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Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; This team isn't great. We have too many holes. But guess what? Neither is anybody else. Surprisingly most of our holes are on the offensive side of the ball. The line is the main problem. Ben Grubbs, at times, looks ...

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Old 12-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
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Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

This team isn't great. We have too many holes. But guess what? Neither is anybody else. Surprisingly most of our holes are on the offensive side of the ball.

The line is the main problem. Ben Grubbs, at times, looks like the Pro-Bowler we paid for. Other times he looks like a scrub. He better watch out or Lelito could take his job. Charles Brown is a good man to have, for a back-up. He has some really good games but he also sucks on a fairly regular basis. DLP has a lot of good points but he's weak at the point of attack and gets blown up by the stronger DTs. Evans has had one injury after the other this year. I don't think he missed a game in the previous 7 years. Lets hope he returns to All-Pro form next year. Strief has been our most consistent lineman this year. Like most he has his faults but mostly is a solid RT.

We have some young guys with potential but we'll have to see how that works out.

After Colston and Stills our WRs are strictly mediocre. Don't know what happened to Moore. Toon has mostly been a disappointment.

TE, we're set here.

Thomas and Sproles are perfect for what we do though both are getting long in the tooth. Ingram has looked good since he came back from the injury and Robinson looks promising. We're good here too.

We need to do some serious retooling.


Maybe the best and deepest unit on the team. Jordan, Jenkins and Hicks all have Pro-Bowl potential and Foster and Walker aren't much of a drop off. Tom Johnson can also perform at a very high level. Broderick Bunkley is solid.

Two great free agent pick ups in Hawthorne and Lofton make ILB a strong point for us. I can't really offer a critique of Herring but Humber seems to have developed into a good, athletic back up.

On the outside Junior has proved the people that have been screaming to see him start knew what they were talking about. He and Jordan are a great 1 - 2 punch and have finally given us the pass rush we've been missing for a decade or more. Parys Haralson quietly mans the other side like the solid veteran he is. What we lack is depth. Victor Butler should help in that department.


Malcolm Jenkins is an enigma. He was having a great season for a while but then he turns in a performance like his game against the Panthers. I dunno.

Kenny Vaccarro is a rising star.

Raphael Bush is a beast! We've missed him more than we realize since he's been out with the ankle injury. He's going to make somebody expendable.

Speaking of expendable. Roman Harper had a good run but it's time for us to move on. Quddus is much better in coverage and is another guy who can lay people out.
Who is Eric Frampton and what is he doing for us? Special teams I guess. But then I would have said the same thing about Bush last year. (We sure have a lot of safeties.)

What's going to happen at CB? Pat Robinson was looking a lot better when he went down but he sure looked awful in 2012. But then again who didn't? Greer got burned a couple of times but over all was having a good year. I hope he can come back strong next year.
Lewis was a great signing and should hold down his side of the field for years to come.
Corey White!? Flashes great talent and hits like a strong safety. He can also hurt you with his brain farts. Hopefully he matures into a special player. He has the physical tools.
I have no clue what to think about Rod Sweeting, haven't really noticed him much and I didn't even know we had a guy named Trevin Wade.
I have a feeling we'll be seeing a revolving door of no name FAs and maybe some draft picks here.

LEGATRON!! Let's keep him.

PK ????? To be continued.

Not a bad roster overall. WE could stand to cut some dead wood especially on D ( Smith/Harper/Vilma) and we badly need to upgrade at LT and center. Depth at LB and WR are critical.

I don't know about you but I feel pretty good about this team moving forward.

Payton and Ryan will insure that we're contenders for as long as we have them.

I think we also need to look at some of our coaching staff though. We're missing Curtis Johnson and Kroemer big time and special teams has been a weakspot for years.

I purposely left QB out because there are more than enough threads to discuss Brees. Let's not turn this into another Brees bash/love fest.

I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who can offer a different take.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

I can agree with some of it but there is some I can't. Good way to look at things!!
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

Nothing wrong with Brees. He just hasnt been that consistent this year. It happens. One guy can't save the universe, unless he's Christopher Reeve. O line is semi meh right now. That's mostly it. A better running game would be nice~ maybe Ingram can keep improving.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

Like to see more of Khiry Robinson, each game, multiple series.

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Old 12-23-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

Boutte, very good assessment of this team.

The offensive line is a major issue, and I think we all knew that the left tackle position could be a problem this year. I thought the franchise needed to see what they had in Charles Brown this season, so I could understand why Bushrod was not brought back. Especially with all of the issues on the defensive side of the ball, you knew that they had to spend more there. Interesting to see how this season has turned out, we keep hearing how the tackle positions are not important in the Saint offensive blocking scheme. However, most of the pressure this season has come off the edges... Brown, Strieff, Harris, now Armstead. Its hurt our passing game immensely. Personally I'm not ready to give an assessment on Armstead yet. He was beaten badly on stunts, and power moves inside this Sunday. However, I think he showed on a VERY big stage that he can play. I thought he did a good job through the first quarter until he gave up the sack on third down that took us out of field goal range. If memory serves me correct that might have been the drive that came off the on-side kick.

Grubbs I think has struggled at time due to the fact that our LT position is weak. Otherwise I think we are okay in the middle.

I also agree with your thoughts on the receivers this season. They just don't get much separation at the next level. Moore has been hurt most of the season and I think that is a big weapon in our passing game that has been taken away from Brees. As big a Colston fan that I have been through the years, I think he also is showing signs of age. However with that said I think he has been our most reliable receiver. He can still make big catches in big spots. I just don't think he is worth the money that they will be paying him this year. Stills can make plays down field, but I think that is where his game stops. I'll be interested to see how much route running he does this off-season and if his roll can expand next year. Nick Toon had a HORRIBLE game against the Jets and has pretty much been burried ever since. No question the Saints need to add one more play maker this off-season. If we are going to keep Moore on the roster next season, his roll needs to expand as I think he will be making upwards to $5m. That is money that I am sure can be used elsewhere.

Robinson... Greer... Bush... now Vaccaro? Man we have been hit very hard by injury in the secondary. I'm surprised that we held up as well as we did this past weekend now that I think about it.

I think we have a very under-rated front seven defensively. But as you noted, we have to add more depth at linebacker. Once again we need to add more guys that can put pressure on the passer. Things were much better this season and I like the direction that Ryan has the defense going in.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

Is it the off season yet?
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

O line struggles because the LT struggles.... It's time to go out in we free agency, and get the best mauling LT out there.... Grubbs blocked for Ray Rce before this and they are not as good a running team this season.... Also Evans has been banged up all year and that has a lot to do with it.

I am not fine with the interchanging Running Back position, this was implemented the season Pierre went down with an injury and now it is our crutch.... teams who scout us can tell whats gonna be run by what personnel we bring in.... It's time to take a chance on one running back who does it all, and one guy to back him up...

Defensively I think we are gonna have one of the best D lines in Football next season.... Gallette, Cam, Hicks, have all had solid seasons John Jenkins will get more playing time in the true three four and we will be a force on the line...

Please somebody get us a worthy linebacker.... I cringe everytime I see Lofton in coverage... Hawthorne is a Beast but we need a sideline to sideline guy who can run and cover effectively......

Somebody help this secondary.... Rittled with injury all year..... Lewis is a stud... but he needs some help@ the other corner.... Although I can't rule out Corey White he's starting to look like he will be moved to the slot....

Vaccaro Quddus BUsh, are the safeties I keep.... Harper is making too much money to stay... I can get under the cap quicker if I cut him....

Will Smith - gone
Harper - gone
Greer - gone
Meacham - gone

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

We have a very good team this year. It is just not a great team.

Since we all know how good this team could be, I'm going to talk about areas where we can improve.

The Offense

1. The choreography and timing of the O-Line needs a lot of work. Run blocking is crap. PT has been a God-send this year & KR is showing promise. Sproles has been excellent as well -- but again -- our blocking sucks (91.7 ypg). Our YPA is 3.8. Better than earlier in the season, but, a smash-mouth, downhill, power team we are not. As much as it hurts to say, we deserve the label "finesse team" this year.

2. Drew Brees is getting killed behind this line. Unsustainable. Brees has lead only 2 4th QTR comebacks this year and has 12 INTs. At times, his play has been erratic and, at these times, his judgement has been questionable, at best. But, if our line could run and pass block, obviously his play would improve. Our red zone and 3rd down offense is not good -- but we can move the ball ( except in Seattle ). Some of this yardage has come in garbage time, though.

3. Second half of the season -- I've never seen so many dropped passes by Saints WRs in the Payton/Brees era. The WR corps needs to be faster off the line. They also need to fight for the freakin' ball. Jimmy Graham needs to get physical -- let him get a few PI calls. The sense of urgency and perfectionism -- I don't see it. Lance Moore has played much better in the last few games -- but mostly he has been a non-factor, as has Robert Meachum. I sure miss Devery. Stills is coming on and looks like a real asset. Colston ... I'm sure I don't have to say it -- but I'm sure we are all VERY grateful for him.

4. 8.9% of our drives this season resulted in a turnover. Only 39.6% of our drives resulted in a score.

Special Teams

1. Mostly we have not even tried kick returns this year. I think for obvious reasons -- because our kick return average is 23 yards. We do not have a kick returner and we don't know how to block for them either.

2. Punt return average is 6.3 yards. Longest is 28 yards. We definitely aren't scary on special teams that is for sure.

3. Hopefully, the kicking game will improve with SG. Thomas Morstead is a star in the NFL and definitely the brightest spot on this unit. Graham was likely a needed addition. We shall see how he works out -- but a change at the place kicker position was needed.

4. I bet we couldn't lateral our way into the end-zone, at the end of a game, even if Sean Payton's life was at stake.

The Defense

1. We all know the mind blowing improvement this defense has made this year. Rob Ryan has reached celebrity status in the Who Dat nation. However, where are the interceptions?

2. Are we not teaching how to strip the ball, fumble recovery, point scoring defense? WTF, man?!?! In 2009, we were aggressive ball-hawking, ball stripping hyenas.

3. Where are the tip drill pass/interception recovery skills?


1. In case I didn't mention it before: We need to commit to the run game GDammit!!!

2. We are predictable. Screens and draw plays get blown up behind the LoS far too often. We need to dig deep in the play book, use some different plays -- not just end-arounds. Need to be less risk averse. I would love to see more on-side kicks. I loved Jeff Fisher's on-side kick against us to seal the deal. Why in the f*ck didn't we do that against the Pats? Obviously, the "surprise" gadget plays need work, though. :eyesroll:

Some one else can probably deal with this section better than I can.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:24 AM   #9
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

The NFL is determined that there will never again be any great teams. By lowering the salary cap they've all but guaranteed that a team with a great QB is going to struggle to maintain any kind of long term success.

Any QB who willingly sacrifices millions of dollars in income so the team can acquire more talent is a fool. Why should it be on a player to do this? The owners are raking in billions and are perfectly ok with a decline in the quality of the product on the field just to squeeze a few more dollars out the goose that laid the golden egg.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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Re: Let's Take a Good Look at This Saints Team.

Brees will learn quickly from the Carolina road game with holding on to the ball too long. They need to work methodically down the field and forget the big play passes, he just is not going to have the time to let them develop with this O-line.
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