Friday, August 12, 2011

Chain Gang

Every Week here at Hakim Kevin and a few Saints bloggers exchange emails discussing all things saints, NFL and whatever they can think of. This week Kevin is joinded by Grand Master Wang of moosedenied, ralph Malbrough of and Andrew Juge of canal Street Chronicles.

This week they discuss the addition of Olin Kreutz, how the Saints stayed in NOlA post Katrina and why Paul Tagliabue deserves blow jobs, lots of them


The Saints just set fire to the 1/3 of my column today wang and they burned your entire last post to the ground Wang unless it's Just Loomis taking out insurance and Tennant still ends up being the guy


Yeah, that blows. They owned me on that one. How am I supposed to maintain my CREDIBILITY(!!!!) (LOL) when I post something and less than 24 hours later Loomis does something that makes me look like a total idiot?

I guess I'm still holding out hope that it's just insurance, but at ~$3MM I doubt it. I guess they could probably still release Kreutz before week 1 and pay him a fraction of that. But the smart money is probably on Kreutz being the starter for at least this year. I imagine Tennant has no chance to beat him out because then they'd be stuck without a backup C because they're not gonna carry Kreutz and pay him $3MM to be Tennant's backup. They'd have to release Kreutz and then scramble to find Tennant a backup, and I doubt they'd put themselves in that position.
But who knows?

Anyway, I'll get over it, but I can't say I'm a big fan of this. Not just because they made me look like an idiot, but because I genuinely do think Tennant is gonna be a stud, and Kreutz is 34 and costs just as much as Goodwin (granted though, only for 1 year instead of 3, but still.) I mean, they were just talking about (re: Tennant) how it takes longer than you might imagine for the C and the QB to get comfortable with the snaps, and now they're gonna replace a guy who's been here for a year with a dude off the street? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, given what they themselves said about it. Sure, I know Kreutz is a six-time Pro Bowler and all that, but so what? He's also at the end of his career.

And I was only half joking on Twitter about the fact that I don't like these 2006 Bears assholes (first Alex Brown, now Kreutz) coming down here to try to ride the Saints' coattails to get themselves a ring before they retire. I realize that's irrational, but screw it, I'm a fan. It's my right, no, DUTY to be irrational. Screw them. Yeah, I'm still bitter.

I don't know, I'm just not at all excited about this one. That $$ could have been better spent elsewhere IMHO. But hey, one dud out of the 4000 moves they've made over the last week isn't anything to get my panties in a bunch over. I'll deal.


I'm real interested in this Tennant vs. Kreutz battle at center. I'm not ready to give up on Tennant yet and I don't think the Saints are either. Just because Kreutz has the track record, don't forget he hasn't been to the Pro Bowl since 2006 and he hasn't smoked the Maui Wowie since his high school days (played college ball at Washington). Actually he probably smoked Maui Wowie this summer, nevermind. But does Maui Wowie improve or hurt your abilities as a center? Questions questions. I think Kreutz' signing is as much about his experience/mentor potential as it is about production on the field. If Tennant beats him out, he'll be better off for it. Then Kreutz can be a terrific backup and help Tennant hone his craft. If Kreutz is the center, hey, a washed up center that was one of the best centers in the history of the NFL over the course of his career isn't all that bad. Plus, let's face it, Danny DeVito could play center for the Saints and they'd still manage with Jahri and Nicks on either side of him.


Andrew, I agree with you about Tennant and just because the Saints signed Kreutz doesn't mean he'll make the team. I think there is a very good chance the Saints thought, "The veteran center market is drying up. We better go get one just in case and secure ourselves in event of worst case scenario." If Tennant ends up being the guy the saints can always cut Kreutz and be on their way but if Tennant doesn't workout and Kreutz isn't on the roster then plan B is hope for a solution and hope is never a plan.


I feel bad for the Lions. You think they should get Lynell Hamilton?


Kevin I just tweeted Ricky Williams seems like a perfect stop gap for the Lions.
Injuries suck and when do we start to worry about Colston, Porter, Ivory? Given Sean Payton loves to lie regarding injury we are always guessing. It seems to me Colston may be bigger if that knee(which has been worked on alot) stays balky. If Colston is banged up WR position looks very different.
At least reports say Robinson is looking pretty good so if Porter comes back slow they MIGHT be ok. . On the Dave Cariello official Panic scale I'm a 3 but it's definitely treading up. I just read the guy the Bears signed to replace Kreutz won't even start. So the Saints may be doing the same and I still say there is a 30% chance Kreutz doesn't make the opening week roster.


I don't think Payton "lies" about injuries per se, it's more about his being tight-lipped about them and the local media constantly whining about it because he won't give them enough material to regurgitate into an article and call news.
When do we start worrying about Colston, Porter and Ivory? Not yet. Not even close. Resting is no cause for concern, it's cause for celebration that the people in charge are smart enough to give them the rest. Colston doesn't need the reps, he's not gonna get any better than he is. He's a known quantity. Nothing good can come of continuing to run him out there daily to practice, all it does is increase the chances that slight discomfort is gonna suddenly turn into "out indefinitely." Same for Porter. Both of those are just "Don't chance it until it matters" situations.
And I'll worry about Ivory just as soon as TWO out of Ingram/Pierre/Sproles are injured. Until then? Hey, I was impressed with Ivory last year too, don't get me wrong. But right now worrying about Ivory is a lot like worrying about Adrian Arrington.


Wang I agree to a certain extent but I think what bothers me is Colston and Porter both have history of injuries and how would them missing time affect the Saints?
I'm worried because at this point is it living in fantasy land to expect each to play 12-16 games?

Colston might but history tells us Porter will not

Wang, this is a riff on your theory about why Sean Payton does or doesn't run the ball.
Conventional wisdom says while Ingram will be pretty good, the Saints are a throwing team, and Ingram won't really be a stud RB. Payton loves to throw, he likes to get cute in play calling etc etc...Ingran will be nice but he won't get many touches and the Saints are deep at RB so the carries get split. I'm not denying any of that but while Sean Payton is alot of things I'd argue one of his best qualities is he is open minded. What if Mark Ingran can convert him to call more running plays because Ingram off tackle is just too good to resist?
Payton's never had a RB like Ingram. And I have a little theory that the less of Ingram we see in preseason the more excited we should get. Meaning, Payton knows what he has by watching practice and if why let the Packers see Ingramania on film?
Also New England is killing it in FA they got too guys I hoped the saints would have in Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis.


Of course that's gonna be what happens, absolutely. I've been beating this drum for 5 years now, Payton might get "the disease" every now and then within a specific game, but for the most part, Payton's "refusal to run" is overblown and has become one of those Payton myths. He ran Dulymus and Reggie plenty in 2006. But ever since then, the Saints' tailback situation has been mostly a trainwreck. Dulymus was done, Reggie couldn't stay healthy and started proving that he wasn't a real tailback, and they started with the whole parade of undrafted free agents thing. It took until 2009 for Payton to finally get to the point where he realized that Pierre could be trusted and was "The Guy" and Mike Bell was the "complementary back" and Reggie was largely irrelevant, and they kicked ass running the ball. Then everybody started getting injured again.

So only 2 years out of 5 have the Saints had a running game that even resembled reliable and effective. And both of those years, Payton ran the ball, and the Saints have 2 NFCCGs and 1 Championship to show for it. But the other 3 years built up that myth that no matter what, Payton is gonna throw all day every day. It's bullshit. Of course you're gonna throw all day when you've got a Top 3 QB and your tailbacks are a mess.

Barring injury, they're gonna run the shit out of the ball this year. Why? Because (again, barring injury) the tailback position is finally "fixed." And like you said, they're gonna be even more inclined to run the ball with a 2-touchdown first-half lead every week. Cue coldpizza: "Yeah, but those two touchdowns came via the pass, which is wrong, and if Payton really knew what he was doing he'd have run the ball and would realize that he'd be far better off with the score tied at halftime. Two-touchdown leads are meaningless if they come via the pass."
Ralph :

I agree with you but I guess my question is "Will Mark Ingram just hog all the carries because he's awesome"? If 2009 is any indication the answer seems no because Saints ran the shit out of the ball but still....

Thomas had 793 yds rushing
Bell had 654 yds rushing
Bush had 390 yds rushing
If you say Ingram gets the Bell carry/yds and Sproles won't get as many carries/yds as Bush, and Pierre Thomas gets 600 yards then Ingram ceiling seems to me 1300 yards if the Saints are a Top 10 rushing team .
1250-1300 yds makes Ingram a Top 10 RB and Ingramania is in full bloom. Is this scenario very likely?

Pro Football Talk is speculating Will Smith might not get suspended. Obviously that's great news for the Saints but no one has really discussed in depth how much him missing 4 games will hurt. I'd argue it's one of the biggest reasons to be worried because of the Saints early season schedule. They need Will Smith on the d-line or the pass rush drops to mediocre at best. At least the front four rush does.

With Smith the front four is Smith, Rogers, Franklin, McBride/Jordan
*Charlston and Junior contributions are icing on the cake
Without it’s Rogers, Franklin, McBride,Jordan
*And Charlston and Junior need to be heavy contributors
Seems to be with Smith Saints are a B+, without just a C


Really? After all that, the league is just gonna say forget the whole thing? I thought they had won all the court battles they needed to win and the suspensions were set in stone. Anyway, I'll believe it when I see it. Until further notice, I'm counting on that suspension sticking.
Sue me, but I'm not sure it's a big deal either way. I mean sure, you always hate to be down a body at any position. But I've just gotten so "meh" on Will Smith. He's such a tease, All Pro one week and invisible the next. Honestly, I'm getting to the point of being about ready to move on. Obviously I don't mean release him now, keep him this year until you know what you've got with McBride, Jordan and maybe Galette. (And I'm really glad they brought back the Vanilla Gorilla, by the way.) I'm just not sure there's gonna be any kind of huge dropoff when/if Smith is out for the first 4 games. Will anybody even notice? And unless Smith has one of his good years this year, I'm pretty sure he's gonna be firmly on the bubble after this year, and I think I'm fine with that.

On the other hand, who knows. Maybe Smith won't have yet another one of those "play through it" season-long injuries this year, and with Rogers/Franklin/Ellis on the inside, and being pushed for playing time this year which hopefully will make him play as if it's a contract year, maybe we'll see Good Will Smith this year instead of Meh Will Smith. I'll believe that when I see it too.


I agree with your 'meh' Smith take but I disagree on the drop off, maybe it's fear or whatever I just am not ready to count on the Vanilla Gorilla and Junior to get it done. I do think Smith will be better as this is clearly the best d-line he's been on as a Saint.

McBride intrigues me as a sort of 'All I do is rush the QB but DAMN I'M SO GOOD AT IT no one cares I don't do anything else.' Specialist.

Kevin, I was thinking about your text talking about thanking God the Saints won a Super Bowl and saving them from going to LA. One thing I completely forgot about was Gov. Blanco signing off on fast tracking all Dome renovations behind the scenes even as people were saying, "Maybe we should tear it down because of all the horrible things that happened there post Katrina."

I mean whatever people want to say about her, Blanco got that done and helped avoid the political fighting going on at the 911 sight. I mean it's going on 10 years and it's still a hole in the ground where the World Trade Center was.

Louisiana politicians: "We do one thing exactly right EVERY 10 YEARS WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?"

Final thought, "Is Clint Ingram and his trick knee really going to hold up and win a starting spot?" I think so.


Look, I can give a "smedgen" of credit to the former "deer in the headlights" governor, Ralph, but I'm giving most of the cred to Paul Tagliabue on this one. He didn't want the city to lose its football team and--until somebody convinces me otherwise--strong-armed Benson into staying for the time being, and providing NFL funds to help with the renovations and cleanup. I mean, sure, if we're giving credit for people keeping the team in the state, I suppose Blanco gets listed ABOVE Benson, but below....say....Al Scramuzza. SEAFOOD CITY, FTMFW!

When it comes to tearing shit down, New Orleans in general is pretty fucking ridiculous. Could you imagine if that had been torn down? The team would still probably be playing in Baton Rouge ... or worse. You saw how pissed folks got when Landrieu sacked up and tore down collapsing homes that had been abandoned. And you've seen the ilustrious city council basically cock block new building because of some kind of goofball "historic" codes or whatever... Fuck it, I'm getting off this soapbox before I get really angry. LOUD NOISES!!


I guess my bigger point is when history looks back I think we'll say, "While dam near everything went wrong right after Katrina. Almost Everything went right for the Saints."
Tags is commish and strong arms Benson.
Fast Track of Dome renovations
Green Bay passes on McCarthy
Dolphins pick CullPepper instead of Brees
Texans pass on Bush
I'd believe you remove anyone of those and the LA Saints are more likely than not. Except maybe Bush but I still think he helped build excitement post Katrina that no other draft pick would have. We got Reggie! way more exciting than "We got AJ Hawke!"


As far as I'm concerned, Saints fans should be sending Paul Tagliabue primo Hollywood quality hookers monthly for the remainder of his life. A $15 tax on all per game ticket season ticket holders should cover that. That's a little over $10 million a season if you're decent at math. Actually, that would only cover his libido for about 4.2 years. Does he die by then? If not we may have to up the tax.

Seriously though, Arnold Fielkow tried the same things as Tagliabue and his career was wrecked from it. Benson's weekly game of hop scotch and parcheesi with the San Antonio mayor was interrupted by Uncle Arnie's conscience, and so he got fired. Uncle Arnie then attempts a pathetic foray into politics. The poor guy tried to do the right thing and he has never been the same. At least he can sleep at night. Of course, things worked out pretty rosy for that crook Benson, who now sleeps fine at night too next to a silver Lombardi. It's amazing to me how much love Benson gets now. At worst, most people ignore what he did or maybe they choose to forget it. Things worked out, Payloo comes to town and immediately builds a winner, no thanks to Benson, and all of a sudden he is revered like nothing ever happened. The only other person who had the stones to spit in his face, besides Fielkow (who's balls were chopped off and fed to him for doing it) was Tagliabue. The difference is Tagliabue eats pieces of sh!t like Benson for breakfast and Benson was forced to take it on the chin like a champ. God bless that man.
This email chain isn't happening right now if it isn't for Paul Tagliabue. And while Uncle Arnie's attempts were dismissed (pun intended), I give him the assist for being a quality human being. Maybe season ticket holders fund Uncle Arnie's mid range gulf coast hooker once every two years.


"Saints fans should be sending Paul Tagliabue primo Hollywood quality hookers monthly for the remainder of his life." Funniest Saints line I've read all off season. So true.
I think to a certain extent Andrew you nailed it about Benson. We just want to black it out. We'd rather not remember Benson totally wanted to take the team to Texas but Tags was like, "Dude I'm not going to let you unleash the mother of all shit storms on the NFL and I'm not going to be the commish who let the Saints leave NOLA."Thank God for the fear of bad PR. What makes Benson wanting to pack up and go worse in my opinion is when he bought the team then governor Edwards helped make sure he got the financing to buy the Saints. Still I think most people don't give a shit because the Saints are still in NOLA and they are awesome. The details of how/why don't matter.
I'm not sold the LA team is a done deal. We'll see but California is screwed up politically and economically I still think they have a ways to go.
Last question for the chain...
Who comes out of Friday's game as the internet's new darling ie Arrington?
I nominate Paul Oliver...why? Why not...


"Last question for the chain... Who comes out of Friday's game as the internet's new darling ie Arrington?"
Saints fans have been DYING to trade Pierre to the Patriots for their next 6 first round picks for about 10 months. Why stop now? Hell, at this point I'm pretty sure they'd settle for the Patriots' next 5 first round picks and Tom Brady.
After all, Chunky Chase Daniel(s) blow(s) and IF DREW GOES DOWN WE'RE TOTALLY FUCKED! Surely Brady is worth at least a 2016 first round pick. Make it happen, Loomis!
Honorable mention to Joseph Morgan because back in the 70s he was the best 2nd baseman since Honus Wagner. (If you don't believe me, just ask him.) And also, he hates stats because they usually don't support his own subjective conclusions and therefore they're damn lies. Saints fans are gonna LOVE this guy!

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