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Saints = No Leadership

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I'm a true die hard Saints fan so that's why I can bash them when they need bashing. I was born and raised in LA and I've lived the through the pain that is being a Saints fan. That brings ...

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Old 03-19-2005, 07:04 PM   #1
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Saints = No Leadership

I'm a true die hard Saints fan so that's why I can bash them when they need bashing. I was born and raised in LA and I've lived the through the pain that is being a Saints fan. That brings me to this post and the situation that the FO must address before we are to go to the next level.

We spend alot of time talking about which players we need and what positions we need help at and that's great. It's fun to talk about free agency and the draft, but I've yet to see anybody mention our biggest need. The thing we need more than any big time LB, DT, OT, or CB. The thing every other team in the league has that we don't. Leadership.

Look at every other team in the NFL and you'll see what seperates us from the rest of the league. You'll see why the Saints flounder in mediocrity year in and year out. Some teams are sorry every year because they don't have talent. We aren't one of those teams. We have just about as much raw talent as any team in the league. Why then do other teams do more than the Saints with equal or less talent? Because they have strong leadership. Somehow every year we reach right around .500 on talent alone. We manage to win about half of our games without any leadership. Imagine what we could do if we had some proven, strong leaders in the clubhouse.

In order for a good team to become great, that team must have leadership. Right now we are a good team, well above average in terms of player talent. I think, no I know that the Saints have the pontential to be great. I truly believe that with the right mix of talent, heart and leadership, that 8-8 record could easily turn into 12-4 and a run into the playoffs.

Today's NFL is so twisted and upside down. We comend players for playing through pain and playing with heart. When a guy is getting paid milliions of dollars to play football, it should be expected that he play through pain and play with heart. Unless he's INJURED and can't physically play, his butt should be on the field. If we have a hang-nail do we still have to work? The last thing on alot of players' mind is playing with heart and becoming a leader. The Saints roster just so happens to be full of that type of player. The FO must aquire more heart and more guys who can lead on the field and off.

Leadership comes from two sources, players and the coaching staff. If Haslett's has showed us anything during his tenure it's that he can't control players. Players don't respect or follow him. He doesn't get the most out of a player's talent. Hell, he can't even keep his player's in shape (i.e. the lunch bunch, Sully, Deuce, etc). So we can rule out the possibilty of leadership coming from the current coaching staff. That leaves the responsiblity of leading to the players. There are a few guys on our current roster with the potential to lead. Deuce could, but he's more of a quiet warrior. Will Smith has alot of class and will end up being the leader of the D. Bentley, B.Young, C.Watson, D.Smith all have promise but who else? Brooks or Horn? Who would look at them as leaders? They're more of a comedy act.

Somebody needs to step up and take control of this team or we'll continue to have the joy of watching 8-8 seasons for years to come! :casstet:
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:24 PM   #2
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Saints = No Leadership

bignic, we have had some major discussions about leadership and its role on this board. Glad to see some new ideas. Now seeing as how I mainly agree with you, I don\'t have much of a response. But JKool should when he reads this. He has some real fine thoughts on leadership as well.

[Edited on 20/3/2005 by saintswhodi]
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:35 PM   #3
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Saints = No Leadership

i dont disagree with the importance of leadership. look at the eagles and the pats. but i think what else they have is comraderie. we need to be a team. i mean with all the talks of talent how many guys are a stand out on the pats. so i agree with you. we need theese guys to feel the pressure that if they dont give it thier all they are leeting the team down. it would be nice and your right bro. we need some of that big time
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:33 PM   #4
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Saints = No Leadership

It seems to me that your general thesis - leadership can help us - is true. After that, there is lots of interesting stuff in your post.

(1) Why are you so sure we\'re equal or better than other teams in terms of raw talent? I\'ve been wondering about this lately. How does one decide if we have a lot of that or not?

(2) I agree that Brooks isn\'t a leader, but Joe? Surely he leads by example. I raised this in another thread, but if you\'re interested we could bring that discussion here too.

(3) Who is D. Bentley?

(4) I believe there are clearly leaders on our defense - McKenzie surely leads by example. Bellamy leads the defense - he calls the plays and gets guys organized. Surely Grant leads both vocally and by his play. However, the defense was on pace to be the worst in the history of the NFL. Thus, while I agree that leadership matters, I\'m not sure that it is obvious that getting some will make a bigger difference than getting better players, better coaching, and/or a better basic defensive scheme.

(4) I responded to your idea of \"playing through pain\" in another thread too, but we can also discuss that here if you are interested.

(5) Interesting thread. Welcome to the board, if I haven\'t already welcomed you.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:40 PM   #5
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Saints = No Leadership

A leader inspires devotion, selflessness and focus on a common goal. A leader is nominated, not self-acclaimed. A leader makes other people look good and lives to do it. A leader asks more of himself than he does of those he leads.

Where in the roster are there leaders?

It\'s a sure bet that Mike McKenzie will turn out to be a leader, as will Charles Grant. There needs to be someone on the offense who can assume a role, but it won\'t be Brooks and it won\'t be Horn. Bentley possilbly, but an offensive lineman can take things only so far. Some skill position player needs to promote the \"refuse to lose\" attitude that gets this team to the next level.

As for the FO, I don\'t think they are a stupid as some seem to think, but they really haven\'t had but one truely top five guy and he wasn\'t with the Saints nearly long enough (Jim Finks) to establish a legacy. But, there\'s a lot to be said for winning and learning from mistakes. These guys may turn out to be the freakin\' Einsteins of pro football one day from all the painful errors endured.

Calvin: "I wish I was a Tiger."
Hobbes: "Common lament."
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:52 PM   #6
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Saints = No Leadership

JKool, let me clear some things up for you if I may. D.Bentley is as follows: D as in short for defense, as in \"will end up being the leader of the D\". After the D (again short for defense) there is a period, which is used to indicate the end of a sentence, abbreviations, etc, etc. Then we have Bentley. Bentley is the last name of a player who plays for the New Orleans Saints. His first name is LeCharles. He plays on the O-line, I\'m sorry, offensive line. He plays center, you know, the one who snaps the ball to the QB, I\'m sorry quarterback.

As far as your question regarding the Saints talent in relation to other teams, this one is easy to answer. Iused my opinion as the basis for a statement. IMO, sorry in my opinion, the Saints have alot of talent. Almost as much as any team in the league and more than alot of teams. My whole point is that they have talent, but no leadership to take the team to the next level.

JKool, you and others keep telling me that we do have leaders. You says \"so and so is a good player, he leds by example\". I\'m not saying we need people to lead by the example of their play. This is the NFL, all of the players are good. If they don\'t play good, they get benched. If a leader was defined by his play on the field then all the players would be leaders. My point is that leadership is not about stats or how many passes a guy catches. Leaders dontlead by example with their play, they lead by example with their character and class. The Saints have alot of good players, but none of those players step up and lead.

Another thing, people keep relating a leader to the guy who is running around being vocal and screaming at people. That\'s one type of leader. I call that guy the \"Hype Man\". Guys like Ray Lewis and Brian Dawkins are Hype Men. We have plenty of those. We can talk with the best of em, but that\'s all we been doing. I\'ll give you that, there are more than one type of leader.

There\'s the Hype Men, The Leaders by Example (Play), and The Inspirational Leaders. We are in dire need of the latter. We don\'t have guys who inspire other players to play with everything they got. We don\'t have guys who inspire other players to keep themselves in shape. We don\'t have guys who inspire others to stay focused on winning games. No, instead we have a group of guys with no direction. No hunger for winning. We have a team that falls apart if they lose a couple of games. When this team gets down, they stay down. We need players or a coach who can pick up the teams spirit and keep their eyes on the prize. We need leaders who can keep the team focused on winning, on the field and off. We don\'t just need ra-ra guys screaming during the game. We need guys there that can reach other players on the field, in the locker room, in the offseason, in spring training, and in the workout programs. In order to win, focus must be kept not only during games, but in preparing for the game as well. We need guys who\'ll lead Monday through Sunday instead of just a few hours on gameday.

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Old 03-20-2005, 12:55 AM   #7
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I suppose by D. Smith, you meant Darrin Smith then?
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:57 AM   #8
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Saints = No Leadership

As far as your question regarding the Saints talent in relation to other teams, this one is easy to answer. Iused my opinion as the basis for a statement. IMO, sorry in my opinion, the Saints have alot of talent. Almost as much as any team in the league and more than alot of teams. My whole point is that they have talent, but no leadership to take the team to the next level.
I got that you think that. I asked you why you think that. I thought it was an interesting question, but it seems to me that your more interested in being a funny man than having an interesting discussion about such matters. :P
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:11 AM   #9
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JKool, you and others keep telling me that we do have leaders. You says \"so and so is a good player, he leds by example\". I\'m not saying we need people to lead by the example of their play. This is the NFL, all of the players are good. If they don\'t play good, they get benched. If a leader was defined by his play on the field then all the players would be leaders.
That seems plainly false to me. There are guys like Victor Riley who clearly don\'t bring their A game every game. There are guys who don\'t play through the pain. There are guys who don\'t sell out on the sidelines. Those guys play in the NFL. Not all the players give their best every play, every game. Guys get lauded for having non-stop motors; other guys don\'t have that, or this wouldn\'t be recognized by scouts, coaches, other players, analysts, and so on.

I\'m sure you played ball at one time or another. You\'ve never experienced the guy who makes the big hit or the big catch - surely that inspires people. I know I used to think that was a hell of a thing back when I played. That is what I mean by leading by example - if you don\'t want to call that leadership, I guess I\'m ok with that. If you don\'t acknowledge that that makes a difference, then I\'d like to hear an argument to that effect.

Another thing, people keep relating a leader to the guy who is running around being vocal and screaming at people. That\'s one type of leader. I call that guy the \"Hype Man\". Guys like Ray Lewis and Brian Dawkins are Hype Men. We have plenty of those. We can talk with the best of em, but that\'s all we been doing. I\'ll give you that, there are more than one type of leader.
Good examples. Here we agree.

There\'s the Hype Men, The Leaders by Example (Play), and The Inspirational Leaders.
I acknowledged that you introduced a new kind of leader earlier. I said, I\'d ponder that. I wonder why you\'ve taken such a negative stance toward my view that there is a leader by example, when you acknowledge it as a type here?

Don\'t you think that leaders by example and hype-men are inspirational in their own way. Take the example that has been bandied about here the last few days - Horn in the Carolina game caught the TD and had to be helped from the field after the play - you don\'t think that kind of play is inspirational? I do. I mean IMO.

We don\'t have guys who inspire other players to keep themselves in shape. We don\'t have guys who inspire others to stay focused on winning games.
How do you know that? Do you hang out in the locker room, are you on the sideline, can you hear in the huddle, do you know about the friendships the players build with each other? Look, I agree with you that leadership is lacking, but I don\'t see as how you can justify these claims you just made.

No hunger for winning. We have a team that falls apart if they lose a couple of games.
How do you reconcile this view with going from 4-8 to 8-8 this season?

In order to win, focus must be kept not only during games, but in preparing for the game as well.
With this I agree 100%.

We need guys who\'ll lead Monday through Sunday instead of just a few hours on gameday.
Again, I recognize this as an interesting view. I\'m still not sold, but I will continue to consider it.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:26 AM   #10
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Saints = No Leadership

Good points by all. Bignic, just to clear things up. When LKelly asked about \"D. Bentley\".....ah...it was because it looked like you were using \"D\" as in the first name initial. Thats why LKelly asked who D. Bentley was. He was being a smartass, but in a joking way. You guys get brutal in here. But its funny as hell. :icon23:
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