Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ready in 2006, Sort Of

Word around the cooler is that Saints owner Tom Benson would like to move the Saints out of New Orleans and make San Antonio their permanent home. With the damage done to the Super Dome by Hurricane Katrina it is expected that the stadium will only be ready for a few games next season, and the Saints’ practice facility has been left completely unusable. It sounds like the Saints owner is trying to use this as an excuse for leaving New Orleans instead of sticking by the city that has supported the Saints for so long. I understand that teams are business and need to go where the money is, but a sports team becomes a part of that city, and to take that team out is like removing a chunk of the city itself. In times like this the Saints organization must have some loyalty to their city.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Saints Dominate at “Home”

The Saints’ first “home” game was a success with a win against the Buffalo Bills, 19-7. The Saints came to play, not allowing any turnovers at all, Deuce McAllister rushed for 130 yards, and Donte’ Stallworth had 129 yards receiving. After allowing the Bills to score the first touchdown the Saints scored 19 unanswered points in this dominating defeat. The Saints beat the Bills in passing yards, rushing yards, first downs, and third downs converted. This wins brings New Orleans back up to .500 for the season and out of the cellar of the NFC South. They still have a ways to catch up with the undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but if they can continue this type of winning they are for sure to make an impression in the division.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Home Sweet Home...Sort Of

After three straight away games to open the season, the Saints finally get a game that resembles a home game. The Saints will be playing this season’s home games at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Saints have just been playing badly these last two weeks, and hopefully coming “home” will help them start over. This past Sunday the Saints lost to the Minnesota Vikings 33-16. The Saints weren’t in the game at all, because after fumbling the opening kickoff, for the second week in a row, it took the Vikings one play and 13 seconds to score a touchdown. Too many fumbles and too many penalties have led to this downward spiral. Hopefully the Saints can change their luck next week against the Buffalo Bills.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sometimes It’s Not Just a Game

At times of such destruction and despair, people look to sports as a way to take their minds off of their troubles. Sunday the New Orleans Saints gave the people of New Orleans something to cheer about, something to feel good about by winning their season opener 23-20 against the Carolina Panthers. It seems like the team is taking the burden of uplifting this city on to their shoulders, this is no longer just a season. “In the back of our minds, we know we have to give them one tiny bit of hope,” said Saints quarterback Aaron Brook. This is a way to prove to America and to the world that New Orleans isn’t out yet.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Game Must Go On

Thursday night the Saints played their final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, but the game was not on the minds of the players; they were more worried about their homes and families. Yahoo! Sports reports that Saints linebacker James Allen stood in the stadium tunnel moments before the game with cell phones in both hands trying desperately to get a hold of family in New Orleans. The Saints will be going to San Antonio to stay and wait to see when they can go home if they homes left to go to. It’s hard to imagine that these players are still asked to go to work even though they are unsure of the welfare of their family and of their city. But apparently, as I said earlier, the game must go on.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Counting on You

Sophomore receiver Devery Henderson has sat out the past couple of days in recent mini-camps. Henderson pulled his hamstring which raises concern in the Saints coaching staff. The Saints are expecting big numbers form Henderson, who is expected to play a bigger role as the number three receiver.

Though the question still remains, is Henderson durable enough to last the whole season and will his inexperience play a factor in his play making capability. I would not be surprised if the Saints picked up a veteran wide receiver for insurance this off-season.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Getting Cut

I have been talking about the dilemma at the linebacker position for the Saints recently, and I just recently found out that Orlando Ruff has become a June 1st cut. I can see how this makes sense though. Ruff was never really a presence on the field. The coaches felt he never lived up to his potential. Besides with Courtney Watson drafted this year, it is better to start fresh. You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Do or Die

As it is, the Saints Linebacking core is not the best. I have mentioned this before, but to give the benefit of the doubt, Cie Grant is coming to terms with reality. He has one more shot to prove himself. Grant is a bit underrated I will admit, but that is due to his injury prone nature. Well Grant has a season left to prove himself.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

He Better Not

Apparently New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson's gave some type of confirmation that he was offered more than one billion dollars for his team! He better not sale! He didn’t accept the offer, instead the offer was to illustrate the financial problems that could prompt the team to move some where else like… Los Angeles.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Help Wanted

When I look at the Saints the first thing I notice is the lack of talent in linebacker position. The Saints desperately need an impact player to make a difference. Do the names Derrick Rodgers, James Allen, Courtney Watson, Sedrick Hodge, or Orlando Ruff ring a bell? Well these are your linebackers.

Hint…Hint… Peter Boulware is a free agent.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rumor Mill

Howard is a ten plus sack guy, who had 11 sacks, last year after being, hurt quite a few games. His only knock has been injuries for the last two years.

The only reason we are shopping him is due to the great play of Will Smith and Charles Grant at the end of last year. Smith and Grant are cheaper and younger.

I don't expect the Saints to deal Howard to the Cowboys because the Cowboys are unwilling to part with any on there line backers, and Jerry Jones says he is not trading anymore draft picks.

Monday, May 09, 2005

In Need of Linebackers

It's no secret the Saints are desperate for linebacker help. They have 14 linebackers on the roster and have continued to pursue free-agent Chad Brown. Traditionally, only nine have made the final roster. Among the group are newcomers Levar Fisher, Alfred Fincher, Russel Rabe and Cabel Rohloff.

Third-year veteran Cie Grant, who has been sidelined for two seasons with knee injuries, is also in the mix. The increased competition could jeopardize the roster spots of veterans Orlando Ruff and Derrick Rodgers, who started in the middle and on the weak side for the majority of the past two seasons. If neither wins a starting spot they are likely roster cuts because of their veteran salaries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Is it worth It?

The New Orleans Saints traded up to grab coveted RT Jammal Brown, who appears able to anchor a line for a decade. He's powerful and physical with great size and fills a major need.

That said, the Saints still might have been better served by taking S/OLB Thomas Davis at No. 13 and getting a tackle in the second round, considering they did little to upgrade a porous defense.

S Josh Bullocks and ILB Alfred Fincher likely won't start and will be counted on more for special teams in 2005.

DT Jason Jefferson and DE Jimmy Verdon are long shots to make the roster. If the defense struggles to stop the run again this season, the team might second-guess itself for taking an offensive player in the first round.

QB Adrian McPherson has rare talent; he has excellent mobility and a good arm.

McPherson could become the franchise's future starter if he can stay away from the trouble that prematurely ended his college career.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thinking Draft

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis went out this off season to fill in the voids that free agency left for the Saints. Loomis was able to go out and sign free safety Dwight Smith along side right tackle Jermane Mayberry.

There are still several holes and depth question the Saints have to answer for themselves come draft day, one of those positions being linebacker. The Saints have a secret weapon in RE Darren Howard. There is talk of trading him for a high draft pick to use or trade for an even higher draft pick. The Saints said they would be aggressive in getting the players they wanted during the draft. So we will see what happens.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

What about Fred?

Cornerback Fred Thomas wasn't injured physically last season, but he was injured mentally. His mother battled cancer throughout last season, and the ordeal appeared to weigh on him. After signing a lucrative four-year contract in free agency, he lost his starting job midseason and then was beaten out by Jason Craft for the nickel back job. Coaches are hopeful the fearless, competitive Thomas will regain the form that made him a solid starter the previous four seasons. If so, the Saints' secondary will be solid, if not spectacular.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Draft Buzz

At No. 16, it's difficult to target a player, but count on this: Whoever it is will be a player that can play right away. Coach Jim Haslett is under the gun to win this season. He needs an impact player and can't afford to select a developmental project. The Saints selected tackle Jon Stinchcomb and wide receiver Devery Henderson in the second rounds of the 2003 and 2004 drafts. Although team officials remain high on both players, neither has contributed much. With the pressure mounting on Haslett to reach the playoffs, don't expect him to waste high picks on anyone that won't contribute immediately.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Hard Truth

Team officials believe they have the luxury of selecting the best player available in the draft but the defense desperately needs an impact player at linebacker. The club hasn't invested a first-round pick at the position since Mark Fields in 1996 and that has shown on the field. Young LBs Courtney Watson, Colby Bockwoldt and James Allen are solid starters, but the defense lacks a difference maker at the second level. With that in mind, the Saints should make it a priority to invest one of its first two picks in next month's draft on a player that will upgrade the position.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Making Room

New Orleans Saints’ WR Jerome Pathon is more than likely going to be a cap casualty this off-season. By releasing Pathon, the team would make way for $1.7 million dollars for cap purposes.

Another benefit would be the development of young WR Devery Henderson. Henderson has the speed to get deep and make big plays, and along with Donte Stallworth and Joe horn this would be a dynamic Trio of receivers at the disposal of QB Aaron Brooks.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Wild Card

Last season Johnathan Sullivan showed up to training camp overweight and in horrendous condition to start any of the mini-camps. New Orleans defensive line coach, John Pease, is going to take Sullivan in as his own this year and try to get him back to tip-top shape.

Head coach Jim Haslett is going to keep a close eye on Sullivan this year, Sullivan is also expected by Haslett to stay in New Orleans for the whole off-season.

It is not a long shot for Sullivan to get the starting job back, but it isn’t a guarantee either. Sullivan needs to do something this off-season to impress the coaches or this will be his last off-season with the Saints

Sunday, January 30, 2005

McCarthy Gone

With Mike McCarthy no longer behind the scenes of the New Orleans Saints, seems like some one else will have to put up with the ups and downs of Aaron Brooks. McCarthy was New Orleans’ offensive coordinator, and is now the Niners play caller.

But a new Offensive Coordinator means a new offensive scheme. So Mr. Brooks you have a busy off season ahead of you, and there is no more McCarthy to hide behind either.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

JB Award

1. Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
3. Deuce McAllister, New Orleans Saints
4. Ricky Proehl, Carolina Panthers
5. Marco Rivera, Green Bay Packers
6. Junior Seau, Miami Dolphins
7. Will Shields, Kansas City Chiefs
8. Grant Wistrom, Seattle Seahawks
9. Bryant Young, San Francisco 49ers

Running back Deuce McAllister of the New Orleans Saints was selected as a '04 JB Award winner, and is now eligible to win the a very high honor in the Byron "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award.