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FootballCEO 06-30-2012 11:31 AM

Football Gameplan's 2012 NFL Team Preview - Saints
 

Good afternoon B&G!! Here's my Season Preview for the Black n Gold!

Enjoy!

Em

pherein 06-30-2012 12:04 PM

Always love your objective reporting Em. Your concerns are valid and logical, and pretty much what our fans talk about. Showing your deep thought and prep work.
Plus, you acknowledge the solid 4 RB's, our draft ability to pick guys like
Toon, and that the OL is still very solid. Something the Power polls always seem to miss. If Brees is back we are the same 35-40 PTs a game offense.

I think you pegged it. Their is not a defense that can stop this offense in the NFCS, if everyone remains healthy. Our OL ends are a concern, but if the defense can just improve to 15-16th and they take care of the secondary issues. I can see us being #1 in the NFCS, maybe even 2nd or 3rd seed in the playoffs.

thanks

FootballCEO 06-30-2012 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pherein (Post 415463)
Always love your objective reporting Em. Your concerns are valid and logical, and pretty much what our fans talk about. Showing your deep thought and prep work.
Plus, you acknowledge the solid 4 RB's, our draft ability to pick guys like
Toon, and that the OL is still very solid. Something the Power polls always seem to miss. If Brees is back we are the same 35-40 PTs a game offense.

I think you pegged it. Their is not a defense that can stop this offense in the NFCS, if everyone remains healthy. Our OL ends are a concern, but if the defense can just improve to 15-16th and they take care of the secondary issues. I can see us being #1 in the NFCS, maybe even 2nd or 3rd seed in the playoffs.

thanks

Thanks Pherein! I always try to take the logical approach with my analysis.. Its just football in black & white without the unnecessary spin

FinSaint 06-30-2012 04:38 PM

Very nicely put, as expected from you.

The tackles on the O-line do concern me a bit as well, but the Saints do have some interesting prospects who could possibly become one of those "diamonds in the rough" they seem to find consistently. Bushrod is an OK LT, but I doubt he'll be back after this year since he'll probably want more money than the Saints are willing to pay for his services (or should for that matter) - the play of Carl Nicks made him seem better than he is. So, they do have to look to the future with their tackles since Brown has shown that he can't stay healthy long enough to actually compete for a starting job. He had his chance last season when Strief got hurt, but he only ended up getting injured once again without making an impression. Luckily Grubbs and Evans will be a solid pairing at guard, and they might possibly make up the best guard tandem in the league next year - Grubbs is supposedly better at run blocking than Nicks was, so that should bode well for the Saints' running game, which you already justly highlighted in your analysis report.

The Saints are hoping to get better production from their defensive front 4 this season and I would have to bet with Spags' track-record that their performances will improve, but the question is how much? If they are able to get more pressure with just the front 4 without having to bring up extra men to the line of scrimmage - their secondary won't have to cover receivers for those 7 second pockets we saw under William's leadership. Bunkley, as you said, was a really good signing by the Saints and should fit better in their system than either Rogers or Franklin did last season. I think Tom Johnson might be a surprise starter come opening day of regular season if he remains healthy. He had a really good shortened offseason last season by all the accounts by the staff and he looked really good in that first preseason game at SF againts the 49ers' 1st string guys, but then he injured his hamstring during the first 5 minutes of the 2nd quarter and couldn't return to the line-up until week 4. Johnson and Bunkley might make up a great pairing with the rookie Hicks learning his way and Ellis trying to finally produce like 1st rounder (if he still is with the Saints when the season begins) along with solid play for Ayodele. DEs are a question mark, but the Saints are hoping that McBride will perform much better this season and most importantly stay healthy. Jordan, Gallette and Wilson will have to carry the weight along with him for the possible duration of Smith's suspension, but I think that they can do it under Spags' guidance. Anyway, the D-linemen have been saying that Spags' front 4 schemes are much more rewarding for them to play in and allow them to concentrate on what they do best without resorting to trickery and overtly complex schemes as was the case under Williams. Now, I don't know how much of that is just supporting the new DC, but I for one wouldn't want any other DC in the league over Spags at the moment - with the limitations the Saints have in the defensive roster. Luckily the LBs will be much much better this coming season, because that corps was a mess last season like you yourself mentioned in your report.

And the offense will be top 3 in the league, so no point in worrying about that.

Anyway, just wanted to thrown in my 2 cents and thank you for a good job done! :bng:

rdanderson91 06-30-2012 06:27 PM

Left poor ole Jed Collins out!! Dude's a tank!

rdanderson91 06-30-2012 06:28 PM

But honestly, great analysis. Professional!

The Dude 06-30-2012 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FinSaint (Post 415495)
Very nicely put, as expected from you.

The tackles on the O-line do concern me a bit as well, but the Saints do have some interesting prospects who could possibly become one of those "diamonds in the rough" they seem to find consistently. Bushrod is an OK LT, but I doubt he'll be back after this year since he'll probably want more money than the Saints are willing to pay for his services (or should for that matter) - the play of Carl Nicks made him seem better than he is. So, they do have to look to the future with their tackles since Brown has shown that he can't stay healthy long enough to actually compete for a starting job. He had his chance last season when Strief got hurt, but he only ended up getting injured once again without making an impression. Luckily Grubbs and Evans will be a solid pairing at guard, and they might possibly make up the best guard tandem in the league next year - Grubbs is supposedly better at run blocking than Nicks was, so that should bode well for the Saints' running game, which you already justly highlighted in your analysis report.

The Saints are hoping to get better production from their defensive front 4 this season and I would have to bet with Spags' track-record that their performances will improve, but the question is how much? If they are able to get more pressure with just the front 4 without having to bring up extra men to the line of scrimmage - their secondary won't have to cover receivers for those 7 second pockets we saw under William's leadership. Bunkley, as you said, was a really good signing by the Saints and should fit better in their system than either Rogers or Franklin did last season. I think Tom Johnson might be a surprise starter come opening day of regular season if he remains healthy. He had a really good shortened offseason last season by all the accounts by the staff and he looked really good in that first preseason game at SF againts the 49ers' 1st string guys, but then he injured his hamstring during the first 5 minutes of the 2nd quarter and couldn't return to the line-up until week 4. Johnson and Bunkley might make up a great pairing with the rookie Hicks learning his way and Ellis trying to finally produce like 1st rounder (if he still is with the Saints when the season begins) along with solid play for Ayodele. DEs are a question mark, but the Saints are hoping that McBride will perform much better this season and most importantly stay healthy. Jordan, Gallette and Wilson will have to carry the weight along with him for the possible duration of Smith's suspension, but I think that they can do it under Spags' guidance. Anyway, the D-linemen have been saying that Spags' front 4 schemes are much more rewarding for them to play in and allow them to concentrate on what they do best without resorting to trickery and overtly complex schemes as was the case under Williams. Now, I don't know how much of that is just supporting the new DC, but I for one wouldn't want any other DC in the league over Spags at the moment - with the limitations the Saints have in the defensive roster. Luckily the LBs will be much much better this coming season, because that corps was a mess last season like you yourself mentioned in your report.

And the offense will be top 3 in the league, so no point in worrying about that.

Anyway, just wanted to thrown in my 2 cents and thank you for a good job done! :bng:

Why cant we have the number one offense in the league?

FinSaint 06-30-2012 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Dude (Post 415521)
Why cant we have the number one offense in the league?


Number 1 falls into the Top 3 doesn't it?! ;-)

FootballCEO 07-01-2012 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FinSaint (Post 415495)
Very nicely put, as expected from you.

The tackles on the O-line do concern me a bit as well, but the Saints do have some interesting prospects who could possibly become one of those "diamonds in the rough" they seem to find consistently. Bushrod is an OK LT, but I doubt he'll be back after this year since he'll probably want more money than the Saints are willing to pay for his services (or should for that matter) - the play of Carl Nicks made him seem better than he is. So, they do have to look to the future with their tackles since Brown has shown that he can't stay healthy long enough to actually compete for a starting job. He had his chance last season when Strief got hurt, but he only ended up getting injured once again without making an impression. Luckily Grubbs and Evans will be a solid pairing at guard, and they might possibly make up the best guard tandem in the league next year - Grubbs is supposedly better at run blocking than Nicks was, so that should bode well for the Saints' running game, which you already justly highlighted in your analysis report.

The Saints are hoping to get better production from their defensive front 4 this season and I would have to bet with Spags' track-record that their performances will improve, but the question is how much? If they are able to get more pressure with just the front 4 without having to bring up extra men to the line of scrimmage - their secondary won't have to cover receivers for those 7 second pockets we saw under William's leadership. Bunkley, as you said, was a really good signing by the Saints and should fit better in their system than either Rogers or Franklin did last season. I think Tom Johnson might be a surprise starter come opening day of regular season if he remains healthy. He had a really good shortened offseason last season by all the accounts by the staff and he looked really good in that first preseason game at SF againts the 49ers' 1st string guys, but then he injured his hamstring during the first 5 minutes of the 2nd quarter and couldn't return to the line-up until week 4. Johnson and Bunkley might make up a great pairing with the rookie Hicks learning his way and Ellis trying to finally produce like 1st rounder (if he still is with the Saints when the season begins) along with solid play for Ayodele. DEs are a question mark, but the Saints are hoping that McBride will perform much better this season and most importantly stay healthy. Jordan, Gallette and Wilson will have to carry the weight along with him for the possible duration of Smith's suspension, but I think that they can do it under Spags' guidance. Anyway, the D-linemen have been saying that Spags' front 4 schemes are much more rewarding for them to play in and allow them to concentrate on what they do best without resorting to trickery and overtly complex schemes as was the case under Williams. Now, I don't know how much of that is just supporting the new DC, but I for one wouldn't want any other DC in the league over Spags at the moment - with the limitations the Saints have in the defensive roster. Luckily the LBs will be much much better this coming season, because that corps was a mess last season like you yourself mentioned in your report.

And the offense will be top 3 in the league, so no point in worrying about that.

Anyway, just wanted to thrown in my 2 cents and thank you for a good job done! :bng:

Thanks Buddy! You're spot on! I'm really disappointed that Romeus got hurt this offseason... I was expecting big things from him this year. DL & Secondary are my biggest worries going into this season

FinSaint 07-01-2012 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FootballCEO (Post 415611)
Thanks Buddy! You're spot on! I'm really disappointed that Romeus got hurt this offseason... I was expecting big things from him this year. DL & Secondary are my biggest worries going into this season


You and me both, and almost everyone on these boards. But maybe he'll make an impact in 2013 if he finds a way to rehab himself to a point where he doesn't immediately injure himself again. Although, the move of Wilson from OLB to DE has somewhat softened the blow of losing Romeus, because he has shown that he can really get after the QB when given the chance.

I think that the defensive interior guys will perform better as a group than last year's cast, and that is really all you can ask for. Spags is known for his ability to coach up D-linemen, so I'm hoping he'll be able to get performances out of these guys, which are above the expectations people have for them.

If the front 4 can perform better it would allow the secondary to play with less pressure, because last couple of years have not been kind to the Saints' DBs. Greer, Robinson, Patrick, Harper, Jenkins, and Abdul-Quddus are a solid group with a lot of talent and potential, but the secondary schemes of the past haven't really always put them in the best possible place to succeed. And this brings me back to one of the things I'm most intrigued by going towards the preseason: how much of an impact will the new coordinators and coaches make? Kind of like what you highlighted in your Failclowns report as a deciding factor of whether they'll have a successful season or not.

The Saints' new secondary coach Flajole (formerly the Ram's DC under Spags) and new assistant secondary coach Curtis (formerly the Ram's DB coach under Spags) can potentially get the most out of the group of DBs the Saints have on their roster. I was very impressed with what the Rams did with their secondary last season with more than a dozen DBs hitting IR in the course of the season, and still Spags, Flajole, and Curtis were able to get 3rd and 4th string DBs to perfrom at a level where there wasn't really a huge drop-off from the day-1 starters - at least numbers-wise. That to me tells about their ability to coach up players and the intelligence to put the guys in a position where they are most likely to succeed as opposed to just plugging them into a scheme where they can't really succeed with their particular skill-set. This to me was the biggest problem under the former regime with Gregg Williams - schemes came first, players second.

So, I'm remaining very positive that those weaknesses you highlighted won't end up hurting the Saints and can even turn out to become strengths for the Saints. As long as the front 4 perform better, it should allow all other levels of the defense to play better themselves - from LBs to DBs. Front 4 was the biggest weakness of the Saints' defense in my opinion, and when they announced that they were bringing in Spags as the new DC, who is arguably one of the best D-line coaches in the league - they made their biggest off-season move on defense.

It'll be really interesting seeing how Spags' front 4 will perform in comparison to Nolan's front 4 in Atlanta, since both teams have sucked at creating pass pressure, and haven't really made any significant personnel changes from last season in that regard other than bringing in new DCs. Because if Nolan isn't able to create pressure from a 4-3 base with just their front 4 - their secondary will all of a sudden look much worse than it does at the moment on paper. And that is the problem the Saints have been dealing with for the past two seasons.


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