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NFL camp preview: Saints controversy is all football in 2013

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; METAIRIE, La. -- The Saints want nothing more to get back to where they were when they won 41 games over a three-year span from 2009-11 before stumbling to a 7-9 season in 2012. After three consecutive distraction-filled offseasons, the ...

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Old 07-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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METAIRIE, La. -- The Saints want nothing more to get back to where they were when they won 41 games over a three-year span from 2009-11 before stumbling to a 7-9 season in 2012.

After three consecutive distraction-filled offseasons, the New Orleans Saints report to training camp Thursday and the full squad hits the field Friday confronted with a whole new controversy.

Call it football-gate.

The Saints need to get back to playing well, which hasn't happened consistently since winning Super Bowl XLIV.

In successive summers, the Saints fought Super Bowl hangover after their offseason was compressed and in 2011 and dealt with the lockout of players before the bounty scandal of a year ago.

They know the defense must improve after yielding yards and points at an alarming rate in 2012. They set an NFL single-season record in allowing 7,042 yards last year and were also last in the league in rushing defense. They were also 31st against the pass and in points allowed, leading to the dismissal of first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Head coach Sean Payton brought in Rob Ryan and his 3-4 scheme from Dallas in addition to a half-dozen defenders they hope will make an immediate difference with an aggressive and attacking style.

Likewise, the Saints must be more aggressive running the ball, much as they were in 2009 and 2011 when they ranked sixth in averaging more than 130 yards per game.

With Drew Brees at quarterback, it is obvious that the passing game is still the bread-and-butter for the Saints' offense, but a strong running game is a must to take some of the pressure off the great quarterback.

Read more: Y! SPORTS

Another Yahoo article: Y! SPORTS - 5 guys to keep an eye on

NT John Jenkins: There's a new sheriff in town in the form of new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. It's safe to say that the coach has some work to do considering the Saints gave up 454 points last season, second-most in the NFL, and allowed the most total yards in one season in NFL history. Jenkins, a third-round pick in April, hopes to solve one of the team's major issues last season as no club in the league gave up more rushing yards per game than New Orleans.

OLB Will Smith: This will be an interesting experiment as the talented defensive end moves to outside linebacker in Ryan's 3-4 defense. The nine-year veteran totaled just 6.0 sacks last season and has just 18.0 sacks the past three years combined (Smith totaled 13.0 sacks during the team's Super Bowl XLIV title season of 2009). It is worth noting that outside linebacker Victor Butler, signed from Dallas this offseason, tore his ACL last month and may miss the entire 2013 season.

CB Keenan Lewis: The Saints didn't have a lot of money to spend this offseason, but they were quick to secure the services of Lewis, who made good on his first season as a starter a year ago with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum? But the emerging cornerback goes from the team that gave up the fewest yards in the league in 2012 to the club that allowed the most. In a division that boasts the likes of wide receivers Roddy White, Julio Jones, Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, the addition of Lewis was a no-brainer.

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Old 07-24-2013, 10:18 PM   #2
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Re: NFL camp preview: Saints controversy is all football in 2013

Saints controversy is all writers saying the same thing over and over again in 2013. At least they're working hard on coming up with new titles.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: NFL camp preview: Saints controversy is all football in 2013

I like the fact that we are flying under the radar this year. That being said - if you only watch NFL channel you would think there are only 4 or 5 teams in the NFL because that's all they report on (that is pissen me off some!)
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: NFL camp preview: Saints controversy is all football in 2013

Originally Posted by homerj07 View Post
if you only watch NFL channel you would think there are only 4 or 5 teams in the NFL because that's all they report on (that is pissen me off some!)
Redskins; Patriots; 49ers; Broncos; Falcons(after the contract signing) watched all day and that's the only teams
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: NFL camp preview: Saints controversy is all football in 2013

Originally Posted by |Mitch| View Post
Redskins; Patriots; 49ers; Broncos; Falcons(after the contract signing) watched all day and that's the only teams
I saw a 5 second piece with Brees, missed what he said because I figured it was more Matt Ryan talk.
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