi Ayodele, but the run defense needs to improve.

~ The linebacking corps is captained by Jonathan Vilma which is not a problem at all because the guy is still bringing his A-game as he has since he arrived in New Orleans. It is the outside linebacking positions that worry me. Scott Shanle is aging and I'm not sure an often injured Kawika Mitchell or Danny Clark and Jo-Lonn Dunbar is the answer.

~ Malcolm Jenkins is becoming the leader of the secondary after only one season at safety and he showed why. The kid is going to be good in this league for a long time. He makes a formidable safety duo with Roman Harper, but the cornerbacks seemed off in 2010. Jabari Greer had a decent season but Super Bowl XLIV hero Tracy Porter just seemed off his game and even got picked on at times by opposing quarterbacks.

It will be interesting to see if second-year cornerback Patrick Robinson steps up his game in training camp to try and move up the depth chart. Porter was off, but I think he'll bounce back. Darren Sharper is on the downside of his career and could be back for one more season, but again at a bargain price only.

~ The kicking team is secure with Garrett Hartley signing a new deal with the team after correcting many of his errors and problems from last season. Thomas Morstead continues to do a great job punting the ball.

Well there you have it. The team from last year that could essentially be very close to the same team the New Orleans Saints play ball with in 2011. Would you be happy? Do you think it was mostly injuries that plagued the team last year? What positions are you hoping the team focuses on with the draft and whatever free agent time the league gives once things are settled?

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Old 04-14-2011, 12:33 AM   #2
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I wouldn't mind it that much, if you look at it purely statistically it should be hard to have as much injuries as last year again. Healthy RBs and LBs and last year would have ended a lot different.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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I absolutely would be happy. We had a top ranked offense and defense. With the exception of a play here and there and the big debacle in Seattle, I was satisfied with our production on the field. Our team was a contender... which is all I'm asking for year in year out.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:10 AM   #4
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I think if we can add one or two pieces to the offense and defense, we will be fine. I think we need a back capable of handling the tough inside runs, we need an OLB who can cover TEs and backs out of the backfield, and a DE who can rush the passer. Get those three and it's CHAMPIONSHIP.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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We need a more dominant pass rush and an OLB that can cover and tackle, cuz shanle cannot do those things.
Also the corners need to up their game from last season, in 2009 they were automatic, but in 2010 it wasnt only Porter that was getting picked on, Greer got consistently beat my Mike Williams of seattle in both games we played against them. Sometimes it got really frustrating for me, because knowing how good our corners are, often times it looked as though Greer wasn't even trying to play the ball and didnt even get aggressive when the ball reached the WR.
On Offense i think were set, a new RB maybe just to make sure and that'll do, we have the deepest WR core in the NFL, another TE to backup Graham would be nice but that kid is a baller, absolute beast.
I'd be happy with additions to OLB, DE and RB, then i think we can move forward with the team we have, also wanna see Juneyah get some time this year.

"Ryan......INTERCEPTED....going back the other way with Jabari Greer......TOUCHDOWN....KILLER TOUCHDOWN for the saints!!!"
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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Absolutely. The only change being HEALTHY.

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Old 04-14-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Yes, i would we made it to the playoffs. But then the wheels came off. It's better than when i was growing up watching year after year.
Just make a few changes here and there.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:17 AM   #8
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That's a good question.
If we had all these players healthy, I think we win, but there's no such thing as a healthy football team.

Seeing as the last thing I remember from '10 is Marshawn Lynch running over our D, like a junior high team, I would say I need to at least take a look at some upgrades at LB & SS. If Harper & Shanle can hold off a competitor, then fine. But I'd like some competition.

Drew I'm not worried about. He had a secret injury, and was still better
than anyone else.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #9
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But we won't be playing with the same team. Regardless there will be a draft and injuries will no doubt happen. We all know what the team is capable of...
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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i would surely take the same season as 2010, a xtra point here or there different and we may have make it to the champ. game.
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chris ivory, danny cox, drew brees, garrett hargley, lynell hamilton, marques colston, nfl, p.j. hill, pierre thomas, reggie bush, thomas morstead

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