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GumboBC 08-01-2004 08:47 AM

The way I see the defense
 
When the Saints wrapped up the 2003 season with an 8-8 record, many suspected Haslett and company would go out in the free-agent market and make wholesale changes on defense. Most notably, many thought the area of CB and LB would be addressed in the free-agent market.

However, even though Haslett had the cap room to pursue the areas in question, he chose to go another route. According to Haslett, he believes several of the backups are now ready to play a larger role on the field.

In addition, Haslett also contends injuries at KEY positions contributed to the lack of success on defense.

Last, Haslett says by having several guys back that now have a year under their belt in the same system will provide much needed continuity.

So, Haslett gives us 3-reasons why the defense will be improved. Let's review:

1. Backups are ready to contribute.
2. Key players that were injured will return.
3. New guys now familiar with the system.

So, that's what Haslett is hanging is hat on this year. But, will it work? We'll get back to that in a minute. But, first let's address how much we believe what Haslett tells us each year.

Each year Haslett gives reasons as to why this years team will be improved. But, each year things have not improved on defense and if you ask a lot of folks they will tell you they don't put too much stock in anything Haslett has to say. In fact, many think Haslett is an out-and-out liar!! Perhaps, but I really don't think he's lying, I think things just haven't gone according to plan.

Now, back to the topics at hand.

1. Back-ups ready to contribute:
a. James Allen
b. Fakir Brown
c. Keyuo Craver
d. Cie Grant

Those aren't all of the backups that could make significant contibutions this year, but those are guys that have the chance to win starting jobs or see majority playing time this year.

2. Key players that were injured will return.
a. Sedrick Hodge
b. Darren Howard
c. Mel Mitchell

Those aren't all of the injured players but all 3 of those were projected starters who missed all or almost all of the 2003 season.

3. New guys now familiar with the system.
a. Tebucky Jones
b. Derrick Rodgers

Both Jones and Rodgers were starters from day one in their first year with the Saints.

I'll be the first one to admit, I thought the Saints did not properly address the defense in the offseason. But, when looking at EVERYTHING, Haslett just might be right.

Also, Haslett did gain some new players in free-agency and the draft that should help:

1. Brian Young
2. Jason Craft
3. Courtney Watson
4. Will Smith

So, when it comes right down to it, our defense will look as different as just about any team in the league when compared to last year. The good thing about it though, is these are guys that were already here for the most part.

I'll take that. I can't wait to see this guys on the field together this season. We've got some serious talent on defense and if it comes together, we could have a very special seaon.

Peace!!


[Edited on 1/8/2004 by GumboBC]

lumm0x 08-01-2004 11:27 AM

The way I see the defense
 
Nice post. Going into the season without key injuries will be the test. What were we missing by the end of game one last year, like 8 players on defense with 3+ of them starters? That can\'t happen again if we want to get out of the gate fast.

whodatsaintsfan26 08-01-2004 02:54 PM

The way I see the defense
 
I think LB will be fine this year, but DB i dont see how Haslett or anyone can say they are happy with a duo of Thomas and Ambrose starting. Ambrose was horrible last year and always seemed to be 15 yards off of his man and still couldnt stop them from getting behind him. I like the pickup of Craft but dont feel confident about the state of the corners. The only way they hold up is if they can get a constant and quick pass rush. If the front four cant control the line and get some rush the corners are in for another long season. If the defense cant stop the run and have to bring safety help up look for a lot of big plays in the passing game. Hope im wrong

Euphoria 08-01-2004 10:42 PM

The way I see the defense
 
Ambrose simple sucked... even after the aug 1st practice I am so convinced we must move him... Craft to take his spot and Tucker the nickle.

SaintFanInATLHELL 08-02-2004 09:03 AM

The way I see the defense
 
Quote:

When the Saints wrapped up the 2003 season with an 8-8 record, many suspected Haslett and company would go out in the free-agent market and make wholesale changes on defense. Most notably, many thought the area of CB and LB would be addressed in the free-agent market.

However, even though Haslett had the cap room to pursue the areas in question, he chose to go another route. According to Haslett, he believes several of the backups are now ready to play a larger role on the field.

In addition, Haslett also contends injuries at KEY positions contributed to the lack of success on defense.

Last, Haslett says by having several guys back that now have a year under their belt in the same system will provide much needed continuity.

So, Haslett gives us 3-reasons why the defense will be improved. Let\'s review:

1. Backups are ready to contribute.
2. Key players that were injured will return.
3. New guys now familiar with the system.
Gumbo,

You missed one:

4. New coach (Pease) who has proven that he knows how to scheme the DLine.

This is critical for both improving the run defense, and for generating a consistent pass rush that this defense so desperately needs to contend. Pease has done both of these both with the Dome Patrol and with DelRio\'s Jaguars last year. And with the talent we have on the DLine this years, there\'s reason to believe that it can be very quickly turned around here too.

SFIAH

WhoDat 08-02-2004 01:46 PM

The way I see the defense
 
hehehe - so nice to have you back Billy.

I\'ll say that I agree that the defense SHOULD be better. I will go so far as to say that I think they WILL be better this season. Still, you leave out some important facts. For example, in the second half of the year when the \"starters\" return from injury and the defense started playing better, the Saints were playing BAD teams. The Saints had one of the weakest schedules in the league in the second half last season, and they still finished the year averaging 140 yards rushing allowed. That\'s B-A-D.

Now, the defense should be better all around this season. I expect it to be. Still, it\'s hard (at least for some of us) not to look at this team top to bottom with some level of skepticism. It\'s not like this is the first year that this team has been overly talented. It\'s not the first time that \"all the right moves\" were made in the offseason. It\'s not the first time we\'ve heard about new players and rookies who were going to wow us. I\'m not calling Haslett a liar, but I am saying that I\'ll believe him when the Saints actually live up to any of his hype.

GumboBC 08-02-2004 02:54 PM

The way I see the defense
 
WhoDat --

You know, it drives me NUTS to hear someone say we only beat \"weak\" teams. You know, the Panthers only beat ONE team with a winning record last year during the regular season. What does that mean? It means NOTHING.

WhoDat, the only thing that matters is a team needs to reach the playoffs. From there anything can happen. Yeah, I\'d love to beat the elite teams. But, it still wouldn\'t mean too much.

I hear folks come on here after a game and say we SHOULD have beat this team or that team, but no one is gonna lay down for us. There aren\'t that many BAD teams in the league. A lot depends on when you happen to be playing a particular team.

If I know you (and I think I do) I\'m sure you\'ll disagree about only beating \"weak\" teams. But, you\'re gonna have to explain to me how the Panthers went to the Super Bowl by only beating ONE team with a WINNING record. And do you get extra credit for beating teams with winning record? Also, what does it prove if we lose to the Colts and beat Atlanta?

As far as I\'m concerned, a win is a win and you have to earn everyone of \'em.


saintfan 08-02-2004 03:12 PM

The way I see the defense
 
Do we get any extra credit if the officials admit they cost us a game or two along the way?

...we only beat weak teams...nonsense! :P


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