Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints

Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS OPTIMISM. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! The "who cares, we suck" crowd may want to skip reading this. Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul By MIKE KIRAL The Ascension Citizen The Superdome was quiet this past ...

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-15-2004, 11:31 AM   #1
Site Donor 2014
Truth Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Spanish Fort Alabama
Posts: 16,821
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS OPTIMISM.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
The "who cares, we suck" crowd may want to skip reading this.

Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul
By MIKE KIRAL The Ascension Citizen

The Superdome was quiet this past weekend. Unlike the previous Sunday when LSU played Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, there were no cheering football fans, no officials' whistles, no popping of the pads. The Dome will be noisy again this weekend but only because The World of Wheels is in town.

New Orleans Saints fans are all too used to the Superdome being quiet in January. Except for a handful of years in the late 1980s and early '90s and in 2001, the home team's season often came to an end shortly after the ball dropped on New Year's Eve.

This January marks the third straight year the Saints have been left out of the NFL playoffs, the longest streak by any of the NFC South teams. But unlike the last two seasons when the Saints waited until the holiday season to dash their fans' hopes, the 2003 year was all but over by the time the kids went trick or treating. Only an uncharacteristic strong finish (seven wins over the final 10 games) salvaged an 8-8 record.

A .500 record is not what Saints fans expected in 2003. After all, the team had the highest payroll in the league. Free agents like Tebucky Jones, Ashley Ambrose and Derrick Rodgers were supposed to help the team improve a defense that finished 27th in the league in 2002. Ernie Conwell and Wayne Gandy were going to make an explosive offense even more potent.

Many of the moves didn't pan out. The Saints were lackadaisical in the preseason and it carried over to the early part of the regular season. Then came heartbreaking losses to Carolina, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville when the team was one or two plays from pulling out victories.


The strong finish showed that unlike past seasons, a major overhaul of the teams is not needed in the offseason, just a few tweaks here and there.

The offense underachieved in 2003 but still has a number of players who can make plays. Injuries hampered the play of receivers Donte Stallworth and Joe Horn and Conwell at tight end. Stallworth showed what he was capable of when healthy over the last two games. Along with Jerome Pathon, Stallworth and Horn give the Saints one of the deepest receiving corps in the league.

The Saints need to find a backup for Deuce McAllister. McAllister was undoubtedly the team's MVP and had a team-record nine straight 100-yard rushing games but seemed to wear down by season's end. The Saints had no back to adequately spell him during the season. It's an area they cannot fall short in again.

Aaron Brooks had one of his best seasons and led the league in interception ratio. Now, Mike McCarthy and the offensive staff just need to work with Brooks on his propensity to fumble and his decision making. He did appear to become more of a team leader in the later stages of the season.

The defense also improved late in the season but still needs some tinkering. One of the top priorities in the offseason is the resigning of free agent defensive end Darren Howard. Jonathan Sullivan must step up next year and prove he was worthy of being a high first round pick. That will help the defense against the run. So will a middle linebacker although there certainly will not be any Ray Lewis types on the open market this year. The Saints also need to get a cover corner in the draft to take some of the pressure off Fred Thomas.



But first and foremost, the discipline of the team must be improved. Horn's cellphone antics in the Giants game all too typified the 2003 New Orleans Saints. The 2004 version must play smarter and more disciplined for the Saints to have any real shot at a playoff berth.

Teams like Dallas, Carolina and Cincinnati this year showed that a playoff-caliber team can be quickly built in today's NFL. Of course, teams like the Giants, Tampa Bay and Oakland also proved a dropoff can come just as quick. The next couple of months will determine which scenario the Saints will experience in 2004.
Danno is offline  
Latest Blogs
Saints: A glimpse of the future Last Blog: 11-19-2014 By: lee909


What i tell you ! !! ! Last Blog: 11-02-2014 By: SAINTstunna


MID TERM ELECTION Last Blog: 10-29-2014 By: teddybarexxx


Old 01-15-2004, 11:44 AM   #2
500th Post
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 598
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

From a personnel stand point I agree with this article. There is a lot of talent on this team and there is a lot to be hopeful about next season. This off season present us with a very filliable list of player needs and 3 picks in the first two rounds plus plenty of cap space to do it. Haslett hopefully is feeling the heat and will go for a top tier free agent MLB rather than the bargins usually sought. Draft a stud CB and our chances look good from there to flesh out the other needs.
In this paragraph I think the author points out where the real tweaking needs to take place.
But first and foremost, the discipline of the team must be improved. Horn\'s cellphone antics in the Giants game all too typified the 2003 New Orleans Saints. The 2004 version must play smarter and more disciplined for the Saints to have any real shot at a playoff berth.
Two assistants are not the tweaking need to solve this.



[Edited on 1/15/2004 by saint5221]
saint5221 is offline  
Old 01-15-2004, 12:02 PM   #3
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 842
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

We\'ve all discussed several things we feel the Saints need to improve. I said for most of the season, I felt our offensive line was a weak area, and I still believe that. I think we need to replace JERRY FONTENOT. There\'s been way too much pressure up the middle, and that\'s exactly where Fontenot is at. He might be good as a back-up, but his time has passed.

I\'m not sure about Wayne Gandy. He got beat some, but did well in other games. Considering it was his first year with the Saints, there\'s reason to beleive he will improve.

MONTRAE HOLLAND really impressed me. I hope to see him start next season. Le\' Charles is probably as good as it get\'s, so we\'re fine there.

It\'s a old cliche\' that games are won and lost along the offensive and defensive lines, but it\'s true. We got blown off the ball on both sides last year, too many times. I want to beat teams up and not try to trick \'em. How many times did we need 1-yard to make a first down and didn\'t get it. That wasn\'t Deuce\'s fault. Thank our O-line for most of the failures.



[Edited on 15/1/2004 by BillyC]
BillyC is offline  
Old 01-15-2004, 10:47 PM   #4
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,631
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

From a personnel stand point I agree with this article. There is a lot of talent on this team and there is a lot to be hopeful about next season. This off season present us with a very filliable list of player needs and 3 picks in the first two rounds plus plenty of cap space to do it. Haslett hopefully is feeling the heat and will go for a top tier free agent MLB rather than the bargins usually sought. Draft a stud CB and our chances look good from there to flesh out the other needs.
Was this posted in 2003 or 2004? I forget, b/c it sounds a lot like an echo to me.

Billy - good point. Our line was a bit of an enigma to me. At times they opened holes that you could drive a truck through - then on short-yardage, when it mattered, they got destroyed. I like Bentley and Holland. I\'d like more power and youth at one tackle position. Fontenot doesn\'t pack the punch he once did, but I\'ll take a veteran on the line who has lost a step over a handful of young guys - especially when that veteran is the one responsible for getting the QB the ball and calling the blocking assignments.

\"Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all anyone ever makes for the New Orleans Saints’ organization.\" - Eric Narcisse


\"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack,\"
he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
WhoDat is offline  
Old 01-16-2004, 10:44 AM   #5
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 842
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

WhoDat --

At what point would you replace Fotenot? Next year? The year after? When? I say that time is now. We need someone that can push the line of scrimmage. Fontenot is savvy, but he\'s definately on the downside of his career.
BillyC is offline  
Old 01-16-2004, 12:05 PM   #6
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,631
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

I can\'t really argue with that Sunshine. So long as Bentley keeps developing into the absolute stud that he can and will be, then I\'m OK with that.
WhoDat is offline  
Old 01-16-2004, 12:32 PM   #7
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 842
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

I can\'t really argue with that Sunshine. So long as Bentley keeps developing into the absolute stud that he can and will be, then I\'m OK with that.
LMAO!! I thought that sounded like some WhoDat logic that I used...

I must say though, I\'m not happy with the \"Sunshine Tag.\" --
BillyC is offline  
Old 01-16-2004, 12:35 PM   #8
Site Donor
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 11,237
Blog Entries: 5
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

It\'ll pass Billy. Whodat just needs to feel better about himself is all.

saintfan is offline  
Old 01-16-2004, 03:37 PM   #9
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,631
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

I feel fine about myself Turbo - and I don\'t know why you two are getting worked up about the Sunshine tag - it was your fearless leader who gave the group the name.
WhoDat is offline  
Old 01-16-2004, 04:35 PM   #10
100th Post
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 406
Saints need tweaking, not an overhaul

Although I agree that Fontenot is past it and we need a new center, I am not for dogging the line out. It seemed to me that most of the year, they did an adequate job against some really good defenses. That said:

I am disappointed in our run-blocking and think we didn\'t get as much push as we need to up front. It almost seems like our gang isn\'t aggressive enough. I exempt Bentley from this and seem to recall being able to run behind him fairly regularly, at least while he was healthy.

Our pass blocking seemed adequate to me, and I can remember thinking that Brooks often had all day to throw the ball. It made me really frustrated (when the camera angle was right) to see that our receivers weren\'t doing more to get open when the basic play paterns broke down. Only Horn seemed to know what to do in those situations. Stallworth I can forgive for youth, but I remember yelling at Pathon a lot. He should know better. Maybe getting a new WR coach will help that.

Definitely Fontenot needs to go, but I don\'t know who to put in the center now. I know they\'ve been grooming Jacox for a few years but he hasn\'t really sparkled in my opinion. Because of this, I understand why they grabbed JF this year.

\"The AB brand of TP will hurt your O-ring.\" - BlackandBlue

http://www.darrylbercegeay.com/wsmith1.jpg
FrenzyFan is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:05 AM.


Copyright 1997 - 2013 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts