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jnormand 06-06-2005 04:45 AM

Fox Team Report

Fox Team Report for the New Orleans Saints

When the Saints signed free-agent guard Jermane Mayberry and drafted tackle Jammal Brown, it looked like Kendyl Jacox might become a cap casualty on the offensive line. But the veteran drive blocker has responded to the challenge. Jacox has outplayed third-year veteran Montrae Holland, who was moved from right to left guard to make room for Mayberry, and is the clear front-runner to start at left guard. Jacox's ability to play center is another plus. Holland has struggled with the move and has disappointed coaches with his conditioning. . . .

Rookie safety Josh Bullocks and wide receiver Nate Poole have opened eyes in coaching sessions. Bullocks, the team's second-round pick, has shown great speed and instincts in center field while impressing coaches with his aptitude in the playbook. He's already earned a regular spot in the dime package. Poole is not fast but has excellent hands and runs precise routes. Even if, as expected, a veteran receiver isn't added before training camp, Poole will challenge Devery Henderson, Michael Lewis and Talman Gardner for a reserve spot.

SCOUTING REPORT: Weakside linebacker Colby Bockwoldt has gained about 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason and looks like a cinch to hold off veterans Derrick Rodgers and Levar Fisher for the starting spot. Bockwoldt is smart, a diligent student in the classroom and one of the fastest linebackers on the roster. He's impressed coaches with a no-nonsense work ethic, which showed in the remarkable strength gains he made during the club's offseason conditioning program. For all of his athletic ability, Bockwoldt is still raw and inexperienced. He can be fooled by misdirection plays and play-fakes. He's also still learning to master pursuit angles and coverage responsibilities, which take time and reps. That said, the Saints are ecstatic with his progress and think they've found a diamond in the rough in the 2004 seventh-round pick.

IMPACT NEWCOMER: Free safety Dwight Smith brings a much-needed swagger to the defense. Smith is cocky but in a good way. His confidence should be a boost to a defense that hasn't had much reason to feel good in recent years. He's also a playmaker. His aggressiveness and nose for the ball should help the defense increase its turnover total. Smith's biggest hurdle might be how quickly he learns and adapts to the new defensive scheme. Some feel his effect on the defense could mirror the impact Joe Horn had on the offense when he signed as a free agent in 2000.

GUARDS/CENTERS ANALYSIS: Grade: B. This area underachieved in 2004. The trio of Kendyl Jacox, LeCharles Bentley and newcomer Jermane Mayberry should rank among the most powerful in the league.

jnormand 06-06-2005 04:49 AM

RE: Fox Team Report
It looks like Bullocks is making a name for himself. Glad to hear the good news on Bockwoldt.

saintswhodi 06-06-2005 08:47 AM

Watch out for Nate Poole. You want sure hands, he's got 'em. Maybe he can be a move the chains Willie Jackson kinda guy for us. I was glad we got him, and glad to hear he is turning some heads.

mayoj 06-06-2005 08:53 AM

Kinda disappointing to hear that about holland esp. after seeing his name on that list of offensive guys to watch under 25y/o. It could def change by the end of training camp though. Plus, if Jacox does look that good and won't false start then having a veteran working hard and doing a good job around a little longer isn't bad.

papz 06-06-2005 08:53 AM

Looks like all this time I've been defending Jacox, the guy does have some talent afterall. Ha! Let the guy out your doghouses. It was only 1 bad year.

CHACHING 06-06-2005 11:00 PM

F*&* Kendle (false start) Jacox if he doesn't live up to the hype this year...........
Lost many arguments regarding this fool last year(bar-room talk)

jnormand 06-06-2005 11:26 PM

I am glad to hear any good news regarding any of the players. It's nice to hear that Bockwoldt may be a stud this year. It's also good to hear the Jacox stepped his game up and may earn the start. I'm a little disapointed that Holland hasn't battled Jacox off though. At the least the o-line will be deep and talent loaded. I'm excited to see what Deuce can do behind this talented o-line.

CHACHING 06-06-2005 11:35 PM

Deuce is gonna make the 2003 season look like a rookie run.......
imma go with a 1800.2000 season....
Geaux Deuce!!

jnormand 06-06-2005 11:39 PM

I'll say 1600-1700 yards for Deuce on the ground. Another 450 yards recieving. He should have a plenty of room to run.

WhoDat 06-07-2005 08:38 AM

I'm telling you guys - the best LB on the field this year will be none other than Colby Buckwoldt. You gotta love the guy. The Waston, Fincher, Buckwoldt crew could give us some pretty solid LBs for years to come if all three live up to their hype. The thing that I like best is that all 3 are high character guys, and all are supposed to be smart diligent workers.

I also agree with Whodi about Nate Poole. I always like the guy. I think he could be the next Willie Jackson... but I don't expect him to lead the team in YAC.

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