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WhoDat 11-09-2004 11:55 AM

Getting Worse?
 
Is it just me, or does it seem this team just keeps getting worse? Before you blurt out yes, stop and think about it. It always FEELS like things are worse now than before - my question is are they really?

Maybe this is an exercise in futility b/c I do think that wha we're all feeling is true, they are getting worse. Still, I can't help but stop and think about what could have been.

The 2000 N.O. Saints weren't a great team, but they were scrappy. They played over their heads and won when it mattered. The defense was relentless in coming at the O, and our offense could put some points up.

2001 we were still young and Haslett made some defensive changes that were, IMO, unwise. Still, the team was still tough. They really started doing what has come to be Saints Standard Operating Procedure in 2001 - they played up and down to competition. However, they were 7-5 in week 14 when they went to Tampa for a show down between two 7-5 teams for what was basically a wildcard spot. Sure they collapsed, and I was mad as hell then, but the team was still competitive for the better half of the year.

Enter 2002. The team started 7-2 and was arguably the best team in the league at one point. The Saints were on fire. But somewhere between the Bye, a tough loss to ATL, and Deuce getting hurt, it all went to sh-t. They stumble down the stretch but are still in position to actually fight to win the division with 3 games left. An injured AB can't move the O and we suffer another collpase.

2002 was it for me. It signaled the beginning of the end. I though we should have dumped Haslett then. Many people disagreed, but I think I saw the will snap. The Saints really lacked that killer attitude that they had in 2000. Maybe it was the player turnover. Maybe it was that certain players got paid and were on easy street. Maybe it was a lack of veteran leadership... maybe it was all of those things, but IMO Haslett's fate was sealed in 2002.

Last season they were pretty bad. Started 3-5 and didn't beat a team with a winning record until Dallas. But some people saw something in the second half of the year - a get up and fight that reminded them of the gritty 2000 team. Was it there? I doubt it. I think the Saints and an already desperate coach managed to out-talent other bottom dwellers.

This season, the Saints can't even seem to do that. The D is getting progressively worse. The offense is suffering both as a result and on its own. Our coaching staff looks even more inept and our players more clueless. Is it just me, or is this the worst Saints team since at least the Ditka era?

Danno 11-09-2004 12:10 PM

Getting Worse?
 
Quote:

WhoDat-Still, I can\'t help but stop and think about what could have been.... they were scrappy... They played over their heads and won when it mattered. The defense was relentless ....... the team was still tough. ....arguably the best team in the league at one point. The Saints were on fire....the Ditka era
Dang WhoDat, I can\'t believe you want Ditka back.
YOU ARE CRAZY. Put down the pipe and step away! ;)
Say it ain\'t so man. You want Ditka back?

WhoDat 11-09-2004 02:56 PM

Getting Worse?
 
Sure do, and I want to trade Deuce too! :D

jbutts 11-09-2004 03:21 PM

Getting Worse?
 
Maybe we can trade deuce miami for an injured Seau? he is better than what we got. if we are lucky he would play hurt for us for a few games and then retire so we dont have to worry about him becoming one of those pesky \"cancers.\" you know the type, the ones who care about winning.

progress 11-09-2004 04:51 PM

Getting Worse?
 
I know there is some joking in what is being said, but Ditka would at least be an improvement at GM, afterall I have and will always say it was his team that won the playoff game. Ditka just has a little problem selecting skill players, but with o-line and defense, he seems to make a whole lot of good decisions.

themightyduck 11-09-2004 05:07 PM

Getting Worse?
 
I never want to hear Ditka and Saints in the same sentence. Just hearing his name gives me headaches. He belongs in Chicago, not New Orleans.

But back to the question at hand: have the Saints been worsening at a yearly pace? Maybe not a yearly pace, but they have been worsening.

I always credit the success of the 2000 season to Randy Mueller. He brought in most of the impact players at the key positions. Haslett simply coached them. And, he had Ron Zook as the DC, which will always be better than Venturi.

Since then, however, the team seems to be plagued with incompetency, self-centeredness, and bad attitudes from both players and coaches. I\'ve never really thought that Haslett had a tight reign on his players (i.e. Joe Horn\'s cell phone and Albert Connel\'s thefts) or that the players really like him (i.e. Willie Roaf and Kyle Turley publicly blasting him).

This team has always looked good on paper. Our downfall seems to be bad gameplanning and preparation. All too often I\'ve seen players out of alignment and/or confused before the snap. It\'s partially the players and largely the coaches to blame.

mutineer10 11-09-2004 10:51 PM

Getting Worse?
 
I can\'t disagree with the \"getting worse\" thing. I\'ve been a fan since the mid-80\'s, and have always seemed able to find it in my heart to pull for us regardless of the realistic circumstances. Last season was the first time in my life I was able to make it to a few games, the home dates vs. the Panthers & the Falcons. Both games, as I recall, went to overtime and were decided by a field goal. We lost the Panthers game and won the Falcons game, but both were incredibly exciting and competitive, and I left both feeling like I hadn\'t wasted my time.

No so this year. I attended the season opener vs. Seattle, and spent most of the afternoon thoroughly depressed. Made it to the Tampa Bay game, and was heartbroken as I sat amongst countless Bucs fans (they had come all that way in spite of starting 0-5) and watched us hand them their first win on the back of their 3rd string QB. I\'ve got tickets for this weekend, and I fear another disappointment is in the mail.

No news flash, but it really sucks that things have gotten this bad. I live in Birmingham, so it\'s a long (and rather expensive) trip to New Orleans just to come all the way back depressed. It\'s all fun bashing the Saints on the board now and again, but it\'s no fun seeing our prophecies fulfilled every Sunday...


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