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Danno 04-20-2005 09:27 AM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Choices haven't dazzled, but front office looking sharper than in previous regimes
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer
The Saints have had their share of hits and misses in the NFL draft since Jim Haslett became coach.

In many ways, the five drafts from 2000 to 2004 have mirrored the team's roller-coaster performance on the field. For every Darren Howard, Deuce McAllister or Will Smith success story, there's a Johnathan Sullivan, Kenny Smith or Keyuo Craver head-scratcher. For the most part, though, the Saints have hit more than they've missed in the NFL's annual player selection lottery. ...
In a subjective analysis of league-wide draft choices from 2000 to 2004, the Saints compare favorably to the rest of the NFL. In fact, the results might surprise many of the club's long-suffering fans, who tend to focus on the half-empty 2001 and 2003 drafts instead of the half-full ones in 2000 and 2002.

In the past five years, the Saints rank among the top 10 of the league in starters acquired (11, 10th place), percentage of draft picks still in the NFL (81.5 percent, eighth) and number of Pro Bowl players selected (three, tied for fifth).

Yet New Orleans ranked 19th in the percentage of draft picks still on the roster with 55.2 percent (21 of 38). That's a far cry from the top, where the New York Jets have 75 percent (27 of 36) of draft picks still on the roster.

But the Saints' figure is skewed somewhat by the club's propensity for trades. Quality draft picks such as Chad Morton and J.T. O'Sullivan probably would be on the roster if they had not been not packaged in trades. Ditto for quarterback Marc Bulger, a sixth-round pick in 2000 who became expendable after the Saints acquired Aaron Brooks in a deal with Green Bay a couple of months later.

...
One of the criticisms of the Saints in recent years is that the coaching staff and personnel departments have not been on the same page. Two coaches who recently left the staff complained privately about a lack of input in scouting.

Haslett, in an interview last month at the NFL owners meetings, acknowledged that the two sides initially didn't have "a really good understanding of what we're looking for player-wise or what we're trying to build." He later added that the relationship has improved this offseason.

Loomis disagreed with the claim, saying he includes all members of the 18-man coaching staff and 12-man scouting staff in decision-making before making the final call.

Jeff Duncan can be reached at jduncan@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3405.

Entire Article...
http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...9783185120.xml


[Edited on 20/4/2005 by Danno]

Danno 04-20-2005 05:07 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

In the past five years, the Saints rank among the top 10 of the league in starters acquired (11, 10th place), percentage of draft picks still in the NFL (81.5 percent, eighth) and number of Pro Bowl players selected (three, tied for fifth)
What? No comments? Where\'s the love? Top 10?
Where\'s all the talent bashers to poo-poo this stat?

Actually I think this proves my point. This statistic further illustrates the poor job of coaching done over the last several years. There is no other way to look at it. Our coaching staff underachieved for the last 3 years.

Here\'s what I hope:
1. It was mainly Venturi and McCarthy\'s fault. McCarthy is now gone and Venturi has been replaced as kindly as anyone I can ever remember. I guess he still has pictures somewhere.

2. Haslett has finally grown enough as a HC to take the bull by the horns and be the coach we thought we were getting his 1st year.

Now both are probably overly-optimistic but a guy can still hope, eh?

GumboBC 04-20-2005 05:11 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Danno --

You noticed no one commented, huh?

Don\'t worry ... they\'ll put a negative spin on it.

I do want to make a commet, though.

I think the front office has assembled a lot of damn talent. The most that\'s ever been on one Saints\' roster.

If this defense can somehow find a way to play even average, then it\'s no telling what will happen.


Danno 04-20-2005 05:24 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

Danno --
You noticed no one commented, huh?
I\'ll guarantee if it was a hatchet job on the Saints front office it would be on its 2nd or 3rd page by now.

GumboBC 04-20-2005 05:34 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
One more thing, Danno.

I agree with you about coaching being a problem.

But, not so much the playcalling. Not on offense anyway.

I just think the Saints haven\'t had the personell to run the kind of schemes that they want to run. And I think they\'ve tried all kind of adjustments and just haven\'t been able to make it work.

Haslett has always wanted to pound the ball up the middle and play-action pass.

Problem is ... our offensive line really isn\'t a smash-mouth type O-line. Pittsburg is a smash-mouth offense.

And on defense ... not taking up for Venturi .. but he hasn\'t had the most talent in the world. He\'s had no linebacker help and really not much in the secondary. And the DT\'s have been pretty damn questionable.

I guess what I\'m sayin is: Despite the poor coaching and the good drafts we\'ve had, this team still lacks overall talent. Or it has for the past couple of years.

Getting Mike McKenzie, Dwight Smith, Courtney Watson and Colby Bockwoldt did a lot to help!!

[Edited on 20/4/2005 by GumboBC]

[Edited on 20/4/2005 by GumboBC]

saintswhodi 04-20-2005 05:35 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

In the past five years, the Saints rank among the top 10 of the league in starters acquired (11, 10th place),
Sullivan was a starter, as was Hodge, and James Allen. Anybody praising those guys? Gumbo isn\'t sold on Watson, and he was a starter(personally I like the guy). Stallworth is a starter(love the guy, hope he does great, but hasn\'t yet). Boo Williams is a starter. And we are bragging on this why? Just cause you kept draft picks that started, doesn\'t mean they were any good.

Quote:

percentage of draft picks still in the NFL (81.5 percent, eighth)
Hmm, this statement along with this
Quote:

Yet New Orleans ranked 19th in the percentage of draft picks still on the roster with 55.2 percent (21 of 38). That\'s a far cry from the top, where the New York Jets have 75 percent (27 of 36) of draft picks still on the roster.

But the Saints\' figure is skewed somewhat by the club\'s propensity for trades. Quality draft picks such as Chad Morton and J.T. O\'Sullivan probably would be on the roster if they had not been not packaged in trades. Ditto for quarterback Marc Bulger, a sixth-round pick in 2000 who became expendable after the Saints acquired Aaron Brooks in a deal with Green Bay a couple of months later.
directly points to ineptitude of the front office. We draft guys who CAN play in the NFL, but we trade them away or let them walk. How is this a good article again?

TheDeuce 04-20-2005 05:49 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

Getting Mike McKenzie, Dwight Smith, Courtney Watson and Colby Bockwoldt did a lot to help!!
I don\'t mean to go back to an old thread, but I\'m still not sold on Colby Bockwoldt. I watched all the games last season and I didn\'t see anything that impressed me about him. Still think we need talent at OLB, but Gumbo, you\'re right, we have done a lot to get a talented team.

Danno 04-20-2005 05:51 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

directly points to ineptitude of the front office. We draft guys who CAN play in the NFL, but we trade them away or let them walk. How is this a good article again?
It pointed out successes as well as failures. Seems like a realistic article to me. Not like that error-ridden hatchet job you guys practically spooged over last month.
It also identifies the main problem with this team and it doesn\'t appear to be talent. Seems like we\'re on par or slightly better than most teams in this league in drafting players. Would it be better if we ranked near the bottom in players still in the league or on our roster? LMAO

To me it implies coaching plain and simple. Spin it anyway you want, to me it says our coaching has been below average.

saintswhodi 04-20-2005 06:30 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

Would it be better if we ranked near the bottom in players still in the league or on our roster? LMAO
Well we do rank in the bottom half of the league in draft picks still on our roster. ;)

Never said coaching wasn\'t a problem. IT is. But again, if the starters you have drafted are crap, I don\'t know why they would even count in the statictic. You yourself have said we have players who wouldn\'t start anywhere else starting for us. We have talent, just not enough to go with our poor coaching and hot and cold front office. We would need far superior talent to overcome our coaching, which we don\'t have, or far superior coaches for the talent we do have, and we don\'t.

mutineer10 04-20-2005 07:15 PM

Saints are picking up draft skills
 
Quote:

You noticed no one commented, huh?
I didn\'t reply b/c I was at work, but I ain\'t here to bash... ;)

Quote:

Haslett, in an interview last month at the NFL owners meetings, acknowledged that the two sides initially didn\'t have \"a really good understanding of what we\'re looking for player-wise or what we\'re trying to build.\" He later added that the relationship has improved this offseason.

Loomis disagreed with the claim, saying he includes all members of the 18-man coaching staff and 12-man scouting staff in decision-making before making the final call.
I initially got a good feeling when I read the bit about \"the relationship has improved\" in the offseason, but then Loomis seemed to completely contradict Haslett\'s comment. Sounds like they still ain\'t totally on the same page. I hope things indeed HAVE improved, but if Loomis never recognized a problem, I wonder how much \"improvement\" has actully taken place.

I have no idea why, but I\'m getting a pretty good feeling about the draft. Just gotta make sure to stay \"hopefully realistic\" ;)



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