Friday, September 30, 2011

Saints Roundtable! 09-30-11

As I listened to the fans next to me in the dome go bat shit crazy over the defense giving up tons of yards and points to the Texans I thought," What is realistic to expect from them every week?"

I'm not sure yesterday won't be what we get when they play elite offenses. They made redzone stops, didn't get crushed on the ground, and survived.

The offense is close to be the 2009 killing machine. Although the two injuries on the O-line could be a HUGE ISSUE.

Franklin didn't make the box score but I thought Rogers was sucking up space and Cam Jordan I definitely improving every week.

By the way, I forgot my phone charger and my phone died yesterday before the show and my wife's iPhone gets shit reception. I hope you guys ripped me a new one and I am looking forward to listening later.


Meantime, as far as yesterday goes, I think "survived" pretty much nails it. And much like against Green Bay, I don't think it was nearly as bad as it looked. Houston was 6 of 14 on 3rd down, 1 for 5 in the red zone, only ran for 109 yards, Schaub was sacked twice and intercepted. I'm not saying it wasn't bad, because it was. But against elite offenses, "surviving" isn't a bad thing, it's a good thing. How many "elite offenses" are the Saints gonna face? Even in the playoffs. If you'd have told me before the season that the Saints D was gonna give up 75 points against Green Bay and Houston, but the Saints were gonna win one of those two games anyway, I'd have taken it. The Saints have 3 games left on the schedule against (current) top 10 offenses and they're Camrolina (x2) and Detroit.

We'll know more when the Saints play an offense that's middle of the road, rather than an outlier (to either end of the spectrum.)

For now though, I'm really REALLY pumped about the rest of the season after that game yesterday. I'll elaborate in my post tomorrow, but that was a "special" win. A season-defining win. An "I Believe!" kind of win. Shades of 2009. One of those games you look back on in January and go "That one right there was a springboard, and spoke volumes about what was to come." And maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I've got a hunch that "Team Gleason" is gonna be 2011's answer to 2009's "Doing it for the city" or whatever. The "bigger than us" thing to rally around and make special things happen.

Yep, I'm getting that 2009 feeling once again. In my pants.

And now? October. The soft underbelly of the schedule. Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa, Indy and St Louis. Tampa is the only one I'm even remotely worried about, and I'm not all that worried about that one to be honest. I'm smelling a 5-0 October and 7-1 heading into the 2nd half riding a 7 game win streak. Shit's about to get REAL fun. Atlanta and Tampa are both looking a whole lot like fair-to-middlin' frauds already (looks like Matty Ice's deal with the devil is just about to expire) and Atlanta gets Green Bay in October, while Tampa gets Chicago and... um... the Saints. The Saints could very well be on cruise control in the NFCS by Halloween.


Wang, I agree with you and think Brees is in F U mode i.e. "Pay me my fucking money Loomis" Which is completely fine.

Still though the o-line could be huge problem.

While Brees is raising his price by the day, I just can't see the Saints signing Porter long term or maybe even short term.


Porter needs to realize we are his best chance for another ring. And he ought to take a hometown discount. Now, if he wants to go to the Clevelands of the world, hey, no hard feelings. /Fujita'd

I absolutely DO NOT trust this defense. Yeah, we may have buckled down a couple times and kept the Houston Texans to FGs at critical moments, but if not for that moron's helmet-to-helmet hit on Breesus accidentally turning on No. 9's KILL! KILL! KILL! switch, things would have been baaaaaaaaad. The lesson, as always: fuck Kareem Jackson.

Dare I say it, but I think this offense looks BETTER than '09. Sacrilege, I know. Wang will have me drawn and quartered for sure. This defense, though? Sheesh.

And "Camrolina" TOTALLY needs to be accepted into the nomenclature. Tom Jackson ACTUALLY compared Newton to John Elway. John fucking Elway. Dude nearly lost to Blaine Gabbert, folks. Can we please wait to crown his ass?!?! Wait until the pregame show this week, I'm going to blow a fucking gasket over Gabbert being better than Newton.

And 2 things from Twitter yesterday:

1. Tom Benson NEEDS to commission a life sized statue of THE BLOCK. And it needs to go in Champions Square or--as someone on Twitter suggested--at Lee Circle. Gleason Circle, FTMFW.
2. We need a nickname for Darren Sproles. So far all I've got is ExSPROLESion.


I wholeheartedly support the Gleason statue, wherever they want to put it. How about atop the Dome like a fuckin' hood ornament?

11 offense better than 09's: Sacrilege? Where's the sacrilege? As of now, I agree 100%. Sproles > Reggie, Pierre = Pierre, and Ingram's getting better every week. Drew is dialed in, and not even in 2009 did the Saints score 30+ in each of their first 3 games. And they played Buffalo and Detroit 2 of the first 3 in 09. The schedule has been juuuuuust a bit tougher so far this year.

The hilarious thing about it all is that it seems like half the damn fanbase is looking for the nearest exit. Already! At 2-1!

And I cannot stress this enough: The rest of the division pretty much fucking blows right at the moment. That could change of course, but Carolina's living on Cam hype right now, Atlanta seems to have lost the horseshoe they had up their ass last year, and Tampa's still not ready for primetime.

Total offense: Camrolina 7, Atlanta 19, Tampa 22
Passer rating: Cam 18 (85.1), The Great Matty Ice 23 (81.5), Freeman 27 (76.1)
Total defense: Carolina 17, Atlanta 22, Tampa 24

Yes, I know, superficial stats AND small sample size so far. But I don't have the time to go more in depth right now. Meantime, I do think it's (superficially) illustrative.


Haha! Hood ornament!

Managing Editor
Canal Street Chronicles


I'm oddly not that worried about the o-line injuries. Nicks/Bushrod/Evans I'd be worried, but will the replacements really be that much worse than Kreutz/Strief? I just don't think either of those guys has been anything close to awesome yet.

The clear weakness I think is how bad our linebackers and Roman Harper are in coverage. A good receiving back and a good tight end always slay the Saints' D. That's not going to be improved... So expect that weakness to be exploited tons as the season progresses.

As awesome as that win was I just don't think the D is good enough. The backer play is very poor, Vilma included, so far. I'm sure the D will look better facing Gabbert, but they're just not enough front four or back four playmaking to make up for the horrid backer play.

Sent from my iPhone


I'm thinking Del Rio uglies this game up and J-ville has a shot in the fourth until Blaine Gabbert acts like the rookie QB he is.


I say it's close at halftime. Saints start to pull away and Gabbert gets picked trying to get the Jags back into the game.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chain Gang: Saints Throwbacks a crime against humanity edition

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. This week Devery Henderson gets some love, Sedrick Ellis gets some hate, Turk McBride needs more snaps,and Ralph wonders if Shaun Rogers is old and fat? Also why do the Saints continue to subject us to those hideous throw backs?

Ralph Malbrough:

Ok, I don't love him but I sure did LOVE THE BEATING.
I'm a big believer the Saints have taken the mantle from the Colts as, "Team you are incredibly scared to fall behind by 1o points because their pass rush may kill your QB."
When they get to play bad to mediocre QBs they'll roll.
Ingram was on his way to some nice garbage time rushing yards and a TD until he went ahead and fumbled.
Turk McBride needs to get more snaps than Jordan now that Smith is back because he looks better off the edge than Cam Jordan. I'll have to check on the rewatch but I thought Rogers and Franklin weren't getting as many snaps as King. And can we start calling Ellis a disappointment? He's just a guy and not worthy of a top 10 pick.
I'm so happy 3 catch 100 yards and a TD Devery Henderson has returned to our lives. He's the lotto ticket for fantasy football teams with shitty receivers. If your desperate a lottery ticket is better than nothing.
Darren Sproles is just tremendous and he's already at, "Do not kick to him under any circumstances." respect and it got the Saints nice field position yesterday.
By the way, the Packers got lit up on defense again. I know Carolina has way better play makers than the Bears but the Saints defense rebounded nicely, Green Bay not so much.
My two week NFC rankings
1. Packers
2. Saints
3. Atlanta
4. Detroit
5. Eagles
6. Bucs

Grandmaster Wang:

Reggie Bush: 6 carries for 18 yards, 1 reception for 3 yards, 0 touchdowns
Darren Sproles: 4 carries for 17 yards, 8 receptions for 43 yards, 1 touchdown
Ralph, I totally agree on Ellis. Nice guy to have, I guess, but really just a guy.
I also agree that the Saints are a team that, once the opponent falls behind, they don't stand much of a chance.
I support the Turk love, but I also thought Cam Jordan played really well yesterday. He's beginning to look exactly like what all the draft pundits were calling him, a guy who's not gonna put up stats, but his value as a disruptive presence is obvious on the "film." HE'S THE REGGIE BUSH OF DEFENSIVE ENDS!!! HIGH FIVE!
I've said it before and I'll say it again: NOBODY does "3 for 103" like Devery. The shame of it all is that Devery is gonna retire as one of the 5-7 most accomplished wideouts in Saints history, yet fans will forever remember him mostly as a fuckup. He's gonna go down as the Aaron Brooks of Saints receivers, and he deserves far better than that.
Ingram is about this [ ] close to setting it off. He's sooooo close, and it's gonna be really soon, sometime in the next month or so, when the game slows down for him and it's gonna be GLORIOUS! You can tell (or at least it sure looks that way to me) that he's almost there. He busted off, what, three or four 8-12 yard runs yesterday? And at least 2 of them were sooooo close to being a whole hell of a lot longer than that. I was happy to see Payton calling off-tackle runs for him yesterday, I was getting a little annoyed with Ingram ALWAYS running right up Kreutz's ass. And I want to see more pitches to Ingram to the outside too. Sure, the Bears had that one they called on the 3rd & 1 sniffed out, they had the perfect defense called and Ingram didn't stand a chance. But he'd have had the corner, and even as it was, he ran that cornerback over and almost broke it anyway.
Meantime, Pierre is still fucking awesome and so is Sproles. By December, the Saints' running game (including the "extended running game"... MEAN JOE SCREEN, BITCHES!) isn't gonna be just good, it's gonna be GREAT.
I'm gonna need a couple more performances like this from the defense though before I'm ready to stop pissing my pants every time they're on the field. Sorry, the Bears' offense just isn't good enough for me to get back on board just yet. I loved it, I'm just not ready to believe it quite yet.
And, love ya Malcolm Jenkins, I really really do. A whole lot. But why are you still such a no-catching motherfucker™????

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang, your point on Devery is really interesting because I think it's dead on and to me Henderson should be a fan favorite. I mean he's local, went to LSU but he's soft spoken and I think the fact he didn't play his rookie year put some sort of weird scarlet letter on him. I mean Meachem didn't do anything his rookie year but fans rarely rip him like they do Devery.
By the way, one of my favorite Buddy D stories is him flipping out when Mike Detillier told him the Saints scouts had Devery rated above Michael Clayton from LSU.
Buddy: DAW DA Saints geawt thay nuambas mixed up when they went to Tiger Stadium?
Actually they got it exactly right. Clayton had a great rookie year then got fat, slow and was pretty much a bust. He caught 80 balls his first year and never more than 30 ever again. He's out of the league. What nobody knew in 2004 was the Saints were actually starting to get their shit together in player evaluations.

Grandmaster Wang:

I've always chalked the Devery hate up to his being from LSU (and to a lesser extent, being a Haslett pick.) There's always been this weird NOLA/Baton Rouge thing, and there's a big subset of Saints fans who HATE and I mean HATE LSU, and tend to be far more willing to accept a Saints player who didn't go to LSU vs. one who did.
I really do think that there's actually an "LSU stigma" and Devery suffers from it.
It doesn't help that the Saints have had pretty shitty luck with LSU players ever since the Eric Martin/Dalton Hilliard days. It also doesn't help that the Saints fans who ARE also LSU fans do tend to go a little overboard sometimes with wanting the Saints to draft or sign anybody and everybody who played for LSU. I can definitely understand how that would get really annoying to Saints fans who aren't LSU fans (nevermind the ones who HATE HATE HATE LSU.)
There's also the matter of Devery's slow start to his career being one of the final straws for the Haslett regime, and Devery's been saddled with that "typical Haslett underachiever" rap ever since. And fans tend to remember the drops way more than they remember the 80-yard touchdowns anyway, no matter who it is. Kinda like they remember Roman Harper vs. Seattle way more than they remember Roman Harper vs. just about everybody else his whole career.
And let's be honest, Devery has given them plenty of fodder. I'm not saying Devery's a great all-around player. He's not. But much like Roman Harper, Devery's really good at what Devery does. But, again like Roman Harper, for whatever reasons fans are far more inclined to give him shit when he messes up vs. giving him props when he goes 3-for-100.
It's really, REALLY stupid. But fans will be fans.

Kevin Held:

Two things from me (for now):
1. I never disliked Devery because he was from LSU. I disliked the guy because he used to be STONE HANDS. The guy was giving Saints fans blue balls FOR YEARS. And now in the last two, this being the third, he's done enough to be OFF the shit list for everybody. Anybody that doesn't like Devery at this point isn't looking at things with a clear head. If Devery were to have a game where he dropped three balls, I wouldn't say (hopefully) that "Stone Hands is back," but rather "I was disappointed by Devery."
2. Ingram fumbled because he wanted to give the defense another shot at Jay Cutler. That's the narrative I'm going with.

Dave Cariello:

Do you guys have jobs?

Kevin Held:
We can't all be flirting with co-eds over letting patterns on hoodies, Dave. ;)

Andrew Juge:
Dave you have no life just like the rest of us. Quit acting more important. Also, Wang, how dare you blast LSU draftees post Eric Martin/Dalton Hilliard? Don't you remember the epic 7th round choice that was TE Nicky Savoie by Mike Ditka? If not for guys like John Tice, Boo Williams, Frank Wainwright, Zach Hilton and a slew of other middle of the road mediocre tight ends, Savoie would easily be in the top 100 tight ends in Saints history. I currently have him ranked just outside the top 100 as the 117th best tight end in Saints history. Gumbo is 116.
People forget Devery was a running back at LSU until year 3. The average Saints fan doesn't have an appreciation for who works hardest in the offseason, who stays late at practice, and who behaves like a professional. They're kept in the dark on that kind of stuff. To a large extent we are too. But it's been clear to me over the years that no one besides maybe Brees works harder than Devery. He's earned everything he's gotten and he behaves like a consummate professional. Do you know how lucky we are as fans to root for Colston, Henderson, Meachem and Moore as receivers? Do you know how many me-first toolboxes exist at that position out there? There's at least 2 on almost every team. I realize the Saints target high character players and that's by design, but one thing the Saints fan really takes for granted is how hard Henderson works at his craft and how positive of an influence that is on younger players. It breeds winning. He may not be 4.3 40 fast anymore, but he's still fast as the Bears game showed, and more importantly he's turned himself into a terrific all around complete receiver. Catches pretty well. Runs routes 1000000000x better than he did even 3 years ago. Blocks as well as you can ask for from a receiver. He's gotten a lot stronger. When he came out of LSU he was a dude that could run like lightning and that was it. Couldn't catch, block or run proper routes. He's come a really long way and it hasn't been by accident. I've always been a big Devery fan because of his ethic and quiet demeanor. He and Colston are very similar in a lot of ways.
Also Kevin, yes, the first thing I thought after that Ingram fumble is "how much does Jay Cutler hate Mark Ingram right now? Poor bastard has to go back out there".

Ralph Malbrough:

Andrew, I had forgotten about Henderson being a RB at LSU.
I think you bring up a good point about what the fans don't know or see. Which brings me to message board guys favorite whipping boy Scott Shanle.
I've always been in the pro Shanle camp and I really believe Sean Payton always plays his best players and politics doesn't enter into things with the Saints that much. I mean hell they kept Pierre over Antonio Pittman who was a fourth round pick and cut Al Woods last year.
All of that said. Shanle looks slower than he ever has and he is going on close to a decade in the NFL. I worry that Shanle is a guy who had to squeeze every once of talent and physical skill out of himself to be a decent starting linebacker and if he loses just a little bit he becomes what every fan has said he is the last five years. And I think since Shanle is playing more than I thought he would it means their LB upgrade plans haven't worked out.
I think I threw up in my mouth a little when Vilma was out in the 2nd quarter. The guy who sits next to me at the dome was too busy telling Payton to get Shanle off the field to notice Vilma was MIA.
I never worry about the LBs because if the Saints don't care about LB why should I? Still I'm getting a little worried.
Owen Daniels might destroy the linebackers Sunday.
Grandmaster Wang:

I'm gonna be shooting crazy stats out of my ass later today on all these issues. After I get finished slinging a little more after-the-fact hate, that is.

Listening to the podcast yesterday, I was actually counting down during the intro... "Any second now, Held is gonna go all 'HOW YA LIKE ME NOW?!?' with it... here it comes..." and sure enough, 3 seconds later I'm literally pumping my fist. Fuck yeah!
Now if you'll excuse me, SOME OF US have jobs. Am I right, Dave? Heh.

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang, the one real stat you spit out that caught my eye the most is the Shaun Rogers one. Maybe he just hasn't played alot of snaps because the Packers threw the ball all over the place and Saints were in nickel/dime defenses. And maybe he didn't play against the Bears because Chicago was behind alot in the second half and throwing. Or maybe he is fat, old and washed up?
Mickey Loomis can't hit a Darren Sproles homerun on every signing. Something to consider if he doesn't get a ton of snaps against the run happy Texans.

Grandmaster Wang:

That's the thing though, Ralph. It's counterintuitive with Rogers because while yes he's a big fat tub of goo, he's not a run-stuffer, he's a pass rusher. A disrupter. People think he's a run-stuffer because of the man-boobs, but he never has been. The Saints have been playing him pretty even (19 passing snaps vs. 17 rushing snaps) but that can be chalked up to the Saints not knowing whether the opponent's rushing or passing until the snap. Anyway, his whole career he's been more of a "disrupter" (especially rushing the passer) rather than a Grady Jackson type big fat space-eater. He hasn't done either so far for the Saints though.
Too soon though. He could blow up against the Texans this weekend and the picture might be a hell of a lot different. Still way too early, but he's been invisible so far. Fat, old and washed up is as good a guess as any though at this point.
I do find it funny though that the "new and improved" Saints d-line is pretty much being led by Mitch King, Jeff Charleston and Junior Galette. Who saw THAT coming?

Ralph Malbrough:
Your analysis makes me even more concerned he's washed up. I do have more confidence in Franklin picking it up since he is just coming off knee injury. McBride needs more snaps. I said in my Monday column. He's Bobby McRay 2008. Good for 5-9 sacks if you put him in right situation.

Kevin Held:
Rogers is a on a one year deal, right?
Andrew Juge:

Yes. 1 year $4 million. I wonder how many bread puddings he can buy with that kind of loot.
I think that's enough cheddar to see if the bread is actually in the pudding (ha! LOVE IT. I used that McCray quote as my signature line all through the 2009 season).
And I hate to admit being a rube, but I JUST NOW "GOT IT" that the subject line of this email train is a domestic violence joke.
It is great that our D-line is now anchored by the Greek chorus from the broadway show of "Hobo with a Shotgun". Next year Pay-loo can just release/refuse to re-sign those high-priced chumps.
Going to read Wang's part II right now...
Oh man, has anyone else barfed or gouged out their eyes over's new Saints fan page layout crap? (ahem, seems like we just wanna be as cool-looking as Canal Street Chronicles, but it's not even close) Oh, the humanity!! Spare me!! Now I can't tell whether I'm clicking on some a**hole's comment of the day or an actual story...(someone please pass the pepto bismol and bourbon so this old man can drink in peace and block out his burned retinas)

Ralph Malbrough:

Ok, so I've been on record for a long time as FUCKING LOATHING THE SAINTS THROWBACKS. The pants look like urine stains. I get that the NFL is all about selling the merchandise but if a team's throwbacks just suck shouldn't they try to invent something new to sell me. Or drop Sir Saints on the helmet, it would be better than the throwbacks. At least Tampa's throwbacks are hideously awesome. The Saints throwback is just lame.
Oh and feel free to make a game pick
Saints 31-13
Ingram and Lance Moore go off.

Grandmaster Wang:

I'm down with Tampa's creamcicles with Bucco Bruce because they're just hilarious. What I've never understood was the fascination with San Diego's powder blues. Really? What's so fuckin' great about those? Yet that's the one everybody swoons over. I blame Berman. And I'm pretty sure even he doesn't have the slightest clue why he thinks they're so great.
Ralph, you're totally right about Saints throwbacks. They're terrible. There were about 16 different shades of "gold" and it boggles the mind why people think the old fleur on the helmets is better than the current one. The old fleur just looks stupid these days when you see it in old pics/vids/etc. It was perfectly befitting Your Dad's Saints, just totally bush league. I understand the nostalgia I guess, but to claim that it was actually better then? Fuck that noise. The current unies are the best the Saints have ever had. Which is totally appropriate, since this is the best the organization has ever been.
They could still be better, in about 1000 different ways. Sue me, but I've long been a proponent of all-white. Including the helmets. Sorry, but I just love that. I want both LSU and the Saints to do that at some point.
I'll go with 38-10. Ingram sets it off, and no-catching Malcolm Jenkins scores a touchdown on one of his interceptions and sets Drew up in the red zone with the other.
Kevin Held:

I actually like the Chargers' baby blue unis. I like the color.
/picks NCAA bracket based on who has "prettier unis"
//slits wrists
Anywho...I'm like most throwbacks in general, especially if they're ridiculous. The Jets jerseys? Gloriously retarded. I even like the old Pats unis. Those things are goofy. The Saints unis, though? They're middle of the road. They are the Jay Leno of throwbacks. The Constantine of throwbacks. The U2 post-9/11 of throwbacks. Sorry, I can't think of any other average references.
Shit, why not just try something crazy, like white helmets? White helmets, white pants, black jerseys.

Andrew Juge:

The Saints' throwback jerseys are an atrocity. I just don't think I can elaborate any further beyond that.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Well, that was a Woodson punch to the taint...

What's that?

Know what'll help, slugger? How about some Bob Ross painting...

Yeah. There you go...that'll make things better.

Chain Gang: Too soon edition

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.This week the Boss man was busy doing actual blog posts and Wang, Andrew and Ralph had previews to write. So we'll call this a micro chain about kicker fears, corners and what the hell was Payton doing carrying two fullbacks? Oh and is it too soon for 9/11 jokes?

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang, I'll have to take about 200 words out of my preview column now because of one of my stories for 2011 was everytime the Saints struggled or the Cowboys struggled we'd hear, "Payton's going to Dallas. My mother's hair dresser's gardener's maid's doctor is totally plugged in with the Saints and he say's it a DONE DEAL."
Oh well. I suspect Brees extension will be done in short order.
Nice way to start the week with good news.
Saints seem relatively healthy. I have to say if Payton Manning isn't healthy the Saints first 8 games look like a pretty workable schedule. And if Josh Freeman doesn't match last year then it's better than that.
Andrew I think your question about Kasey are valid but at this point what is the alternative that's better?
The Saints should be healthy going into Green Bay so to me the key is can the Saints defense win on first down. If the Packers are able to run the ball even half decent then Saints are in trouble because I think Will Smith loss is huge.
Am I right to think think Saints fans are vastly over rating our corners? I feel like they aren't getting enough scrutiny.

Kevin Held:
Hey, so after watching the "Back to Football" commercial with the nice folksy music, I have only one question: do you think the Saints could sign that high school kid to be their place kicker? He seemed to have pretty good distance on the kick-off.
/Hopes "#waitingforjasper" will become a new hashtag on twitter

Andrew Juge:
My main deal going into this is Cam Jordan and Turk McBride being our starting defensive ends. That scares the crap out of me. In fact, I need to check my drawers. The Packers aren't an elite running team. If the Saints can't stop the run, forget it. Game over. Can we just feed Cam and Turk a boatload of water pills? I understand that improves performance greatly or gives you a hernia... not sure which. I think we're going to have to score... A LOT. I just hope the Saints aren't stuck with any 4th and 4's at the Packers' 27 because then I'm going to be REALLY uncomfortable. Thanks for going all "et tu, Brute" on us Garrett. Seriously, thanks a lot, appreciate that. Nate Bussey really appreciates your injury too. 2 kickers on the freaking roster. Unbelievable. We haven't even lost a game yet and I'm already pissed. And 2 fullbacks?? What is that?!? What's next, we cut Johnny Patrick for Sean Canfield?
On a more positive note, I think Jimmy Graham is going to make a statement. Statement game for him. I'm going to go out of a limb with a random prediction and say that Graham has to seriously outperform
Jermichael Finley for the Saints to win. I believe he will. 8 catches, 78 yards, 2 touchdowns. Finley out of the game by the 2nd quarter. Boom!

Ralph Malbrough:

Well I picked Green Bay in my column for the exact reasons you said Andrew. In the words of Ben Affleck in Mall Rats,"I hope John Kasey doesn't fuck us in an uncomfortable place, like the back of a Volkswagon."
I'm going to be in complete denial about Kasey being a problem until he shanks a 37 yd FG in a game that counts. It makes for a much harder crash but right now I'm like a tourist in New York City on Sept 10.
The Saints will need to catch a break or to to win this game as I just think the crowd and team will be incredibly hyped up. We've seen the Saints get steam rolled by momentum in this spot before. Remember the beat down in Indy to start 2007? The saints were in the game at the half then boom it went to shit.
I'm not optimistic about Thursday but I'm actually very upbeat about the season prospects.
Saints need to create a combination of sacks and turnovers that equal 6 to win this game. Do that and win on first down on offense/defense and they are 1-0.
I just don't see it. I do see Mark Ingram having a very good game as he will be goal line guy and Top 15 fantasy back.
Kevin Held:
"It makes for a much harder crash but right now I'm like a tourist in New York City on Sept 10."

Ralph Malbrough:

Gilbert Godfried disagrees

Kevin Held:

I was setting you up for an "Aristocrats" joke there....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NFL Predictions Sure to Go Wrong!

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 **
Baltimore Ravens 10-6
Cleveland Browns 7-9
Cincinnati Bengals 4-12

AFC West
San Diego Chargers 10-6 *
Oakland Raiders 10-6 *
Denver Broncos 8-8
Kansas City Chiefs 5-11

AFC East
New England Patriots 13-3 **
New York Jets 10-6
Miami Dolphins 6-10
Buffalo Bills 4-12

AFC South
Houston Texans 10-6 *
Tennessee Titans 7-9
Indianapolis Colts 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12

NFC North
Green Bay Packers 12-4 **
Detroit Lions 10-6 *
Chicago Bears 8-8
Minnesota Vikings 6-10

NFC West
St. Louis Rams 10-6 *
Arizona Cardinals 8-8
Seattle Seahawks 7-9
San Francisco 49ers 3-13

NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles 11-5 *
Dallas Cowboys 10-6 *
New York Giants 7-9
Washington Redskins 4-12

NFC South
New Orleans Saints 11-5 **
Atlanta Falcons 9-7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9
Carolina Panthers 4-12

@Green Bay - L
Chicago - W
@Houston - L
@Jacksonville - W
@Carolina - W
@Tampa Bay - L
Indianapolis - W
@St. Louis - W
@Atlanta - L
New York Giants - W
Detroit - L
@Tennessee - W
@Minnesota - W
Atlanta - W
Carolina - W

AFC Playoffs
CHARGERS over Jets
TEXANS over Raiders

PATRIOTS over Texans
CHARGERS over Steelers

PATRIOTS over Chargers

NFC Playoffs
SAINTS over Cowboys
Lions over RAMS

Lions over EAGLES
PACKERS over Saints

PACKERS over Lions

Super Bowl 45
Patriots 38 over Packers 27

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chain Gang: Saying Goodbye is so hard edition

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 rolled the Raiders but Hartley will be out AGAIN. Is it blasphemy to say it's time to dump the little tweaker Garrett?

Ralph Malbrough:

Well that was a much more pleasant viewing experience. The Raiders weren't playing Richard Seymour but still the o-line looked as good as you could hope.
Colston looked pretty good.
The defensse still got pushed around a bit but I got the sense watching Shaun Rogers like he was playing juuust hard enough to look ok but really didn't give a shit. Hopefully come next Thursday he'll be fine.
The pass rush to me is still a huge issue and I'm not expecting Cameron Jordan to give them much yet. Not saying he's a bust but he won't be adding much to the d-line until October art the earliest.
Hartley tweaks a hip and that means it's Carney time? If so what player gets screwed out of a roster spot? And does Carney get a full season's pay for like two weeks work because he's on opening day roster?

GrandMaster Wang:
Sorry for the late reply. Busy day yesterday. Hopefully Hartley will be fine, because the last thing we need right now is to have to carry a second kicker, no matter who it is. Hell, they're already talking about carrying 2 fullbacks for crying out loud. And you know they're not gonna be able to stop themselves from carrying 4 tight ends like they do every year (personally I think 3 is plenty and it pisses me off every year when they keep 4.) Then on top of that you know they want to carry 6 wideouts. They might not be able to but you know they want to. Last thing we need is to have to try to find another roster spot.
As nice a story as Jed Collins is, and as nice a pickup as Korey Hall seemed to be, they need to pick one, screw carrying both. Also they need to make up their mind between Tyler Lorenzen and Tory Humphrey. Jimmy Graham is gonna be punking chumps with great frequency this year.
Thankfully, I've calmed down a little on the o-line. That performance Sunday night was exactly what I needed. Whew.
Defense still looks like shit. Ralph I think you're right, Rogers isn't gonna do any more than he has to until it counts. He knows he's not fighting for a roster spot or even a starting role.
Some speculation on the message boards about whether or not Patrick Robinson has "beaten out" Tracy Porter for the "starting" right corner and #22 being "demoted" to nickel. Thoughts? I'm not sure I'd call it a "demotion" per se, but that's what most people call it and I think it's not unreasonable for that to be the perception. As I recall, Porter is a UFA after this season. Hmmmmm. For that matter, I think Greer might be too.
DREW BREEEEES!!!! Take that, stooj.

Andrew Juge:
First off, can I just personally say how INFURIATING it's becoming to hear message board guy suggest that the Saints arbitrarily place player X on the PUP list. It's like the PUP list is some sign up sheet that your dead grandmother could get on. Hey... if she raises from the dead in the next couple months we can activate her after week 6!!! Dave this isn't directed at you, you just reminded me how much that pisses me off for no real good reason. I don't need to explain to smart guys like you how the PUP works so I'll stop there.
Anyway, thank GOD the offense found it's rhythm. I was starting to worry this team had the makings of the 2007 Saints. I'll spare you the reminder of how that season started.
Wang, I'm with you on the 2 fullbacks. I feel like this is the Times-Pic (Tripplett, Jeff No Funcan)'s desperate attempt to show they know more than the "idiot blogger". Hey guys, darkhorse prediction, Saints keep 2 fullbacks for the first time in 6 years!! That's like the local weatherman saying there's a 30% chance of rain. Why would the Saints keep 2 fullbacks? That position is utterly useless to them. Why not just put Jed Collins on the practice squad? Are they really afraid to lose him to someone else by exposing him to the waiver wire? They shouldn't be. And are they really going to keep Collins over a guy like Nate Bussey that provides infinite more ability on special teams? Again, no. It's almost like the beat writers are praying the Saints make an idiotic roster move to make them look like crystal ball geniuses. Don't count on it.
Finally, I'm really hoping the Saints find a tight end in final cuts as the # because Humphrey and Lorenzen both suck. And Patrick Robinson is by far our best cornerback right now.

Ralph Malbrough:
I'm really starting to worry about the corners. I have this sinking feeling that Greer 2009 was a career year. It happens. He was awesome and even the advanced stat guys at Football Outsiders loved him and rated him #2 cb behind Revis. Even though he was injured in 2010 I'm beginning to think he's just a very average corner who had a great season. So If Greer is average and Porter is still getting up to speed it means our secondary might be in a world of hurt. That Robinson pick doesn't look to crazy now like I thought it did. Of course it's only right if Robinson can play.
There is no way on God's green earth the Saints are keeping two fullbacks. If they are going to do that they might as well sign me. I can stand on the sideline and clap and I'll even do it for the rookie minimum.
I know he's struggled in the preseason mostly and is Gregg Williams 2011 whipping boy but I really like Martez Wilson. He has no idea really what's doing he reminds me of Winfred Tubbs body wise.
As bad as the run defense has been the last two weeks, the Saints were ok against it in 2010 and while the Lynch run is what everybody remembers they forget the Saints stone cold shut down Atlanta and Michael Turner a few weeks before on Monday night. They were 16th against run last year so I'll believe in that until they get gashed in a game that counts.
Right now my concerns are
1. CB
2. O line
3. Run defense
And each one has a credible solution of a guy we know has a proven record except o-line.
1. Porter and Greer have been good at CB
3. Rogers/ Franklin have been studs in recent past

Grandmaster Wang:
J-Dunc: Saints about to sign John Kasay. Fuck.

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang, Hartley wining the NFC Title and his Super Bowl kicks are the equivalent of winning the Masters in golf and getting a 5-yr exemption. I can't just up and quit the little Tweaker. How dare you sir?

And how dare Sean Payton sign John Casey? The Saints only have one octogenarian emergency kicker named John and it's Carney.
Grandmaster Wang:
Well call me a heartless asshole (guilty as charged) but I'll give him an exemption on the occasional shank, but not being able to play is too much. Adderall suspension in 09, the yips in 10, now a non-contact injury. Three strikes. I'll give him a fourth because of 09, but the team cannot afford to have to scramble for a fucking kicker every year. If Josh Jasper or an equivalent becomes available, I think you need to give serious consideration to moving on. I'll always have a place in my heart for the little douche, but a place on the roster is a whole different story. Kickers need to be available 100% of the time, and this is the third straight year now that Hartley hasn't been. In my opinion, that's way beyond unacceptable for a kicker.

Ralph Malbrough
You are heartless but I'd consider Josh Jasper if it came to that. Casey isn't a bad option though considering how many close games the Saints were in last year. I've got to believe Kasey wouldn't sign unless he was assured of a opening day roster spot.

Kevin Held:
Whenever I read "Josh Jasper," I think of the Jasper Johns episode of The Simpsons, where Homer became an abstract artist. "NOT THE REICHSTAG!"

Ralph Malbrough:
So Alex Brown gets whacked and I can see the reasoning in that it's better to play Cameron Jordan and get him experience while he struggles then play Brown who struggles and has no upside at all.

Andrew Juge:

hey guys, we should TOTALLY put Garrett Hartley on the PUP list now that he's tweaked something. I can't believe Sean Payton hasn't thought of that. We need him on PUP! SO OBVIOUS. That's totally legal right? We can have him after week 6 if Kasay sucks. I'm going to blog further on Wang's point about GH not playing a full season. I agree. First addarall, then a slump and now a non contact injury. Either you're a kicker that gets through a season or you're not. Hartley is dangerously close to being 0 for 4 on that front now. It really is unacceptable.


Message Board Guy

PS - Ralph, you called Brown getting peaced. Total kudos on that. Didn't see it coming. And no doubt, I'd rather Jordan's growing pains than Brown's he should known betters.

Ralph Malbrough:

Andrew, I can't really give myself to much props on Alex Brown as I thought it but actually took the paragraph out of my last WWL column from last week. Dam, I hate it when I get something right and it's not out there on the interwebs to scream, "This asshole Ralph is RIGHT TWICE A YEAR!"

I actually think you and Wang are right about Hartley in that Payton won't put up with him not playing the whole year much longer. My attitude about Hartley is what Dave Chappele said about Michael Jackson being accused of molesting kids when asked if he was guilty...

"He made Thriller man. Thriller."

Hartley, he won the Saints an NFC Title man. The NFC TITLE...

My judgment is forever clouded by the single greatest experience I've ever had in the Superdome. I won't let your facts get in the way of my truth.

I love you Garrett you little tweaker...

Andrew Juge:
I just hope Bobby Hebert is talking out of his ass (which occurs 83% of the time) when he says Hartley is out 6-8 weeks. If that's true, he needs to go on IR. No way the Saints are holding up 2 roster spots on kickers for 6-8 weeks.

Kevin Held:
Was Hebert's QB rating even that high? And yes, if Hartley looks like he's out for that long, put his ass on IR.

Ralph Malbrough:
could be talking out his ass but when I worked with Bobby he wasn't an Adam Schefter type chasing stories so I'd imagine he got it from a pretty solid source from the Saints ie Payton if not the Saints will bring the rain of shit down on him because Payton flips the fuck out if injury info goes on WWL without his approval.

Andrew Juge:
He's since deleted the tweet so it sounds like the rain of shit may have already happened...

Ralph Malbrough:
BAAAWWWWW! I haven't worked at WWL870 since 2005 and I still know it like the back of once crippled left hand.

Kevin Held:
My "guy who knows a guy" is saying 4-6 weeks. Still TBD. Yeah, put him on the IR.

Grandmaster Wang:
Release him. Ride Kasay and wait for Josh Jasper to come available.