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spkb25 06-19-2005 05:52 PM

has anyone else noticed our special teams
 
am i wrong in thinking that we have had very successful special teams play the last few years. who is our special teams coach. i think that guy could be headed places. am i wrong on this.

Heretic42 06-19-2005 06:13 PM

RE: has anyone else noticed our special teams
 
Al Everest is our special teams coach. If I'm not mistaken, he's been here as long as Haslett has, and before that he spent time in Arizona. Hope that helps.

spkb25 06-19-2005 06:53 PM

RE: has anyone else noticed our special teams
 
thanks bro

WhoDat 06-20-2005 11:03 AM

RE: has anyone else noticed our special teams
 
I have mixed feelings about Al Everest. He made our special teams great a few years back, but, IMO, despite more talented players the unit has regressed the last few years. Two years ago I had a running rant about his inability to call a middle wedge.

The year after the Beerman went to the Pro Bowl (2002 I think), his production dropped dramatically. A lot of people blasted Lewis because he was constantly running out of bounds. But if you ever really watched a kickoff return, and there were a lot to watch in 2003, you'd see that the Saints always ran wedges left or right, and normally within 10 yards of the sideline and aimed directionally at the sideline. Lewis had no choice. If he did exactly what he was supposed to do, hit the middle of the wedge at full speed, he was two steps from going out of bounds and running at the sideline. It was ridiculous.

To me the reason for such dumb calls was clear. If you watch most of Lewis' big returns from 2002, you'll see that they generally came down the sideline or at least outside of the hashes. There is a commonly recognizable diamond shape. Start in the middle, go outside, then make a move on the kicker (often back to the inside) and outrun everyone.

So, in line with typical Saints' coach thinking, outside translated into touchdown on kickoff returns. Whereas in 2002 the Saints called a lot of middle wedges that allowed Lewis to blow straight up the middle, make a move, and use the whole field, the Everest (or Haslett) decided in 2003 that the team would help Lewis by running him to the outside where most of his big returns occurred. Of course, he ended up running out of bounds every time.

I don't fault them for trying, but I started talking about what a mistake they were making in about week 4. By week 14 I was a freaking lunatic. I think there were only like 6 or 7 returns that went up the middle all season that year and those were mostly when Lewis just abandoned the wedge and tried to make something on his own... generally he got creamed.

Special teams rebounded some last year, so I'm giving Everest some leeway to convince me again. I loved him 2002, and wanted to kill him in 2003. Last year it took a lot to convince me he wasn't a complete nimrod. Special teams played fairly well, especially down the stretch. This year he's dead even - he can convince me in either direction.


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