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-   -   Has the Defense Improved from last year? (http://blackandgold.com/saints/8806-has-defense-improved-last-year.html)

GumboBC 04-24-2005 04:53 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
Has the defense improved from last year?

The quick answer would be ... NO!

That would also be the incorrect answer. Based on logic that is. Nothing can be proven until we see them play.

When you rank 32nd out of 32 teams, things look bad. Real Bad!!

But, IMO, you have to look at many things and in many ways.


Postives:
First ... Mike McKenzie only played half of the year. Playing a whole season and being there from the start of this season has to count for something.

Fakir Brown is more experienced this year.

Dwight Smith take over for Tebucky Jones. Major improvement.

Charles Grant, Will Smith, and Darren Howard. Stacked with pass rushers at DE.

The not so positives:

a. Jonathan Sullivan -- There's a lot riding on this guy. Even more than our LBs.

b. James Allen, Colby Bockwoldt, James Allen, and Alfred Fincher.

The truth about our LBs, including Fincher, is that nobody knows. They played well at the end of the season. That could continue, or they might suck. In the end, nobody knows.

The question marks heading into the offseason were primarily LB and DT.

Past history suggests that we have not taken care of our defensive needs.

Do we write the defense off right here and now?


FireVenturi 04-24-2005 04:57 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
No we dont write them off, cause on paper we did improve....somewhat. i think we will be better on D, possibly enough to get us to the playoffs? I dunno

papz 04-24-2005 05:08 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
Obviously we have... I mean weren\'t we at the bottom of the league on defense? There is no where but up... cause you can\'t get any worse. We upgraded at safety with Smith... and just with one signing, it was an improvement from last year.

Danno 04-24-2005 05:28 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
2004 - 2005 changes

Howard - Smith, about the same
Grant-no change but another year means improvement
Green-no change, but youngsters challenging, slight improvement.
Young-no change

Rodgers-Bockwoldt (or Watson or Fincher) Upgrade
Ruff-Watson (or Fincher) Definite upgrade
Allen-no change but showed mental improvement late, slightly better.

Bellamy-Bellamy/Bullocks, wash until rookie learns
Jones-Smith- Enormous upgrade
Ambrose-Brown, Major Upgrade
Thomas-McKenzie, major upgrade


Looks to me like our DB\'s improved dramatically, our LB\'s improved a little and our front 4 improved slightly.

Our DB\'s are now younger with more upside
Our LB\'s are VERY young with upside
Our D-line is solid at 3 of 4 positions, and the 4th has a nuber of youngsters who may blossom.

I\'d say it went from an F (based on all 16) to a C+

If some kids step up as they should it could be a B-minus.

If all the kids step up and everything goes right (it never does though) it could be an A-minus/B-plus.

At least its improving but we\'re not exactly the Ravens yet.

I think the offense will show more improvement than the defense though.

Euphoria 04-24-2005 05:37 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
I think you also have to look behind the scenes also... addition of game-planning people on the defensive side of the house will be an upgrade also.

GumboBC 04-24-2005 05:39 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
Danno --

I agree with ya.

You know as well as I that hardly anyone is going to be optimistic about our defense. And the truth be told, I have some major concerns about them too.

Our secondary is fine. There are no concerns there. Might not be the best, but they are better than average.

There are no concerns at DE. We\'re stacked and dominant in that area.

It all comes down to a few players:

1. Jonathan Sullivan
2. Courtney Watson
3. James Allen
4. Colby Bockwoldt
5. Alfred Fincher.

I have more faith in Jonathan Sullivan than most. That is ... I have more faith in his \"talent\" than most. I, however, do not have a lot of faith in his \"desire\" and his \"commitment\". But I have very high hopes for him this year.

Now, as far as LBs go?! Between Fincher, Watson, and Bockwoldt ... I think we\'ll be okay.

I really really like Fincher. He\'s the kind of guy that is suited to play MLB. He has the attitude and he reminds me a lot of Sam Mills.

It takes a certain kind of MLB to impress me. I\'m impressed with Fincher. We\'ll see how he plays on the field. And I woud have said that about any of the LB in this years draft. Including DJ.

I\'m not going to be pessimistic about this defesne. There\'s no reason to be. They played exceptional down the strectch and we\'ve made some improvements.

I\'m going to have to see them play before I\'m convinced that they are good. Or that they suck.

Now ... how\'s that for \"realistic\"? ;)

[Edited on 24/4/2005 by GumboBC]

saintswhodi 04-24-2005 06:25 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
Quote:

He has the attitude and he reminds me a lot of Sam Mills.
How? I feel like you just disrespected the hell out of Sam Mills.

Stoopid512 04-24-2005 06:31 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
There\'s nowhere to go but up.

But when you had the worst defense in the league, EVEN WORSE THAN THE CHIEFS, that says a lot. I would have started off by getting rid of Venturi, but apparently the higher up\'s didn\'t see it that way.

JKool 04-24-2005 06:34 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
Billy, I agree with you and Danno, but I can\'t help myself now:

Fincher: 3rd Rd Pick, 6\'1\", 241 lbs, 4.76 in the 40. Press ?, 400 Max Press, 545 squat.

Watson: 2nd Rd Pick, 6\'1\", 237 lbs, 4.56 in the 40. Press 225 22 times, 365 Max Press, 500 squat.

I\'m not going to lie to you here, but other than some simple strength measures, Fincher is NOT stats wise better than Watson. In fact, Watson is faster.

So, I\'m not sure why you were posting a variety of \"I\'m not sold on Watson at MLB\" a week or so ago, but now you\'re all about Fincher.

In fact, Watson is up to 246 lbs now.

I like Fincher at SAM and Watson at MACK, what do you think?

WhoDat 04-24-2005 07:12 PM

Has the Defense Improved from last year?
 
Has the defense improved? Hard to say considering they haven\'t played a game.

The better question is, will the defense be better in 2005?

Yes. The real question, IMO, is how much and will it be enough?

Famous last words maybe, but there\'s no way that the defense can get worse. I expect them to get better. The real question is will they get better enough for the Saints to be true contenders?

I think the Saints D needs to be about average (16th or so) for them to have a shot at the playoffs. That\'s 16 spots. That\'s a lot. But, they might just be able to do it. If the last few games of last year was any indication of the D can do - all may not be lost. That said, the moves on defense this offseason have mostly left much to be desired. Time shall tell I guess.


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