Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints

Saints Team Report (USA Today)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Inside Slant Late in the 2004 season, Saints coach Jim Haslett knew he was going to have to make changes to his staff during the offseason — but he didn't know to what extent. Haslett still doesn't know how many ...

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-22-2005, 05:44 PM   #1
Retired
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 10,616
Saints Team Report (USA Today)

Inside Slant
Late in the 2004 season, Saints coach Jim Haslett knew he was going to have to make changes to his staff during the offseason — but he didn't know to what extent.
Haslett still doesn't know how many coaches he'll eventually have to replace, but he already has three vacancies to fill in what might turn out to be the biggest overhaul of his coaching staff in his six seasons as head coach.

"It could be a busy offseason, but I'm prepared for it," said Haslett, who made his first move on Jan. 14 when he fired running backs coach Dave Atkins.

Atkins, who had already served one tour of duty with former Saints coach Jim Mora in New Orleans during the mid-1990s, was one of eight remaining members of Haslett's original staff.

"I'm very disappointed," said Atkins, who noted that the Saints have dismissed three black assistant coaches (including himself) in the last year. "I don't understand it. You would like to have some kind of understanding or reason why.

"But five years is a good tenure here," he said. "I'll move on, hopefully to better things for me."

Atkins is only the fourth assistant fired by Haslett during his tenure with the Saints. Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti Jr. was released in 2002, and wide receivers coach Hubbard Alexander and defensive line coach Sam Clancy, both of whom are black, were not retained after the 2003 season.

Haslett defended his decision, saying he wasn't satisfied with the conditioning and production of running back Deuce McAllister. The two-time Pro Bowler rushed for 1,074 yards after consecutive seasons of 1,641 yards and 1,388 yards in 2003 and 2002, respectively, even though he missed two games and most of a third with an ankle injury.

"This decision was about lack of productivity and nothing else," said Haslett, who pointed out that he still has five minority members on his coaching staff.

In addition to hiring a running backs coach, Haslett has to find an assistant strength and conditioning coach after Mark Smith left to join Steve Spurrier at South Carolina and Ben McAdoo, his offensive quality control coach, took a job at Stanford.

Three other coaches have interviewed for jobs elsewhere.

Offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy, whose contract expires Feb. 15, is exploring his options with the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars; quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard interviewed with the Baltimore Ravens although their offensive coordinator job went to Jim Fassel; and cornerbacks coach Greg Brown interviewed for the LSU defensive coordinator position.

NOTES, QUOTES

—Running back Deuce McAllister has been selected as a 2004 JB Award winner — as chosen by Fox broadcaster James Brown — and is now eligible to win the prestigious Byron "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award.

Players on each NFL team nominated one of their teammates to be considered for the "Whizzer" White Award. Brown then selected nine of these 32 nominees to receive a JB Award, which honors NFL players for their dedication to building better families and stronger communities.

McAllister's "Catch 22 Foundation," works year round to improve the quality of life for underprivileged youth in both Louisiana and his native Mississippi. During the season, McAllister works with such organizations as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children's Hospital of New Orleans.

The signature Catch 22 event of the season comes in December, when McAllister's foundation sponsors 100 holiday shopping sprees for less fortunate children.

—Now that he'll return as Saints coach for 2005, Jim Haslett will become only the fourth NFL head coach since 1990 to survive after going four consecutive seasons without making the playoffs.

The Saints last made the playoffs in 2000, Haslett's rookie year with the team. The other coaches to keep their jobs after a four-year playoff drought are Jeff Fisher, David Shula and Norv Turner.

—The Saints made their first significant offseason move by signing long snapper Kevin Houser to a five-year contract extension. Terms of the deal were not released.

Houser, a seventh-round draft pick in 2000, has been a steady and dependable snapper for kicks and punts the last five seasons. The former Ohio State standout was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month.

—The first ax fell in the Saints' front office on Jan. 14 when pro scout Grant Neill was fired. Neill worked in various capacities in the Saints' football operations for the last seven years, the final five as a pro scout.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're still in the process of deciding what direction we're going to take in regard to the coaching staff. There are still a lot of things that could shake out that will determine what we do." — Saints coach Jim Haslett on reshaping his staff for the 2005 season.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

After finishing last in the league in total yards allowed and giving up more than 400 points, the Saints will likely make some big changes on defense this offseason.

While the defensive line was considered the strength of the unit, the linebackers and secondary came under much scrutiny this season. But a young group of linebackers — including third-year pro James Allen and rookies Courtney Watson and Colby Bockwoldt — played much better toward the end of the season.

That left the back end of the secondary as a source of concern, considering free safety Tebucky Jones and strong safety Jay Bellamy have not been big playmakers the last two years with only five interceptions between them in 32 games.

Bellamy turns 33 in July and is also an unrestricted free agent, which means the Saints might make a strong effort toward upgrading the safety spots in the coming months.

UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACK: Starter — Aaron Brooks. Backup — Todd Bouman.

RUNNING BACKS: Starters — RB Deuce McAllister, FB Mike Karney. Backups — RB Aaron Stecker, RB Fred McAfee.

TIGHT END: Starter — Ernie Conwell. Backups — Boo Williams, Lamont Hall, Zach Hilton.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters — Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth. Backups — Jerome Pathon, Talman Gardner, Michael Lewis, Devery Henderson.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Starters — LT Wayne Gandy, LG Kendyl Jacox, C LeCharles Bentley, RG Montrae Holland, RT Victor Riley. Backups — T/G Spencer Folau, G Jamar Nesbit, T Jon Stinchcomb.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Starters — LE Charles Grant, LT Brian Young, RT Howard Green, RE Darren Howard. Backups — DE Will Smith, DT Willie Whitehead, DE Tony Bryant, DT Johnathan Sullivan, DT Rodney Leisle, DL Kenny Smith (injured reserve).

LINEBACKERS: Starters — SLB James Allen, MLB Courtney Watson, WLB Colby Bockwoldt. Backups — MLB Orlando Ruff, SLB Sedrick Hodge, WLB Derrick Rodgers (injured reserve), MLB Cie Grant (injured reserve), WLB Darrin Smith, MLB Roger Knight, WLB Terrence Melton.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters — LCB Mike McKenzie, RCB Fakhir Brown, SS Jay Bellamy, FS Tebucky Jones. Backups — CB Fred Thomas (nickel), CB Jason Craft (dime), CB Ashley Ambrose (injured reserve), SS Mel Mitchell, FS Steve Gleason, CB Monty Montgomery.

SPECIAL TEAMS: K John Carney, P Mitch Berger, H Todd Bouman, LS Kevin Houser, PR-KR Michael Lewis.
papz is offline  
Latest Blogs
REFUND Last Blog: 12-07-2014 By: xan




Saints: A glimpse of the future Last Blog: 11-19-2014 By: lee909


Old 01-22-2005, 05:56 PM   #2
1000 Posts +
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,762
Saints Team Report (USA Today)

Now that he\'ll return as Saints coach for 2005, Jim Haslett will become only the fourth NFL head coach since 1990 to survive after going four consecutive seasons without making the playoffs.
Now THAT is a fascinating little factoid. I wonder if any of the other 3 guys got big extensions after season 4?
BrooksMustGo is offline  
Old 01-22-2005, 08:14 PM   #3
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,099
Saints Team Report (USA Today)

brooks must go that is the exact problem. its one thing to keep a guy that hasnt done anything in years but its another thing to extend him before he has made the playoffs. ridiculous

bnut i guess if he wins the div. next year and wins a couple of playoff games i wont be complaing. but wait thats what ive been thinking the last few years
spkb25 is offline  
Old 01-23-2005, 09:48 AM   #4
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,631
Saints Team Report (USA Today)

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now that he\'ll return as Saints coach for 2005, Jim Haslett will become only the fourth NFL head coach since 1990 to survive after going four consecutive seasons without making the playoffs.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Now THAT is a fascinating little factoid. I wonder if any of the other 3 guys got big extensions after season 4?
I wonder if any of them ever turned it around in years 5 through ???. I highly doubt it.
WhoDat is offline  
Old 01-23-2005, 10:00 AM   #5
Site Donor 2014
Truth Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Spanish Fort Alabama
Posts: 17,099
Saints Team Report (USA Today)

Now that he\'ll return as Saints coach for 2005, Jim Haslett will become only the fourth NFL head coach since 1990 to survive after going four consecutive seasons without making the playoffs.
Now THAT is a fascinating little factoid. I wonder if any of the other 3 guys got big extensions after season 4?
I think one of the other 3 also coached the Saints!
Danno is online now  
Old 01-23-2005, 10:49 AM   #6
5000 POSTS! +
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,631
Saints Team Report (USA Today)

No wonder our fans don\'t expect to make the PLAYOFFS?!?! PLAYOFFS?!?

Of course - in his 4th season (1996) after making the playoffs (1992), Jim Mora suffered a breakdown and quit. Haslett signed an extension.
WhoDat is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:24 PM.


Copyright 1997 - 2014 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts