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GumboBC 08-27-2004 11:05 PM

The Cold Hard Facts
The big thing that stuck out in my mind were the HUGE holes the Bear's runningbacks had to run through. Simply put, our front 4 got dominated. Brian Young's lack of size really showed tonight as he got pushed back far too often and it left a big void in the run defense. Howard Green also got handled pretty well and put up little resistance stopping the run.

Daren Howard once again did a poor job of sealing the outside of the line. It looks to me like he does a poor job of diagnosing the play. He rushes up field and plays the pass first and the run second. Charles Grant was a non-factor. Grant just seems to disappear.

Bottom Line for the front four - They left huge holes for the Bears runningbacks and that was the main reason for the Saints struggles in stopping the run.

Linebackers -- None of our linebackers played well. Nothing to write home about anyway. But, our D-line really didn't help them out any. Even so, our linebakers were blocked very effectively and did not make the plays they needed to make. Courtney Watson is not a special player. Not at this point in time. I saw him get blocked out of the play and most of the time he was no where near the runningback. Courtney does seem to do a good job in pass coverage though. James Allen made some good plays. Allen was the most impressive of all the linebackers. But again, nothing to write home about. The rest of our linebackers were non-factors.

Cornerbacks - Fred Thomas did a good job again. Jason Craft did OK until he got injured. Fakir did OK as well. Ambrose needs to hang 'em up. Got beat for another long pass and was trailing his man by about 3 or 4 yards.

Overall it was a very poor showing for our defense. I really don't have much hope we'll be good at stopping the run this year. We just don't have the guys up front to get the job done, IMO. Especially at DT. I don't like Brian Young. He goes all out but isn't big or physical enough. Sullivan seems to be our best bet at DT.

Darren Howard is a good pass rusher but not very effective against the run. Charles Grant seems to take too many plays off or something. Will Smith seems head above shoulders better than either Howard or Charles Grant.

There were two guys that really stood out. That was Tebucky Jones and Will Smith. Tebucky did a nice job of tackling and was all over the place. Will Smith is going to be a SPECIAL player. He might be already. He's unbelievable. Made a couple of INCREDIBLE plays. I would start Will Smith and sit either Howard or Grant. Will Smith needs to be on the field as much as possible. He's that good!!

My other concern is our O-line. They look very shaky.

For all the O' Sullivan fans .... he's got a LONG ways to so. Same for Bouman. We need Brooks to get healthy and stay that way.

I'm not saying we can't make the playoffs and that we won't improve. But I DO NOT see us stopping the run and our CBs are suspect.

I came away from this game not feeling good about our chances this year.

Venturi needs to go. I just have my doubts about his scheme. It's either something wrong with Venturi's scheme or someone just can't evaluate talent on the D-line. OR BOTH!!

ScottyRo 08-27-2004 11:20 PM

The Cold Hard Facts
This isn\'t a 3-13 team. Don\'t get so down. They\'re just like they were last year with a little more talent on D.

I felt like last year a couple correct calls and a better game plan by McCarthy and we were 10-6.

That said, I\'m sticking with my 9-7 predicition. Those of you picking 12-4 or bettershould probably amend those statements soon.


GumboBC 08-28-2004 12:30 AM

The Cold Hard Facts
ScottyRo --

I\'m not writing this team off but it\'s pretty hard to come away from this game feeling good about our run defense.

If anyone was wondering the Bears runningbacks totaled 161 yards on on 28 attempts (6.46 ypc average). With Thomas Jones leading the way with 10 carries for 65 yards, followed by Forsey (3 for 41) and Peterson (12 for 40).

So, there\'s plenty of room for improvement. The bad news is we are depending on Venturi and Haslett for those improvement. Not good.

We added Brian Young at DT and Jason Craft at CB. That seemed like a big risk to me at the time and it seems like a much bigger risk right now.

I\'m hoping for the best but I\'m not looking foward to facing the Seahawks offense.

Maybe they can get this thing corrected before the Seattle game. I do think we have the talent to play better. They\'ve got their work cut out for them though.

[Edited on 28/8/2004 by GumboBC]

chRxis 08-28-2004 11:03 AM

The Cold Hard Facts
i\'m an avid saints fan, through thick and thin, but i have to say i\'m very concerned for this team... it really pains me to say at best they may get to 6-10 this year. our cb\'s are not the achilles\' heel of the team.... it\'s our pass rush up the middle... if you watched any of the game last night, and watched our dt\'s (even brian young, who i think is the best pick up for the saints in a number of years), you would have seen them just stand up at the snap, not exploding into the blocker... this is very fundamental, as a matter of fact, it is one of the first things that young lineman are taught.... the best hope relies in getting back to basics first for the saints, then get to the technicalities of the game later, b/c it\'s obvious that we don\'t have fundamental skills, much to the chagrin of true saints fans that watched our no name teams (w/ the exception of the LB corps) of the early 90\'s.

JKool 08-28-2004 02:53 PM

The Cold Hard Facts
Billy, I didn\'t get to see the game, but I\'d appreciated it if you gave me a bit more on Watson. We both know that it take people a couple of years to really adjust to the Mike spot in the NFL. Are you claiming that Watson doesn\'t have the physical skills, or are you saying that he is just not a godsend at the MLB spot? It was my impression that he has the natural abilities to play LB, but perhaps he\'s better suited for the WLB (more coverage and open feild play here)?

What we\'ve seen in preseason so far has been mixed bag. One game they\'re great against the run, the next they\'re getting spanked. I\'m not sure why you\'re SO worked up, but I\'m starting to feel a sinking feeling about the upcoming season myself.

As of today, it is my opinion that we\'re still a CB, a LB (maybe 2), a DT, a G, and possibly an OT away from being a SB team. By the time we get those, we\'ll need a new SS. We\'re not far, but this will not be our year (though, I\'ve never thought it was - I think we\'re at least one year away).

BrooksMustGo 08-28-2004 05:42 PM

The Cold Hard Facts

The big thing that stuck out in my mind were the HUGE holes the Bear\'s runningbacks had to run through. Simply put, our front 4 got dominated. Brian Young\'s lack of size really showed tonight as he got pushed back far too often and it left a big void in the run defense. Howard Green also got handled pretty well and put up little resistance stopping the run.

Bottom Line for the front four - They left huge holes for the Bears runningbacks and that was the main reason for the Saints struggles in stopping the run.

Venturi needs to go. I just have my doubts about his scheme. It\'s either something wrong with Venturi\'s scheme or someone just can\'t evaluate talent on the D-line. OR BOTH!!
Billy, I\'m in agreement here. This is CLEARLY the most maddening aspect of this team under Haslett. More time, effort and money have been put into the front four than any other area of our team with the same less than stellar results. I\'m at a loss for a solution.

I agree with you that Venturi is worse than useless, but now I\'m starting to question Pease--isn\'t this guy supposed to be a DL guru or something? If we\'re going to let teams average 4-5 yards a carry on us, we\'ll be doing great to make it to 8-8 this season.

[Edited on 29/8/2004 by BrooksMustGo]

CheramieIII 08-28-2004 08:08 PM

The Cold Hard Facts
I thought we were on the right track against the Packers last week obviously, I was very wrong. They not only had 1 rusher making our d-line look like swiss cheese, they had three and if it wasn\'t for the inept play of Grossman and a few mistakes by the Bear\'s the Bear\'s would have won. With as much talent and yes I said it, talent, we have on defense and can\'t stop anyone consistently, absolutely frightens me. Three weeks ago I was very upbeat about how I thought the defense would play, but now it\'s a different story, I\'m once again frightened.

I still believe we will go 11-5 and make the playoffs and I do agree we need to make a defensive coaching change in a hurry. We have too much invested in that damn d-line to let it all go to waste.

To hell with the CB situation or our weak LB corps, our d-line has once again proven this maybe another rebuilding year, which means Haz maybe building something somewhere else next year.

To end this on a good note, we did win, ugly or not, lucky or not, we won and when you find a way to win, even when you are\'nt supposed to, does\'nt that show some heart, well as least for some of the players.

FrenzyFan 08-29-2004 10:49 AM

The Cold Hard Facts
Well, there\'s no arguing that we were out-muscled by the Bears - even though we won in the long run. These ugly wins suggest to me we have better depth than many in the league, but our first team units are not doing well at all, at least it appears to me.

A lot of focus has been on our D\'s inability to stop the run. I agree that the front four got pushed around a bit but in my opinion the LBs are still the problem here. I still see safeties making the tackles on these plays. I\'ve said it before, and I\'ll say it again - when the SS (as Bellamy did last year) has the highest number of tackles, our defense is BADLY broken. That does not appear to have changed. On a side note, I saw T-buck make a few tackles but I also saw him go for the \"kill shot\" and miss a few times.

Our corners are still \"playing above their ability\" according to many. I am starting to convert around to the idea that Fred Thomas - despite being statisticall small and slow - appears to just be scrappy enough and have good enough instincts to be a solid number two corner and an average number one. Lucky for us there. The rest of our corners, and especially Ambrose (I keep thinking of the comment about Darren Smith aging faster than a vampire in sunlight - who said that one?) are nothing great.

Every day now, I feel less good about our draft choices. I love Will Smith and he plays like a wild animal out there. He is out-producing Grant and Howard. I like Henderson (despite the hold out) and think he could be the big play guy I hoped Donte would be. Nevertheless, we did not need a DE and a WR. We need an LB and CB - I don\'t care if we had to trade down a bit to \"make it a good draft value.\"

My other real focus is on the O-line. I think they are far past being shaky. I don\'t see Deuce being able to run and he gets hit in the backfield consistently, because enemy D-lines (no matter how good or bad they are) are getting amazing penetration against us.

I see EVERY team we play getting consistent pressure up the middle on passing downs. Though Bentley was a pro-bowl guard, moving him to the middle has (for some reason) opened that area of the line up. It could be Holland in at guard or Jackox, I don\'t know. I just know that there are far too many enemy DTs getting pressure on our QBs.

We may have a zillion weapons on Offense, but if the line continues to play as they have - we will find it very difficult to score points. Our speed guys at WR (we really don\'t have a possession-type WR) take time to get seperation. Our QB does not have that kind of time. Deuce is a great back, but he is getting hit two yards deep in the backfield. It\'s a testament to his strength and skill that he keeps turning those into small gains. As they say, it all begins up front and we are not playing well up front.

saintz08 08-30-2004 12:08 AM

The Cold Hard Facts

Brian Young\'s lack of size really showed tonight as he got pushed back far too often and it left a big void in the run defense.
Here is a good one for you GumboBC

What would be the biggest difference between the Rams and the Saints that would make Youngs size a problem ?????

Young is a great asset for the Saints defense if .........

Think carefully ...... ;)

WhoDat 08-30-2004 11:05 AM

The Cold Hard Facts
I was at a rehearsal dinner on Friday so I only got to see pieces of the game. I have it tivoed and will give a more in depth look tomorrow.

That said, the Bears game gave me lots of reason to worry. As Billy said, the third preseason game is the best measuring stick in preseason. Yeah, AB didn\'t play but that\'s not telling me much.

As billy said, our D got dominated on the ground. Bad news when you consider we were playing the BEARS. This is not a good team, and it definitely is not anywhere near the tops of the League in the rushing category.

Just as concering, our offense continues to look disjointed and out of sync. They haven\'t scored a TD (1st team) in 3 games. That\'s bad.

I\'m having a really hard time here. I think about all the talent this team has and I start thinking 11-5 or even 12-4. Then I see them play and I think 8-8 will be nice. Something has got to give. Either our play will get much better when the season rolls around, these players aren\'t truly as talented as we think, or Haslett is just plain bad as a HC and is holding this team back. Maybe it\'s a combination of all three, but whatever it is, I\'m worried... again.

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