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dannymac909 06-16-2005 06:35 PM

A few questions
I have a few position questions about the defense. Hopefully someone will be able to answer them.

1. If Bullocks outplays Bellamy will he take his position or be stuck behind Smith? (or will Smith play corner allowing Bullocks and Bellamy to start)

2. Someone a few weeks ago said that the Saints may play left-right positions
in the secondary instead of the traditional FS-SS lineup. Do any other teams employ this style?

3. Is Watson competing for starting jobs at all three linebacker positions or just middle.

4. Do the Saints plan on using Howard at DT in certain situations and if so won't that play away from his stregnths.

I like the thought that the Saints may try to get the best 11 players on
defense out on the field, even if it means guys playing positions that
they were not initially acquired for. I think if you can put your 11 best
athletes on the field good things may happen.

I would appreciate your thoughts.

jbutts 06-16-2005 08:00 PM

RE: A few questions

1. if bullocks outplays Bellamy he starts. odds are bullocks wont start from game 1, but sometime soon after that im sure he will.

2. i have heard other teams doing similar things, although i couldnt name them for you. the thing i like about having a left/right system is that you allow more disguies of your coverages. every one knows that bellamy isnt going to be covering anyone for instance. this goes back to number 1 where bullocks and smith have similar skills and abilitys thus being interchangable at left/right/over/under/free/strong whatever you want to calle it.

3 from what i have read, watson will start somewhere. he is starting at middle but if fincher beats him out he would replace colby on the weakside, i think. unless he has a total meltdown and lays face first on the street proclaiming he is god....oh wait that was the guy from florida state....

4. using howard at DT doesnt play away from his strengths neccessarily.he would be better on the outside yes, but w. smith isnt as experienced as howard so you put the veteran slightly out of position and the 2nd year man on the edge where he is comfortable. also, putting him at DT is mostly for 3rd down or obivous passing downs, this way there is more of rush from 3 faster rushers than 2 larger somewhat less explosive DTs. If howard can beat a tackle he can beat a guard right?

so thats what ive got, im sure eveyone else will fill in the pot holes ive left out.

ScottyRo 06-16-2005 09:56 PM

RE: A few questions
1. I agree that Bullocks would start, but it's unlikely. Don't let the camp hype get out of control.

2. I don't know

3. I read where he would be moved if Fincher beats him out, too. I don't think he'd bump Colby. It'd likely be Allen that Watson would compete against.

4. Two things. First, it depends on our DT depth. IF sullivan plays well enough to be in the rotation, Howard might not move there as he did in '04. Secondly, he may be moved there like last year just to give him adequate playing time considering his salary. If he does well this year and other things fall into place, we'll likely have him on the trading block again next year so he needs to do well.

BlackandBlue 06-16-2005 11:24 PM

RE: A few questions

Don't let the camp hype get out of control.
1. No kidding.

2. Don't overanalyze formations too much. Last year there was talk of this "delta" formation that Venturi talked about implementing. Sounded like a nickel package, by it's description.

3. Does Watson have the size and strength to play the strong side? If Fincher bumps Watson from the middle, he'll compete with Colby (read quote at the top again) for the weak side.

4. Last year, I saw Howard and Grant play the DT. They'll rotate them around, that's too much talent in three players not to have them on the field.

JKool 06-17-2005 02:29 AM

RE: A few questions

1. Smith will not be a CB for us. He is here to play FS and that is it. If Bullocks is better than Bellamy on the field in live play, then he will start at the Left Safety spot.

2. Without a play book and access to only televised games, it is too hard to say which teams play a Left-Right system. I am the one who suggested that that is what we'll do next year (maybe), and I am the one who suggested that that is THE reason we drafted Bullocks. It isn't that it gives you that many more options for disguising the play - since on one of the two will line up closer (just like in a traditional FS-SS system) - but it will allow our deep player to roam more. It also reduces restrictions placed on the LBs for their coverage assignments. The Left-Right system primarily allows more flexibility of coverages (that is, the strong side doesn't dictate who is where as much as where they will end up). I think that is the secondary we want to run. They tried it with Sammy and Bellamy, but they were too slow - that is why Sammy got hung out to dry.

3. I think that Watson is our MLB. If Fincher really shows up, Watson will move to WLB. Colby would then compete with Allen, since he would be the weakest LB of Watson and Fincher (if Fincher can beat Watson). I think Fincher could also be a SLB. The problem here isn't the amount of talent we have, that they could play anywhere, it is that they are all unproven - thus, they can compete for whatever they can do best. I'd like to see Watson step up and be our MLB, with Fincer competing for SLB and Colby competing with Rogers for the WLB. I really want Fincer to be "all that."

4. With Grant dominating the end, I think that it is Howard who will be asked to move inside. However, I am still hoping for a Simon for Howard trade. We have too many starters at DE.

You don't really want the best 11 players on the field. You want the best player at each position on the field. Thus, you want the best two CBs, the best two Safeties, the best two DEs and DTs, and the best three LBs. No one wants the best 11 CBs on the field - even if they are considerably better than all the other defenders.

I took your point, but it is worth pointing out that players are "designed" for certain postions and not others - so it is a matter of scheming for the players you have - as well as stretching what they can do.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

mayoj 06-17-2005 09:46 AM

RE: A few questions
So, IYO is Darren Howard one of the best two DT's on the field?? He would start at DT if he weren't already starting at DE??

ScottyRo 06-17-2005 09:51 AM

RE: A few questions
In response to #3 here is the article I was refering to. I did remember some of it incorrectly.

Overall, the linebackers have pleased the coaching staff with their ability to mentally grasp the schemes and react in practice. We will see how this translates onto the field, as the biggest problem for the Saints linebacker corp in recent his has been recognition and playing within the scheme. Third-round pick MLB Alfred Fincher has impressed, as has Colby Bockwoldt who is a new man with a newly chiseled NFL-caliber physique. Bockwoldt was fast but lacked strength last year, and that has been the focus of his offseason. James Allen has a rock-solid grip on the strong side job. Fincher will compete with Courtney Watson for the middle linebacker job, and could beat him out. But last year's second round pick wouldn't go to the bench, instead Watson would slide to weakside linebacker. An opening day starting lineup of Watson-Fincher-Allen is a possibility, as is Bockwoldt-Watson-Allen. Watson will start, but Fincher's progression will determine where.

Veteran Derrick Rodgers is still recovering from back surgery. One of last year's defensive captains, he will compete for a job in training camp. Cie Grant will also compete, but at his position of weakside linebacker. The arrival of Alfred Fincher bumped Grant to weakside earlier this offseason.

jbutts 06-17-2005 10:26 AM

RE: A few questions
"You don't really want the best 11 players on the field. You want the best player at each position on the field. Thus, you want the best two CBs, the best two Safeties, the best two DEs and DTs, and the best three LBs. No one wants the best 11 CBs on the field - even if they are considerably better than all the other defenders."

i disagree. i believe it is all about getting your best 11 players on the field all the time. smith wasnt brought here to play corner, thats true. but if bullocks does well in camp and limited action, there is no reason why smith couldnt be put on a reciever with bellamy and bullocks in the safety position, in certain packages. there has already been talk about how much howard can help when he is on the field, we all agree he is an impact player. remember the second best thing about making a tackle at the line is disrupting the play. (see backwards pass)

what im also getting at is that when you have two well rounded safties you can interchange who is roaming deeper. in this way the opponets have to compensate for two safties who could rush or go into coverage in equal fashion. if you put bellamy in a nickel situation as a third corner, hes probably gonna get smoked, however if you put him over the top then he is equally at a disadvantage. with bullocks and smith, (if bullocks does well) you could be either at any place and the scheme wouldnt have that particular flaw.

of course i do agree, flexibility is another attribute to such a switch.

mayoj 06-17-2005 11:26 AM

RE: A few questions
Well, D. Smith is learning the entire defense. I think he could make the switch if needed and it may be beneficial. Hopefully, we will use the preseason to try all of these options and maybe find something good. In reality, again, I don't see much creativity or flexibility in our system.

Euphoria 06-17-2005 12:02 PM

RE: A few questions
ahhhh, he is more suited for Saftey. Ball-hawks playing deep is a good thing let them sniff out the play and go after the ball. I'd rather have Craft playing opposite of McKenzie.

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