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tiggerpolice 08-09-2005 09:24 AM

So far, so good
 
Henderson: So far, so good

10:39 AM CDT on Monday, August 8, 2005


Jim Henderson / WWL-TV Sports Director



One week of being embedded with this 2005 Saints football team for this reporter now and offseason impressions are getting more clarity and focus after a week of observations.

At this point, the moves made in the offseason make sense. What we won’t know until the regular season plays out is if enough moves were made.


The offensive line should be better. Jammal Brown and Jermane Mayberry should be upgrades and if a guard who started for you last year becomes your first reserve in the interior of the line, it says you are better and deeper there.


A third running back was needed. The theory behind Antowain Smith – the one they added – seems sound.


The secondary should be the most improved area of this football team from a year ago when Mike McKenzie was just a gleam in Mickey Loomis’ eye, Fakhir Brown was trying to make the team as Fred Thomas’ backup and Dwight Smith was an opponent in Tampa to be respected rather than a teammate in New Orleans to be cherished.


It may not be a stretch to suggest that this could be the best starting secondary in Saints history – insert joke here if you are so inclined.


Now for the concerns.


- Will any of the candidates for the third receiver spot be an upgrade over Jerome Pathon? The Saints will give Talman Gardner every chance to fill that role despite only having four catches in two years.


- What was supposed to be a breakout year in ’04 for Boo Williams turned out to be a fakeout year. Fewer catches, fewer yards, fewer touchdowns. Will his attention be refocused? Can it be for long?


- Aaron Brooks took every snap in 2004for the third straight year. Even if you are not a Brooks fan, you’d better hope it happens again in ’05. Any prolonged absence would be disastrous.


- The talent among the starting front seven on defense is unchanged. The Saints have convinced themselves that continuity and cohesion will result in an upgrade. Are they just whistling past the graveyard that is the NFC South basement?


- In replacing Orlando Ruff, Derrick Rodgers and Tebucky Jones, the Saints are replacing players they felt they could not count on to avoid mental errors in key situations. Is smarter better? I had better be.


- James Allen’s nagging training camp injuries are a concern at strong side linebacker.


Still, there is sufficient visual evidence in enough areas to be cautiously optimistic.


At this stage of training camp, I think you can be energized by what you see – but more so by what you feel - and what you feel is a shared sense of urgency throughout the organization.


There will be no more patience for another talented but underachieving football team.


Much hangs in the balance this season – in many ways more than ever before: Paychecks, jobs, careers for every facet of this team and organization.


Will it be a good year? Who knows? But we all know this – it had better be.


http://www.wwltv.com/sports/jimhende....5316c566.html

Euphoria 08-09-2005 12:20 PM

RE: So far, so good
 
is this an article from last year.

ScottyRo 08-09-2005 12:23 PM

RE: So far, so good
 
It might as well be.

TheDeuce 08-09-2005 12:40 PM

RE: So far, so good
 
Quote:

- In replacing Orlando Ruff, Derrick Rodgers and Tebucky Jones, the Saints are replacing players they felt they could not count on to avoid mental errors in key situations. Is smarter better? I had better be.
Good point here. I thought that perhaps one of the most frustrating things about watching the Saints play last season was the incredible amount of mental mistakes that our team made. I have seen Middle School football games played with fewer mental errors than in some of the Saints games last season. I hope that the guys we have brought in will bring a mental toughness and upgrade our "smartness" factor.

Quote:

Still, there is sufficient visual evidence in enough areas to be CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC
I thought that this was the perfect term to describe how a Saints fan should approach this season.


ANyways, I think I'm off to go get MADDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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