Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints
Shop Horizontal

Saints corners......

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints corners get job done Despite no stars, unit among best By SHELDON MICKLES smickles@theadvocate.com Advocate sportswriter METAIRIE -- After years of being picked on by opposing quarterbacks and ridiculed by media and fans, the New Orleans Saints' cornerbacks are ...

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-11-2004, 09:35 AM   #1
1000 Posts +
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: CRYSTAL BEACH TEXAS
Posts: 4,100
Saints corners......

Saints corners get job done

Despite no stars, unit among best



By SHELDON MICKLES
smickles@theadvocate.com
Advocate sportswriter



METAIRIE -- After years of being picked on by opposing quarterbacks and ridiculed by media and fans, the New Orleans Saints' cornerbacks are carrying a large chip on their shoulders this summer.
All they heard during the offseason was how the Saints were in need of a shutdown cornerback to insert into the lineup. But most of the top-notch free agents were not available or extremely pricey, and the best collegians were long gone by the time the Saints made the 18th pick in the first round.

Through it all, Fred Thomas, Ashley Ambrose, Fakhir Brown and Jason Craft had to be wondering what the fuss was about. But instead of worrying about what was being said and written, they worked at becoming a cohesive and productive part of the defense.

Collectively, they're turning heads as the Saints wrap up their second week of training camp and prepare for Friday night's exhibition opener with the New York Jets in the Superdome.

"We're just a group of guys out there," said Thomas, a nine-year veteran who is considered the team's top cover corner. "We don't have a lot of big names and we're not the kind of cornerbacks the fans come to see. But we go out and work hard and do what it takes to win."

Yet, anonymity seems to suit this bunch just fine. Thomas, Ambrose and Brown were all part of a defense that ranked eighth out of 32 teams against the pass a year ago. Craft, whom the Saints tried to sign as a restricted free agent three years ago, came to the team from the Jacksonville Jaguars this spring in a trade for a fifth-round draft choice.

"I feel like we have to go out and make a point every day," said Thomas. "That's my chip. It doesn't bother me at all. I'm not complaining because I'm just a guy who wants to come in and help get us over the hump."

Which is just what secondary coach Greg Brown, who is in charge of the cornerbacks, wants to hear after all the talk about going out and getting a cornerback this spring.

"To their credit, these guys have all taken a professional attitude about it," Brown said. "They know that kind of talk is always going to be part of the game. They hear that we're going to go out and get this guy or that guy, but they deal with it."

And, according to coach Jim Haslett, they're dealing with it nicely after 16 training camp practices.

"All four of them are doing a nice job," he said. "If you had to sit down and rate them one through four, the coaches would come up with a different order every time.

"Fred and Ashley are starting now, but Fakhir is pushing the envelope to start and Jason is doing a good job. They're all putting their hands on the ball and making plays."

The cornerbacks believe their play this summer is a carryover from last season when they allowed just 187.1 yards per game. Thomas, who had a career-high five interceptions in 2002, led the team again last season with four while Ambrose came up with three.

But it never seems to be enough.

"Nobody is ever satisfied," Ambrose said. "For us to finish eighth in the league against the pass, that's a tremendous feat. But we're not worried about the criticism because we know what we're capable of."

"I know everybody is on us about our corners, but I like our cornerbacks," Haslett said. "Everyone says you don't have a Champ Bailey. (But) we've got four quality corners, and the good thing is they all play all positions."

Thomas and Ambrose, who have a combined 20 years in the league, are clearly the leaders of the group although Brown, who could have become a free agent this spring, has come on strong the past couple of years.

"Ashley is like a master technician," said Brown. "He's extremely smart and he reads the receiver's body language. Those are the kinds of things that put him in position to make plays.

"Fred is a lot like Ashley, they're survivors," he said. "He's one of the top tacklers in the league at the position and guys don't usually get away from him. It was great to seem him play at a high level last year."

But how they play as a group is what matters most to Brown. The two who don't start will be heavily involved in the nickel and dime alignments, which means he's counting on all of them.

"Those corners are a special breed, they're out there on an island play in and play out," Brown said. "It takes a special kind of person to play there and we like the ones we've got. They all bring something to the table."
JOESAM2002 is offline  
Old 08-11-2004, 07:00 PM   #2
Site Donor 2014
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 5,056
Blog Entries: 1
Saints corners......

We were 8th out of 32 and banged up at the same time. Damn these guys are going to be good this year.

I\'ve got an itch that only Saint\'s Football can scratch.



CheramieIII is offline  
Old 08-11-2004, 07:11 PM   #3
100th Post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 128
Saints corners......

I think our corners are ready to shut the critics up !

As a unit they will play extremely well !
BigBull45 is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 12:23 AM   #4
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 6,346
Blog Entries: 5
Saints corners......

only if Fred and Jason or the starters... Ambrose has got to go...
Euphoria is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 10:32 AM   #5
500th Post
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 576
Saints corners......

8 out of 32 teams against the pass only because they couldnt stop the run at all. These guys all have flaws and are the scariest thought on this team. Anytime Ambrose is on the field he is a big play waiting to happen.
whodatsaintsfan26 is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 01:03 PM   #6
1000 Posts +
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Williamsburg, VA (aka Southern Canada)
Posts: 1,689
Saints corners......

I\'m rooting for these guys to come together, but don\'t let last year\'s stats confuse you about how good they are.

Last year the secondary was not as good as the \"187.1 yards per game\" might suggest. This is because when a team cannot stop the run, the opponent has no need to throw. Thus, the passing defense stats appear better.

All season long when the Saints D needed to make a stop on 3rd down the secondary failed to deliver that stop. If you really want to look at the passing D then compare their yards per passing attempt to the other teams. I would wager they\'re not in the top 10.
ScottyRo is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 01:36 PM   #7
Site Donor 2014
Truth Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Spanish Fort Alabama
Posts: 15,632
Saints corners......

I\'m rooting for these guys to come together, but don\'t let last year\'s stats confuse you about how good they are.

Last year the secondary was not as good as the \"187.1 yards per game\" might suggest. This is because when a team cannot stop the run, the opponent has no need to throw. Thus, the passing defense stats appear better.

All season long when the Saints D needed to make a stop on 3rd down the secondary failed to deliver that stop. If you really want to look at the passing D then compare their yards per passing attempt to the other teams. I would wager they\'re not in the top 10.
But when the opposing QB has 7 seconds to throw the ball it doesn\'t matter if you have 5 Champ Baileys back there they are gonna give it up. I saw more of that on 3rd down than anything else. NO PASS RUSH.
Danno is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 11:09 PM   #8
Site Donor 2014
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 5,056
Blog Entries: 1
Saints corners......

Saint\'s also got Booker back and let Crowell go. Craft and Thomas will be the starters and I think our CB situation continues to improve. Only Bellamy and Craver are nicked up and I won\'t say anything else because it might bring the bad vodoo luck.
CheramieIII is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 11:42 PM   #9
500th Post
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 576
Saints corners......

How could you possibly say the position is improved. What have they done besides signing craft that has improved the position. Ambrose is garbage. Thomas is average and nothing to back that up. The DB\'s will kill us all year long.
whodatsaintsfan26 is offline  
Old 08-12-2004, 11:53 PM   #10
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,616
Saints corners......

You know, you guys are REALLY making me question your football knowledge.

1. If the secodary was so bad last year because teams didn\'t throw the ball at them enough, then how do you know they were bad. Afterall they were ranked 8th in passing defense and allowed only 56% of passes to be completed.

2. As Danno said, we had no pass rush last year. Think that might of had something to do with it. The Panthers secondary got them to the Super Bowl. How did that happen?

3. We have Jason Craft now. Do you know anything about him? Didn\'t think so. Could Fakir Brown of actually improved? You don\'t know do ya?

Talk about the secondary if you must, but you really have nothing to suggest they were bad last year.
GumboBC is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:41 AM.


Copyright 1997 - 2013 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts