Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chain Gang Debut

This is hakimdropstheball’s weekly debut of the ‘Chain Gang’. It’s an email chain featuring Kevin Held, Ralph Malbrough from, and GrandMaster Wang from Here are their thoughts on the week the Saints had and anything else NFL that crossed their minds.

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang, my post lockout/free agent preview will be tomorrow. My main guy I think the Saints chase is Andre Carter of the Skins. He's old (32) but Haslett ruined him with the 3-4 plus he had 10.5 sacks under Double G.

Besides that I'm not feeling big splash as I think they are going to expect draft picks to upgrade LBs and will focus on signing their guys and saving for Brees contract.

On a scale of 1-10 what's the odds of the Saints doing a "Holy Shit they just signed Insert name) and I just had an orgasm at my desk" moment

I say 3.

Grandmaster Wang:

Hell yeah, time for us to get back to work too. Can't wait for everybody to start getting back into the swing of things.

I was thinking an OLB moreso than a DE, but then again, Will Smith won't be available until week 5. I was thinking they'd go with Jordan & Brown until Smith gets back, with Charleston & Galette backing them up. And I think they could probably get by with that. I still think Charleston is underrated and could handle the increased role. But I damn sure wouldn't complain if they brought Carter in.

I do agree there probably won't be any kind of big splash, obviously, we're up against the cap. But with Wilson being a 3rd round rookie, and Dunbar and Mitchell not being much to hang your hat on, and Shanle probably gone, I'm kind of expecting them to sign a vet LB. And I do think that some people are gonna be kind of surprised that it's a bigger name than people are expecting. Like for example, everybody's expecting Rocky McIntosh, but instead they splurge and sign somebody like Pozslusny instead, and people will be going WOW, didn't see that coming. Probably the day after they release Reggie. Much like earlier in the season when they released Shockey and then the next day signed Rogers.

I agree it's not likely though. Just a hunch.

I was talking to a friend the other day about this.... I kinda hope Cleveland releases Fujita and the Saints sign him back on a cheap 1 year deal.


My issue with Pozslusny besides he has the Buffalo taint on him is he's always hurt. I much rather McIntosh. Fujita is the same thing but it'd be a PR homerun. If the Saints did make a big move I think it would be DE and they could justify it by saying, "Smith is on the downside and we might cut him next year anyway. Let's add a young vet to pair with Jordan going forward." I just hope it's not Ray Edwards of the Vikes. I think that guy

benefited from Williams Wall and is not elite player. So I really hope the Falcons get him.

And here is name to keep in mind: Randy Moss

I know the guy looks completely done but I think Moss is a guy Sean Payton would think,"I'll swap him out for Devery and Drew will keep him in line. I think I can get a good year out of motivated Moss."

That'd be a holy shit type move.

Granmaster Wang:

I hear you on Poz, and maybe McIntosh would be the better signing. It just wouldn't be as "big" as far as fan reaction, Poz has that white guy following going for him which would have Saintsreport waving their miniature American flags and shit. I've got no problem adding a vet DE either if that's what they do. I'm a little torn on Moss. I totally believe he can still play, and that he's still possibly the best deep threat in the league. It would definitely be a holy shit move, but I'm not sure I see it happening and I don't at all like the whole "I play when I want to play" thing. He doesn't have any interest in blocking, and with all the screens we run... and also the whole thing about not running his fucking route when he's not the first option. We all know how Payton/Drew spread the ball around, and also how many times Drew decides while he's in the pocket to go to a 2nd or 3rd option, and if Moss didn't run his damn route....

Kevin Held:

I always thought/heard/believed that McIntosh was overrated and that Poz would be good on a contender. He was supposed to be great coming out of college (Penn State), right?

Wang, I'm with you about Moss -- still has the big play capability, but doubts will always linger about his drive. Even on a 'holy shit' level offense like the Saints, I'd spend too much damn time watching Moss in formations, wondering if I'll spot him "giving up" on a play when it isn't going to him. I'm not interested in pulling a Collinsworth, I just want to watch the ball! #simpleman

And I'm absolutely thrilled they signed that Clemson guy. My 'Guy Who Knows A Guy' said the Saints were thinking about drafting him on Day 3, but ultimately guys came to them that they couldn't pass on. The fact that he went undrafted allegedly surprised them and they've kept their eye on him. He's supposed to be a lock to make the team, barring anything catastrophic.

Ralph Malbrough:

Kevin I agree about McDaniel as to me speed is so over rated at safety because they play so far off the ball. Sammy Knight couldn't run but he always was able to get to the play on time. The kid from Pittsburgh they drafted late is the guy I'm watching because Saints need a better pash rush and I'm not as sold as Wang as Charleston & Galette to contribute heavily. Although I want Charleston to breakout because Hansdat and me christened him 'Hobo with a shotgun' and I want to be dropping that reference all year long.

The Saints could also go in the division to get LB with Anderson from Carolina although I think his price could higher than Poz and McIntosh.

What Saints leaving would upset you the most? Wang it's obviously Reggie as their love affair is one for the ages. I think for me it would be Goodwin for as having a center with no starts(Tennant) scares me to death.

Grandmaster Wang:

Ha! Goodwin is a good choice because if Drew's getting pressure up the middle all year long that fucks the whole offense right to hell, not to mention the increased injury risk to Drew AND the inability to run it up the gut ever. 3rd/4th & short, etc. So it's hard to argue with Goodwin.

BUT at least Goodwin's backup was the consensus best center in the draft 2 years ago (okay, 2nd behind Pouncey, but he's a G) and did a good enough job protecting Matt Ryan back at BC. And he's pretty much penciled in as the future starter anyway.

What do you do if you lose Roman Harper? You literally have nobody to step in if you lose him. (This McDaniel dude notwithstanding.) And as much as people bitch about Harper's weakness in coverage, 99% of the time that's not what they're asking him to do anyway. And he's one of the very best in the box safeties in the league. MUCH larger step back if you lose Harper, IMHO. There's literally no other option right now. And I'd assert that any other realistic available option you MIGHT be able sign is likely to end up being a downgrade.

So Harper is definitely #1 for me. And I'd say Lance Moore is at least equal to Goodwin (2a/2b) in importance. He's the modern day Eric Guliford, only about 10 times better. Remember when you could just about take it to the bank that if it was a key 3rd down, the ball was going to Guliford? And he never, ever failed to catch the ball and get the 1st? But even Saints fans were all "Guliford's just a guy. So what?" They do the same thing with Lance. But he's by far the most clutch wideout the Saints have. He's not the best, but he does not let you down. Ever. Need to move the chains? If all else fails, Lance will hook you up. And he's underrated as a big play guy too. Lance has made as many big plays (meaning big yardage) as anybody. I think Meachem is gonna blow shit up this year, and I think Arrington deserves some looks in the regular season too. But Lance has earned it, and we'd miss him a hell of a lot more than anybody's willing to admit, IMHO. Dude's "a football player."

Ralph Malbrough:

You sold me hard on Roman Harper Wang but I'll stay with Goodwin. Here is my question with Lance..why didn't other teams offer him when he was restricted and Saints only tendered him at 2nd Rd compensation? I think other teams look at Saints Wr as system guys. To me if I was St. Louis, Detroit, or San Francisco I get Moore to help my young QB. He won't be huge cost either.

I will say Wang if the emails I'm getting about my column are any indication a majority of fans will tell Harper good riddance but of course the question is if not Harper than who? And by the way Gregg Williams is great coach but awful talent evaluator as he begged the Skins to bring in Adam Archuletta and then the guy sat on the bench because he couldn't play Williams defense so if Harper walks I hope the Double G doesn't get much say in his replacement.

Final question of the day; Are we completely comfortable at running back?

Thomas, Ivory, and Ingram on paper look great but they all have injury concerns. Ivory worries me the most as dude had serious foot injury and lockout meant Saints couldn't monitor his rehab like normal off season. Ivory's running style is so brutal(in a good way) the Saints almost have to be very selective about his touches as he's just as likely to run over the safety and give us an ESPN highlight as he is to dislocate his own shoulder. Hell he might do both on the same play.

To me Ivory running play is like a great bourbon. It's fantastic but can get ugly in large quantities.

Grandmaster Wang

Sorry for the delayed response. Had a credit card ganked the other day, been trying to recover from that. Fuckin' IHOP. Pretty sure I got the dude fired though. High five!

I agree that other teams view Saints wideouts as "system guys" and aren't as good as Payton/Brees make them look. I'm glad they think that, but that doesn't mean they're right. In my opinion, they're dead wrong. Hell, Saints fans think the same thing. They look at Lance, and he's not particularly big or fast or strong or whatever, and they say let him go because anybody else could do the same thing. Bullshit. Would Lance be as good with a crappy QB throwing to him? No, but neither would anybody else. It's a 2-way street. How much better does Lance make Drew look? Takes 2 to tango on that. Somebody's gotta run a killer route, get open and catch the ball.

(editor note: Moore resigned with Saints)

The Harper thing is stupid too. People need to get over Seattle already. Harper was in an impossible situation that day. That tends to happen when necessity dictates that a player has to do something he doesn't usually do and isn't his strength. It would be great if Harper was Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu, but he's not. And if he were, the Saints wouldn't be able to afford him anyway. People need to get off his fucking case for not being absolutely perfect at everything. Most players aren't. But Harper's as good as we're gonna get for now, and he's plenty good enough. As long as Jenkins is healthy, Harper is perfect at SS for the Saints. There aren't any realistic upgrades out there.

I'm totally comfortable at tailback. More than comfortable. Giddy. Dancing a jig. As soon as they release Reggie, I'll be of the opinion that they did EXACTLY what they needed to do at the position, and we're exactly where we need to be.

Ralph Malbrough:

So you aren't the least but on edge because of the running backs injury histories? By the way I twittered earlier "safety Quintin Mikell got 4yrs/28 million from Rams, has the baseline for Roman Harper been set?"

Last night on the podcast I asked Dave what he wanted to be talking about next week and he said, "How Awesome Ingram looks" So what are fair exceptions for Ingramania?

I say 1100 yards and 10-14 scores. Basically 2006 Deuce. I have to think Thomas and Ivory make a 12-1400 yard season not likely.

My theory on preseason is you can only tell if if team sucks or could be great (2009 Saints) everything else is worthless. But we watch and look for clues and signs anyway. What is one thing you want to see to make you think 2011 will be better than '10 and what would you see that made you go, "Nothing's better hell it might be worse."

I'll be looking at offensive line because I figure we should at least see flashes of better run game. Just like Deuce's debut after Ricky left. He ripped off two 40 plus yard runs and everyone was like 'No worries. We are good.' and Deuce didn't play rest of preseason because the coaches KNEW he would rock.

Grandmaster Wang:

Nope. Not the least bit on edge because of the injury histories. Not one bit. Ingram's and Pierre's are both overblown, and I can't bring myself to get overly concerned about the injury history of a guy who's 3rd on the depth chart until the other 2 are out for the year. Injuries are gonna happen, it's inevitable.

Ingram: 3000 rushing yards, 30 Thanksgiving.

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang you nailed it on your Reggie Bush leaving post. You said all along the Saints could get something for Reggie and they did. I always figured he'd force their hand and test the market. If it's more than a 5th round pick Loomis goes to another level to me.

Will this trade finally make message board guy realize the Saints can't trade Devery to Chicago for two second round picks and Lake Michigan?

Miami had to make this move. The wife is a huge Dolphin Fan and I've watched every Miami game the past three years and the worst thing about them is they are BORING. Jesus are they dull. Their offense was fun and exciting with the wildcat for like 10 minutes. For the past two years it's been a Chad Henne check down and the occasional 10 yard Ricky Williams run. The coach and GM are gone if they don't make playoffs and owner is big on stars so Reggie makes perfect sense. The Bush Era was enjoyable. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

If Bushrod leaves to the Bears how worried do you get about the o-line?

Kevin Held:

I think the Saints already come out looking good on the Reggie deal anyway. I mean, wasn't the thought that Reggie would just walk? To even get a draft pick or a player or cash for him is great. And I'm just glad Reggie didn't decide to be a douche canoe about this, which he could have. He could have gladly said, "No, I want my money" and forced the Saints to cut him, and then the team wouldn't have gotten anything.

And if the Dolphins get Kyle Orton and another receiver, watch out. Suddenly the AFC East gets that much more interesting.

At the very least, when Shockey visits Miami, those two are going to destroy the female population.

And I know this makes come off like MBG, but why can't the Saints trade Devery?

Ralph Malbrough:

I'm fine with trading Devery but who replaces him as Saints deep threat? By the way wife said she's going to Home Depot and buying can a of teal spray paint and 'renovating' my Bush jersey.

Kevin , don't forget 'Neck beard' Orton is a first class party animal...HBO could have Dolphins South Beach and follow around Bush, Orton, and Brandon Marshall...I'd watch that.

You have drinking, and Marshall getting attacked in club by his own wife..better than Hard Knocks? Better than hard knocks.

Grandmaster Wang:

Loomis comes out looking GREAT on this. It's literally "something from nothing." A 6th? For Reggie? Who they were gonna cut anyway? Really? It's found money. And NOBODY figured they'd even get that. Hell, most people thought that when the shit really hit the fan, the Saints would be the ones giving Reggie $5MM/yr.

I'm dead serious here: The Saints offense will be LIGHT YEARS better without Reggie. Forget the $$$. It's the very definition of addition by subtraction. Every single one of Reggie's touches will now go to some other player who will make more of each one of them. Payton will no longer have to call #25 because he has to, and/or because he still (for some reason) genuinely believes that's the best call. And the team will benefit. The stats bear it out. Payton just got his blankie taken away and it's about damn time. [ricflair]Now we go to school![/ricflair]

The Phins will suck ass with Orton and Reggie. Seriously, Orton and Reggie? I totally hope the Phins are the Saints opponent in XLVI. But I won't be holding my breath. Reggie couldn't manage to be anything more than a role player with Drew Fuckin' Brees, but he's gonna set it off with Neckbeard? Really? Not a chance.

Ralph Malbrough:

I agree Wang, although I think Tony Sporano puts Reggie in good situations and I think he helps make the Dolphins offense watchable and trust me when I say that is a good thing for someone who watches Dolphins game with an Angry Latino wife. Great post by the way.

I said this on the Chronic but it needs to be said here..I think Loomis most underrated skill is his ability to know how other teams value Saints players. He resigns Bushrod but for only two years. No panic buying like say Arizona giving Kevin Kolb 63 million and Philly Cromartie and a 2nd pick...BAWWWHAAAA

I just tweeted on the Darren Sproles pursuit by the Saints; Saints pursuit of Sproles explained is that Payton vows never to run out of tailbacks EVER AGAIN because of what happened last year so he needs a 9 deep depth at RB. That's really the only explanation I can think of. Aren't Sproles and Pierre Thomas the same guy except Sproles return punts?
Grandmaster Wang:

Sproles is a smart man's Reggie.

I fuckin swear, Loomis finally has it ALL figured out. Dude is shitting gold like Drew these days.

Ralph Malbrough:

But if the Saints pay Sproles say 5 million a year that means they'll have about 13 million in RB when you add in Ingam and Ivory. Can they all be happy if tailback apocalypse doesn't happen again?

Kevin Held:

Yeah, why spend the $5 million on Sproles? For kick returns?

So Wang is basically predicting the Saints will lead the league in offense? Is there any kind of tangible prediction you'd care to make?

And Loomis HAS TO BE a Top 3 or 4 GM in the league, right? Polian, the Pats GM, Loomis and who am I missing?

I know Neckbeard loves to party, but I just think the Dolphins will be more formidable with Orton at QB. And Reggie may be more motivated in new surroundings. Or he may just fill out a change of address form for some hot babe's vag and never be heard from again. Either or really...

Ralph Malbrough:

I hate him with a passion but Belichick needs to get his due although technically he's not the GM but he runs the thing. Green Bay's Ted Thompson is very good. Remember he drafts well and had the nuts to run off Favre after Packers went almost won NFC Title.

Fearless prediction? I'll make two

1. The Baconator aka Dave Thomas will lead Saints TE in catches
2. The Saints 2011 sack leader is not yet on the roster

And with that until next week people….

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