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pakowitz 12-23-2002 08:53 PM

The Morning After
“ Everything was in our court today, but we were the Aints and they weren't the Bungles. �
—Kyle Turley, Saints OT

"There's something wrong with the passing arm of (Saints quarterback) Aaron Brooks. I'm serious. Have you seen this guy throw lately? The last three weeks, he's been absolutely awful, and part of it looks to me to be a lack of velocity. He got hurt against Tampa Bay (on Dec. 1) and couldn't finish that game, I remember, and he hasn't been the same since then. I guess I could be wrong but, when I turn on the tape and look at Brooks, he isn't right. Three (poor) games in a row. That doesn't lie."
—unnamed AFC pro personnel director

By Len Pasquarelli

again, let's hold that executive of the year honor some were ready to award former New Orleans general manager Randy Mueller, the guy who is credited for assembling the current Saints roster. With another collapse on the horizon, perhaps Mueller is better off being unemployed and hiking the woods of the Pacific Northwest. What happens to these guys when the calendar flips to December, huh? Remember last year, the Saints dropped their final four games, and surrendered an average of 40 points in so doing. The suggestions were that the players quit on Jim Haslett, so New Orleans officials then spent the summer doing an addition by subtraction roster overhaul. New Orleans started the 2002 campaign winning six of its first seven, featured an offense that was explosive and looked like the best team in the league. But since then, New Orleans is just 3-5, and some of the defeats were inexplicable. The latest was Sunday's loss at Cincinnati, where the Bengals could have clinched the first overall choice in the 2003 draft with a loss, and where New Orleans was done in by a running back who hadn't logged a single rushing attempt since Christmas Eve 2000. Bengals runner Nick Luchey scored twice and no one even knew who the guy was. Contributing to the Saints' choke job was Aaron Brooks, the scatterarmed passer who missed on his final 11 attempts, and who has been under .500 now as a passer for three straight games. Honest, is this guy really Michael Vick's cousin, or is somebody fibbing here? Because, to be honest, the gene pool just doesn't seem the same. Yeah, we know, all you Big Easy uneasy fans, the Saints can still make it to the playoffs. But a month or so ago, this was a team that, indeed, seemed saintly. If they go into the postseason now, they will stumble into the playoffs, kind of like a Bourbon Street drunk.

[Edited on 24/12/2002 by pakowitz]

DATMAN 12-23-2002 11:51 PM

The Morning After
Excellent article. Should run this in the Times P. :mad:

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