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MMQB - Talented Losers

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Talented Losers The New Orleans Saints have plenty of talent and good coaching, but winning games in the NFL takes professionalism and leadership too. These Saints have neither I spent three days this summer watching the Saints in training camp ...

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Old 12-08-2014, 04:23 PM   #1
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MMQB - Talented Losers

Talented Losers
The New Orleans Saints have plenty of talent and good coaching, but winning games in the NFL takes professionalism and leadership too. These Saints have neither

I spent three days this summer watching the Saints in training camp at The Greenbrier. Yes, the setting was beautiful but it did not blind me.

The team that I saw in July was very talented. Of the teams I saw in person during training camp (Patriots, Ravens, Washington, Eagles, 49ers), New Orleans ranked just behind New England in terms of talent. Give Sean Payton (offense) and Rob Ryan (defense) those tools to play with, you expect a high level of success.

So why are the Saints now 5-8 after Sunday’s 41-10 home loss (an unfathomable fourth straight loss in the Superdome)? After all, despite some injuries (Jairus Byrd, Brandin Cooks), New Orleans is still plenty talented enough to be running away with the NFC South.

But in football, winning is not just about talent. It’s about so many other things that can’t be tabulated, especially by those outside the meeting and locker rooms. It’s about preparation. It’s about mental toughness. It’s about discipline. It’s about carrying out your assignment, as boring as that may be. It’s about being a professional.

And one through 53, the Saints don’t have enough of any of that. If they did, they wouldn’t beat the doors off the Packers and Steelers, and then get taken to the woodshed by the Bengals and Panthers. Or blow winnable games against the Lions, 49ers and Ravens.

Some of Drew Brees’ comments after the loss to the Panthers scream at fundamental problems with the Saints.


“We’re much better than that, but we have to play like it, we have to prepare like it,” he said. “We have to handle ourselves throughout the week like professionals, like men, with a level of maturity. Until we do that, we’re not going to have consistency of our performance.

“Every season you’re going to face adversity at times. We just need to be more professional.”

Brees might as well have just said, “We have a bunch of soft quitters who enjoy being football players more than actually doing the work required.” And there’s no bigger indictment of a professional football program than that.

Payton knows how to run a team. Sometimes that’s not good enough if you’ve picked the wrong players.

When you look at the players the Saints lost off of last year’s roster, you’d figure they would be just as good in 2014, if not be better. RB Darren Sproles, LT Charles Brown, C Brian De La Puente, S Roman Harper, S Malcolm Jenkins, WR Lance Moore, FB Jed Collins, DE Will Smith, CB Jabari Greer, LB Jonathan Vilma, LB Will Herring and DE Kenyon Coleman are not exactly an All-Pro team of cast offs. Some aren’t even in the league anymore. But players often accentuate their shortcomings by consistently being in the right spot, being professional and being mentally tough. Hard to find a player on that list who wasn’t known as a tough-nosed and thoroughly professional player.

You can’t blame Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis for parting ways with many of those players. Out with the old and expensive, in with the new and cheap is the way of the NFL. But those new players must be more than just cheap. Do they fit the room and the program? Will they do what’s expected of them? Are the players you’re counting on to fill the leadership void really the type of players you want to elevate to that position?

Are talented guys like Jimmy Graham, Junior Galette and Kenny Vaccaro (and they’re extremely talented) the type of players on and off the field that you want thrust into a big leadership role? Because that’s what you’re left with considering standard bearers like Brees, Zach Strief and Curtis Lofton are longer in the tooth and maybe not as dialed in with their younger teammates.

That disconnect played out this week in the Saints’ locker room, although not many saw it at the time. Galette, a pass-rushing linebacker who can take over games when he wants to, said the Panthers missed Steve Smith’s leadership. He was asked if that same comparison applied to the Saints.

“I mean, c’mon, who are you talking about?” he told reporters. “The guys that replaced them are better than they were.

“Here, the guys that replaced them are better than the guys we had. It’s not even close. Across the board. I’ll take Kenny Vaccaro any day over any safety. And I’ll take (Cam Jordan) over any defensive end. Jairus Byrd over any safety. “Lofton is putting up numbers Vilma never put up. So. It is what it is.”

Galette talked about “better” and “putting up numbers” like that’s all it takes to play winning football. Strief went to Twitter to make his opinion loud and clear.

“[Vilma] and [Will Smith] are the benchmarks for leadership and professionalism,” Strief wrote. “Blessed to have been their teammate. #walktogetherforever”

New school take. Old school take. Guess which one has a Super Bowl ring?

...

The New Orleans Saints problems: lack of professionalism & leadership | The MMQB with Peter King


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Old 12-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
New school take. Old school take. Guess which one has a Super Bowl ring?
I'll take "Old School Take" squared then x Itself again, please.

Shanle, Harper, & Vilma were stand up dudes. It shows now blatantly the lack of leadership when you got the Saints' Hit-N-Miss Idiot Twins Junior & KVac running their mouths on Twitter and in the media. We didn't have this problem as much back in the day.

Ah, back in the day...
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

That was a very depressing article. But spot on.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

Originally Posted by jnormand View Post
That was a very depressing article. But spot on.
Yep I hate to say but I agree. What a quick fall from grace it's been for us. Hope it doesn't but I see it getting worse before it gets better too.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

That sums it up!

Now what are they going to DO about it??
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

Originally Posted by Barry from MS View Post
I'll take "Old School Take" squared then x Itself again, please.

Shanle, Harper, & Vilma were stand up dudes. It shows now blatantly the lack of leadership when you got the Saints' Hit-N-Miss Idiot Twins Junior & KVac running their mouths on Twitter and in the media. We didn't have this problem as much back in the day.

Ah, back in the day...
I never really bought in to that whole "locker room leader" non-sense until now. Apparently its a lot more important than I realized.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

Galette can talk all he wants but all I know is this

Those players in 2009 may not have not been as talented as the players on the roster this year, but they formed the best team we have ever been blessed with.

Collectively those players gave us the best season we have ever had and Galette's argument is utterly mute until he accomplishes anything close to what those guys did, which I don't think he'll ever do.

I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep if he was released tomorrow and it sounds from recent interviews that the players aren't happy with him either.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:58 PM   #8
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

Hammer meet nail...good write-up by the ever hated PK.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

We are at the point where we are done waiting for the team to gel. Ain't gonna happen with this bunch. Egos, stupid comments, busted assignments. Those are the only things that have been consistent.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #10
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Re: MMQB - Talented Losers

Originally Posted by Foot Stomper View Post
Hammer meet nail...good write-up by the ever hated PK.
It wasn't PK it was Greg Bedard.
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