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SaintNik 08-06-2004 10:31 AM

5 Things You Should Know
According to Pete Prisco

Saints: Five things you should know
Aug. 5, 2004
By Pete Prisco Senior Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!

1. Saints coach Jim Haslett has made a few changes around the team's facility. He took out the tables in the middle of the locker room that players used to use to play cards and dominoes, and he will not allow cell phones to be used in the locker room. He also has all the televisions in the team's lunch room showing game tape of the Seahawks, the team's first opponent, instead of sports highlights. "They might pick up something when they eat," said Haslett, who insists the changes are not that big a deal. "They're at work here from 9 to 5. All we want is a professional working environment. I want them focusing on football." The players say the changes are OK, as long it helps this team win. But if things go bad, you can bet these new changes won't go over well. Incidentally, the cell-phone ban was not put in place because of Joe Horn.

2. When the Saints traded two first-round picks to move up to take defensive tackle Jonathan Sullivan with the sixth overall pick of the draft last year, they did so with the idea he would become a force in the middle. Sullivan did not play well last season as a rookie, although he did come on the last four games, according to Saints coaches. When he showed up for training camp this year weighing 340 pounds, he didn't exactly endear himself to the staff. Sullivan has trimmed down to 330 thanks to some pre- and post-practice walking (he does up to five miles at a time) and he's also watching his diet. Sullivan was demoted to second-team by Haslett, but that will change. The Saints need Sullivan in the middle to improve their run defense.

3. The middle linebacker job is being hotly contested between second-year player Cie Grant and rookie Courtney Watson. Grant got off to a fast start during this camp, but dinged up his knee and missed a few days of work. Even so, he's the guy the Saints hope can win the job. He is active and he brings big pop when he tackles. Saints coaches were talking up a hit he made against a back on the first day of camp.

4. First-round pick Will Smith is earning rave reviews in this camp. An active 280-pound player, Smith has proved to be a capable pass rusher and will give the Saints a threat off the edge in passing situations. They will move ends Darren Howard and Charles Grant inside in the nickel package, and allow Smith and linebacker Derrick Rodgers to put their hands on the ground on the outside.

5. There is no better offensive line in the NFC South than the Saints have, and it's not close. From tackle to tackle, it is a strong, physical line. The player that's getting rave reviews in this camp is right tackle Victor Riley. He played well last season, but the coaches feel he can be a Pro Bowl player this season.

Danno 08-06-2004 10:57 AM

5 Things You Should Know
FIVE things I know.
1. 8-8 gets this staff fired, regardless of massive injuries, unless one of the injuries is to #26. I refuse to mention his name and injury in the same sentence.

2. We will make one more trade before the season starts. There\'s too much talent at the D-line and WR to not take advantage of a trade.

3. We will win the NFC South. Bucs are rebuilding, Panthers won\'t be as lucky, and Atlanta still has huge questionmarks on defense, a new coaching staff, a new system, and an often injured QB with a bulleye on his chest. Especially if their new O-line starts that cheap-shot stuff Gibbs is famous for.

4. Aaron Brooks and Boo Williams will put up pro-bowl numbers this year, but neither will make the pro-bowl.

5. If Aaron Brooks does start fumbling again Boumann will be inserted immediately.

CheramieIII 08-06-2004 06:06 PM

5 Things You Should Know
I like number 5. I keep seeing in various articles and on different sports reports that some people think we have one of the best lines in the NFL on both sides of the ball.

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