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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints If It Aint Broke … Hey Saints, It’s Broke Is there any team in the league that needs to blow things up and start over more than the Saints? New Orleans has missed the playoffs four straight ...

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Old 04-06-2005, 12:56 AM   #1
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New Orleans Saints
If It Aint Broke … Hey Saints, It’s Broke
Is there any team in the league that needs to blow things up and start over more than the Saints? New Orleans has missed the playoffs four straight years, and if they were just a bad football team, that would be one thing. But they’re something far worse – a mediocre football team.

Four straight years of seven to nine wins. Four straight offseasons without making major adjustments to the roster. Four straight years of looking like a Super Bowl team one week, an expansion team the next. Four straight years of mediocrity under Jim Haslett.

Much like the Dolphins last year, the Saints need to be absolutely horrendous one of these seasons to shake them out of their doldrums. These .500 seasons just encourage the front office to leave things pretty much as is so the cycle can repeat itself the following year.

Annually, New Orleans tinkers with its roster, reaches for a defensive lineman in the draft, stumbles out of the gate, puts together a run at some point that has everyone believing they can make the playoffs, but falls just short.

The tinkering has been minimal this winter. The biggest name the Saints added in free agency has been former Buccaneer safety Dwight Smith, a versatile player who has also been a corner, but hardly a game-changing force. He’s also had a pair of gun-related arrests the last four years. So much for upgrading the character of the New Orleans locker room, which has been a mess since Albert Connell stole cash from Deuce McAllister’s locker and Joe Horn allegedly slept with Willie Roaf’s wife. Smith replaces Tebucky Jones, who was released after the Saints learned with Bill Belichick knew when he traded him to the Big Easy – “Tebuckyââ ‚¬? is Flemish for “Doesnââ ‚¬â„¢t Wrap Up.â€?

Antowain Smith was also added to serve as McAllister’s backup. Ho-hum. That ought to be good to move the Saints from 8 to 8.2 wins.

Draft Needs
The Saints’ primary needs are all on the defensive side of the ball, which is rather remarkable considering they have selected a defensive lineman in each of the last three first rounds. But only Charles Grant of that group (which also includes Will Smith and Jonathan Sullivan) has cracked the starting lineup. And with Darren Howard’s status uncertain – he has been hit with the franchise tag but may still be traded – the Saints still have a need along the line.

New Orleans would also like to address the linebacker position and get a safety to play behind Smith and Jay Bellamy.

On offense, Joe Horn is the best player, but he’s not getting any younger and the jury is still out on former first-rounder Donte’ Stallworth after three seasons, so receiver could also be a need.

But there’s no reason to suspect New Orleans will alter its defense-first strategy, and will probably reach for player in the first-round. Nothing else has changed about the Saints the last four years, so why should the draft strategy?

Recent Draft History
Remember how we pointed out how Carolina could have has many as seven starters this season from its top eight picks the last four drafts? For New Orleans, the number could be as low as two – McAllister in 2001 and Grant in 2002. You can watch a lot of Saints games without seeing any contributions from some of the other high picks – names like Devery Henderson, Sullivan, and Sedrick Hodge.

Given the draft history, it’s surprising that New Orleans has been able to hang around the .500 mark for four seasons. Unfortunately, it also means this is a team that is probably on the downside, not the upswing.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/ram...?p=2497&cat=16
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:18 AM   #2
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You sure know how to spread the sunshine. Not exactly what I would like pointed out to me so eaarly in the day but the truth hurts sometimes. Well said and many very good points. We haven\'t had an \"improvement\" plan since ?????? oh yea it was Jim Finks who actually gave a seconds thought to how to improve the team through the draft. Our FO seems to act as though every year we have to just use our picks in the draft because that is what we are supposed to do. I\'ve been back and forth between thinking our scouts suck or our FO sucks......I\'d really like to know who it is that inhales so vigorously!!
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:13 AM   #3
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I said all along we shoulda just been 4-12 last year, then we could be talking about if we wanted DJ or Mike Williams. Now we muddle into prob having to reach for a player at 16 and still weren\'t in the playoffs. But what do I know?
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:21 AM   #4
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as long as we address linebacker and OT..i\'m not against gettting another receiver or TE....

I think though if we could get more picks-say phily\'s it would help us greatly stock up.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:25 AM   #5
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I think we\'ll trade down, unless we\'re going to take an OT.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:16 PM   #6
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LKelly, I though you were much wiser than that. Its the typical clueless boob talk. As long as it\'s negative folks will eat it up.
Is there any team in the league that needs to blow things up and start over more than the Saints?
Yes, there are actually several, but i imagine he didn\'t look very hard.

Four straight offseasons without making major adjustments to the roster.
Uhh, hey Einstein did you forget the massive turnover in 2003, or the huge turn-over in 2002?
2004 was the ONLY year in which minor tweaking was attempted. Remember the \"continuity\" angle?

Much like the Dolphins last year, the Saints need to be absolutely horrendous one of these seasons to shake them out of their doldrums.
hasn\'t worked for us in 35 years, I wonder how it would suddenly work now?
These .500 seasons just encourage the front office to leave things pretty much as is so the cycle can repeat itself the following year.
Again, see 2001, 2002, and 2003. Must be talking about ONE player in particular who is common to all 4 years. Hmmm who could that be?
Annually, New Orleans tinkers with its roster, reaches for a defensive lineman in the draft, stumbles out of the gate, puts together a run at some point that has everyone believing they can make the playoffs, but falls just short.
Yeah, Will Smith, Charles Grant, Darren Howard were all reaches huh? Seems to me there was only one reach in 2003. Or does he think one year constitutes annually. And we\'ve done both, started strong and finished weak, started weak and finished strong. This guy is the pied piper of negativity.
So much for upgrading the character of the New Orleans locker room, which has been a mess since Albert Connell stole cash from Deuce McAllister’s locker and Joe Horn allegedly slept with Willie Roaf’s wife. Smith replaces Tebucky Jones, who was released after the Saints learned with Bill Belichick knew when he traded him to the Big Easy – “Tebuckyââ ‚¬? is Flemish for “Doesnââ ‚¬â„¢t Wrap Up.â€?
Grammar errors aside, yeah, thats why Bill franchised him, making him a top 5 paid safety in the league.

Antowain Smith was also added to serve as McAllister’s backup. Ho-hum. That ought to be good to move the Saints from 8 to 8.2 wins.
Don\'t think he was ever touted as a player to bring us 2 or 3 more wins. He was a league minimum signing. But if it helps attract the pessimism vultures go ahead and try to portray it as such.

The Saints’ primary needs are all on the defensive side of the ball, which is rather remarkable considering they have selected a defensive lineman in each of the last three first rounds. But only Charles Grant of that group (which also includes Will Smith and Jonathan Sullivan) has cracked the starting lineup. And with Darren Howard’s status uncertain – he has been hit with the franchise tag but may still be traded – the Saints still have a need along the line.
I think Will Smith has started, and may be the starter for years to come. Is he trying to infer Will Smith was a reach, a bad pick? So of those 3 picks, one is considered a bust.
Oh thats right, they\'re all part of that \"annual reach\" for D-linemen.

On offense, Joe Horn is the best player
didn\'t he just slam his character above with the Swight Smith diatribe?

But there’s no reason to suspect New Orleans will alter its defense-first strategy, and will probably reach for player in the first-round. Nothing else has changed about the Saints the last four years, so why should the draft strategy?
1st round reaches....
Deuce McAllister? I don\'t think so

Donte Stallworth? Maybe, but he just said the jury was still out.

Charles Grant? I don\'t think so

Jonathan Sullivan? Ok there\'s ONE.

Will Smith? Not hardley.

So out of our last five 1st round picks, 1 was a reach, the jury is still out on one, but he\'s a productive starter, and the other three are excellent players. But yea, nothing else has changed about the way Saints writers pimp pessimism, so why should this year be any different. If people keep buying it, why stop selling it.

Remember how we pointed out how Carolina could have has many as seven starters this season from its top eight picks the last four drafts? For New Orleans, the number could be as low as two – McAllister in 2001 and Grant in 2002.
It would have helped a bit not losing an entire draft on a pot-head malcontent selected by the previous administation also. But lets look at our 1st and 2nd rounders shall we?
2000, no 1st, Howard in the 2nd

2001, Deuce in the 1st, no 2nd,

2002, Donte Stallworth, Charles Grant, LeCharles Bentley

2003, Jonathan Sullivan, Jonathan Stinchcomb

2004, Will Smith, Courtney Watson, Devery Henderson

We\'re more likely to have 10 starters from our 10 1st/2nd rounders than the 2 he suggests. Realistically (something foriegn to this guy) probably only 7 or 8 out of 10 assuming Sullivan, Stinchcomb, and Henderson remain back-ups. Not quite as horrendous as he portrays huh?

You can watch a lot of Saints games without seeing any contributions from some of the other high picks – names like Devery Henderson, Sullivan, and Sedrick Hodge.
Hodge? a high pick? Wasn\'t he a 3rd rounder?

Given the draft history, it’s surprising that New Orleans has been able to hang around the .500 mark for four seasons. Unfortunately, it also means this is a team that is probably on the downside, not the upswing.
I couldn\'t agree less. The only thing I\'m encouraged about with this team is the personell we have. Coaches are a different story however.

[Edited on 6/4/2005 by Danno]

'Tolerance And Apathy Are The Last Virtues Of A Dying Society'
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:48 PM   #7
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most places are giving us a B for our drafts-and other than the sullivan debacle we\'ve done good.

the only thing (other than our defense needs upgrading esp. at linebacker) that most reports agree with this are that brooks needs to go and we need to end that experiment.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:51 PM   #8
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Danno,

Due to the numerous inaccuracies of this editorial, I think the point of the whole column has been lost to you. I think this guy is correct in his overall assessment of this team. Geez how many times do we have to have different people tell us the same things before we finally stop denying the cold hard truth. It\'s not about being negative. It\'s about reviewing results of our team\'s performance over the past 4 years, and it hasn\'t been good, by anyone\'s standards. Believe me, if we were doing well, then you\'d have people saying good things about the Saints. However, the Saints have a habit of letting the public down whenever they start to believe in the Black and Gold.

Depending on how you view this team, what he said is either correct or we are a much worse team than we think. If your view of the team is that we are underachieving and we have enough talent to get to the playoffs and beyond, then he\'s right that there must be drastic changes in our organization to help the team realize their potential. When he said the team needs to be blown up and reconstructed, I think he means to get rid of losers like Victor Riley, Sully, Ruff, Hodge, and any of the other numerous bums that wouldn\'t be starting for any other team in the league. If this team is as talented as we all say it is and they haven\'t gotten the job done, what other way than a massive purging of supporting players is going to help this team???

If this team is not as good as we think it is and they are truly doing the best that they can, then that is even worse. Either case is reason enough to make major changes if they can\'t get over the hump of mediocrity. How much longer do you wait before you decide enough is enough??? I for one thought that this last season would be the final straw.

I know you take exception to this joker saying that we habitually reach for first round picks. I know that is false too, but the memory of Sully being one of the biggest reaches in NFL history kind of negates all of our good choices. Think about it. Has there been a reach of this magnitude in recent memory??? I can\'t think of one. He was the second DT chosen and was ranked as low as the 7th on some teams\' draft boards. I wouldn\'t call Ryan Leaf a bust, because he was expected to be drafted where he was. And to tell you the truth, I am not that mad at Sully. I am more pissed off at a team making a pick that shouldn\'t have been made in a million years. So that falls squarely on the team. These outsiders don\'t \"have it in\" for the Saints or anything like that. They are just calling it how they see it. While his views on particular issues are lost to me and most other Saints fans, his overall message hits pretty close to home.
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:06 PM   #9
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Danno,

Due to the numerous inaccuracies of this editorial, I think the point of the whole column has been lost to you. I think this guy is correct in his overall assessment of this team. Geez how many times do we have to have different people tell us the same things before we finally stop denying the cold hard truth. It\'s not about being negative. It\'s about reviewing results of our team\'s performance over the past 4 years, and it hasn\'t been good, by anyone\'s standards. Believe me, if we were doing well, then you\'d have people saying good things about the Saints. However, the Saints have a habit of letting the public down whenever they start to believe in the Black and Gold.

Depending on how you view this team, what he said is either correct or we are a much worse team than we think. If your view of the team is that we are underachieving and we have enough talent to get to the playoffs and beyond, then he\'s right that there must be drastic changes in our organization to help the team realize their potential. When he said the team needs to be blown up and reconstructed, I think he means to get rid of losers like Victor Riley, Sully, Ruff, Hodge, and any of the other numerous bums that wouldn\'t be starting for any other team in the league. If this team is as talented as we all say it is and they haven\'t gotten the job done, what other way than a massive purging of supporting players is going to help this team???

If this team is not as good as we think it is and they are truly doing the best that they can, then that is even worse. Either case is reason enough to make major changes if they can\'t get over the hump of mediocrity. How much longer do you wait before you decide enough is enough??? I for one thought that this last season would be the final straw.

I know you take exception to this joker saying that we habitually reach for first round picks. I know that is false too, but the memory of Sully being one of the biggest reaches in NFL history kind of negates all of our good choices. Think about it. Has there been a reach of this magnitude in recent memory??? I can\'t think of one. He was the second DT chosen and was ranked as low as the 7th on some teams\' draft boards. I wouldn\'t call Ryan Leaf a bust, because he was expected to be drafted where he was. And to tell you the truth, I am not that mad at Sully. I am more pissed off at a team making a pick that shouldn\'t have been made in a million years. So that falls squarely on the team. These outsiders don\'t \"have it in\" for the Saints or anything like that. They are just calling it how they see it. While his views on particular issues are lost to me and most other Saints fans, his overall message hits pretty close to home.
Did you even read my post?

Oh I get it. Since we\'ve sucked for so long and made one horrendous pick its OK to spew as much incorrect information as one see\'s fit. After all we suck. And since we suck, so does Deuce, and Howard, and Grant, and Bentley, and Will Smith, and McKenzie, and Brown, and Watson. Wha a group of total losers.

There are problems with this team. I simply prefer to actually address the real ones. You don\'t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Some may enjoy his inaccurate assessments, but I prefer living in the real world.

'Tolerance And Apathy Are The Last Virtues Of A Dying Society'
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:10 PM   #10
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Nice summation GT. And I agree with you. I didn\'t pay attention to half the nonsense he said, but the one thing that struck a chord with me was:
New Orleans Saints
If It Aint Broke … Hey Saints, It’s Broke
Is there any team in the league that needs to blow things up and start over more than the Saints? New Orleans has missed the playoffs four straight years, and if they were just a bad football team, that would be one thing. But they’re something far worse – a mediocre football team.

Four straight years of seven to nine wins. Four straight offseasons without making major adjustments to the roster. Four straight years of looking like a Super Bowl team one week, an expansion team the next. Four straight years of mediocrity under Jim Haslett.

Much like the Dolphins last year, the Saints need to be absolutely horrendous one of these seasons to shake them out of their doldrums. These .500 seasons just encourage the front office to leave things pretty much as is so the cycle can repeat itself the following year.
That pretty much summed it all up for me. We HAVEN\"T made major changes at any point. We have kept AB without competition. We have tinkered with this so and so and that so and so at DT for YEARS. We keep signing these low key guys without much on their resume, except this year. We traded Roaf cause of off the field problems, not his play. And if it was cause they thought he was declining, well he has continually shown the front office to be stupid. We traded Turley cause of his emotional probs(a good move). We traded Rickey cause he was A) Ditka\'s guy and B) a flake and C) had Deuce. We let Sammy walk cause they thought he was too slow. We watch big name FA after big name FA go to other teams year in and year out. And we sit back with a \"we have a plan\" mantra. Well if that plan is to be mediocre, it\'s working to perfection.

And I don\'t care who else we drafted, the Sully pick was such a HUGE gaffe it should never be ignored again. We weren\'t at number six originally, we traded TWO FIRST ROUNDERS to move up and select our bust, about 20 something spots before he was projected. I also think this was a bigger bust pick than Ryan Leaf. I am at a loss still at the magnitude of a choice that poor. It\'s mind-boggling. That\'s worse than trading two drafts for Ricky, cause at least Ricky got us two number one picks back. Sullivan has gotten us nothing but ridicule. So while this guy obviously exaggerates and skews facts, the basic premisse of what he is saying has merit.
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