Every week Kevin Held gets a chain email of Saints bloggers going. This week it's the usual crew of Kevin, Grandmaster Wang of Moosedenied. Andrew Juge of Canal Street Chronicles and Ralph Malbrough of WWLTV.com
This week Wang explains how the new kickoff rule will help the Saints special teams suck less and Andrew and Ralph argue over dumpster diving for an offensive tackle to replace Stinchcomb
Oh Wang, can't you see the Saints CAN NEVER WIN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL with the LB's they have! Seriously though, I am trying to contain myself as this team looks tremendous. Nice angle to the preseason opener preview. After last Friday's column I took a pass on previewing this game and I'll write about the game and preview next week.
I think you can make the argument the Saints have no glaring holes and really only about 3 serous questions besides health which isa crap shoot for any team
1. Will the offensive line be better in 2011 even though they are returning 4/5 starters from a year ago?
2. Will the additions at DL help the Saints super shitty 1st down defense and add a pass rush.
3. LB's...which the Saints answer would be," We DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT outside LB"
Sure you could throw in Ingram and running game but that's o-line I mentioned above...I mean shit when does Sept get here?
Well, so far it looks like #1 is still a huge question mark. #2 and #3 are looking really good. If Casillas can stay healthy, there's your weakside guy. And surely there's something there between Shanle, Ingram and Herring. Maybe a rotation. I think they can get by just fine with that.
Is Joe Morgan about to go all Rod Harper with it?
Drew Brees threw 4 passes and got hit on two of them last night. Small sample but to me the more I think of it the O-line is the only serious question about the 2011 Saints. One of Drew's throws should have been picked. Last year his injured knee played a part in the 22 picks but I think him getting hit alot did as well. Any QB that gets hit consistently makes mistakes.
I know Stinchcomb didn't play but I'm not sold this offensive line can hold up. Maybe their play in 2009 was the exception and 2010, 2007-08 was the normal?
I know I'm sounding like panicked message board guy but it's not so much panic as me thinking this: This line is good enough to be 11-5 with no RB so the question isn't if it's good enough to win it's can it be great like it was in 2009?
Right now to me I'm not certain the answer is yes.
PS..It is a fucking sweet place to as a fan when the only serious question about the Saints is will their o-line be above average or great.
Overall I was encouraged. The coverage units were outstanding, they tackled pretty well, and they got pressure on the quarterback. Those were my biggest concerns coming in and they passed with flying colors. Pass the Abita.
I guess seeing Brees get hit at the knees was so unpleasant my negativity is high. The pass rush was tremendous and oh by the way maybe the Saints knew exactly what the hell they were doing resigning Roman Harper.
Gregg Williams knows Harper going towards the line of scrimmage is destruction waiting to happen so he puts him in position to do it.
I could be wrong but I feel like this defense will be capable of winning a knock down drag out 13-10 game. Not that they will be in many games like that but come Dec./Jan. that's good thing to have in your bag.
"oh by the way maybe the Saints knew exactly what the hell they were doing resigning Roman Harper. Gregg Williams knows Harper going towards the line of scrimmage is destruction waiting to happen so he puts him in position to do it."
Everybody but Message Board Guy knew that. MBG will catch up to the rest of us soon enough. Just as soon as it becomes so obvious as to be inarguable.
I'm beginning to worry about the o-line too a little bit. All of a sudden the argument could be made that it's a bit of a mess. I'd like to think that by September maybe Tennant is starting at C and Strief is starting at RT and that goes a long way towards solving it. On the other hand, there's not a whole lot that can be done about Bushrod and Evans, other than crossing your fingers and hoping that there's upside to be realized with Bushrod and that Evans didn't pull a Charles Grant as soon as he signed that fatass contract. I'm not sure what more can be done about those things at this point. Meantime, yeah, it's getting to where it might turn into a bona fide thing here shortly.
Really excited about Casillas though, and the defense in general. Both safeties will be "starting" the Pro Bowl after this season. Sacks and takeaways are gonna be back in style.
And, I'm half joking here, but MITCH KING, BITCHES! That's something nobody's really been talking about too, there's gonna be a 4th DT and he's gonna play in the regular season. Who's it gonna be? Tom Johnson? Mitch King? Jonathan Sullivan? Martin Chase? Pio Sagapolutele?
Wow, I could have sworn Strief was starting at RT against the Niners, I will have to watch replay to be sure.
I have to say cutting the starting RT 3 weeks before the season opener makes me wonder why the hell the Saints weren't more aggressive to fill the spot via the draft or FA.
Although the options in FA are Langston Walker of the Raiders and not much else.
"SOMEBODY FUCKING HOLD ME!"
Wow, can't say I saw that one coming. Ralph, it could be that they're just now realizing there's a problem. You never know when a guy's just gonna hit the wall and suddenly he just can't play anymore. Especially without OTAs, minicamps, etc. to get a clue about it earlier. I'm assuming that all offseason they figured Stinch was gonna be back and healthy and starting. Then when they started full pads work a couple weeks ago, all of a sudden it was "Oh shit, this guy might be done." Then Friday night clinched it.
Now let's see if we can ditch the Olin Kreutz experiment and get Tennant in there. If it turns out that the solution(s) were already in house, and they're cheap and relatively young ones to boot, that'll be our first indication (in my opinion) that it's once again The Year. What with the Football Gods smiling down upon us again and all that good stuff.
Wang, I know you've been beating the special teams drum and the saints have seemed to make an effort to improve but with Moorstead just kicking touchback after touchback won't our special teams already be better by virtue of Morestead allowing them fewer opportunities to suck?
Oh yeah, no doubt about it. Allowing people fewer opportunities to suck is PM Flex's superpower. (Well, that and the ability to only test positive for Wheaties, Gatorade and Pantene hair products. Heh.) Funny thing is that between the new kickoff rule and Morstead's hang time on punts (of which there should be few anyway) seems there's a decent chance that there might only be a handful of returns this year anyway. I'm still glad they put so much elbow grease into the coverage teams, just in case, but it could turn out to be mostly a moot point. They're mostly gonna be touchbacks and fair catches.
I'm going to ask Bradley from WWLTV.com tonight when I interview if the Saints are satisfied with Strief/Brown at tackle or will they go trolling the FA dumpster? I tend not to listen to what the saints tell me, I'm more interested in the actual moves they make.
To me if the go and sign another OT before the Packers game then it's totally ok to start to have boarder line panic thought...
They already looked in the dumpster. It returned George Foster, Barron and Justin Black. No surprise the dumpster returns garbage.
I should have clarified, will they look in the dumpster again? Because they won't be able to trade for one this late.
I agree Ralph, doubtful they find a tackle they can use, either by trade or free agency at this point. Even if they raid the final cuts waiver wire to find a capable tackle that got caught in a numbers game for a final place on a 53 man roster, is he going to be better than Strief/Bushrod? Highly doubtful. Even if such player existed, tackles don't grow on trees (though I think Zach Strief might be part tree), so there would be stiff competition to sign that player AND there's no way an offensive tackle could pick up the Saints' complicated block schemes in a week and be ready to start. At this point we're married to the guys in the building. Bushrod/Strief, for better or for worse, is our tackle tandem. At least in the short term. Hold me.
The Saints kind of suck at tackle. Not going to lie. I don't think there's a lot of NFL teams that would want that tackle tandem. Hopefully they're so awesome and deep at every other position that it won't matter, and at least we have by far the best guard tandem in the entire league. If something happens to Nicks/Evans, those are the two injuries that the Saints absolutely cannot afford. If you're all of a sudden patching up guard play when your tackle play is already suspect that's when things can really fall apart.
Anyway, why are we being so negative? I need to smack myself. The Saints just obliterated the 49ers 24-3 and the defense/special teams look sick. They're going to obliterate the Texans in a couple days, and we'll all be feeling awesome when they obliterate the defending Super Bowl champions at their place in a few weeks. BOOM, done.