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Most Intriguing Camp Battles

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; There's a number of starting spots that I feel are up for grabs right now as OTAs are under way and there's a number of battles I'm incredibly intrigued by. The scheme switch to a 3-4 will create an enormous ...

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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There's a number of starting spots that I feel are up for grabs right now as OTAs are under way and there's a number of battles I'm incredibly intrigued by. The scheme switch to a 3-4 will create an enormous amount of competition, as will some changes on the offense with the departure of Devery Henderson and Jermon Bushrod. Here's positions that I'm going to be playing close attention to throughout, and you should too:

Backup Quarterback: We've been over this, it's Luke McCown, Seneca Wallace and Ryan Griffin. I view none as awesome, or even good necessarily, but I view them all as capable. I really view that competition as wide open and whoever performs the best will get the job. I truly believe all three of those guys have an equal shot at the job, and I think they should be happy about the opportunity because Chase Daniel has had that role on lockdown for years until now.

Defensive End: With Will Smith moving to linebacker I now think Akiem Hicks is thrust right into a starting role. It's his spot to lose. The Saints could also move Bodrick Bunkley to end at times and bring in John Jenkins at nose, so there's some interesting possibilities there. You figure Cam Jordan has one spot on lockdown, though, so I view Jay Richardson and Kenyon Coleman as the primary threats to Akiem Hicks being the starter. It's surprising how fast Hicks has grown in just one year and I have to admit I'd be really excited about the potential of having him as a full time starter as soon as week 1 of the regular season.

The Fourth Receiver: Colston, Moore and Morgan are the top 3, period. Nothing is given after that. You've got Nick Toon, Kenny Stills and maybe Andy Tanner as the favorites, and then a slew of no name guys that will be looking to make their mark. I view this crop of receivers as the weakest in terms of depth that the Saints have had in years. They need someone to step up out of the shadows like Moore did years ago. I'm not even totally sold on Morgan who is still raw, so I'd love to see someone emerge as a really promising player and fourth option. Whether that's Stills in year one or Toon in year two, someone has to produce for this offense to continue to be as efficient as possible.

Safety: You might think it's Malcolm Jenkins, Roman Harper, and Kenny Vaccaro as three guys battling for two spots, but I urge you to not sleep on Isa Abdul-Quddus who I am a huge fan of. In fact, I think the opening day starters should be IAQ and Vaccaro. Don't sleep on Rafael Bush, either, who I also like a lot. This is all of a sudden on of the team's deepest position and will make for one of the best camp battles.

Left Tackle: Charles Brown, Jason Smith and Terron Armstead are three guys with some talent, but I don't view any of these guys as ready to take over and do as good of a job as Jermon Bushrod did. There's also a risk they could all three not even qualify as "passable". At least there's three of them to compete, but left tackle is a pretty unsettling situation at the moment. We have to hope one of the three emerges as a performing player.

Outside Linebacker: With Will Smith added to the mix all of a sudden, that puts more pressure on Junior Galette, Martez Wilson and Victor Butler to perform. How are the Saints going to get all of these explosive, young and promising pass rushers on the field? That's not even mentioning vets like Will Herring, Ramon Humber (who may be ILB), or youngsters like Chase Thomas and Rufus Johnson. The Saints have a ton of bodies at this position and lots of undeveloped talent.

Inside Linebacker: Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne and Jonathan Vilma for two starting spots is no joke. Those guys are all three going to bring it. Chris Chamberlain is a capable backup, too. Lastly, you've also got promise in undrafted rookie Kevin Reddick.

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Old 05-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

Competition is good
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:07 AM   #3
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

WR is going to be fun to see who emerges from that long list. Morgan made some plays but I agree, someone could come out of nowhere.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

I think we are going to see a lot of movement at the linebacker positions to find the right spots for some of these guys possibily going to be some shake ups here question is how many do we get to keep.

I am not sold on Morgan and also think one or two are comming out of that pack to supplant him.

Think Griffin is going to take that Backup spot off the Vets. Think his potential is as good if not better than Chase was.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

Originally Posted by Supertek View Post
I am not sold on Morgan.
Given what I've seen of Morgan's play to date, I'm just curious exactly what YOU'VE seen that leads you to this opinion. He's made some pretty incredible catches, sacrificed his body, thrown DBs around like rag dolls, etc. And he averages somewhere near 35 yards a reception, right? I'm no guru or anything, but he's looked pretty capable from my recliner
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

I agree on Quaddus starting, I like what he has to offer over the others, but I will admit I have not seen V play yet at all, I hope he is as good as they predict. The verdict is out on him as of now!!
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

I am so grateful that Rob Ryan doesn't have a tie to these players(except Coleman). Hopefully, he will be looking at every player with a critical eye. Payton knows these players and has a tendency to let his loyalty over ride his good judgement. Having a new coach gives a new perspective on how you evaluate the Players and there is a lot of revaluating to do.

We've got a clean slate..........now let's paint a master piece.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

Originally Posted by Shoe. View Post
Given what I've seen of Morgan's play to date, I'm just curious exactly what YOU'VE seen that leads you to this opinion. He's made some pretty incredible catches, sacrificed his body, thrown DBs around like rag dolls, etc. And he averages somewhere near 35 yards a reception, right? I'm no guru or anything, but he's looked pretty capable from my recliner
Totally agree

All he did was make plays every time brees threw to him, in limited playing time he was one of the only bright spots of last season
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

How many LB'ers do you think we'll stash on IR or the practice squad? Payton would rather IR a player where is safe from other teams reach which is the kind of stuff that drives Godhell nuts.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:08 PM   #10
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Re: Most Intriguing Camp Battles

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
I am so grateful that Rob Ryan doesn't have a tie to these players(except Coleman).

How about Butler?



Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
All he did was make plays every time brees threw to him, in limited playing time he was one of the only bright spots of last season

I do remember him struggling with some of the shorter passes, but he did very well with with the long bombs down the field.
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