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cbssportsline's Saints Report

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints report: Notes, quotes, anecdotes http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/report/NO/7026287 The Saints will probably be looking at cornerbacks in the draft, so it was no surprise when coach Jim Haslett tracked down Oklahoma's Derrick Strait at the Senior Bowl workouts and had a lengthy ...

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Old 01-22-2004, 06:50 PM   #1
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cbssportsline's Saints Report

Saints report: Notes, quotes, anecdotes

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/report/NO/7026287

The Saints will probably be looking at cornerbacks in the draft, so it was no surprise when coach Jim Haslett tracked down Oklahoma's Derrick Strait at the Senior Bowl workouts and had a lengthy chat with him.
But even though the Saints will probably be looking to add some youngsters at the position, Haslett said it's too early in the evaluation process to begin naming names or identifying targets.

"It's early," Haslett said. "We're just starting to get to know these players and find out about them. This is the first chance for the coaches to see players in person, to talk to them and get a feel for them. I've been telling the media, 'Don't ask me about players.' We're just getting started."

--Haslett hired former Saints assistant John Pease to coach the defensive line next season.

Pease, 60, replaces former defensive line coach Sam Clancy, whose contract was not renewed. Pease served as defensive line coach in New Orleans under former coach Jim Mora from 1986-94, tutoring Wayne Martin, Joe Johnson, Jim Wilks, Frank Warren, Jumpy Geathers, Bruce Clark and Renaldo Turnbull, among others.

Pease spent last season out of football after serving the previous eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-2002), his last season as their assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

--The Saints still have to hire an assistant strength and conditioning coach to fill out Haslett's coaching staff.

Jerry Palmieri, who served in that capacity last season, joined Tom Coughlin's staff with the New York Giants. Palmieri was the strngth and conditioning coach for Coughlin when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"Generally speaking, we don't think we need a revoluation of change. We don't need dramatic, sweeping changes. What we need to do is fine-tune the things we do and eliminate some of the mistakes. We need to add a couple of players and shore up some deficiencies, and we need to get healthy." -- Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis on the team's upcoming off-season.


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Old 01-22-2004, 07:02 PM   #2
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cbssportsline's Saints Report

cbssportsline.com hooked me up with alot of info today...

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/report/NO/7026288

Saints report: Strategy and personnel Jan. 22, 2004

Notes, quotes, anecdotes | Inside slant The top priority for the Saints in the offseason will be to add talent and more talent on the defensive side of the ball.
But unlike last year, when coach Jim Haslett and defensive coordinator Rick Venturi tore that unit apart following a rather dismal performance, the Saints will be trying to tweak the components of a group that improved from 27th in the league in 2002 to 18th this season.

Bringing in more speed and finding some playmakers, especially at the linebacking positions, will be the main focus. Finding some young blood at cornerback will also be a key.

But overall, Haslett said he expects to have less turnover on that side of the ball this time around.

\"We need continuity,\" he said.

UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACKS
Starter -- Aaron Brooks. Backups -- Todd Bouman, J.T. O\'Sullivan.

Coming off surgery on his throwing shoulder, Brooks had a solid season with a career-best passer rating of 88.8.

RUNNING BACKS
Starters -- HB Deuce McAllister, FB Terrelle Smith. Backups -- HB Lamar Smith, HB Fred McAfee, HB Ki-Jana Carter, HB James Fenderson.

McAllister had another huge season in his second year as a starter. Smith isn\'t a threat as a runner or receiver, but the Saints love his blocking ability.

TIGHT ENDS
Starter -- Boo Williams. Backups -- Ernie Conwell, Walter Rasby, David Sloan, Zach Hilton.

Williams came on strong after Conwell was lost for the final six games of the season to a fractured ankle that required surgery.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Starters -- Joe Horn, Jerome Pathon. Backups -- Donte Stallworth, Michael Lewis, Talman Gardner, Derrick Lewis.

Overall, the Saints\' top wideouts were terribly inconsistent as dropped balls contributed to a falloff by the offense. Lewis made great strides as the fourth wide receiver with 12 receptions for 226 yards.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Starters -- LT Wayne Gandy, LG Kendyl Jacox, C Jerry Fontenot, RG LeCharles Bentley, RT Victor Riley. Backups -- G Montrae Holland, G/T Spencer Folau, G/T Jon Stinchcomb, C Terence Wagner.

This group had a solid season as the Saints finished 11th in rushing with an average of 125.0 yards per game, providing the blocking for McAllister to put up nine straight 100-yard rushing games. They allowed 36 sacks, but the Saints still ranked eighth in passing offense.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Starters -- LE Charles Grant, LT Johnathan Sullivan, RT Willie Whitehead, RE Darren Howard. Backups -- DT Kenny Smith, DE Melvin Williams, DT Kenderick Allen, DT Howard Green.

The Saints finished 27th against the run in allowing 140.1 yards per game.

LINEBACKERS
Starters -- SLB Sedrick Hodge, MLB Darrin Smith, WLB Derrick Rodgers. Backups -- MLB Orlando Ruff, MLB Cie Grant, WLB James Allen, SLB Roger Knight.

Hodge and Smith battled injuries, which played havoc with the continuity of the group.

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Starters -- LCB Ashley Ambrose, RCB Fred Thomas, SS Jay Bellamy, FS Tebucky Jones. Backups -- CB Dale Carter, CB Keyuo Craver, CB Fakhir Brown, CB/S Deveron Harper, SS Mel Mitchell, S Steve Gleason.

The Saints will try to upgrade this group in the draft and free agency. Ambrose, Thomas and Carter, who finished the season on injured reserve, are all in their 30s and an infusion of young blood is necessary.


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Old 01-22-2004, 10:37 PM   #3
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cbssportsline's Saints Report

Generally speaking, we don\'t think we need a revoluation of change. We don\'t need dramatic, sweeping changes. What we need to do is fine-tune the things we do and eliminate some of the mistakes. We need to add a couple of players and shore up some deficiencies, and we need to get healthy.
This sounds like no MLB or CB (at least no impact player) to me.
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