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TallySaint 08-04-2005 08:31 AM

Saints: Five Things to Know
Apologies if this has been posted already... Oops. :oops: I see it has. Mods, please delete this post. Thanks.

Saints: Five things to know

CBS Senior Writer - Pete Prisco

METARIE, La. -- Observations from Saints camp:

1. Is this the year the Saints finally shed that losing attitude? By watching them practice, you get the sense that it might be. This team has talent, and it seems to have players who don't want any talk of the losing of the past. "We just have to go out and have fun and play," running back Deuce McAllister said. "We have to bring back enjoying the game again. Everything else will take care of itself." You do feel a sense of urgency for this team and these players. Coach Jim Haslett still hasn't received the contact extension owner Tom Benson promised him last winter, which is something that could become a sore spot. But Haslett has another chance to turn this team into a playoff contender and get the doubters off his back, which could prove to be a financial plus for him in the long run. Haslett's a good football coach, no matter what the critics out there say, so now is the time for him and his team to show it. Winning can cure a lot of ills.

2. New Orleans used to have a passion for this team. It isn't there anymore. The Saints have sold 32,000 season tickets, down from the low 50,000s of a few years back. Apathy is around. Fans are tired of losing. It doesn't help they play in one of the worst stadiums in the league, the cavernous and often dead-sounding Superdome. Benson wants and needs a new facility. The state has no money for it. But if the Saints don't start winning, and the fans don't come, they might not have the Saints much longer. Los Angeles may become a very real possibility.

3. The Saints are raving about corners Mike McKenzie and Fakhir Brown. McKenzie, who came over in a trade from Green Bay last year, has had an outstanding camp. Part of it has to do with the fact he signed a new contract last week, something he clamored for all of last season. McKenzie excels in man coverage, and the Saints plan to let both he and Brown play a lot of it after playing well in that style late last season. McKenzie might be one of the more underrated corners in the league, while Brown is a rising player. Adding Dwight Smith at free safety through free agency will also pay dividends. He's active and tough. The Saints secondary is an improved one.

4. When the Saints traded two first-round picks in 2003 for the right to draft defensive tackle Jonathan Sullivan, they did so with the idea he would become a force in the middle of their defense. So far, he has been a bust. That might be changing. Sullivan has battled a weight problem during his two years, with some talk that he actually got as high as 380 pounds. But he's down to 320 for this camp, and he has played a little better. The reality, though, is that he might never live up to the hype, which drives the Saints coaches mad. They can't understand how when the going gets tough, he doesn't get going. They insist he's not the same player they watched on tape at Georgia. Sullivan would be wise to turn it on now. He might not be on the roster next season.

5. Joe Horn and Donte' Stallworth are entrenched as the team's starting receivers, but the No. 3 has to be better. It appears that Az-Zahir Hakim will be the third receiver, although the Saints are excited about the progress of Talman Gardner, a third-year player from Florida State. Hakim, who signed as a free agent after spurning the Chiefs, brings quickness inside to the passing game. Gardner is a more physical receiver. Devery Henderson, a 2004 second-round pick, is also in the mix, but he hasn't progressed as well as the team had hoped.


Euphoria 08-04-2005 09:51 AM

RE: Saints: Five Things to Know
Losing attitude... 8-8 isn't losing, granted isn't a winning season either.

SaintFanInATLHELL 08-04-2005 10:59 AM

Re: RE: Saints: Five Things to Know

Originally Posted by Euphoria
Losing attitude... 8-8 isn't losing, granted isn't a winning season either.

No being in the playoffs 4 straight years is considered losing in the NFL.


Euphoria 08-04-2005 12:39 PM

RE: Re: RE: Saints: Five Things to Know
says who???

you're wrong... that isn't a NFL standard.

9-7 is a winning season if you don't make the playoffs... its a winning record.

TheGambler 08-04-2005 01:02 PM

The bottom line is this: The Saints have consistently had too much talent to miss the playoffs. THAT is failure.

7-9, 8-8 would be good for somebody like the Arizona Cardinals....

This is my outlook on the last 4 playoff misses:

2001: A team that should have been a solid wildcard team.....possibly even win the first playoff game.

2002: This team should have been in the NFC championship game, period. Didn't they start like 7-2? Oh, and they beat some team named Tampa Bay TWICE that went on to win the Super Bowl. Problem is, they coudln't beat the pitiful Vikings, Bengals, Panthers, etc. Plus their first loss was to the horrible Lions.

2003: Should have been a wild-card team, but would have been eliminated in the first round

2004: Should have been a wild-card team.........WOULD have beaten Green Bay in Round 1. Most likely would have been eliminated by Philadelphia in Round 2.


WhoDat 08-04-2005 02:52 PM

Yeah - agreed.

saintswhodi 08-04-2005 03:20 PM

Re: RE: Re: RE: Saints: Five Things to Know

Originally Posted by Euphoria
says who???

you're wrong... that isn't a NFL standard.

9-7 is a winning season if you don't make the playoffs... its a winning record.

the utlimate goal is to win a superbowl, if you don't make the playoffs, you don't have a shot at the ultimate goal, making you a loser. for four years straight, and the majority of franchise history, we have been on the outside looking in, thus a losing mentality. Semantics aside, you are wrong.

WhoDat 08-04-2005 04:26 PM

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Saints: Five Things to Know
Yeah - and stats matter too damn it!

I mean, I'm an avid poster, but in nearly 3 years of membership under my current name (hehe), I'm working approaching 5400 posts. That's 1,800 posts a year. 150 a month. 5 a day. That's a lot of posting.

But just look at Whodi's numbers. In less that a year he's approaching 3700 posts. He's working on like 13 posts a day.

Just by those numbers, you'd think Whodi was a better poster - but as everyone here knows, that simply isn't true. I'm more accurate and I have more touch. Plus, I connect on more posts, and as a defender, I blow people up. Whodi is weak. LOL.

Moral of the story: Whodi and I both need to focus more on our day jobs! :)

Dude - Whodi, you're a machine. 3700 posts in 10 months. Wow.

saintswhodi 08-04-2005 04:34 PM

Fortunately I work at a job that is easy, pays me a lot, and I can be on the net all day. Sweet set-up.

Oh, and everyone knows not to take your posts serious WhoDat. Or should I call you the hustlers? There's not much content to what you are posting, and your best work is usually as comedy for others at your expense, like that last post. :wink:

BeeoBee 08-04-2005 05:43 PM

i agree...i have been on this site for almost 2 years now ..i dont post alot..mostly read what you guys have to say and out of your 5000 posts WhoDat..i might have agreed with 2 of them..are you sure your not a closet saint hater?the only thing your posts are accurate about is how negative you are about our team..that charlie brown avatar you have sums it up for you

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