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.

1 comment:

Peter Falconer said...

Oh man that was a big interview session! Covered everything bar the kitchen sink!

I have to agree I'm not looking forward to seeing those ugly uniforms on display.

The Saints are going to win this 34 to 24 with Sproles getting his hands on the ball an all important 15+ times, Ingram breaking one big and Henderson continuing his hot streak (to further silence the LSU bash chip on shoulder brigade).

Oh yeah and Malcolm Jenkins is going to get a pic, possibly a pick 6, I can feel it in me bones.

Who Dat.