The Saints are in survival mode right now...
A win against the Carolina Panthers would put the Saints in a better postion for the playoff wild card. Although it is wierd being 8 - 8 going to the playoffs.
But it wouldn't matter. You play this game to get to the playoffs to make it to the Super Bowl.
I believe Jim Haslett has every intention in taking his teams to the playoffs.
O when the Saints come marching in....
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Saints WR Joe Horn and P Mitch Berger, both NFL statistical leaders, have been voted to the 2005 NFC Pro Bowl squad, it was announced today by the league. For Horn, it will be his fourth trip to the postseason all-star game with the Saints, and first since 2002. Berger was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career and the first time since 1999.
Horn has made an assault on the Saints' all-time records again this season. He ranks first in the NFL with 1,248 receiving yards, leads the NFC with 85 catches and has tied the team mark he set last year with 10 touchdowns. The ninth-year veteran, also a Pro Bowl pick from 2000-02, is on pace to break the club records of 94 receptions for 1,340 yards that he established in 2000.
Horn has five 100-yard games in 2004 - including a season-high 167 on five grabs vs. Kansas City on Nov. 14 - giving him a club-record 24 in his career. The Saints are 18-6 since 2000 when the wideout reaches triple digits. With 44 touchdown catches since joining the Saints, Horn ranks second in franchise history in that category, a spot he also holds in career receptions (428) and receiving yardage (6,138).
Berger leads the league with a 39.5-yard net punting average, also a tribute to the clubs coverage unit. He ranks third in the NFC with a 44.1-yard average on 68 punts (2,996 yards) and has dropped 21 punts inside the opponent's 20. Following a sparkling performance in the Saints' victory at Dallas on Dec. 12 where he averaged 46 yards per punt and pinned five inside the 20, Berger was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. He was also voted to the Pro Bowl in 1999 while with the Minnesota Vikings.
Three Saints were also voted as alternates to the NFC squad: C LeCharles Bentley, WR Michael Lewis as a kick return specialist, and RB Deuce McAllister.
The entire AFC and NFC rosters for the Pro Bowl will be announced tonight 6 pm CT on the 2005 Pro Bowl Selection Show on ESPN. The game will be held Feb. 13, 2005 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
WR Joe Horn went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the fourth time in his five years with the Saints after picking up 160 yards last Sunday vs. Carolina in Superdome.
Horn also went over the 75-catch plateau for the fifth time in his Saints career. He has 76 receptions for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. He is tied with Tennessee's Derrick Mason for the league lead in receptions and is second in yards behind only Philadelphia's Terrell Owens (69 receptions, 1,130 yards).
"He's leading the league in receptions and will probably break his own mark; he'll come close or go over 100 receptions for the year," said Saints Coach Jim Haslett. "He's been working harder than he's ever worked. He comes in on Tuesday to catch balls and that's a credit to him because this is the hardest he's ever worked on the field. I think it's paying off for him and hopefully he can continue to do it because, genetics-wise, he still has a lot of years left in him. It's just how you take care of your body and how you handle it and how you work because he's going to be 34 years old. Everybody loses a little bit because of age, but if he continues to work he can play a long time."
Dallas Coach Bill Parcells, whose team beat Seattle on the road on Monday night and got back to Dallas early Tuesday morning, joked about the fact that he got only four hours of sleep on Tuesday night in a teleconference with the New Orleans media on Wednesday afternoon.
"Last night I only had four hours sleep for some reason," he said. "I couldn't sleep. Maybe it was because I was thinking about Joe Horn. I don't know."
Monday, November 22, 2004
Horn has steadily climbed the Saints season and career receiving charts since he was signed as an unrestricted free agent from Kansas City. His best season with the Chiefs came in 1999, when he had 586 yards on only 35 receptions. His first season with the Saints in 2000 proved why the club signed him. He more than doubled his numbers in receptions (94) and yards (1,340) and found the end zone eight times.
The 94 catches and 1,340 yards are both still the highest in a single season for any Saints player and it was the start of a stretch in which Horn went over 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons (just missing the mark again in 2003) and caught at least 78 passes in each of his first four seasons in a Saints uniform.
This season, Horn could be on a pace to break both of his club marks. He has 59 receptions for 839 yards and five TDs, including a five-catch, 167-yard performance against his old team on Nov. 21 in the Superdome. He capped off his day with a 42-yard touchdown reception that lifted the Saints to a 27-20 victory - one of the many great moments Horn has had in New Orleans.
He ranks second in team history with 39 TD catches and is 10 shy of breaking the mark held by former WR Eric Martin (48 from 1985-93). He went over the 100-yard receiving mark for the 22nd time as a Saint in the game vs. Kansas City, which extended his club record.
His consistency as a receiver has been amazing. He has caught at least one pass in all 73 regular season games with the Saints and in his last 87 games, dating back to his time in Kansas City.
Every quarterback in the NFL has a favorite receiver and Horn certainly has been Aaron Brooks' big target. They are the top quarterback-wide receiver scoring duo in club history as Brooks has thrown 31 TDs to Horn since 2000.
All of this from a receiver who played junior college football at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College in 1991-92, spent the 1993 season out of football washing dishes and working in a furniture factory to support his family before getting into the professional ranks in the Canadian Football League in 1994.
After two years in the CFL with the Memphis Mad Dogs, he was drafted by Kansas City in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft.
His first two seasons, he caught two passes each for the Chiefs and just 14 in 1998 as he also spent time as a kick returner.
In 1999, he showed flashes of what Saints fans have been used to over the past five years as he scored six touchdowns and averaged 16.7 yards per catch.
In that offseason, he was eligible for unrestricted free agency and the Saints were very interested in him. New Orleans was one of the busiest teams in free agency and the franchise knew that Horn could give the Saints a true deep receiving threat.
"I knew that over the last four or five years before I came there, they were not stacked at wide receiver," Horn said when asked about why he chose to come to New Orleans. "I saw a city that deserved to have a receiver who gave his all. I had a lot of opportunities to go to other places. I visited New Orleans on a rainy day and I saw a city that was yearning to win. It wasn't the money, because other teams wanted me to visit. I made a commitment to the Saints that if I liked what I saw, I would sign. I saw it as an opportunity, with how I came up in my life because I never had anything, it would be good for me to go to a team that wasn't used to having a winning record, so that when we did win, I would be a big part of that."
As one of the league's most prolific receivers, Horn knows what it takes to be the best at his position.
"Number one, you have to be consistent," he said. "You can't be up-and-down, and having said that, sometimes you have an injury that you know might take two to three weeks to heal. You bite the bullet, get treatment (in the training room) and get ready to play through it. And, you have to have a lot of heart. There are a lot of soft receivers in this league, meaning if they have a small injury they can play with, they'll sit out two or three games. When you have an injury like that and you can play and be a little effective, you sacrifice yourself."
Communication with the quarterback ends on the playing field, but starts on the practice field, according to Horn.
"It's good communication on the field, because we have good communication in practice," he said. "One thing Aaron wrote to me in a Christmas card one year was, 'Let's make history together.' At practice, he throws the ball to me so much and in so many different ways, on gameday, it's like clockwork."
With over 400 catches with the Saints, there have been several that were memorable. His best, according to him, a TD grab in the Superdome against Carolina last season.
"Aaron was throwing the ball to Boo Williams in the end zone," he said. "While I was running my route and watching Boo run his since we were close by. When Aaron released the ball, I didn't think that based on where the ball was thrown, Boo could catch it because of how high the pass was. I didn't want the ball to go past my face without an opportunity to catch it in the back of the end zone. I jumped up in the air at the last second, without thinking about it, and jumped over a pair of linebackers to make the catch and got flipped upside down. I might have surprised Aaron by catching it"
As to what drives him to succeed in a position where every catch is precious and receivers are judged by their last game, Horn is driven by a single passion.
"My love for the game," he said. "My love for football, my desire to win and to compete is what drives me."
Monday, November 08, 2004
The defense must improve if the Saints hope to contend. The inability to stop the run has had a domino effect. It sets up the play-action passing game, where the Saints have been vulnerable to big plays, and keeps the defense off-balance. If the Saints slow down opposing running attacks, they should be able to control passing games. That's because CBs Mike McKenzie and Fakhir Brown are solid and the pass rush, led by LE Charles Grant, has been consistent. The offense has enough weapons to score in the mid-to-upper 20s each week if RB Deuce McAllister returns to his pre-injury form down the stretch, and the special teams are strong.
The Saints have enough ability to climb back into the playoff hunt. They're the most talented team in the NFC South, and five of their final six games are against division rivals.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
The Saints completed their work on Thursday morning as the team started a three-day weekend for the bye week.
Coach Jim Haslett said that the weekend is a chance for everyone to get away from the game for a few days.
"We like them to get home and see their families," he said. "You've got three days off and you can go home and relax. You end up going to college games or watching Sunday's games so you never get away from it. It's really the only profession in the world where you can practice, then go home and watch it on TV and still enjoy it. I don't think that happens in too many businesses."
The Saints worked three days this week on what they found after self-scouting the team. "The things that we feel we're lacking on, we've put a lot of effort in this week and we still have guys working on some of the things we're trying get better on offense, defense, and special teams," Haslett said.
One area the club is concentrating on is the running game, led by RB Deuce McAllister.
"We made a tape for him and he looked back at last year's runs compared to what he's doing this year," Haslett said. "It's good to see what he did when he had the 1,600 yards rushing and the way he's running now, and he's not far off. He's going to get healthy, and I thought he's had two good days of practice running the ball. He's a guy that has to play big for us in the next couple of months."
"Part of it is the ankle; he needs to run with authority and to not worry about fumbling the ball," Haslett said when asked about McAllister. "He's got to use his great stiff arm and needs to get in the back end where he can get one-on-one with the safeties."
Haslett also discussed the team's linebacker corps. "Sedrick Hodge is the guy that was missing when we started," he said. "Sedrick is a steady player who doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He is extremely fast and has great cover ability. It took him awhile after he came back from the suspension to get back to where he's at now. This bye week will help him. Orlando Ruff has played well in the two games that he has started against Tampa Bay and this last game at Oakland. Derrick Rodgers has been consistent and that gives us guys that are dependable, reliable, and who we can count on."
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Less than two full weeks after being acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Packers, cornerback Mike McKenzie has moved into the New Orleans Saints' starting lineup, bumping the much respected Fred Thomas to the bench in a shakeup of the secondary unit.
The sixth-year veteran will take over, in Sunday's home game against Minnesota, at the left cornerback spot. Incumbent left corner Ashley Ambrose will move into Thomas' former spot at right cornerback. The starting safeties, for now, remain unchanged.
It was just a matter of time, everyone agreed when the Saints added McKenzie, until he gained a starting job. The time arrived when McKenzie demonstrated he that he was fully recovered from a hamstring injury that had limited his playing time in Green Bay.
Other contributing elements -- the underachieving Saints have lost two games in a row, both to teams that were winless when they faced New Orleans, and Thomas has struggled with injuries and inconsistency.
McKenzie faced the Vikings twice annually in division play during his five seasons in Green Bay and remains familiar with Minnesota personnel. He has spent some of the week of preparation counseling his new teammates on the Vikings' wide receivers, especially Randy Moss.
The Saints dealt for McKenzie on Oct. 4, sending the Packers a second-round choice in the 2005 draft and backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan. McKenzie was still recovering from the hamstring injury and did not dress for last weekend's game against Tampa Bay.
The veteran cornerback, of course, skipped all of the Packers' offseason conditioning programs, camp, the preseason and the regular-season opener in contract dispute. He reported to the Packers the day after the opener, played nine snaps as a nickel back in the Sept. 19 against the Bears and then missed the next two games with the hamstring injury.
New Orleans officials had been attempting to deal for McKenzie since training camp. It was no secret to Saints player, especially cornerbacks, that a deal might be consummated.
The irony is that the Saints worked hard in the offseason to retain Thomas, who was very close to signing with Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent. Thomas is one of the acknowledged leaders in the New Orleans locker room.
While disappointed with his demotion, Thomas allowed he has not played to his normal level of consistency because of rib, foot and groin injuries. He will likely assume the nickel role now.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
"That's the nature of this business," Haslett said. "If you don't win, you're going to be in the hot seat."
In the offseason the coaches and players met and set up a new, more businesslike atmosphere and environment. Before training camp began, the tables where players spent their time between practice and meetings playing dominoes and cards were gone from the locker room.
Cell phones, which last year provided an almost constant background of rings and chatter, were banned from the locker rooms. So were boom boxes and video games.
"It's a more professional approach," said general manager Mickey Loomis. "We just want the players to be thinking about football the minute they come through the gate."
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Devery Henderson showed why the Saints made him a second-round draft pick, beating two defenders to a pass and setting up New Orleans' winning touchdown Friday night.
``We were taking a shot down field. We know Devery can run well, he's a playmaker and I gave him an opportunity,'' third-team quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan said.
``He went up and made a great play on the ball and gave us a chance to win the game.''
The 48-yard O'Sullivan-to-Henderson pass in the fourth quarter set up O'Sullivan's 1-yard run as the Saints beat the Chicago Bears 17-13 in a penalty-filled third preseason game.
The 3 1/2 -hour game featured 30 penalties, including 18 for 136 yards on the Bears and 12 for 82 on New Orleans.
The Saints next game is tomorrow night 9/3 against the Chicago Bears. The last time that the Saints have met with the Bears was August 28, 2003 where the Bears won 24-10. But after last weeks game, our team seems very pumped up and excited about tomorrow's meeting. GO SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!!1
Friday, August 27, 2004
Brooks, who sat out the Saints' preseason opener because of the strained quadriceps muscle, pulled up while scrambling to avoid defensive lineman Grady Jackson, a former teammate.
Brooks, who was replaced by Todd Bouman, completed 7 of 13 passes for 44 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
On the next series, New Orleans backup running back Aaron Stecker left the game with a neck stinger when he was hit by linebacker Nick Barnett and fumbled.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
The New Orleans Saints' third-string quarterback completed 10 of 13 passes for 141 yards as the New Orleans Saints' reserves beat the New York Jets' backups 23-13 Friday night.
Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks was in street clothes on the sideline. He returned to practice this week, but his strained quadriceps was still tender, and team officials did not want to risk further damage. Backup Todd Bouman, who was hobbled by a pulled stomach muscle this week, started.
Bouman struggled, but put the Saints up 7-3 late in the first-quarter with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jerome Pathon. John Carney stretched New Orleans' lead to 10-6 at halftime with a 36-yard field goal.
Bouman completed 9 of 16 passes for 59 yards, one touchdown, one interception and was sacked once.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Date Opponent Time/Result
Aug. 13 New York 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 21 at Green Bay 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 27 at Chicago 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 Miami 8:00 p.m.
Date Opponent Result
Sept. 12 Seattle 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 19 San Francisco 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 26 at St. Louis 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Arizona 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 10 Tampa Bay 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 17 Minnesota 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 at Oakland 4:15 p.m.
Oct. 31 Open Date
Nov. 7 at San Diego 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 14 Kansas City 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 21 Denver 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 28 at Atlanta 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 5 Carolina 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 12 at Dallas 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 19 at Tampa Bay 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 26 Atlanta 1:00 p.m.
Jan. 2 at Carolina 1:00 p.m.
All times are Eastern