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ROY LANG: Did the Saints blow it?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Did the Saints blow it? Yes, the Saints messed up this decision, too Roy Lang / The Times Posted on January 27, 2004 AP Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Jake Delhomme will start in the Super Bowl for surprising Carolina ...

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Old 01-27-2004, 07:54 AM   #1
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ROY LANG: Did the Saints blow it?

Did the Saints blow it?
Yes, the Saints messed up this decision, too
Roy Lang / The Times
Posted on January 27, 2004

AP



Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Jake Delhomme will start in the Super Bowl for surprising Carolina on Sunday.




Can't you just imagine it? A kid from Breaux Bridge, who graduated from the school formerly known as USL, leading the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl. Not too many things in this state can rival the frenzy of LSU's national championship - this would have been one of them.

But the Saints let quarterback Jake Delhomme go and it's the fans deep in the heart of NASCAR country that are in love with the former Cajun. So while Delhomme and his Carolina Panthers prepare for Sunday's Super Bowl with New England, the fans of the fleur de lis can only wonder what might have been.

Don't get me wrong, Delhomme is not Dan Marino or John Elway. At least not yet. But he is not Aaron Brooks either. Brooks and his six-year, $36 million contract have been playing golf for a month. Delhomme is in a two-year, $4 million deal.

Think the Saints wish they had that extra room under the cap to shore up the defense?

Former General Manager Randy Mueller had the right idea with Brooks. Mueller wanted to let Brooks' play determine his contract. Well, instead the Saints gave Mueller the ax and let Brooks run the show. The quarterback who at the time had played one full season and went 7-9.

Brooks held out prior to the 2002 season and the Saints caved to his demands of his lucrative deal.

Two more playoff-less seasons and 16 fumbles (11 in '03) later, Mueller doesn't look so dumb.

Obviously, the commitment to Brooks left Delhomme searching for a place to play. A devastating loss to the Panthers in the last game of the 2002 season kept the Saints out of the playoffs and gave Delhomme a big clue as to where he wanted to go.

"One of the main reasons why I came to Carolina was because of what they did to us in New Orleans, coming to beat us in our own stadium," Delhomme said. "They had nothing to play for and we had everything to play for. I have a strong belief in this team. A lot of high-character guys, along with some decent talent. Things have worked out well for us."

I guess so.

Trent Dilfer, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson - these are your last three Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Not a superstar in the bunch. Delhomme fits right into that mold. A useful, dropback passer who can be relied on to protect the football and let a solid running game and a dominating defense lead the way.

Delhomme's numbers aren't flashy - 19 TDs and 16 INTs. But consistency in this league can be just as helpful as gaudy statistics.

"As long as my teammates like me and believe in me and my coaches are happy with the way I play that's all I care about," Delhomme said. "I am just - I am having the time of my life right now. I am. I haven't changed this week what I have done the previous 18 weeks, so I am just - I am enjoying this. This is a lot of fun."

Delhomme isn't an "it's-all-about-me" guy. It's more important to him to have his teammates on his side and to win.

I can't begin to imagine the fun the Saints marketing department would be having right now. Look how much Archie Manning is adored by Saints fans - and he never won a darn thing.

The Saints could have done worse than to have Delhomme, a solid, reliable (and much cheaper) quarterback taking the snaps. They could then truly rely on running back Deuce McAllister and have money to burn on the other side of the ball.

Instead, Mickey Loomis and coach Jim Haslett took a page from their top-dollar quarterback and dropped the ball on this one.
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:32 AM   #2
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ROY LANG: Did the Saints blow it?

Hindsight is 20/20.

The Saints blew it not so much by letting Delhomme get a chance to start somewhere else, but by signing Brooks to the big contract. Brooks is now the albatross chained around this team\'s throat. Or maybe Brooks is the anvil chained to this team\'s throat and thown into the river.

By signing Brooks to the long term, big money deal, Haslett staked his future on Brooks success. Many people here like to post Brooks numbers to cite how \"successful\" he is as a qb. So I thought I\'d look at another qb that is similar to Brooks: Jeff George. Brooks has a career completion percentage of 56.4, George\'s is 57.9. Brooks throws for an average of 3650 yards each season, George threw for 3746 when he played 16 game seasons. Brooks has a career qb rating of 82.1 and George\'s was 80.4.

Each guy posts similar numbers, each guy has leadership problems, each guy has a hard time winning games and each guy has coaches willing to hurt their careers for them. The only big difference I see is that nobody kept George chained around their throat. At some point each team decided it was better to stop drowning and go in another direction. Jim Haslett hasn\'t reached that point yet.

Brooks Numbers-- http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/133233
George\'s Numbers-- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...l/players/812/

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Old 01-27-2004, 10:48 AM   #3
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ROY LANG: Did the Saints blow it?

You said it. Hindsight is 20/20.

If Brooks turns into Brian Griese, the Saints are idiots but if he becomes Peyton Manning, they are brilliant! It\'s not like he didn\'t have a successful track record. Regardless of what you may think, Brooks isn\'t dragging this team down and his contract isn\'t ridiculous.
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Old 01-27-2004, 01:40 PM   #4
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ROY LANG: Did the Saints blow it?

Brooks and his six-year, $36 million contract have been playing golf for a month. Delhomme is in a two-year, $4 million deal.

Think the Saints wish they had that extra room under the cap to shore up the defense?
Has anyone else on this board maybe made comments to that effect? LOL.

ormer General Manager Randy Mueller had the right idea with Brooks. Mueller wanted to let Brooks\' play determine his contract. Well, instead the Saints gave Mueller the ax and let Brooks run the show.
This guy must really be 08. It\'s a conspiracy right? LMAO.

Delhomme\'s numbers aren\'t flashy - 19 TDs and 16 INTs. But consistency in this league can be just as helpful as gaudy statistics.
So you mean an average QB who is consistent can help a team as much as a \"flashy\" player?? Who ever would have thought that? ROTFLMAO.


Where\'s the Sunshine Band on this one? Sounds like this guy is confirming pretty much everything SOME people on this board have been saying. C\'mon, keep telling us about how there\'s a possibility of a chance that it could be probable that maybe we called these moves wrong. Go ahead, tell us again. We\'re all ready for another fun fictional account.

\"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.\"
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