Friday, October 14, 2011

Chain Gang: Slow linebacker 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 guys discuss, if Jimmy Graham can be stopped, will the Saints ever get really good outside linebackers, and is it too soon to worry about home field for the playoffs?

Ralph Malbrough:

Drew Brees drove the Saints 89 yards to a win on the road against a division foe and too many Saints fans are like, "Eh 4-1 is good but they only looked ok!"

Holy Shit people that drive yesterday was fucking epic. And oh by the way the Saints go to Tampa Sunday and can put the hammer lock on the NFC South with a win.

Brees is going want 150 million by the end of the year, pay the man already.

I said it my column but I'll defer to Andrew because he breaks down game tape like a mother fucker. Am I crazy to think the Saints defense is kind of slow especially sideline to sideline? Seems like teams kill them on the edge?

I know it's still early but did maybe the Saints absolutely killled in the 2010 draft and we just didn't know it.

Patrick Robinson with a pick, Charles Brown starts at tackle and Jimmy Graham is the best tight end in football. That's an A+ draft right there.


Yeah, that last drive was a thing of beauty. Too bad I was too pissed off at the time to enjoy it. Heh. Great win though. Carolina always seems to have 1 or 2 big plays every time the Saints play them, no matter what. But for the most part I thought the defense did okay considering dual-threat QBs like Cam always give them problems. Plus it was the first time they had seen him. The Saints eventually figured Vick out (for the most part) and I expect them to figure Cam out eventually. Not to the point that he/they don't stand a chance of course, but enough that he'll do worse against us than most everyone else.

I can't bring myself to even pay much attention to the Brees contract. It's gonna get done sooner or later, and I doubt it even gets the least bit contentious. Just wake me up when it's done and show me the numbers. I'm sure it's not even a matter of what Drew's worth, it's just a matter of Loomis figuring out how to afford it without the rest of the team going to shit. I'm sure Loomis would give Drew $30MM/yr if he could, he's just gotta figure out a way to give Drew his $$$ while balancing that with practicality.

I don't know what it is with the defense. On one hand, they're actually not doing that bad overall. But for some reason, when that takeaway mojo ran dry, it REALLY ran dry. And I'm convinced that the Saints are just snakebitten at linebacker. It's not like they don't try. Sure I know everybody wants them to spend a 1st (or 2 or 3 firsts) on a linebacker, and maybe that's the only way it gets fixed. But you can't have first rounders everywhere. It boggles the mind how this team can find tailbacks and o-linemen in the middle rounds or later every damn year, but can't find a linebacker to save their lives. They keep trying and keep rolling snake eyes. They bring in FA LBs every year too, nothing seems to work.

Tampa not having LeGarrette Blount this weekend is a stroke of luck. Got a hunch this one might be easier than Carolina. Not because Tampa's no good, but because I bet the Carolina game left a bad taste in the Saints' mouths and they're gonna be out for blood. And if Carolina plays like they played last weekend, I bet they beat the Falcons and we're really gonna be sitting pretty. Saints could be running away with the NFCS by Halloween.

I'm about ready to punch a referee in the dick.

Kevin Held:

Yeah, that last drive was a thing of beauty. Too bad I was too pissed off at the time to enjoy it.

I'm about ready to punch a referee in the dick.

I think that's what kept me from being all #wegotthis when the drive was going on. I kept fearing a Panther player would piledrive Breesus and the ref would pull a Mike Maretti and just say, "Hey, you can't do that!" but not actually disqualify the dude. BTW...loved the wrestling ref analogy, Wang.

Ralph Malbrough:

Wang, I agree about Saints being unlucky trying to fix the LB spot but I also think the fact they have been so good at finding lineman, RB, WR in late rounds or undrafted has made them reluctant to spend any real money or picks to fix the problem(except Vilma). And they won a Super Bowl with Fujita/Shanle. The only solution/hope in 2011 is Martez Wilson. Maybe eventually he could be decent.

Still I don't think the LB issue is a fatal flaw. Everyone I'm sure has nice plan to exploit the defense and control the clock and all that shit and then Brees drops a quick 14-0 lead on them and the plan is out the window. I think the upcoming schedule is easy so it's a non issue until week 12 against the Giants.

It's 2009 all over again except Saints are playing the role of the Vikings. Minus Brett Favre and horrible coach Brad Childress.

Andrew Juge:

"It's 2009 all over again except Saints"... get about 2% of the turnovers they got back then.

Ralph Malbrough:

I meant as the story line where the NFC storyline in 2009 was The Saints and Vkings and everyone else. Although now that I think of it the Lions have to be in the discussion. They are really good. We have to put their 50 years of suck out of our minds.

Andrew Juge:

A friend of mine was just telling me this morning that he hopes Detroit sweeps Green Bay "for us." My response was that I agree (FOR NOW) just based on the venue if the Saints have to travel for the NFCCG. BUT, on the other hand, by the time it's all said and done, Detroit might very well be the vastly superior opponent by the time January rolls around. Green Bay can't run the ball for shit, and their defense blows. Detroit doesn't seem to have those problems. I'd still rather go to Ford Field than Lambeau, but at the same time, I'm not nearly ready to concede that it won't be in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome anyway. And to that end, right now I'm hoping GB/DET split.

But regardless of the venue, I have to be honest and say I want no part of Aaron Rodgers in January. Even though the Saints kinda sorta held their own against GB in week 1, and I'm confident that it'd be a whole different thing in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But I don't want any part of Calvin Johnson in January either. Shit! Guess I'll have to wait and see how Detroit holds up against us in the regular season before I decide.

One wildcard, you just know Stafford is overdue to go down. It's what he does. I guess the best case scenario is that he holds out long enough to hang a loss on GB before the annual Drew Stanton Experience.


21st in total defense THIS year. 30th in pass defense. And who doesn't hold Atlanta to 14 points or fewer this year? Chicago held them to 12 and Tampa held them to 13. Atlanta blows.

Kevin Held:

I keep thinking the Saints ought to skull drag the Falcons, but after the SCAMrolina Scare, I'm still a little leery.

Ralph Malbrough:

Game Prediction

Saints 31-21

I was tempted to predict a blowout but I did that last week and Carolina hung very tough. The saints still haven't delivered an A+ game so it's coming. Maybe next week against Indy on a Sunday Night?


I'll go with just a little wider margin. 34-13 or something. I just don't think Tampa is very good. The Saints have somewhat of a book on Freeman, unlike Cam. No Blount, no McCoy. Cross-country travel back from the west coast. And we'll have to see if Vernon Davis was right about Tampa quitting last week. If he was right, I could see them folding up and laying down again this week when the Saints take an early lead. As we Saints fans are all too familiar with, there's a fine line between "Ooooh they're pissed now after having gotten their balls handed to them last week, and will have a chip on their shoulder" and them getting into "Uh oh, here we go again" mode early, at the first hint of adversity.

Also, I'm not sure anybody has any kind of answer for Jimmy Graham, and I think Drew and Payton are slowly beginning to realize that too. I could see Jimmy dropping a buck fifty on 'em, on top of one of those patented Meach/Devery 70-yarders. If Tampa has a chip on their shoulder (and assuming that's even the least bit relevant on the field) I think the Saints will too after coughing up a 2-score lead last week. They're gonna be gunning to put it away early, and I doubt Tampa has the horses to prevent it. And as much as they say they don't give a shit about individual accomplishments and such, it's pretty obvious that they really do, and they go for them. Not at the expense of winning of course, but there's no doubt in my mind that they're gonna want to get Drew his TD pass, his 350 yards passing, and get Jimmy his 4th straight 100-yard game (and will continue to try to feed him for as long as that streak lasts.)

And then there's the whole putting the NFCS in the Figure Four thing. You know they're well of that. They downplay it of course, but you know behind closed doors they realize how huge a win this weekend is. They have the opportunity for an early kill shot, and they're gonna try to take it. No doubt.

GREAT fucking podcast last night. I agree with the A+ on the Malborough grading scale. Y'all some crazy ass crackas

Andrew Juge:

Im going with 37-21 Saints

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