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Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview New Orleans Saints TEAM ATMOSPHERE After another underachieving season, there's a strong sense of urgency in New Orleans, as with many other teams around the league. The Saints know they have a lot ...

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Old 07-09-2004, 10:44 PM   #1
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Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview

Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview

New Orleans Saints

TEAM ATMOSPHERE
After another underachieving season, there's a strong sense of urgency in New Orleans, as with many other teams around the league. The Saints know they have a lot of talent, but must mature and improve their focus. That puts a load of pressure squarely on the shoulders of head coach Jim Haslett and quarterback Aaron Brooks. The defense also needs to play with added maturity and more discipline.

POSITION OF STRENGTH
Outside of Carolina, not many teams have as much talent at defensive end as the Saints. Darren Howard is the steady veteran of the group. He plays the run effectively. As a pass rusher, he lacks speed but is very instinctive. DE Charles Grant is one of the best athletes coming off the perimeter and has a lot of natural pass-rush ability, but must play up to that billing more consistently. There were indications this off-season that he could be starting to mature. Rookie Will Smith will play a big role on passing downs. He's a natural upfield speed rusher. Howard will slide inside on third downs, while Smith and Grant line up outside. The Saints should be able to generate a solid pass rush this season

The Rest:>>> http://msn.foxsports.com/story/2567486
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:56 PM   #2
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Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview

Carolina Panthers


TEAM ATMOSPHERE

Much has changed for the Panthers in recent months. Expectations are higher now that the team has tasted a Super Bowl experience. Carolina also made some key changes to the roster, but a hungry core remains. Head coach John Fox is setting the ideal tempo that the Panthers must continue striving for improvement. This is a blue-collar unit under Fox that will work just as hard to make it back to the Super Bowl.

POSITION OF STRENGTH
A good deal of Carolina\'s success has been along the front four on defense. Defensive ends Mike Rucker and Julius Peppers are very active and productive off the perimeter. They disrupt the timing of opposing quarterbacks more than enough times. Kris Jenkins has become a terror inside with his outstanding quickness. Al Wallace provides good upfield skills as a reserve. Brenton Buckner offers a solid veteran presence.

The Rest: >>> http://msn.foxsports.com/story/2567462
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Old 07-09-2004, 10:58 PM   #3
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Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview

Atlanta Falcons

TEAM ATMOSPHERE
The Jim Mora Era starts with a fresh energy and attitude around the Falcons organization. The players are a lot more focused and dedicated under the more proactive Mora. Mora also has put together a very solid staff that\'s earned the respect of the players, at least so far. There\'s certainly a lot of excitement over the anticipation of Michael Vick being fully healthy again. The Falcons will be one of the more interesting stories to track this season.

POSITION OF STRENGTH
Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett give the Falcons a versatile, if not productive, tandem at running back. Dunn is a very good athlete with big-play ability on the ground and through the air. He\'ll find a lot of cutback lanes to exploit working behind an Alex Gibbs line. Duckett provides more power inside and can grind away at teams. His pass blocking has gotten past the liability stage, but he still needs to do a better overall job in the passing game to get more snaps in Greg Knapp\'s scheme.

The Rest: >>> http://msn.foxsports.com/story/2567392
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Old 07-09-2004, 11:01 PM   #4
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Scouting insider Brian DeLucia: Saints pre-camp preview

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TEAM ATMOSPHEREThis has officially become Jon Gruden\'s team. It has more of a veteran presence and a lot of moves were made this winter to boost the offensive side of the ball. There\'s a ton of new faces with a more aggressive approach toward free agency. The leadership dynamics have changed now that long-time Bucs John Lynch and Warren Sapp are gone, but this remains a team hungry to put last season\'s debacle behind it.

POSITION OF STRENGTH
Look for the Buccaneers\' defensive line to continue disrupting opponents. Simeon Rice is dangerous coming off the perimeter. Anthony McFarland is poised for a breakout season in Warren Sapp\'s old spot. He\'ll spend a lot of time in opposing backfields with his interior quickness and burst. Rice and McFarland will disrupt the opposition\'s passing game on a consistent basis. Depth is pretty good across the board and the wild card is Darrell Russell. Russell has spent a few months working with line coach Rod Marinelli. If anyone can drive Russell into becoming a dominant presence upfront, its Marinelli.

The Rest: >>> http://msn.foxsports.com/story/2567506
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