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The 5 most important players in '05.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; For all the problems the Saints have had over the past few years ... no problem has been bigger than the defense. Of course ... Aaron Brooks has taken the majority of the blame for the team not making the ...

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Old 03-26-2005, 01:32 PM   #1
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The 5 most important players in '05.

For all the problems the Saints have had over the past few years ... no problem has been bigger than the defense. Of course ... Aaron Brooks has taken the majority of the blame for the team not making the playoffs, but it's really the defense that has let this team down.

It's hard to imagine any defense that's been worse than the Saints over the past 4 years. Then again ... I say that every year!! But last year's defensive performace proved to me that things can always get worse.

Is it possible that the Saints' defense could be even worse in '05? Let's hope not!!

I think if the Saints are to go anywhere in '05 that the run defense must hold opponents to under 100-yards rushing. That's a tall task for a defense who finished 32nd the previous year.

Still, it's possible that the defense can turn it around. But, that improvement is going to have to come from with-in the current group of players. Players such as Brian Young and Howard Green must play better at the DT position this year if we are going to stop the run. While you hear terms like "high motor" and "good character" about both players, the simple truth is neither player perfomed very well in '04.

Even if Brian Young and Howard Green step their game up to another level this year, there are still big question marks at all the linebacker positions.

This is another area where the current group of players must take their game to another level. Most of the pressure, however, is going to be placed on 2nd year MLB Courtney Watson. While you hear terms like "smart"," instinctive", and "intelligent" when Watson is mentioned ... what you don't hear are terms such as: "proven" and "play-maker." The same thing can be said for all of the linebackers.

Unless another defensive player is picked up, the 5 most important players on the team this year will be:

1. Howard Green.
2. Brian Young.
3. Courtney Watson.
4. James Allen.
5. Colby Bockwoldt.

Let's hope all 5 guys can step it up this year or we might be in for another very disappointing season.

Of course, the wild card in all of this is Jonathan Sullivan. Well, that and the possible Darren Howard trade. I think getting a proven MLB and sliding Watson to the outside would make all the difference. But as it stands right now, it's not looking very good.


[Edited on 26/3/2005 by GumboBC]
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:16 PM   #2
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The 5 most important players in '05.

I\'m really hoping that Dwight Smith, and Will Smith both have big years...

The LB\'s are so ...up in the air right now, anything could happen with the guys we have right now...I\'m no more certain now, than I was last year about who is going to be our starting LB\'s coming inot the season...It needs to be addressed, in a big way...I\'m really hoping the draft lands us Thomas Davis..and IF He can play LB, like alot of teams are projecting him to do...Then I will really begin to get excited about the potentila of our revamped Defense...

But..Venturi...I thought there was absolutley no hope for him to be employed by us again...I was convinced that He would HAVE to be fired for the poor performance last year...

People who\'s decisions matter though, Think He is a commodity, and that He has alot to give in terms of coaching a good Defense....

Overall, We have improved on the Defensive side of the ball..But, I\'m wondering as of now, what the draft will bring, and, will it be enough?
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:22 PM   #3
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The 5 most important players in '05.

The continuous development of Jonathan Sullivan, Courtney Watson, and Will Smith. The health of Deuce McAllister and ability of Aaron Brooks to run a new offense. I would have included Charles Grant because he is the leader of the defense, but he\'s always been solid.
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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The 5 most important players in '05.

If you\'re talking strictly about the defensive side of the ball, I actually like Billy\'s list. I\'d have to agree. Our secondary and ends will be good or better. The keys to success for the Saints in 2005 lie right up the middle of the defense. DT and LB. On offense I say Deuce, Aaron, and the Tackles are key. Stallworth and either Gardner, Henderson, or a TE has got to step it up too.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:11 PM   #5
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The 5 most important players in '05.

our lb\'s are an obvious look. how much does our d this year depend on them playing as well as they did the last 4 games of last year.
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Old 03-27-2005, 04:26 AM   #6
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The 5 most important players in '05.

If all of those players that Gumbo mentioned play great this year, we could still have a non-playoff year. I think there are players on offense who hold more importance than 4 of those players. Courtney Watson is the only one I agree with. As bad as the defense was, it wasn\'t like they were underacheiving. If you sign bad players you will get substandard results. That is not the case for the offense. You have what many consider to be one of the most talented offenses in the entire NFL, definitely more talented than the Patriots or Falcons, just to nema a couple of teams.

I say Duece is number one. How can you not say that this team begins and ends with Duece? If he returns back to form, we are immediately a better team. The passing game improves, and the D is not on the field as much. No way would I say that Howard Green, a backup DT, is near the top of the list. Deuce is THE focal point of the team.

I would put Courtney Watson at 2. The MLB, like the RB on offense, is a position where a good player will make everyone else around them better. A good field general would be responsible for line and formation shifts, coverage changes and the like. He has the intelligence to get the job done and he will get it done, in my opinion. He just needs time.

Three would be Jonathan Sullivan. He\'s probably the main player(and I use the word player loosely) that is underacheiving. I believe that his rejuvenation would rub off on the rest of the offense. Having a true two gapper like him would allow Will Smith and Charles Grant to reak havoc on any QB that we faced. But this is the player who I\'m expecting to let the team down again.

Donte Stallworth is another one that needs to step it up. Like Sullivan, we\'ve been waiting for Stallworth to reach his potential. He was poised for one hell of a rookie season in \'02 before he got injured....I think he had like 5 TDs in his first 5 games. He still has the game breaking speed. Let\'s hope he can stay healthy and provide a reliable alternative to Horn, or stiep up even more and prove that he can handle the number 1 reciever\'s spot.

Aaron Brooks is on here too. I know people(Gumbo mainly) say that this season wasn\'t his fault, and it wasn\'t. However, the QB HAS to shoulder some of the blame in an underacheiving offense. It\'s been that way always and it will continue to be that way. The QB gets all of the credit for the wins and all of the blame for the losses. Believe me, if we were winning 13 games a year, AB would be God here. We don\'t need(nor am I expecting)AB to have a pro bowl season. We just need him to hold on to the ball and make less bonehead decisions. Putting his foot up someone azz instead of smiling after messing up wouldn\'t hurt either. In short, just don\'t LOSE the game for us.

[Edited on 27/3/2005 by GoldenTomb]
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Old 03-27-2005, 08:10 AM   #7
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The 5 most important players in '05.

GT, you say that Deuce is the focal point of our offense, and you may be right about that...but it shouldn\'t be that way. If people stack-up for the run, then we have to be able to exploit that, and make them move some people off the line. If we can\'t do that, we will never be able to move the ball successfully. If the offense is struggling early, and the defense can\'t stop anyone, that makes for a pretty dismal set of options for the remainder of the game. If we are continually playing from behind, then the running game will be abandoned early, and we have to be able to pass.

So, what am I saying. I don\'t know. I guess I\'m saying that Gumbo is correct when he says that we have to depend on our defense to be able to stop people until the offense can get it in gear. If the offense could force defenses out of their game plan and exploit their weaknesses, then our defense wouldn\'t be so pressured, but, until we can do that, we darn sure better be better ourselves defensively or we are going to be in for a long season.

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Old 03-27-2005, 08:52 AM   #8
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The 5 most important players in '05.

I think WhoDat got what I was saying. I don\'t think some did, however.

The point I was trying to make is this:

1. Our defense has been the main problem.
2. If our defense is to truly improve much is going to depend on the 5 players I mentioned.

We know what we\'ve got in players like Charles Grant and Mike McKenize. Or course, I don\'t think any of the 5 players I mentioned are more important that our \"star\" players, but their improvement is \"KEY\" to our \'05 season.

If no more players are aquired, then I really feel much of our season will be dependent on those 5 players. If those players \"step it up\", we\'re probably looking at playoffs. If not, it looks just like the past to me....



[Edited on 27/3/2005 by GumboBC]
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:11 PM   #9
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The 5 most important players in '05.

How much do those guys have to \"step it up\"? I know this is kind of a nit-picky point, but merely having Green, Bockwoldt, and Allen start improved our defense. Look at our total yards allowed for those games and tell me they weren\'t better than the average of the other games. Merely their being on the field more improved our defense.

I agree that improving the defense is KEY to our success next season, I\'ve been saying that for awhile now. However, it isn\'t clear that those guys aforementioned need to get any better to improve our D, they merely need to be on the field! Granted, we would improve MUCH MORE if they also improved as players.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:30 PM   #10
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The 5 most important players in '05.

LB, for the first time, maybe ever, I am gonna disagree with you. I have to go with GT. Deuce is the focal point of the offense. Just because teams may gear to stop him, doesn\'t mean he isn\'t the focal point. It just means the other team KNOWS he is the focal point. It is the players\' around him\'s job to make sure they get it done. Think teams don\'t know Priest Holmes is the focal point? Jamal Lewis? LT? Yes those players still get it done, and you don\'t get more one dimensional then Baltimore. Statements like
I guess I\'m saying that Gumbo is correct when he says that we have to depend on our defense to be able to stop people until the offense can get it in gear
is not fair to the defense. How long do they have to stop people until the offense gets in gear? This year it was pretty much every first quarter and close to a half, not to mention turnovers by the offense WHILE they weren\'t scoring. I agree with GT\'s list. Don\'t get me wrong, the D NEEDS to step up, but if we see the offense scoring earlier and more often than they did last year, the D becomes less important, but again I will say it is still HUGE for them to improve.
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