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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Jeff Duncan New Orleans Times-Picayune Linebacker struggles The linebackers' performance disappointed coach Jim Haslett last season, and the club is ready to make a move for a linebacker in the free-agent market or the draft. The club would like ...

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Old 02-09-2004, 06:37 PM   #1
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Saints report

By Jeff Duncan
New Orleans Times-Picayune


Linebacker struggles

The linebackers' performance disappointed coach Jim Haslett last season, and the club is ready to make a move for a linebacker in the free-agent market or the draft. The club would like an upgrade over MLB Orlando Ruff, who is better suited to be a backup because of his lack of speed and range.

The team doesn't want to lose free-agent CB Fakhir Brown, who played significant minutes down the stretch and was effective. Considering the Saints' lack of depth at corner and Brown's improvement, they will make a strong push to keep him.

Offseason projects

Team officials were shocked at FS Tebucky Jones' poor fundamentals when he arrived from New England last year. He missed tackles and often tried to make the highlight-reel hit instead of wrapping up the ballcarrier. Coaches are hopeful Jones, a willing worker, will blossom into a Pro Bowl-caliber safety with a strong offseason.

WR Donte' Stallworth's conditioning will be monitored closely. The team is hoping that with the right program, Stallworth can avoid the groin, muscle and hamstring injuries that hampered him in his first two seasons. New assistant strength and conditioning coach Mark Smith will pay special attention to Stallworth to improve his stretching and training during the offseason.

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Seems to me I have seen this shopping list before .

Linebacker
Corner
Better play from the Safety
Stallworths Hamstrings

Seems familiar .
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:19 PM   #2
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Seems to me I have seen this shopping list before .

Linebacker
Corner
Better play from the Safety
Stallworths Hamstrings

Seems familiar .
Painfully familiar. I wonder if there will be a good faith effort to address any of these issues this offseason?

The club would like an upgrade over MLB Orlando Ruff, who is better suited to be a backup because of his lack of speed and range.
I\'m shocked I say, shocked. :casstet:
When is Haslett going to get over his fixation on track stars? I\'d be willing to wager a po-boy from Acme that Haslett\'s looking into plane tickets to Athens to scout the track and field guys this summer.
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:15 AM   #3
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The club would like an upgrade over MLB Orlando Ruff, who is better suited to be a backup because of his lack of speed and range.
Well now that might make really good sense too Haslett .

Remember Haslett is the coach who designed a formation that had James Allen covering Randy Moss in 2002 .
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:32 AM   #4
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Actually, it was Sedrick Hodge and he had him covered pretty well.

I see you guys complaining about Haslett wanting track stars but Ruff wasn\'t able to produce because of a lack of range and speed. What do you want? If he play\'s Ruff, you\'re complaining about his speed. If he replaces Ruff, you\'re complaining about Haslett\'s fixation with \"track start.\"

Some people just ***** for the purpose of *****ing.
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:20 PM   #5
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Yeah you right, Austin. Know why? This same group complained last year when the Saints and their 20+ million dollars of cap room passed up on Spikes, Quarrles, Claiborne, and many others only to sign a backup from San Diego who had never seen the field. If you can\'t see how closely this year\'s free agent wish list looks like last years then get your glasses fixed!!!
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Old 02-10-2004, 05:04 PM   #6
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This same group complained last year when the Saints and their 20+ million dollars of cap room passed up on Spikes, Quarrles, Claiborne, and many others only to sign a backup from San Diego who had never seen the field. If you can\'t see how closely this year\'s free agent wish list looks like last years then get your glasses fixed!!!
Some people just make excuses for Haslett for the purpose of making excuses I suppose.

Haslett can do no wrong....
Haslett can do no wrong...
Haslett can do no wrong...

Now if you just close your eyes and tap your ruby slippers together 3 times while saying this....
The Saints will still need real linebackers and real corners.
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Old 02-10-2004, 05:56 PM   #7
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OR, it could be that some folks give Haz the benefit of the doubt and recognize that there were things that happned last year beyond his control. Some just don\'t see the point in sarcasm I suppose, but whatever works for the individual.

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Old 02-10-2004, 09:08 PM   #8
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Saintfan,

We almost never agree, but I always make it a point to read your posts.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:04 PM   #9
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Yeah you right, Austin. Know why? This same group complained last year when the Saints and their 20+ million dollars of cap room passed up on Spikes, Quarrles, Claiborne, and many others only to sign a backup from San Diego who had never seen the field. If you can\'t see how closely this year\'s free agent wish list looks like last years then get your glasses fixed!!!
Thats not how I remember it.
I thought we made a bid at Spikes and was outbid.
Quarrels = Over-rated
Claiborne - I wanted this guy but he was injury prone.
Ruff - He had seen the field as a starter for several years. Everyone knew what we were getting with him. An average player that would team with Smith for a stopgap at MLB.
We had much more pressing needs last year.
19 out of 20 folks here screamed their heads off that we needed a shut-down corner. We never got one and it turned out to be the strongest unit on D.
This years class of defensive free agents and rookies looks twice as good as last years slim pickin\'s.
I doubt very seriously the personnel was the problem in 2003.

Sedrick Hodge - Didn\'t improve
James Allen - Didn\'t improve
Darren Smith - Didn\'t improve
Roger Knight - Didn\'t improve
Orlando Ruff - Didn\'t improve
Derrick Rogers - Didn\'t improve
Cie Grant - Didn\'t improve

Hmmm, I\'m seeing a pattern here that may indicate that maybe personnel isn\'t the problem.

'Tolerance And Apathy Are The Last Virtues Of A Dying Society'
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Old 02-11-2004, 09:03 AM   #10
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So if none of those guys improved, then its all on them? Whoever decided to bring those guys in and believed they would improve is not at fault here?

Wouldn\'t you call that a personnel problem?

Gee, thats funny b/c I would. :P I agree some bust are acceptable, but you just named 7.
I think you totaly missed my point.
Seven linebackers and none improved. Is it that all 7 players are busts? NO. My point was that it may have more to do with lousy coaching than the personnel brought in.
How could you have missed that point?
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