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Current Lineup... The Usual Suspects

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; OFFENSE QB - Brooks, Bouman, Finlen, Kingsbury RB - McAllister, Stecker, McAfee FB - Karney WR - Horn, Stallworth, Henderson, Gardner, Lewis TE - Williams, Conwell, Hall OT - Gandy, Mayberry, Stinchcomb, Folau OG - Jacox, Holland, Nesbit C - ...

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Old 03-09-2005, 11:02 AM   #1
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Current Lineup... The Usual Suspects

OFFENSE

QB - Brooks, Bouman, Finlen, Kingsbury
RB - McAllister, Stecker, McAfee
FB - Karney
WR - Horn, Stallworth, Henderson, Gardner, Lewis
TE - Williams, Conwell, Hall
OT - Gandy, Mayberry, Stinchcomb, Folau
OG - Jacox, Holland, Nesbit
C - Bentley

DEFENSE
DT - Sullivan, Young, Green, Liesle
DE - Grant, (Howard), Smith, Whitehead, (Bryant)
OLB - Bockwoldt, Allen, Rodgers, (Hodge)
ILB - Watson, Ruff
CB - McKenzie, Brown, Thomas, Ambrose, (Craft)
S - Smith, Bellamy, (Jones), Mitchell, (Gleason), Harper

I'm not going to lie, this looks pretty ho-hum to me right now. We've lost Pathon, replaced Riley with Mayberry (a slight upgrade), and added Smith (good!) to a squad from which we will probably lose Gleason.

Here is my general view so far:
OL - Minor improvement
Passing Game - No improvement or a loss
Running Game - Minor improvement
Run Defense - No improvement, (maybe slight impovement with Bockwoldt over Rodgers)
Pass Defense - Substantial improvement

Oddly, we need substantial improvement in our running game and run defense. This cannot be done on scheming alone.

My assessment:
We need a real RT, a backup RB, I like the idea of Mili at TE. With just a real RT, I will consider the running game substantially improved (and the passing game slightly improved due to the possibility of better pass protection).

We also need a vetran LB (or a complete and utter stud), and we need a DT (though this need will be reduced if Sully does step under Pease's guidance). Those additions wil amount to a substantial improvement in the run defense.

Final word:
We're at least a real RT and a vetran (or stud) LB from substantial improvement in every area. Womack, McDougle, Hartwell (whom we inexplicably seem to have no interest in), Peterson, and Witherspoon are starting to look like our last hopes in FA to fill these two needs.
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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Current Lineup... The Usual Suspects

Agreed all around. At this point I don\'t see how our pass protection will be any better, but we should hopefully see improvement in the running game. I wish we could just run a quick strike get the ball out fast offense like the Rams, but we are built around running the ball and play action. If Mayberry at least drops the false starts, that should be an improvement. I also have to believe Watson and Colby will work on strength in the offseason, and be even better contributors. But there is no limit to how much better we could be with a Hartwell or DJ. I also wish Smith was playing CB for a year, but I seem to be in the minority on that one. All in all, I like your thoughts Kool, as usual.
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:44 AM   #3
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JKool, good topic, here\'s how I see it...

O-line, Much improved. With Bentley improving at center throughout 2004, he should be much better entering 2005. The addition of Mayberry is huge in my opinion. He\'s no worse than Riley at pass blocking (probably a slight upgrade) and his run blocking is probably best of the entire group now, and Holland has 2 years experience now. This line will be slightly improved pass blocking but HUGELY improved run blocking.
Here\'s why I think this is HUGE.
There should be a lot less 2nd and long, 3rd and long\'s to deal with. Especially if Deuce comes into camp fit and trim (and he will BTW). Defenses will not be able to pin their ears back nearly as much. I see this unit boosting every facet of our offense.

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Old 03-09-2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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WR-About the same. They\'re stats may drop some because of the newfound emphasis on the run, but our effectiveness should improve. We probably had 300 3rd-n-long\'s last year. Everyone knew we were gonna pass and we still had success. Imagine if defenses don\'t know its coming. Every WR on this team is ascending, and should improve. The only one not ascending is Joe Horn, but I expect more of the same from him despite his age.

RB-Improved. Finally others were calling out Deuce\'s weight gain. I think he got the message and I predict he comes into 2005 fit and trim with a chip on his shoulder. Exactly what I want him to do. The two-TE set is history, and now with Karney\'s experience this unit should dominate. I suspect Karney will be used quite a bit more as a runner/receiver outlet.

TE-Same. Maybe better if Zach can be utilized properly, or we add a solid vet. Since its not an area of obvious need I\'m positive we\'ll sign one.

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Old 03-09-2005, 12:04 PM   #5
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Danno - I liked your analysis, until I did the \"BS test\"...

I think Mayberry helps, but I have a hard time believing that he helps to such a degree that the entire offense will be greatly improved. Sure, Bentley should be better. Conversely, Wayne \"I wasn\'t any good when I got here\" Gandy is older, slower, and no doubt working on his holding and false start techniques as we speak. I see minimal improvement in the offense. Add in a new coordinator and changed scheme and it\'s either a wash or slight step back - especially with the loss of Pathon (our only consistent WR other than Horn).

Defensively I\'m also not impressed. Smith might be a ball-hawking center fielder, but how often were the Saints beat deep last year? Teams nickeled and dimed that Saints b/c a) it\'s easier to run for 5 yards a pop and take 12 plays to go 60 yards than to try and throw deep, and b) if you have to throw, Craft/Ambrose/Thomas couldn\'t ever cover the third WR and our LBs can\'t protect the short middle against TEs, RBs, and crossing routes. Bottom line, Smith doesn\'t help us stop the run, which is the defense\'s number 1 problem. If you bring him up in run support, then what have you got? Sammy Knight.

Smith is an upgrade, no doubt. But again, his impact on the defense is entirely contingent on what the front 7 can do.

[Edited on 9/3/2005 by WhoDat]

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Old 03-09-2005, 12:11 PM   #6
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Danno - I liked your analysis, until I did the \"BS test\"...
And I guessed correctly exactly who would dump the huge pile of pessimism poop on the topic.
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:41 PM   #7
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Who else?

Hey man, I scored a 46 equivalent on the Wonderlic. What\'s your Wonderlic punk?



[Edited on 9/3/2005 by WhoDat]
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:30 PM   #8
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Who else?
Hey man, I scored a 46 equivalent on the Wonderlic. What\'s your Wonderlic punk?
[Edited on 9/3/2005 by WhoDat]
Heck I dunno, I thought Wonderlic was an erotic sexual maneuver.

OK, in all seriousness, please identify the BS I spewed.
1. Bentley will improve in his 2nd year at center
2. Mayberry will be a slight upgrade over Riley in pass blocking
3. Mayberry will be a huge upgrade over Riley run blocking
4. A better run game will result in fewer 3rd and long\'s
5. More 3rd and shorts, instead of 3rd and long will boost this offense\'s production.
6. Holland should improve entering his 3rd year in the NFL
7. A healthier and faster Deuce should result in better 1st and 2nd down runs
8. A 3rd and 3 pass play is easier than a 3rd and 12.
9. Eliminating the two-TE set will help
10. Mike Karney should be a better FB in his 2nd year.
11. Utilizing Karney\'s run/catch skills should keep D\'s more honest.

Just wondering which comments you really considered BS.

[Edited on 9/3/2005 by Danno]

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Old 03-09-2005, 02:02 PM   #9
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Any analysis of our offense must be done based on what happened last year? And I think one must be aware of what the most important problems were?

Going with that theme, I\'m going to list our problems in order of importance. Of course, this is just my opinion and it\'s open for debate.

For aguements sake, I\'m only going to list the 3 biggest problems on offense.

Offensive problems from 2004:

1. 27th ranked rushing attack.
2. Pass and run blocking by the offensive line.
3. Penalties

I think those were the 3 biggest problems from \'04.

Now the question is how much will we improve in those areas in 2005?

1. 27th ranked rushing attack.

Much of the problem there was Decue being injured. It wasn\'t his weight or anything like that. It was his ankle being injured for the majority of the season. We saw what kind of back Deuce was when the ankle healed?

Assuming Decue stays healthy, I think that brings our rushing attack somewhere in the top 10.

Simply put, that\'s a major improvement and it didn\'t take the first free-agent signing to fix this area!

2. Pass and run blocking by the offensive line.

Hard to say. I think the run blocking will be better with Mayberry. But in all honesty, I haven\'t watched Mayberry play enough to know how he\'s gonna do. It\'s wait and see for me. I surly don\'t see how he couldn\'t be an upgrade for Riley, though.

3. Penalties

We led the NFL in offensive penalties in 2004. And Victor Riley led all linemen in penalties. I think it\'s safe to say that\'s not going to happen in 2005 with Mayberry in his spot. I don\'t think it can be overstated how much all of those penalties hurt.

So, based on last year and the signing of Mayberry, I see a huge improvent in our 27th ranked rushing attack. A major drop off in penalties. And it\'s wait and see on the pass blocking. All in all, it looks promising to me.

And about Pathon, he wasn\'t a big part of our offense. And he surly wasn\'t a big loss. While it remains to be seen how Devery Henderson will do, it\'s also exciting having a guy, who might be able to out run Stallworth, being on the field this year. We\'ll see how he catches the ball. He can\'t get better unless he\'s on the field. That much I do know.

On the defensive side of the ball. The secondary looks solid. Maybe not spectacular. But McKenzie is a legit starter at CB. Fakir Brown held his own last year and deserves to be the starter, IMO. Jay Bellamy I have some concers about. But he\'s done very well the past 2 years at SS.

The addition of Dwight Smight is huge, IMO. There\'s no need to elaborate on this guy. He\'s the real deal and he\'s proven it.

The big question marks are at LB and DT. Watson, Bockwoldt and James Allen played well over the last 4 games. However, we need ONE playermaker at either MLB or OLB and I\'d feel much better about this group.

As far as DT goes. Brian Young, while not spectacular, is a decent starter. Sully could come into the mix here. Though, he can\'t be counted on. But at least there\'s a chance. I\'d feel much better if we had a proven starter there.

So, on defense, the only thing I can point to as a real weakness is DT and LB.

Free-agency isn\'t over yet and we still have the draft. It\'s anyone\'s guess what will be addressed on the defense.

[Edited on 9/3/2005 by GumboBC]
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:11 PM   #10
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We led the NFL in offensive penalties in 2004.
Just so the discussion can continue fairly, we did not lead the league in offensive penalties. Oakland did. We were also 14th in yards per penalty. We were first in penalty yards though by 96. But Victor Riley did lead all linemen. Carry on.

[Edited on 9/3/2005 by saintswhodi]
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