New Orleans Saints -

New Orleans Saints - (
-   Saints (
-   -   Saints’ goal is to win NFC South (

tiggerpolice 06-16-2005 08:41 AM

Saints’ goal is to win NFC South
Saints’ goal is to win NFC South

By Brent St. Germain
Sports Editor

Since 2002, a trend has developed in the NFC South.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started the trend in 2002 by capturing the NFC South title and winning Super Bowl XXXVII.

The Carolina Panthers followed by winning the division and advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing to the New England Patriots 32-29.

Last season, the Atlanta Falcons made it three straight different division winners from the NFC South. Atlanta’s playoff run, however, ended in the NFC Championship Game.

Can 2005 be the year for the New Orleans Saints?

Coach Jim Haslett said he thinks so.

“It would be nice to win it,� Haslett said. “If they are going to spread it around, it’s our turn. It would be nice to be the champs of the division.�

Haslett was in Thibodaux Tuesday for the Saints’ Western Regional Caravan. Joining Haslett were defensive lineman Charles Grant, wide receiver and return specialist Michael Lewis, wide receiver Devery Henderson, running back Fred McAfee and director of player personnel Rick Mueller.

Other stops on the Saints’ three-day caravan are Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge.

Grant said the team expects to compete for the NFC South title and challenge for a spot in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. But he said it will take some hard work and dedication.

“It should be the Saints’ turn. I feel like it is our turn because everybody has been there,� Grant said. “But you can’t just say it will be our turn because we will have to go out there and work hard and do the things that are right for us to win football games.�

Haslett said there is reason for optimism, especially after the Saints finished the 2004 season on a positive note. After opening the season with 4-8 record, the team won its final four games to finish 8-8.

“Everybody is excited about the upcoming season, especially with the way we finished last year,� he said. “The maturity level of the guys have risen. I’m really looking forward to it. I think what we accomplished at the end of the year was a good carryover into the offseason.�

Despite ending the season on a four-game winning streak, the 2005 season ended in disappointment, as the Saints lost tiebreakers with the Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams for the final playoff spots.

Lewis said the Saints need to take care of business this season to prevent that from happening again.

“We were one of the hottest teams at the end of the season, but we missed the playoffs by one game,� Lewis said. “A lot of people say, ëif this would have happened or that would have happened, we would have been in the playoffs.’ I feel like it’s up to us. We shouldn’t have to depend on anybody, and that’s what we’re going to do this year.�

Mueller said the team has taken the necessary steps to become a better team in 2005. The team addressed several needs in free agency by signing veteran safety Dwight Smith, offensive lineman Jermane Mayberry and backup running back Antowain Smith. The Saints also helped themselves in the draft by selecting offensive lineman Jammal Brown, safety Josh Bullocks and linebacker Alfred Fincher.

Those acquisitions, Mueller said, should make the Saints more competitive this season.

“I think this will be our year. We’ve built up to this point, and I think we have the best team we’ve had since we’ve been here,� he said. “If we can stay healthy, I think we can make a run at it. It’s definitely our turn to do that.�

AllSaints 06-19-2005 12:20 AM

RE: Saints’ goal is to win NFC South
Grant said the team expects to compete for the NFC South title and challenge for a spot in Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

Love the heart this guy has but i mean... thats a little too much i mean i would be happy to just win 1 playoff game. or even make the palyoffs.

Euphoria 06-19-2005 01:01 AM

RE: Saints’ goal is to win NFC South
Nothing wrong with hope... I mean set your goal high and go after them!!!!

Saint_LB 06-19-2005 08:43 AM

Has there ever been a time when their goal was not to win their division?

I would think that every team would start the season with winning the division as one of their goals.

Wait...maybe that explains everything. Maybe, in the recent past, their goal was not to win the division, but to sneak in as a wild-card. That would explain their mediocre record. I mean, they can't win too many games because then they might not accomlish their goal of getting the wild card and end up winning the division, and maybe even screw things up royally by winning too many and ending up with first round bye and home field advantage. Now, that would never do.

Tobias-Reiper 06-19-2005 09:34 AM

.... duh!...

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:11 PM.

Copyright 1997 - 2018 -