Friday, August 26, 2011

Chain Gang: Saints get ass handed to them, dam right I'm scared editiod

Each week here at Hakim we bring together a group of Saints bloggers to discuss all things Saints during the week. Here is their email chain. This week we had Grandmaster Wang from moosedenied, Dave Cariello , Andrew Juge and Hansdat from Canal Street Chronicles, and Ralph Malbrough from Oh and the boss man Kevin Held.The Saints got their asses handed to them in Houston but it was only preseason so they guys aren't worried. Just kidding they were angry and looking for some one to blame. They ARE LOOKING AT YOU PAUL OLIVER. DON'T YOU LOOK AWAY!

Ralph Malbrough:

That mess against the Texans was topped off with the turd cherry this morning when I read about Franklin's sprained knee. The wierd thing is I'm not really that concerned about the defense. Yeah it got gashed but the Saints don't win with elite defense. The Saints won the Super Bowl in 09 because their offense was a 500 point scoring unstoppable force.
Right now they aren't near 2009 levels and good god those offensive tackles are looking not NFL starter quality.
I also have to give props to Dave who on one of the podcasts answered Malcolm Jenkins to my question of ,"Most important Saint not named Drew Brees" His worst fears were on display as Oliver looked like a less athletic Tebucky Jones.
Right now the Packers game is scaring the crap out of me because the Packers rush the QB with abandon and I believe less in the Saints o-line everytime I see them.

Grandmaster Wang:

I agree with every word of that. I wish I didn't, but I do. It was a lot worse than Message Board Guy has been trying to convince everybody it was this morning. "IT'S PRESEASON!!!!" Granted, but the Saints got their asses kicked straight up. Doesn't matter that the game "doesn't count" or whatever. Preseason is for evaluation and my evaluation of last night was that the Saints' first teams got their balls handed to them.

It wasn't a COMPLETE trainwreck, there were some good things. The running game for one. That was nice, for the short period of time we got to see it. I just hope what we saw wasn't just a "flash" and in a real 60-minute game we'll still only get that kind of running effectiveness for a series or two. Guess we'll have to wait and see on that.

We were having a hell of a lot of fun last night bagging on Paul Oliver and repeatedly pointing out that he was wearing #25. What a horrible performance by that guy. Totally agree with Dave, Malcolm Jenkins is clearly this team's MVP Who Doesn't Wear #9.

I'm trying really hard to keep an even keel here and keep telling myself that there's a reason they call it "midseason form" and not "preseason form." But I'm getting real nervous real quick. And MBG can keep yelling at me that "IT'S JUST PRESEASON! THE GOOD STUFF COUNTS BUT THE BAD STUFF DOESN'T MEAN SHIT!" until he's blue in the face. Yo MBG, everybody knows it's preseason. We get it. But when you're getting straight up dominated on both lines, missing tackles, getting torched through the air, you bet your ass it's significant. Even in the preseason. Oh sure you can hide that to an extent in the regular season by scheming, and I'm sure they will, but the fact that you have to is not a good thing any way you slice it. This is supposed to be "the bestest, deepest roster in franchise history" and for the most part, they got skulldragged straight up, mano-a-mano. Ain't no putting lipstick on that pig.

My security blanket today is my absolute faith in Payton's and Williams's ability to get this shit figured out. That's pretty much all I've got right about now to keep me from curling up in a closet.

"Yeah, but everybody was pretty happy last week after the SF game!" Yeah, and guess what? SF blows and Houston doesn't. Unfortunately the Saints don't have the luxury of playing SF 19 times. Look, I know there are plenty of reasons to discount it and not worry about it too much. PRESEASON!!! Sue me, but I'm not finding that very convincing or comforting right about now.

Kevin Held:

Doesn't matter that the game "doesn't count" or whatever. Preseason is for evaluation and my evaluation of last night was that the Saints' first teams got their balls handed to them.

Best. Comment. Ever.

From what I understand, that O-line was more porous than the Second Death Star, with Houston's rush playing the roles of Lando Calrissian and Nien Nunb.

Dave Cariello:

Wang: "I'm trying really hard to keep an even keel here and keep telling myself that there's a reason they call it "midseason form" and not "preseason form.""

But, even better, the Saints were in postseason form...looking just like they did against Seattle last year.

Andrew Juge:

I'm sorry, did the Saints play last night? Hmmm, I must have completely forgotten about that and put it out of my memory. I wonder why I put it out of my memory, anyway? Was it because Drew Brees looked like the corpse of Babe Laufenberg? Was it because Paul Oliver might has been Pam Oliver out there? Was it because our new linebackers Herring and Casillas played like they weren't fit for being starters at Walsh College alongside Joe Morgan? Was it that the lowly Texans, not even playoff worthy competition, demolished the Saints in every single facet of the game? So many wonderful choices I just can't pick.

The one thing I will say: the Saints played A LOT of zone last night in coverage, with no attempt at adjustment. Andre Johnson found all the soft spots, and Schaub's accuracy was deadly. Once Leinart came in, the zone worked because his accuracy was horrid. If this were a regular season game, the coverage looks would have changed. Instead, they stayed the same because the Saints weren't interested in making in game adjustments. Not saying that's any excuse, or that I'm not concerned the Texans look so much further along... it's a huge cause for concern, but the Saints coaching staff is strong at making in game changes and they weren't concerned with doing that in this one. As far as stopping the run, that was a simple lack of effort and poor tackling. No adjustment needed there other than execution by the players, which didn't happen. There is no excuse for how they ran the ball on the Saints. 208 yards and 6.1 a carry. No excuse. None. Give me an excuse. Please.


Remember the idea of playing "complementary" offense and defense that feed off each other (by getting takeaways followed by quick scores) and lead the Saints to victory?

Another way to look at it is that the team played a very crappy version of the complementary game - Brees coughed it up in the red zone, and the defense (what? we've got to get on the field now? OK...where in the $%&$ is my helmet?) responded by giving up a quick TD drive with only token resistance.

Ralph Malbrough:

Hans done chimed in so I KNOW THIS IS SOME SERIOUS SHIT RIGHT HERE. Although the Saints checked every box in my personal 'Make Ralph Panic' exhibition football form. I'm going to invoke the Buddy D Preseason rule of 'If you see it back to back weeks in the Preseason go to church and light a novena candle because only god can help them'

I'm still in Wang's camp of trusting Payton and my guess is he'll chew ass in Cali and Saints will drop an ass kicking on the Raiders out of fear but if they don't and the line still can't pass protect and d-line is getting run over well I'll have to head to the nearest Catholic church on my lunch break next Monday.


I agree - let's get a look at how they respond to this, and see how healthy we can get in a couple of weeks for Lambeau...

And how's that saying go?

Once is an accident, twice is a trend, and three times is a SHIT SANDWICH OF 8-8 IF WE'RE LUCKY.

Kevin Held:

If this defense doesn't get it's shit together by week 1, Aaron Rodgers is gonna jam that championship belt of his right up our collective candy asses. The idea of having Paul Oliver covering Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings is enough to wake a man in a cold fucking sweat here.

Andrew Juge:
Has anyone mentioned that that was some awful shit yet?

Ralph Malbrough:

Now Nicks got injured and was replaced by Tennant. Jesus, hopefully it's not serious. Dave I believe the Cariello panic meter just went full scale meltdown mode like a Japanese nuclear plant.

Tomorrow's show will be a group huge more than a podcast


Don't you mean a group Juge?? (sorry, couldn't resist)

Kevin Held:

Dave's having a meltdown and there's no salt water available for cool off!

/paid attention to news coverage

Ralph Malbrough:

Question for all. Wang, great job on the column today. When you punch the media in the face it's delightful. Today's question is what is the ceiling for the saints current o-line?

I know it's hard to predict stats for lineman so your general overall view is fine. I'd say it's looking more and more like it won't be near as good as last year and last year it regressed from 09.

So I guess I'm leaning towards...barely acceptable.

Grandmaster Wang:

Sky's still the limit, but about 10 things have to go exactly right at this point. None of them are completely beyond the realm of possibility though. So it seems to me it's wide open right about now. If everything goes right, Strief is a much larger and much younger version of Stinchcomb, Tennant wins the starting gig at C and is the next Joel Hilgenberg, the light finally goes on for Bushrod, Nicks's injury is nothing and somebody re-lights a fire under Evans's ass. Or it could be a complete trainwreck. Anybody who says they have the slightest idea how it's gonna play out is talking out of his ass. Chips, they shall fall. Wait for it... wait for it...

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