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Top 10 Off Season Results

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By John Clayton ESPN.com Free agency zipped by with about 100 signings in March. The pace of trades continued hot and heavy with a record 28 going down during the draft. Don't expect much from the June 1 cap casualty ...

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Old 05-05-2004, 12:39 AM   #1
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Top 10 Off Season Results

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

Free agency zipped by with about 100 signings in March. The pace of trades continued hot and heavy with a record 28 going down during the draft.


Don't expect much from the June 1 cap casualty list. That's been a fading market for the past few years as teams continue to get better at managing their caps. Already, some of the 16 potential casualties are being spoken for -- Broncos defensive tackle Daryl Gardener is headed to Cincinnati and Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde is likely going to Dallas. It's not out of the question for Redskins linebacker Jeremiah Trotter to go back to the Eagles and Rams quarterback Kurt Warner to land in Chicago with Lovie Smith. That leaves Falcons cornerback Tyrone Williams, Packers defensive end Joe Johnson, 49ers safety Zack Bronson, Bucs tackle Kenyatta Walker and a few others.


So, for the most part, rosters are set. With the draft concluded and little left in free agency, here's who did the best this offseason.



Roy Williams will give the Lions another young playmaker at receiver.

1. Detroit Lions. Sure, the Lions have had the farthest to go. It's been three tough years for general manager Matt Millen. The draft, though, put the Lions back on the map. After the failed experiment of trying to fix the receiving corps with Bill Schroeder and Az-Zahir Hakim, the Lions have studs and speed on the outside, adding first-round choice Roy Williams to go with last year's top choice Charles Rogers, who looked a touch faster in camp. Kevin Jones gives the Lions the explosiveness from the backfield they've been missing. Tai Streets isn't a bad addition at split end. Hakim can still work the slot. Damien Woody adds more attitude on the offensive line. Fernando Bryant complements Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly. The Lions still may be a year away from a playoff run, but they have a chance to be more competitive as long as Joey Harrington comes along.



2. Oakland Raiders. The hardest challenge was fixing both lines. For that, the Raiders exceeded expectations. Ted Washington and Warren Sapp add strength and play-making ability at defensive tackle. The offensive line has more players than roster spots with the additions of Robert Gallery, Jake Grove and Ron Stone. There's more depth in the secondary with safety Ray Buchanan and cornerback Denard Walker. Danny Clark will help at inside linebacker in the 3-4. Dwayne Rudd was a good outside linebacker acquisition. The Raiders didn't get the stud young receiver, but there wouldn't have been much playing time available any way. Too bad the Raiders didn't get the Corey Dillon trade done because that would have completed the perfect offseason.



3. Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons' moves were strategic and successful. Roderick Coleman is the perfect playmaker from the defensive tackle position in the switch to the 4-3. The cornerback position is completely revamped with DeAngelo Hall, Jason Webster and Aaron Beasley. The Falcons didn't get Roy Williams in the draft, but they made up for it by getting Michael Jenkins in the first round and Dez White in free agency to go with Peerless Price. Still, Jim Mora's best acquisition was offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who is doing miracles with his no-name unit.



Portis

4. Washington Redskins. Dan Snyder's best money was spent on head coach Joe Gibbs, who brought much needed structure to the franchise. Snyder also bought some quality along the way -- halfback Clinton Portis, quarterback Mark Brunell, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, cornerback Shawn Springs and linebacker Marcus Washington. First-round choice Sean Taylor may be one of the impact rookies to start. James Thrash was a sleeper acquisition in a trade from the Eagles.



5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If seems as though the Bucs signed everybody. They brought in 19 new faces, 18 in free agency and receiver Joey Galloway in a trade. To complement Galloway, the Bucs grabbed Michael Clayton in the first round, making them five deep at receiver. The late acquisition of Ian Gold keeps the emphasis on speed along the linebacking corps. The offensive line is much better with Derrick Deese at left tackle and Todd Steussie at right tackle. Matt Stinchcomb and Matt O'Dwyer will enhance the competition at guard. Charlie Garner adds much needed big-play ability in the backfield. Mario Edwards is a good third cornerback who was good enough to start in Dallas.



6. Denver Broncos. After failed moves with Dale Carter, Denard Walker and others, Mike Shanahan finally got his shutdown cornerback in Champ Bailey. He hopes second-round pick Tatum Bell can go into a running back by committee mix with Mike Anderson and Garrison Hearst to fill the void in trading away Portis. Shanahan used the New England approach in going for proven veterans on defense -- safety John Lynch and defensive linemen Marco Coleman, Luther Elliss and Raylee Johnson. First-round pick D.J. Williams and last year's second-rounder Terry Pierce have to play now that Ian Gold is gone to Tampa Bay.



7. Minnesota Vikings. This was the offseason the Vikings needed to continue to close the gap with the Packers in the NFC North. Drafting Kenechi Udeze, a big pass-rushing defensive end, was a bonus. Now, instead of using undersized Nick Rogers on early downs, Udeze can join Kevin Williams, Chris Hovan and Kenny Mixon on one of the league's best young lines. Steve Martin was another tough tackle added to the defensive line rotation. Wide receiver Marcus Robinson is a big threat on the other side of Randy Moss. Antoine Winfield added a proven cornerback. Punter Darren Bennett will help with field position now that he's kicking indoors.



Tait

8. Chicago Bears. The Bears didn't go crazy, but they filled key needs along both sides of the lines. Defensive tackles Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson, Chicago's first two picks in the draft, were the perfect body types for Lovie Smith's 4-3, which stresses speed and quickness over bulk. John Tait was signed as a right tackle from the league's best offensive line in Kansas City but he could be pressed into service at left tackle. Ruben Brown will be rejuvenated in a new uniform playing guard for the Bears. Thomas Jones is a quicker halfback than Anthony Thomas, but that's not a bad one-two punch. Bryan Johnson will help at fullback. Getting Warner in June wouldn't be a bad insurance policy for Rex Grossman at quarterback.



9. Philadelphia Eagles. It will be hard for the Eagles to improve too much on last season's 12-win campaign. But Philadelphia needed to make some bold moves to stay ahead in the NFC East, which has suddenly become one of the league's most competitive divisions. Everyone noticed in minicamp the separation Terrell Owens was getting on cornerbacks. Donovan McNabb has never had that type of receiver in his five seasons in Philadelphia. Jevon Kearse is still young and if he can overcome his injury problems, he'll provide the Eagles with one of the NFL's best pass rushers. Dhani Jones is a steady hand at linebacker. First-round choice Shawn Andrews already looks relaxed at guard. Next year, he may knock Jon Runyan out of his right tackle spot. Third-round choice Matt Ware could help in the nickel pass defense.



10. Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks didn't move fast but they filled key needs on defense. Veteran Grant Wistrom adds hustle to the line at end. First-rounder Marcus Tubbs adds a big body at defensive tackle to take the pressure off the inexperienced middle linebacking crew. The Seahawks are trying an interesting experiment converting Florida State linebacker Michael Boulware to safety. He has good range and speed. Bobby Taylor is a seasoned veteran and should help young cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Ken Lucas. Brock Huard's signing as the third quarterback could allow last year's fourth-rounder Seneca Wallace to spend time on the practice squad.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/column...ohn&id=1794386

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Old 05-05-2004, 01:23 AM   #2
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The common thread here seems to be: effectively utilizing BOTH free agency and the draft. Novel concept. Since 2 other division rivals seem to be doing that, maybe Haz could pick up some pointers.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:50 AM   #3
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Hmmm, let me see, what exactly were our GLARING weaknesses?
1.D-line versus run was horrible
2.D-line had very little pass rush
3.MLB and SLB stunk.
4.WR dropped ball lelft and right.
5.CB\'s are old.

So...
1. We sign a proven disruptive DT in Bryan Young.
2. We draft the best DE in the draft in Will Smith.
3. We draft the 2nd rated MLB in the draft in Watson.
4. We draft a dependable and lightning fast WR in Henderson
5. We sign a young up and coming proven CB in Craft.
6. We draft a late round steal (by most experts) in a run stuffing Leisle.
7. We sign one of the most respected and proven D-Line coaches around.
8. We swap a 3rd round pick for a 2nd rounder for virtually nothing.

Yup, we must not know what the hell we\'re doing. We didn\'t get a young CB in the draft. What a bunch of clueless losers.
:casstet:

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Old 05-05-2004, 11:18 AM   #4
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They say liberalism is a disease. I\'m starting to think negativity is too.
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Old 05-05-2004, 12:41 PM   #5
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They say liberalism is a disease. I\'m starting to think negativity is too.
I think your right Saint Fan, I mean i can see being a devoted saints fan who is optomistic becuase it goes with being a fan, but being a devoted to negativity, Im starting to wonder if they cheer if the saints do bad so they don\'t look bad next time they have to face the forum. But i always thought it was Ego. but i don\'t fully understand.

[Edited on 5/5/2004 by Chuck]
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Old 05-05-2004, 12:52 PM   #6
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How is Bryan Young proven disruptive?
Last year he had two sacks and 24 tackles. The year before that he had two sacks and 26 tackles.

By comparison, Kenny Smith had 1 sack and 32 tackles last year with 1 pass defended playing part time. Is Kenny proven disruptive?
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Old 05-05-2004, 01:28 PM   #7
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How is Bryan Young proven disruptive?
Last year he had two sacks and 24 tackles. The year before that he had two sacks and 26 tackles.

By comparison, Kenny Smith had 1 sack and 32 tackles last year with 1 pass defended playing part time. Is Kenny proven disruptive?
Good points, sort-of.
You can\'t just look at a DT\'s stats to determine if he\'s disruptive. A disruptive DT forces the play toward other people. Moreso for the 2-gapper but DT\'s rarely have great stats.

Example: Warren Sapp, probably one of the most disruptive DT\'s in the league.
2003- 44T, 5 sacks
2002- 47T, 7.5 sacks
So you could also say since K.Smith played 1/2 the time Sapp did, that Kenny Smith is better than Sapp, couldn\'t you?

Its also interesting that you left out Young only started 3 games in 2002, and only 12 in 2003 while the Rams were trying to justify their high dollar #1 picks.
In 2001, when he actually started 16 games, he had 40T, 6.5 sacks. In only his 2nd year.

But you may be right, I only watched a couple of Rams games this year and was mostly watching Turley get abused like trailer park slut.

I\'m just going by what I read from ESPN, CBS, NFL.com and Fox about Young. They said he was disruptive, and the Rams didn\'t want to lose him but had to.

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Old 05-05-2004, 03:29 PM   #8
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Say what you will Danno, and you have a point. However, the Saints have signed 3 CBs in FA in the last few years of FA. One had many off the field problems, was aging, and had been injured a lot. Hardly a lock, though they billed him as a \"shutdown\" corner that he never turned out to be. Another was an aging CB who lost his starting spot with a division rival. He is now an aging nickelback for us. Finally, Craft, who is a total question mark now. Bottom line though, he lost his starting spot in Jacksonville too and the Jags went out and signed a LOT of corners this offseason too. I think they know a thing or two about defense over there. In fact, the Jags could be the surprise team this season (that\'s neither here nor there, but the point is their defense is good and the coaches over in FLA know what they\'re doing).

We\'ve also signed 3 linebackers. All had either lost their starting spots or never had them to begin with. Further, none of the players we drafted have materialized.

Again, it\'s not quantity it\'s quality. I don\'t care if the Saints signed 15 linebackers this off-season if none of them is worth a damn. (I\'m not saying that\'s the case). My point is, we are lacking in quality.... as JKool and I discussed (I think it was J) - it\'s not that they didn\'t properly address their needs... it\'s that they didn\'t properly address their needs... again.

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Old 05-05-2004, 03:41 PM   #9
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Danno, I hope the Saints go to the Superbowl as much as your building them up and defending every article, player, coach, and every move they made this offseason.
I don\'t believe I defended the coaches. I think they are the weak link.
I\'m mostly challenging unwarranted crticism more so than singing the praise of every move they make.
I\'ve criticised them for not getting a CB.
I\'ve criticized play calling till I\'m fricking blue in the face.
I\'ve criticized our so called superstars Horn and McAllister more than any one here.
I\'ve criticized our coaches for not improving or developing one single LB since they\'ve been here.
I was one of the only ones here who thought T-rex was over-rated, before he left.
I was one of the 1st to say I though Deuce was too heavy and disappeared down the stretch, AGAIN! (boy did I get hammered for that one).


So don\'t lump me into that group that thinks this team doesn\'t have problems. I just prefer to address them logically and thoughtfully instead of slinging sh!t everywhere and hoping some sticks.

'Tolerance And Apathy Are The Last Virtues Of A Dying Society'
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:39 PM   #10
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Good points, sort-of.
You can\'t just look at a DT\'s stats to determine if he\'s disruptive.
Yep , according to Hasbeen Grady was disruptive wether he made tacckles or not ...
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