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The Evolution of the Saints Passing Game

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Jimmy Graham is gone, and while many won't admit it Drew Brees’ arm strength is starting to tail off. Their roster changes hint at the inevitable: The Saints plan to move away from the vertical passing game that has defined ...

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Old 08-17-2015, 05:57 AM   #1
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Thumbs up The Evolution of the Saints Passing Game

Jimmy Graham is gone, and while many won't admit it Drew Brees’ arm strength is starting to tail off. Their roster changes hint at the inevitable: The Saints plan to move away from the vertical passing game that has defined the Payton-Brees era

The Jimmy Graham trade was shocking to many, including Drew Brees. A star playmaker and mismatch creator dealt in his prime? We see that maybe once every five years—and usually with extracurricular circumstance attached (think Terrell Owens, with his bad attitude and weird contract, going from San Francisco to Philadelphia).

But there was nothing sinister behind the scenes with Graham. Saints GM Mickey Loomis was refreshingly honest about why he gave up the three-time Pro Bowl tight end in exchange for Seattle’s first-round pick and two-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger: “We're trying to do some things to help our overall team. And we've been fortunate to have a really good offense for the entire time that Sean Payton’s been our head coach.” The Saints have finished in the league’s top five in offensive yardage in seven of Payton’s eight seasons (that doesn’t include the Bounty Gate suspension year, when they still finished second).

“So we've been able to generate offense throughout that period. And yet our defense has been up and down. So when you look at your team, you’re trying to assess the assets that you have and, ‘How can we help ourselves in areas of weakness?' And sometimes that requires you to take a strength of your team and turn it into something else.”

In other words, as long as Brees is under center and Payton is running his system, the Saints can manufacture offensive production just fine. If, as the GM, you believe this to be true, then your focus shifts from bolstering strengths to eradicating weaknesses. Because after all, the system itself is the strength.

This explains Unger’s presence in the trade. The Saints’ interior offensive line play has been spotty the past few years, particularly at center. That’s a problem because the man executing the system, Brees, is only 6-feet and predicates his game on climbing the pocket. This is why the Saints have always invested heavily at the guard positions. (They did just ship one of those heavily invested guards, Ben Grubbs, to the Chiefs, but they’re banking on addition by subtraction there. Grubbs, 31, was coming off an uncharacteristically bad season in pass protection. His internal replacement, Tim Lelito, is no stud, but he’ll at least be cheaper.)

Read the rest: After trading Jimmy Graham Saints passing game in for big changes | The MMQB with Peter King

Pretty good piece of writing IMHO.

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Last edited by Crusader; 08-17-2015 at 06:07 AM..
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:51 AM   #2
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Re: The Evolution of the Saints Passing Game

Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
Jimmy Graham is gone, and while many won't admit it Drew Brees’ arm strength is starting to tail off. Their roster changes hint at the inevitable: The Saints plan to move away from the vertical passing game that has defined the Payton-Brees era

The Jimmy Graham trade was shocking to many, including Drew Brees. A star playmaker and mismatch creator dealt in his prime? We see that maybe once every five years—and usually with extracurricular circumstance attached (think Terrell Owens, with his bad attitude and weird contract, going from San Francisco to Philadelphia).

But there was nothing sinister behind the scenes with Graham. Saints GM Mickey Loomis was refreshingly honest about why he gave up the three-time Pro Bowl tight end in exchange for Seattle’s first-round pick and two-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger: “We're trying to do some things to help our overall team. And we've been fortunate to have a really good offense for the entire time that Sean Payton’s been our head coach.” The Saints have finished in the league’s top five in offensive yardage in seven of Payton’s eight seasons (that doesn’t include the Bounty Gate suspension year, when they still finished second).

“So we've been able to generate offense throughout that period. And yet our defense has been up and down. So when you look at your team, you’re trying to assess the assets that you have and, ‘How can we help ourselves in areas of weakness?' And sometimes that requires you to take a strength of your team and turn it into something else.”

In other words, as long as Brees is under center and Payton is running his system, the Saints can manufacture offensive production just fine. If, as the GM, you believe this to be true, then your focus shifts from bolstering strengths to eradicating weaknesses. Because after all, the system itself is the strength.

This explains Unger’s presence in the trade. The Saints’ interior offensive line play has been spotty the past few years, particularly at center. That’s a problem because the man executing the system, Brees, is only 6-feet and predicates his game on climbing the pocket. This is why the Saints have always invested heavily at the guard positions. (They did just ship one of those heavily invested guards, Ben Grubbs, to the Chiefs, but they’re banking on addition by subtraction there. Grubbs, 31, was coming off an uncharacteristically bad season in pass protection. His internal replacement, Tim Lelito, is no stud, but he’ll at least be cheaper.)

Read the rest: After trading Jimmy Graham Saints passing game in for big changes | The MMQB with Peter King

Pretty good piece of writing IMHO.
I think this is a good piece of writing, but I am not sure Drew's arm strength is weakening or if the inability to step into throws because the pockets is pushed back into your face is the issue. If Evans can be 80% of his pro bowl self, maybe we will find out.

I did not understand the Jordan deal... the guy just isn't elite, I don't understand why we keep pretending he is. If anyone can show me how I am wrong, please do. I want to believe Cam is better than I think.

Defense needs a pass rush...
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: The Evolution of the Saints Passing Game

I'm a little disappointed to see Coleman not getting better separation. Drew might have been able to throw him open though had he been playing. We'll see soon I hope.
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cooks, drew bres, grubbs, jimmy graham, lelito, passing game, sean payton, stills, unger, vertical

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