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Saints "Fearsome Foursome"

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Originally Posted by halloween 65 We should be able to get a couple of quality players,{ SOMETHING THOSE 3 WAS IN THEIR DREAMS} either way. To be honest, I think Vilma was worth his contract in 2008, 2009, and somewhat ...

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Old 01-18-2012, 09:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
We should be able to get a couple of quality players,{ SOMETHING THOSE 3 WAS IN THEIR DREAMS} either way.

To be honest, I think Vilma was worth his contract in 2008, 2009, and somewhat in 2010. It was only late last and the whole of this season that he fell off what is expected of him, and probably that decline has everything to do with his knees, which is why I doubt we'll see a great improvement next season if he's still with the Saints. But to say that "he was a quality player only in his dreams" is not at all correct in my opinion. And the 2005 season with the Jets - if I remember correctly - was lights out from him and probably his best season as a NFL player.

Smith, on the other hand, had two really good seasons tackling-wise in 2007 & 2008, and then an all around good year in 2009 when he racked up additionally 13 sacks. But the last two seasons have seen his stats decline in all aspects - still we have to remember that he was hurt in 2010 and missed the start of this season with the star caps debacle - it's hard to pinpoint why the decline has taken place, but it might just be because of the general schemes and also somewhat due to the other players on that defensive front. Still, I would give him the benefit of the doubt if he had his salary severely reduced to less than half. Again, Smith has been a quality player for the Saints and could still be that with a lower price tag to match his productivity.

Now, with Ellis I think your statement has some validity to it. During his first 4 seasons he has just never risen to meet those 1st round draft pick expectations, but one could argue that maybe those expectations were never realistic in the first place. Nevertheless, he is making 1st round money without the production to go along with it, and that is why he is expendable. His relatively small demeanor for a DT is probably one of the reasons why he hasn't found the success in the NFL which he had at the college level, and why he never gets his hands up to brake up the pass. Also, I was very disappointed with the lack of speed he showed this season as opposed to f.e. the 2010 season. If you don't have the size to push the O-Linemen backwards or have the speed to be an effective 3-tech... what are you good for?

The reason why I would not like to see both Vilma and Smith leave the Saints is that those are two of the guys who have worn the C on the defense, and I'm afraid that getting rid of both of them might have a bad affect on the rest of the guys on the defense. I know it is a business with business decisions, but if the other guys really look up to two guys in the locker-room and on the field - it would have to be a hard pill to swallow seeing both of them being kicked to the curve by the management.

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Old 01-18-2012, 10:26 PM   #32
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Just get three real big two gap mothers and some really athletic linebackers and go to the three-four which will give more overall defensive speed...

The only decent four-three we ever had was the one we had with LaRoi Glover, Joe Johnson, Norman Hand, & Darren Howard with Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell as the OLB and a real threat at SS in Sammy Knight...
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:04 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
To be honest, I think Vilma was worth his contract in 2008, 2009, and somewhat in 2010. It was only late last and the whole of this season that he fell off what is expected of him, and probably that decline has everything to do with his knees, which is why I doubt we'll see a great improvement next season if he's still with the Saints. But to say that "he was a quality player only in his dreams" is not at all correct in my opinion. And the 2005 season with the Jets - if I remember correctly - was lights out from him and probably his best season as a NFL player.

Smith, on the other hand, had two really good seasons tackling-wise in 2007 & 2008, and then an all around good year in 2009 when he racked up additionally 13 sacks. But the last two seasons have seen his stats decline in all aspects - still we have to remember that he was hurt in 2010 and missed the start of this season with the star caps debacle - it's hard to pinpoint why the decline has taken place, but it might just be because of the general schemes and also somewhat due to the other players on that defensive front. Still, I would give him the benefit of the doubt if he had his salary severely reduced to less than half. Again, Smith has been a quality player for the Saints and could still be that with a lower price tag to match his productivity.

Now, with Ellis I think your statement has some validity to it. During his first 4 seasons he has just never risen to meet those 1st round draft pick expectations, but one could argue that maybe those expectations were never realistic in the first place. Nevertheless, he is making 1st round money without the production to go along with it, and that is why he is expendable. His relatively small demeanor for a DT is probably one of the reasons why he hasn't found the success in the NFL which he had at the college level, and why he never gets his hands up to brake up the pass. Also, I was very disappointed with the lack of speed he showed this season as opposed to f.e. the 2010 season. If you don't have the size to push the O-Linemen backwards or have the speed to be an effective 3-tech... what are you good for?

The reason why I would not like to see both Vilma and Smith leave the Saints is that those are two of the guys who have worn the C on the defense, and I'm afraid that getting rid of both of them might have a bad affect on the rest of the guys on the defense. I know it is a business with business decisions, but if the other guys really look up to two guys in the locker-room and on the field - it would have to be a hard pill to swallow seeing both of them being kicked to the curve by the management.
I do agree with some of your statement, but I disagree with some also, not to sound disrespectful but as far as Vilma goes this is no where near 2005 and he has to me had 1 1/2 good years here and to be the captain of the D and his lack of production after that last year and all of this year tells alot about the player, if our lb.'s are being measured by his skill set they should have been set in 2005 not now. Ellis, my expectations of him was high, but to me he is average at best, Smith, I don't really know where he lost his edge but it's gone. A new DC will bring in players that fit his style of play and unless Vilma, Ellis or Smith has played his profile of football they can be replaced by anyone that can produce better results, so the title of captain means nothing. Each of them have had a few good years and I feel that they are living on past performances and reputation which goes only so far unless they continue to back it up in which they are not doing, to me it's what have you done for me lately, not what you use to do that just don't get it done if you want to win. Perfect example Gregg Williams. And to be honest none of them will be in the hall of fame.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:11 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
I do agree with some of your statement, but I disagree with some also, not to sound disrespectful but as far as Vilma goes this is no where near 2005 and he has to me had 1 1/2 good years here and to be the captain of the D and his lack of production after that last year and all of this year tells alot about the player, if our lb.'s are being measured by his skill set they should have been set in 2005 not now. Ellis, my expectations of him was high, but to me he is average at best, Smith, I don't really know where he lost his edge but it's gone. A new DC will bring in players that fit his style of play and unless Vilma, Ellis or Smith has played his profile of football they can be replaced by anyone that can produce better results, so the title of captain means nothing. Each of them have had a few good years and I feel that they are living on past performances and reputation which goes only so far unless they continue to back it up in which they are not doing, to me it's what have you done for me lately, not what you use to do that just don't get it done if you want to win. Perfect example Gregg Williams. And to be honest none of them will be in the hall of fame.

My main argument in the last reply was that as far as both Vilma and Smith go - they've been quality players during their careers, which was something you claimed they've only been in their dreams. Now, I know you probably didn't mean it literally, but I would still want to make the distinction that they've been quality and they still could be going forward.

Furthermore, being a quality player doesn't necessarily mean that a player is in the Top 5 of his position in the league - at least in my opinion. I think it is more about filling your role in the roster to the best of one's abilities and giving the right return to the management in terms of salary vs production.

In that sense I think Smith could still be a quality player for the Saints, but his salary would need to be reduced significantly in order to match the production of the past two seasons. To be honest we might see an improvement in his production come next season, new DC, and new schemes which might suit his skill-set much better. Therefore, I think the new contract should have a low base salary with a number of performance based clauses which could reward him for an increased productivity if that were the case. Kind of like "a carrot and a stick" approach to his new contract.

Also, if the Saints were to sign Spags as their new DC and have as a goal of recreating some of that front 4 pass rush the Giants have had since 2007 - having a lot of pass rushers would be a key for the rotation that would be necessary in order to establish it. That is where Smith's worth to the team might elevate him back to that quality status... granted his contract would still need to be restructured.

Vilma is a hard one to evaluate in terms of what he can bring to the field going forward, and it all depends on what the status is with his knees? The team physios know it the best and I'm sure SP & ML will make the correct assessments regarding his future, so it is hard to say whether or not he could still be a quality player for the Saints. Furthermore, I think it also tells a lot about a player that he was willing to play with an injury (that needed surgeries to repair) in order to help his team to have a better chance at winning... just saying you can take that and twist it any way you prefer.

I'm not even going to defend Ellis because I think his time is up.

But leadership inside a team is one of those intangibles that is very hard for us fans to evaluate looking from outside in, and that is why I would be hesitant to call for both Vilma's and Smith's heads. If the contract negotiations with Brees hang on without a clear solution before training camps - which I don't think will happen - it would be very important to have leaders who could bring the team together at those challenging times. I don't know, it's all guesswork, but I was just voicing my concerns.

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Old 01-19-2012, 11:35 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
My main argument in the last reply was that as far as both Vilma and Smith go - they've been quality players during their careers, which was something you claimed they've only been in their dreams. Now, I know you probably didn't mean it literally, but I would still want to make the distinction that they've been quality and they still could be going forward.

Furthermore, being a quality player doesn't necessarily mean that a player is in the Top 5 of his position in the league - at least in my opinion. I think it is more about filling your role in the roster to the best of one's abilities and giving the right return to the management in terms of salary vs production.

In that sense I think Smith could still be a quality player for the Saints, but his salary would need to be reduced significantly in order to match the production of the past two seasons. To be honest we might see an improvement in his production come next season, new DC, and new schemes which might suit his skill-set much better. Therefore, I think the new contract should have a low base salary with a number of performance based clauses which could reward him for an increased productivity if that were the case. Kind of like "a carrot and a stick" approach to his new contract.

Also, if the Saints were to sign Spags as their new DC and have as a goal of recreating some of that front 4 pass rush the Giants have had since 2007 - having a lot of pass rushers would be a key for the rotation that would be necessary in order to establish it. That is where Smith's worth to the team might elevate him back to that quality status... granted his contract would still need to be restructured.

Vilma is a hard one to evaluate in terms of what he can bring to the field going forward, and it all depends on what the status is with his knees? The team physios know it the best and I'm sure SP & ML will make the correct assessments regarding his future, so it is hard to say whether or not he could still be a quality player for the Saints. Furthermore, I think it also tells a lot about a player that he was willing to play with an injury (that needed surgeries to repair) in order to help his team to have a better chance at winning... just saying you can take that and twist it any way you prefer.

I'm not even going to defend Ellis because I think his time is up.

But leadership inside a team is one of those intangibles that is very hard for us fans to evaluate looking from outside in, and that is why I would be hesitant to call for both Vilma's and Smith's heads. If the contract negotiations with Brees hang on without a clear solution before training camps - which I don't think will happen - it would be very important to have leaders who could bring the team together at those challenging times. I don't know, it's all guesswork, but I was just voicing my concerns.
You make a very respectable case for Smith which I can see because I can't pinpoint where he has somehow lost his way, but at the same time he has not produced the last 2 years to justify the means, he in my opion would make an excellent back-up and who knows possibly could get his act back together, now Vilma thats another story, I've watched his play in particular this year because of the first game of the season at Green Bay, I watched him check out of 2 plays that were totally wrong calls and it got my attention, this has been an issue all season with him, his tackling has been pi$$ poor, just not getting the job done, when Dunbar took over we were much better and really proved what I've said on other threads, Dunbar should start. Vilma's done if he plays here next year we will be no better at the lb. position than we are now in the middle, it's time to get better. And Smith either takes a major haircut as in back-up money or hit the streets. I hope your right about him, I'll be watching!!!!! I fully expect Romeus to start next year also.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:49 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
You make a very respectable case for Smith which I can see because I can't pinpoint where he has somehow lost his way, but at the same time he has not produced the last 2 years to justify the means, he in my opion would make an excellent back-up and who knows possibly could get his act back together, now Vilma thats another story, I've watched his play in particular this year because of the first game of the season at Green Bay, I watched him check out of 2 plays that were totally wrong calls and it got my attention, this has been an issue all season with him, his tackling has been pi$$ poor, just not getting the job done, when Dunbar took over we were much better and really proved what I've said on other threads, Dunbar should start. Vilma's done if he plays here next year we will be no better at the lb. position than we are now in the middle, it's time to get better. And Smith either takes a major haircut as in back-up money or hit the streets. I hope your right about him, I'll be watching!!!!!

I do agree with what your're saying about Vilma and out of the three players that we've been discussing I do see Smith as the one who might have the most to give to the Saints. But, in order for this to potentially work, his base salary should be somewhere around $3M (what Alex Brown was getting) not the $7M it would be with the current contract, and definitely not the $9M or the $10.4M base salaries he would be getting in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

And as far as the mental lapses with Vilma go - it would be hard to determine what would have caused those. Was it the lingering injury and the constant pain he must have felt that somehow clouded his judgment? Or was it that his partnership with GW was no longer as fluid as it had been in '09 and '10 - giving him certain guidelines which to follow with his on field audibles? Or was it just that he has lost some mental edge he used to have?

Hard to say, but I trust that SP, ML and the rest of the FO will make the correct decisions about his future with the Saints based on the information only they have at their disposal.

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Old 01-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
I do agree with what your're saying about Vilma and out of the three players that we've been discussing I do see Smith as the one who might have the most to give to the Saints. But, in order for this to potentially work, his base salary should be somewhere around $3M (what Alex Brown was getting) not the $7M it would be with the current contract, and definitely not the $9M or the $10.4M base salaries he would be getting in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

And as far as the mental lapses with Vilma go - it would be hard to determine what would have caused those. Was it the lingering injury and the constant pain he must have felt that somehow clouded his judgment? Or was it that his partnership with GW was no longer as fluid as it had been in '09 and '10 - giving him certain guidelines which to follow with his on field audibles? Or was it just that he has lost some mental edge he used to have?

Hard to say, but I trust that SP, ML and the rest of the FO will make the correct decisions about his future with the Saints based on the information only they have at their disposal.
I truly felt he was tired and didn't want to tackle anyone, I swear!!!
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
And as far as the mental lapses with Vilma go - it would be hard to determine what would have caused those. Was it the lingering injury and the constant pain he must have felt that somehow clouded his judgment? Or was it that his partnership with GW was


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Old 01-19-2012, 01:32 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
I truly felt he was tired and didn't want to tackle anyone, I swear!!!

But that wouldn't explain him calling the wrong audibles against certain offenses as you suggested earlier, since I would think that he would have to make a tackle if the situation required it regardless of what the defensive formation was.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:51 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
But that wouldn't explain him calling the wrong audibles against certain offenses as you suggested earlier, since I would think that he would have to make a tackle if the situation required it regardless of what the defensive formation was.
Only if what he called was a different play, to transition the D into thinking it was something else, he calls the plays, if he calls run, they play run, if he calls pass the D plays pass, lots of different sets in a D. And he did not engage.
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