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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; In the past, NFL teams were built to win in the future. It consisted with teams primarily going out and drafting players and slowly grooming them until their time had arrived. The teams who did well in the draft were ...

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Old 07-09-2004, 08:09 PM   #1
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

In the past, NFL teams were built to win in the future. It consisted with teams primarily going out and drafting players and slowly grooming them until their time had arrived.

The teams who did well in the draft were the teams that usually stayed on top for several years and sometimes for the better part of the decade. The 49’ers, Cowboys, and the Redskins are examples of those teams, to name a few.

Today, teams still use the draft to build their teams, but they are also signing free agents to help their team win now.

The one difference that stands out in my mind about today’s NFL compared to life before free agency is that the successful teams build for today and not for the future.

If you look the top coaches in the NFL such as Andy Reid, Bill Parcells, Jon Gurden, and Bill Belichick they all have one thing in common, and that is they like to bring in proven veterans. They don’t necessarily have to be big name free agents, but the point is they don’t like to depend on a lot of rookies or unproven players. And for good reason.

Today the difference in most games comes down to which team makes the least mistakes. Obviously, having as many experienced veterans on the field as possible lessens the chance of mistakes occurring. One of the other advantages veterans bring is that they are usually able to pick up a scheme quicker than some rookie or a player that’s only been in the league for a couple of years. Also, veterans are used to playing against NFL caliber talent. They aren’t overwhelmed by the competetion.

One other thing you see the top coaches do is bringing in players they have coached before. This is a huge advantage because these players already know the scheme and they know what the coach expects.

No team can fill their entire roster with proven veterans, however. They are going to have players that have only been with the team for a year or two and they are going to have rookies.

But, by having as many proven players as possible they don’t have to rely on the unproven players as much and they bring them along a little slower. Also, by not having a roster full of unproven players, the time frame is shortened when trying to get everyone on the same page.

We all hear about the magical “gellingâ⠂¬? process. Well, this “gellingâ⠂¬? process is much shorter when you don’t have so many unproven players.

Plus having a veteran roster also brings a more professional atmosphere to the locker room. Young players are less likely to step out of line and it makes the coaches job just that much easier.

If you look at what the Saints have done, you’ll see they have taken a different approach. Haslett and co. seem to like to depend on younger players and develop them. Of course, all teams develop players, but the Saints just depend on them much more.

Just going down the Saints roster the last couple of years, here are some of those players:

1. Donte’ Stallworth
2. Deuce McAllister
3. Le Charles Bentley
4. Montre’ Holland
5. Jonathan Sullivan
6. Charles Grant
7. Aaron Books
8. Tebucky Jones


Some of these players have been with the Saints longer than others but they are still very young players. And a lot of these players are at “keyâ⠬? positions. Then you have players like Tebucky Jones who never really was a full-time starter with the Patriots.

Then add in the all the player turnover every year and it’s little wonder why this team has been inconsistent.

But, this year could be different. This is Brooks 4th year as a starter. Deuce will be starting for the 3rd consecutive year. This is Stallworth’s 3rd year, which is usually when receivers have their breakout year. Sullivan will be in his second year, which is usually a much better year for a defensive tackle. Charles Grant will be in his 3rd year and he shouldn’t have to be worried about being doubled teamed every play with Darren Howard and Will Smith in the fold. Then you have your proven veterans like Joe Horn, Wayne Gandy, Jerry Fontenot, and Darren Howard. Also brought in was Brian Young who should bring a much-needed attitude to the defensive line. And if that isn’t enough, we brought John Pease back.

There are some other players I haven’t mentioned like Sedrick Hodge and James Allen that will be counted on, but they are much more familiar with the system than they have been in the past and should have a much better supporting cast.

Plus add in the fact this is the first year we don’t have 10 new guys that have to learn the system.

While all of this doesn’t guarantee success, it does look promising. No longer should we have guys that appear to be lost out on the field and if we have players that go down due to injury, we should have some capable backups who can step in.

With the difference only being 1 or 2 points between losing and winning, we should be in much better shape this year



[Edited on 10/7/2004 by GumboBC]

[Edited on 10/7/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:48 PM   #2
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

How do they know the next coaching staff is going to want the futuristic players ???

Was it really building for the future anyway or a simple case of \"look who fell into our lap on draft day\" ????

Stallworth fell
McAllister fell

Think about it .....

[Edited on 10/7/2004 by saintz08]
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:54 PM   #3
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

08 --

The draft is what it is. You never know who will be there.

My point is Haslett and co. have depended on the youger players much more and have stuck with it as opposed to bringing in a lot of aging veterans to make a run for the short term.

While this has not paid off up to this point and it has led to inconsistency, this year could be different.

[Edited on 10/7/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:35 AM   #4
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

Question: If in 2000, when Haslett got here and said, \"Let\'s build for the future\", wouldn\'t that be about now? 3 or 4 years out? Certainly by the 5th year no? So while Haslett has built for the future in the past, the future is now, thus making the Saints a team that have to \"build\" or \"play\" for the right now. Right? At some point, they have to stop drafting these young and inexperienced players, insert a few guys who can get it done right now, and make a push. Otherwise, if you\'re always planning for 3 years out and foresaking the present for the future, you\'ll never get to where you\'re trying to go.

\"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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Old 07-10-2004, 08:52 AM   #5
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

WhoDat -

Yes, you\'re right, WhoDat. At some point you\'ve got to say the hell with the future, it\'s time to win NOW!! And the time is NOW!

I don\'t think there\'s much doubt that Haslett\'s dependence on too many uproven players has led to a lot of mistakes and inconsistency on the field. And how many games have those type of mistakes cost us??

I also don\'t think there\'s much doubt that if proven veterans were brought in that a lot of those mistakes could have been avoided.

If you look at the successful teams that\'s what they have done. They aren\'t betting the farm on the Sedrick Hodges and Orlando Ruffs of the world.

But, what Haslett and co. have done CAN work. It\'s kinda like what the teams of the past have done, which is go with the draft and develop your own players. It just takes a lot longer.

I also don\'t think Haslett exactly planned it to work out this way. It just kinda happened. I think Haslett did bring in players to win NOW, it just didn\'t work.

This year, some of these unproven players should have had enough time to develop. But, if they don\'t then who\'s to blame?
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Old 07-10-2004, 01:53 PM   #6
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

Haslett, that\'s who.

I agree with everything you said Billy. What\'s disappointing to me is that I still haven\'t seen that, let\'s take a shot this year mentality from the Saints.

For example, consider:

Coming into the offseason the Saints needed to resign Howard and Thomas. OK, they did that. Now, did they have the money to get a proven STUD at MLB? Yes. Did they have the money to get a stud at corner? Yes. Would that have stopped them from picking up Craft, probably, but maybe not Young. Maybe we have to give our first in a trade so we are without Will Smith. I would give up Will Smith right now to have a stud at MLB and CB.

Would that have screwed us long term? NO! If those proven players didn\'t work out, cut them. If they did, you could probably eliminate a lot of excess baggage? How lmuch longer will Rodgers and Smith be on the team? Ruff could go... That doesn\'t mean that Watson or Grant are out. Besides, what\'s worse, having taken a shot at going to the SB and ending up in a position where you have too many good players and have to let some go, or having enough money to constantly be average?

\"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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Old 07-10-2004, 05:39 PM   #7
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

I haven\'t seen the \"lets take a shot this year\" attitude either. As far as going out in the free-agent market.

I\'m not sure why the Saints don\'t go after some of the high profile free agents. It\'s got to be either: a) That\'s not the way Haslett wants to build this team or (b) Benson doesn\'t want to spend the money? My guess is Haslett.

Fans can say what they want, but free-agency is just as important as the draft. You\'ve got to do well in both the draft and free-agency because other teams aren\'t just relying on the draft and you\'ve got to compete or you will get left behind.

I haven\'t researched other teams free-agent pickups over the last 4 years but I know the Saints track record. Let\'s look the players the Saints have aquired since Haslett has become the coach.

Let\'s see...

1. Joe Horn
2. Grady Jackson
3. Norman Hand
4. Tebucky Jones
5. Orlando Ruff
6. Ashley Ambrose
7. Wayne Gandy
8. Aaron Brooks


The first thing I notice is the Saints went the \"cheap\" route. The 2 biggest impact players the Saints signed were Brooks and Horn and both were completely off the radar and singed cheap. Now, I give them credit for finding them, but the point I\'m trying to make is they don\'t go after proven \"impact\" players.

The 2 guys they were willing to spend some bucks on were Tebucky and Gandy. Gandy is solid. Tebucy is a project. Compared to other teams I suspect the Saints have lost when competing in free-agency.

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Old 07-10-2004, 08:29 PM   #8
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Some teams build to win now. Saints built for the future.

What about the Jake Reed / Brian Cox experiment , for leadership on the field ???

Do we get to put them on a list ???
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