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JOESAM2002 08-03-2005 05:08 PM

Former second round pick............
 
Former second-round pick wants to make mark with Saints

03:57 PM CDT on Wednesday, August 3, 2005


Brett Martel / Associated Press



Before people start calling him "doctor," Jon Stinchcomb hopes to play his fair share of offensive line in the NFL.


But now the nagging question seems to be how long the multitalented, articulate second-round draft pick will have to wait to get his chance with the New Orleans Saints.


Entering his third season in the NFL, he expected to be a regular by now. Yet a roster move meant to help Stinchcomb's development has ended up keeping him on the bench.


"The way things are in the league right now, it's rare if you're a second-round draft pick and you haven't touched the field," Stinchcomb said Wednesday between training camp double sessions. "Can it be frustrating? Yeah it can, but you can't allow yourself to look at other places ... and I don't want to be anywhere else. I want to be in New Orleans."


The 6-foot-5, 315-pound left tackle routinely receives praise from coaches. His problem is that 12th-year pro Wayne Gandy, signed as a free agent the same year Stinchcomb was drafted, has continued to play too well to be removed from the starting lineup.


"It's going to be hard to unseat Wayne, because Wayne's a heck of a football player and he's a leader of the team," coach Jim Haslett said. "He's got a lot of intangibles right now, some skins on the wall that are hard to accomplish. But I thought Jon did a great job in the offseason, and I think he continues to get better."


Stinchcomb played for Georgia, a college program rarely short on pro prospects, and he comes from football pedigree, with his older brother, Matt, having played lineman for five years in Oakland before moving to Tampa Bay last season.


His academic credentials read more like those of players in the Harvard-Yale game. He majored in microbiology and was named Academic All-American. Coming from a family of educators -- his mother, stepmother and aunt are teachers and his grandmother was a principal -- academics "has always been put at a premium," he said.


He compliments New Orleans less for the nightlife on Bourbon Street than for its historic architecture, the art museums he's visited with his wife and the refined restaurants.


"Obviously, there's no place better for food," he said.


He hopes to attend medical school whenever his football career ends.


But it hasn't really begun.


"He wants to start. We want him to start, and yet we've got pretty good players that are up there right now," offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard said. "He's more been a victim of circumstance."


Stinchcomb has played on special teams. In one lopsided game during his rookie season, he got to play left guard -- not his normal position.


"It's not something where I'm depressed over it or irate," Stinchcomb said. "This isn't a job. It's what I enjoy doing and I want to play. It's not that I'm complaining, but (being paid to ride the bench) is not why I'm here."


And switching from left tackle to the right side does not appear to be much of an option right now, either. The Saints spent this year's first-round draft pick on right tackle Jammal Brown, the top offensive lineman taken.


The Saints have shown no indication they're interested in trading Stinchcomb, who's in the last year of his first pro contract. The lineman said he has not asked for a trade to a team that might play him right away, saying he prefers to remain loyal to the team that drafted him.


"They brought me into the NFL and they've been nothing but up front and honest with me and when you're in a situation like that, you have to have respect for the people you work with and work for," Stinchcomb said. "Never once have I felt deceived. To be honest, Wayne Gandy's still a great player, so I can't take anything away from that guy."

BoudinSandwich 08-03-2005 05:19 PM

RE: Former second round pick............
 
Admirable and respectable. I like this guy and hope he has a great future.

saintswhodi 08-03-2005 05:24 PM

Please Stinch, be the LT we need. Man, if we don't have to draft one next year, we can look defense again. CB anyone?

bayouking318 08-03-2005 08:01 PM

I admitt I didn't like the stinchcomb pick. I preferred Rashean Mathis. Jon Stinch... seems to be a nice pick (trade bait). With the large # of quality OT coming out next year I hope the saints hurry up and make this trade happen.

FireVenturi 08-03-2005 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saintswhodi
Please Stinch, be the LT we need. Man, if we don't have to draft one next year, we can look defense again. CB anyone?

i dont think he will ever play LT. better suited at Guard, or even RT and move Brown to LT(in the future)

saintswhodi 08-03-2005 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FireVenturi
Quote:

Originally Posted by saintswhodi
Please Stinch, be the LT we need. Man, if we don't have to draft one next year, we can look defense again. CB anyone?

i dont think he will ever play LT. better suited at Guard, or even RT and move Brown to LT(in the future)

I would hate it if we moved Brown to LT. Hate it. He can and will be a dominant RT, leave well enough alone. IF we need a LT draft one of the thousand good ones next year. But please no Brown to LT experiments.

WhoDat 08-04-2005 09:59 AM

Quote:

because Wayne's a heck of a football player
Is there anyone on the team that Haslett hasn't called a "heck of a player?"

Quote:

I would hate it if we moved Brown to LT. Hate it. He can and will be a dominant RT, leave well enough alone. IF we need a LT draft one of the thousand good ones next year. But please no Brown to LT experiments.
My guess is that is where Brown is headed if he plays well this season. He was the first tackle taken. Willie Roaf played his first year at RT... not a bad LT, wouldn't you say? :) There are a lot of people who compare Brown to Roaf, so it might work well. If Brown can prove that he has the ability to be a dominant T, why not move him to LT, and let Stinch play RT? B/c, IMO, this is Gandy's last season.

saintswhodi 08-04-2005 10:24 AM

Yes but Roaf played LT in college up until his senior season. Brown has ALWAYS been a RT. Always. He has no experience at LT. So why not let him do what he does best? Like I said, there are about 5 top LTs coming out next year, draft one of them. Let Brown play at the only position he has known.

WhoDat 08-04-2005 10:29 AM

Maybe... dunno. I've never come close to playing on the o-line, and certainly not at the college or pro level. I have no idea of how much harder/different it is to play LT over RT. It seems to me that the LT position is essentially the same, you just often face the better DEs. What else is different? How often a TE lines up next to you?

saintswhodi 08-04-2005 10:33 AM

My point of reference is Turley. Dominating RT, sucked as a LT. If I remember, he didn't have much LT experience in college either, whle Roaf did. I also look at Jordan Gross, who was the best lineman the year he came out, being moved back to RT by the Panthers, cause he is better suited to play there. Just seems to me, if you want an LT, you draft an LT and not a RT and move him to LT. Several good LTs will be in next year's draft. I may be being overly cautious, and I am willing to accept that. But I feel I Know he can dominate as a RT, why mess with that?


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