Friday, August 5, 2011
This week's chain gang e-mail!!! (8/5)
This week's email chain begins
The Saints resigned Carl Nicks today which means the only two big Saints FA left are Jonathan Goodwn and Dave Thomas. Regarding Nicks I'm really torn about giving him a long term extension because if the Saints are going to pay both guards 8-10 million what position do they not pay? They can't pay everyone. I lean towards paying them both because if you have something that's the best you keep it. Nicks/Evans are both Top 5 guards so I'd rather them keep their elite interior line and cut corners at LB or as strange as it sounds offensive tackle. Brees is so good at getting rid of the ball on time and avoiding sacks I'd argue Saints can get by with B- OT
I just said it over at the Chronic that if the Saints resign Goodwin and Thomas all that's left to satisfy me is a DE and depth at DT. I'm not so worried about LB as some others are. I think Saints can win with Vilma/Shanle/Wilson but I'm not sure they can win with what they currently have at DE which will include 4 game Smith suspension. And the fact that Jordan is still unsigned isn't good either.
Also I love the Falcons signing ray Edwards as I think he is a mediocre DE who benefited from playing in Minnesota with 3 Pro Bowl lineman around him. I didn't want the saints going near him.
The Eagles getting Cullen Jenkins was a tough because of the price they can cut him after 1 yr. Saints still need depth at DT
I'm not sold on Michael Vick winning anything and he won't play 16 games. When Vince Young needs to win them a December game all this 'Eagles won the off season' will be forgotten.
Good stuff, Ralph. I was gonna email you a little while ago and give you props for being right about DE > OLB. Turk McBride is an exciting signing IMHO. Loomis still might have something up his sleeve, but I get the feeling that you're right again and that the Saints will continue to go cheap at OLB. Will Herring, Danny Clark, Shanle, Clint Ingram are your vets. Casillas, Tez Wilson, Dunbar and Marvin Mitchell are probably your young guys. Probably not a whole lot more on the horizon there. And I guess that's fine, probably what I should have expected. The Saints have been "just getting by" at OLB for half a decade, I'm not sure why I ever expected them to change that strategy now. I'm betting now that they're just gonna cross their fingers and hope Casillas and Tez work out. Again, I don't have a problem with that because OLB is clearly the least important position on the defense to the Saints braintrust, and it's served them just fine so far. And you've gotta cut corners somewhere, can't have 53 pro bowlers.
Dave Thomas is a must-sign. Goodwin is a would-be-nice but IMHO not necessarily a must.
I'm not worried at all about Jordan. He'll be in camp sooner than later. Judging by the twitters, seems like he's as pissed off as anybody that it isn't already done. I think it's a non-issue, it'll be resolved any minute now.
I'm ashamed to say that I got caught sleeping on McBride. Dude's got Shaun-Rogers-like "impact in limited playing time."
DE is in some serious flux right now. They need to bring Charleston back. And I'm beginning to wonder about whether or not Will Smith is gonna play for the Saints this year. 4 games is a long time, and Smith makes a lot of $$$ for 12 games max. Just sayin'.
The Eagles hype is really starting to annoy.
If any of you assholes scoop me out of this before I get a chance to put together a blog post on it tomorrow, I will kick you in the nuts. But I really REALLY like what the Saints have been doing to fix the special teams coverage units this offseason. You've got "Reis Nuts" and Casillas coming back from injury. Re-signed Prioleau and Roby. Brought in Amaya, Herring, Johnny Patrick, Nate Bussey and maybe this DeAndre McDaniel dude sticks because of ST. Now I'm not sure they keep Casillas on ST if he's the starting WLB, and I don't know if Roby makes the 53 if Sproles returns punts and kickoffs. But still. Even if you don't count those 2 guys, the Saints' coverage units are likely to be RADICALLY different this year. Improvement? Remains to be seen. But clearly a balls-out effort to fix that problem. Now let's just cross our fingers and hope that Payton is right and we're all wrong about Greg McMahon being a terrible ST coordinator.
Thank you for starting, Ralph. Beat me to it.
Sorry for the diversion, but: FUCK Mike & Mike. I'm driving to work and nearly swerve off the road cause those two clown shoes have the audacity to suggest that Andy Reid is a "real good coach" and that anyone says otherwise isn't looking at things clearly and doesn't know what they're talking about. Bullshit, fellas. They were naming all the other accomplished coaches of "the era" and not one of those dipshits mentioned Sean Payton.
In his first year as a head coach, Payton beat Reid in the playoffs. Why? Cause Andy freaking Reid has the clock management skills of an impatient toddler.
So if the league was stripped of all its coaches and the teams could essentially "draft" a new head coach, based on current results up until now (guys currently coaching), where does Andy Reid fall?
1. Bill Belichick
2. Sean Payton
3. Mike Tomlin
4. Jim Caldwell / Peyton Manning
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Rex Ryan
7. Tom Coughlin
8. Andy Reid
9. Mike Smith
10. John Harbaugh
After that it's an absolute shit show. I wouldn't touch Shanahan now with a ten foot pole.
And speaking of the Eagles...Mike & Mike then had the audacity to suggest that the Saints were the FOURTH--let that sink in--best team in the NFC, behind Green Bay, Philly and Atlanta. I know everybody slurps Ashmongudusuduasd whatever his name is (including me), but that doesn't mean Philly is more a threat to win the NFC than the Saints. And Atlanta? Are they fucking high?!?
Eagles will get credited for "winning the off-season" but that's nonsense. If the Saints aren't up there, it's ridiculous. And the NFC is basically: 1. Green Bay, 1a. Saints ... 3. everyone else. Am I off in this line of thinking?
Theme of my post: AUDACITY!
Kevin I'd agree about Reid but I'd put him #4. To me he's alot like Les Miles. He's fantastic but his one flaw when it comes up is a burning herpes sore on super model. It can ruin you. I mean Reid runs that team and never forget he is really good at kissing up to the media with his aww shucks fat guy act so they love him. The Redskins won a bunch off off season titles too.
by the way this line slayed me...Cause Andy freaking Reid has the clock management skills of an impatient toddler
now onto Wang…
I won't scoop you on the special team angle but it's a good one to talk about. I really think Payton is finally giving Greg McMahon no excuses. If we don't see improvements this year I really think he goes to the chopping block. My worry about McBride is the Ray Edwards reason. Was he benefiting from the Lions very loaded D line? Suh is just a fucking freak and I watched most of the Lions games and by week 3 teams were like, "Suh gets double teamed or our QB will be dead."
I think McBride's ceiling is 2008 Bobby McCray. In '08 McCray started 8 games and had 6 sacks. I'd sign up for that right now.
Is McBride the Saints 'big move' at DE? I hope not but my gut says it probably is.
If Dave Thomas isn't resigned where do saints turn for TE help?
"If Dave Thomas isn't resigned where do saints turn for TE help?"
BUCK ORTEGA!!!!!!! Drew still owes him a TD.
Eddie Boo Williams!
But seriously..... ZACH HILTON!!!!!
Eddie Boo Williams dropped that TD against the Bengals in 2002 and I'm still very bitter about it.
Should Saints pursue Osi Umenyiora of the Giants via trade? New York wants a #1 which the Saints don't have but I say even if they come down in price it should still be no. He's been injury prone the last few years and the Saints already mortgaged a bit of the future for Ingramania. It will be totally worth it but I think they shouldn't trade any more of the 2012 draft away.
Around my house, we refer to him as Osi HumanUrine. And while it would be BIG FUN to be able to say that several times every week, I think I'd pass too.
Bring back the Vanilla Gorilla and call it a day. (Unless the plan is to part ways with Will Smith, which I admit might be a little far-fetched, I'm just saying that if they DO do that, then you've probably gotta make another move.)
The Saints will definitely need to re-sign David Thomas. There is currently no depth behind Jimmy Graham. Without Thomas, they're fucked at tight end.
But I want to know whether Heath Evans is coming back or not? Do you think he's pooping in his pants right now? Do you think Payton refuses to re-sign him because he blew Payton's cover on the whole Drew knee surgery story this off-season?
Dave, I'm not sure what to think about Evans. On the one hand you are completely correct to think Payton would not resign him because he doesn't toe the line and Payton bullies everybody to do things exactly how he wants even the media. On the other hand I can't think the Saints wouldn't sign him if they think he's the best guy for them.
My guess is it's Payton/Loomis knowing they can make him sweat because Heath Evans isn't in high demand by other teams and it sends a message of, "Do what we tell you and SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DON'T TALK TO THAT SAINTS BLOG CHRONICLES OF CANAL STREET OR WHATEVER THE FUCK. "
I'll be interviewing Drew Magary of Deadspin and Kissing Suzy Kolber this week (Thursday).
What do you think Saints fans would want to hear from him?
Heath Evans will be back. I feel pretty strong about that. Locker room presence, character, combined with the fact that the fullbacks they have in training camp right now aren't as good as what they had last training camp (Zak Keasey & Jason McKie).
I'm getting pretty sick of this Cameron Jordan routine. He was pretty much handed a starting spot when he was drafted. Alex Brown is over the hill, and Will Smith is going to be suspended the first 4 games. He has almost no competition for a starting role. He was guaranteed a starting role until he pulled this holdout BS. His agents need to get this done TODAY, period. Who cares about 3 years guaranteed vs. 4 years, if Jordan plays the way we all expect him to the Saints will pay him the length of his first contract regardless of what's guaranteed. The bottom line is that every single minute he's out of camp, the more behind he gets. This isn't a 7 year veteran we're talking about, we're talking about a rookie who's never even smelled a down in the NFL before. He needs to be there on time. I realize the lockout delayed things but for F's sake there's only 6 guys left unsigned. What is his agent waiting for??? The pick ahead of him and the pick behind him are gone. He needs to sign TODAY. Enough is enough. I thought the new CBA was supposed to fix this bullshit.
Mike Florio on PFT had an interesting solution to the 'I want 4 years guaranteed' issue. Teams could guarantee years 2-4. It basically means everything is locked in because what team will cut a #1 pick who gets injured this year in camp? But team can save face and say, "We didn't guarantee the whole contract"
Andrew you are totally right though, everyday he misses he'll be less and less of a factor. And the Saints I'd argue need Jordan to be a big factor especially early with Will Smith likely to sit the first month.
Andrew is fired up now about Jordan missing time but when do we hit the high digits on the Official Dave Cariello Chronic Panic Meter* on his holdout? I say if Jordan is not in camp by Friday it's a 9 for me...that's threat level Orange for those using the terrorism scale.
*The Official Dave Cariello Chronic Panic Meter is sponsored by Yahoo Fantasy Sports and Crack Cocaine
Maybe Jordan's agent is trying to strong-arm things knowing that Will Smith will miss games?
And I'm with Dave on Heath Evans. Payton's definitely letting him twist in the wind.
I think the agents of rookies are probably trying to set the precedent with the first batch of new rookie deals that while the money is lower the contract is guaranteed. Think of it this way, if most rookies get 4 yrs guaranteed this year then next year the agents say "Well everyone did it last year." And GMs realize rookie contracts will grow over time and while that extra yr may not be so much now it might be in say 2018. So they want to hold the line.
Anthony Hargrove possible departure makes me even more nervous about D line. That position is looking extremely thin to me.
"Anthony Hargrove possible departure makes me even more nervous about D line. That position is looking extremely thin to me."
TOM JOHNSON, BITCHES!
If Tom Johnson has either a preseason sack or a regular season tackle you can pick the song and I'll sing the first two verses on the podcast.
Wang's optimism brings up a good question: Who will be surprise cut and who will be a surprise guy to make the roster?
Courtney Roby is my surprise guy to get cut. Not a shocker but I think he'll be squeezed with Sproles able to return kicks and special team depth Saints have added
Surprise guy who makes it: Clint Ingram gets healthy and pushes hard for a roster spot
By the way I know it was the 1% douche bag fans that smiled over Jim Henderson fainting at Saints camp because of his Bush Commentary but Henderson is a treasure all Saints fans should appreciate. He's over 60 and won't do play by play forever much less his commentary and once he's gone the Saints will find some 30 year old kid to do play by play who paints his face and yells Who Dat between plays who Benson can pay nothing. Most NFL teams are going towards running their own radio network and owning the station the teams games are on. The Redskins do it and while fans hate the teams print money doing it.
Eventually the Saints will do the same. Hell Benson already owns Fox 8. All I'm saying is enjoy Henderson because when he's gone listening to the Saints won't be the same and there won't be any objective voices left in the regular media.
The whole "Henderson deserved what he got for talking shit about REG-GIE!!!!" thing was absolutely disgusting. Some people just don't deserve to breathe.
Surprise guy who sticks: Jared Fayson (the new Adrian Arrington beats out the old Adrian Arrington)
Surprise cut: Dare I say it? Chris Ivory? Can't make the club in the tub.
I'm not saying I'd WANT that. Hell, stick him on PUP and then IR if it comes to that. Just pulling a bold prediction out of my ass is all.
Actually, when I saw Wang's tweet about Hendu getting on a golf cart, I just made the "Did he make sure to back over Reggie's corpse this time?" joke, not knowing he had a heat stroke or anything. I wouldn't dare try to crack on Hendu about his health or anything bad happening to him. And Ralph is spot fucking on about "enjoying it while it lasts" with Hendu. He makes us seem big team in the broadcast booth. Who could possibly replace him?
As for cuts: I'll go out on a limb and say the safety from Clemson, just to be goofy
Don't know about a surprise keeper. Clint sounds fine.
I will not even acknowledge the who could possibly replace him? Because I don't want to consider it because that future is dark and scary. I think the way Kevin described Henderson 'He makes us seem big team in the broadcast booth' is about the best way I've ever heard him described. Henderson could have been a national play by play guy and was for a few years. He just likes living in NOLA and didn't feel the need to go to a bigger market. So the Saints have an A+ play by play guy because of a lucky break.
Ugh, what if Deke, Hokie or Bobby replaced him? Oh, dear.
Also, what's going to happen when Jerry Romig dies? Who will do in stadium announcing?
And suddenly the 'Chain' turns into Deathwatch.
Ok, I'll bite...
When Henderson retires all Saints fans should get on their hands and knees and pray WWL radio has as little say in Henderson's replacement as possible. I find their Saints coverage just above poor. They never break news and my mom is more objective. But if you love homerism and pom pom waving then WWL radio is fantastic.
Ken Trahan would probably walk through glass to get the Saints play by play job but I'm guessing Saints go young and keep and it's someone not local. My hope is Henderson would maybe decide to retire from WWL-TV but keep doing Saints games and as long as he stays relatively healthy he can go into his 70's? Hell the Astros have an 83 year old doing their radio play by play although baseball is different.
I'd guess the guy how does Hornets games and announcing at Saints games Romig doesn't do wold take over everything.
I'll be honest: Jerry Romig has a good voice, but I can't understand a god damn thing he says in the Dome. Could it be his voice or is it the system?
I think it's the system. "COOOOOOOOOLSTON!"
Roming is one of the touches that make Saints game so fantastic. By the way one of my most favorite yet overrated experiences every year is going to/watching Saints first preseason game.
I'm always geeked for it and then like 10 minutes after it starts and Chase Daniels is taking snaps and Drew is on the sideline smiling I'm like, "Stupid preseason game." Although that first SuperDome hotdog is glorious I tell you GLORIOUS.
Read on Bucstats.com that Da’Quan Bowers' trick knee is looking delicious and dude is tearing shit up. What is everyone's thoughts on the Bucs going into 2011?
I think Josh Freeman will be better than Ryan eventually and blount and Williams give them a nice offense to build around. I'm guessing they regress to 7-9 , 8-8, but Freeman for some reason scares me way more than Ryan
Uh, Ralph, Bill Simmons' legion of devout interns contacted me and demanded that Mr. Freeman from here on it be called "Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash!" Freeman.
Yeah, he looks impressive. I don't know yet if I'd put him above Matt Ryan. Speaking of Ryan, ESPN has some new QB calculation that lists Matt Ryan as one of the 6 elite quarterbacks in the game, along with Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers and Vick. Are you kidding me? Boot Ryan. I'd be tempted to boot Vick too, due to injury concerns.
But I definitely see the Bucs regressing. I can see them going 8-8, with Freeman maybe saving them on one of those games. They'll still be a tough out in Tampa.
(Cam) Jordan signs! I can stop worrying about DE until I see the Saints play a preseason game and make snap irrational judgments off of 10 plays by the #1 defense.
What? No love for Tory Humphrey? Our tight end troubles are over!!!
Aubrayo Franklin dickwads!!! Just hand us the fucking Lombardi now!
Yes YES YES AND FUCK YES!
From Bill Barnwell Football Outsiders/Grantland:
Why: Because he doesn't rush the passer or accrue stats in his role as the nose tackle in the 3-4, Franklin has flown under the national radar. He lacks the elite athleticism of Haloti Ngata or the massive frame of Albert Haynesworth, but no interior lineman in football is better at reading blocking schemes and manipulating the offensive front. He creates double-teams by occupying two offensive linemen on most plays, freeing up Patrick Willis to make plays behind him. It's safe to say that he's popular with his teammates; as Willis noted during the 2010 offseason, "I pray to God they keep Aubrayo."
Why not: Franklin really has only two seasons of dominant play underneath his belt, and they both came in contract years. (Franklin was franchised by the 49ers after the 2009 season.) The 49ers are trying to get the word out that Franklin's 2010 season wasn't all that great, but if he did slip, it was only because he was downright incredible in 2009.
Switching to 4-3 could be a concern but Saints under the Double G are all over the place formation wise. This might seem strange but I think the Saints just got better at LB.
They now have two huge DT Rogers and Franklin to clog the middle while the LB roam free or Harper blitzes.
This is the best FA Period ever. NFL needs to do this every year.
Sign Goodwin and Baconator and this Bitch is ready to ROLL!
AND (now) THE BACONATOR. Just awesome. Having a kick ass GM running my football team is great and makes watching Ed Wade of the Astros huff paint thinner while doing trades appreciate it even more.
Aubrayo? Sounds like a hard to pronounce/spell name! I win!
On twitter someone asked if this Saints defense with all the new additions would be the best Saints Defense in 10 years or maybe 20?
I say it could be best since 2000. That defense was spectacular at one thing, sacking the QB. The Saints had 66 sacks that year. It's still the NFL record for sacks in a season I think.
3 guys (Darren Howard, La'roi Glover and Joe Johnson) all had double digits with Glover dropping 17 and putting on a display no other DT ever has in a Saints uniform. He was an unblockable force. The game in St. Louis that year was his master piece; 4 sacks including the game clincher. That team had Sammy Knight in the secondary and Keith Mitchell made a Pro Bowl. Besides that not much besides an old Darren Smith and Darren Perry.
This year's team I think could be a wall against the run because of DT(Rogers, Franklin, Ellis) and great at safety(Harper/)Jenkins and good at corner. I'm not so sure they'll be as dominant in one area as that 2000 team was at killing the QB.
Still this team was Top 5 last year and they are clearly better at DT. So expectations are right to be sky high?
Damn right expectations are sky high. I feel like a douche for going all "19-0!!!" with it (again) but seriously, holy shit. When I saw that Pat Kirwan was saying yesterday that the Saints have basically built the Ravens' defense from 10 years ago, I popped a huge chubby.
The sky is the limit. The next 6 months are gonna be some serious fun. In my opinion, this team is not just a little better than the 2009 team, it's a good bit better. I'm not sure Tampa is really ready from primetime just yet, and Atlanta blew their shot last year. EVERYTHING went right for them last year, just like it did for the Saints in 2009. It was "their year" and they blew it. What was it, 5 games they pulled out of their asses on dumb luck? They're gonna regress this year.
I really like Pat Kirwan because he is a hard core tape watcher not just a Peter King, "I write a column so you think I know shit but I don't really watch actual games."
Wang here is where I think the Saints plan on defense is brilliant. Injuries or poor performance could make it not unfold but on paper it's awesome and here's why:
The Saints offense will score a crap load of points with Brees so what's the book on how to beat the Saints? Pressure the crap out of Brees and pound the ball on the ground with your offense to shorten the game.
Well on defense the Saints literally have a fucking ton of DT that says, "Run it at us bitches. You'll get stuffed like my granma's bellpeppers and oh look Drew just hit Jimmy Graham and it's 14-0. Still want to go 3 and out? Didn't think so. Now Double G is going to unleash blitzagedon on you because you have to throw."
Rinse and repeat until at least week 6 when teams give up running? Nice.
Plus the experiment at DT is a one year thing so if it works..Lombardi if not no long term commitment By the way the additions at DT make me think Double G will get the absolute best out of Martez Wilson.
Does Kirwan have a Twitter feed? The only NFL guys I follow are Schefter, Breer and Glazer, and I'm considering dumping Shefty.
Look, the 2009 defense was built on turnovers; taking chances at turnovers. I remember us saying during the preseason and even early in the season: even if we're middle of the pack, I want a defense that is prepared to KILL! KILL! KILL! (KSK'd). Sure we'll get beaten big on some plays, but I'd rather be seen as aggressive. We just wanted a wake up from the Jason David "error." #imakethefunny But now we may have a defense that can have an effective blitz AND stop the run? And we might be making strides in pass protection? Yeah, I'll go 2000.
We have a playoff team on paper.
And if Breesus cuts back on the INTs, we can all ask the Philly fans to tell us how our ass tastes.
Shit, you're not aiming high enough, Kevin. This defense is finally gonna be able to pressure the QB without HAVING to blitz. Even better. Which isn't to say that GW isn't gonna unleash the hounds, because of course he will. But being able to pressure the QB with the front 4? There's your turnovers. And far fewer dump off options over the middle with RBs & TEs. Malcolm Jenkins is about to turn into Ed Reed, and McBride and Ellis are both fumble producers (along with Roman Harper who's also a fumble producer.)
This shit is gonna be nuts.
Oh and Ralph, I need you to do me a favor while you're interviewing Big Daddy Drew. Pick a thing he says about the Saints that's negative but true, and tell him I said [BostonGuy]NO ONE DENIES THIS!!!!![/BostonGuy]
Nice. I'll also be asking him who isn't real; Him or Rex Ryan? Ryan just got fucking tattoo on his leg so clearly either Drew is a writer who secretly coaches the Jets or Ryan is a coach who secretly writes. They both can't possibly exist.
Also when and how does a team go from warm, cuddly, and everyone loves them to I FUCKING HATE THEM, THEIR FANS, THEIR CITY, THE COACH, AND I HOPE THEY FALL DOWN A WELL. The Pats were America's team in the NOLA Super Bowl in 2001. Now...they are pretty much loathed. Send anything else you want asked my way. I'm open to ideas and want to hit this one out the park.
Yeah, extend that parellel to the Saints. I mean, Drew's a Vikings fan. Shouldn't he have hated us in 2009? KSK really didn't blast us that much. Even in 2010. Hell, anytime Brees gets mentioned, everybody has an ongoing joke about how nice he is.
Does anybody have Matt Roth fever? Oh I do. He seems like the perfect guy for Gregg Williams. Versatile and gives the Saints more depth at DE. Of course part of me hats that the signing would make my podcast with Magary an afterthought today but whatever...MATT ROTH.
Mickey Loomis is maxing out the 'Sign a Veteran who wants a title' credit card. GOOD TIMES.
Ralph, Simmons' legion of angry interns have said Billy Baroo owns the term "good times" apparently and no one else is allowed to use that phrase…ever.