The past 2012 season for the Saints is going to be a season the New Orleans program will like to put behind them and forget. After having the whole bounty scandal there was just so many distractions for the Saints. Also not having Sean Payton on the sideline was an impact on the team. The saints ended their horrible season with a record of 7-9. Nothing that the Saints are proud of. Although the saints can use this past season to their benefit. If they recruit the right players and do the right thing on and off the field. <BR><BR> The Saints have six picks to work with in this years draft, Having the 15th pick in the first round, no pick in the second round, 13th pick in the third round, 12th pick in the fourth round, llth pick in the fifth round, 15th pick in the sixth round, and the 14th pick in the seventh round. Hopefully the Saints can use these picks to their best of their ability. <BR><BR> The New Orleans saints had issues all across the board, this is a known fact. The scandel wasnt anything to help to this fact. what the Saints need to really focus on i would say is defense. they allowed an average of 440.1 yards a game. That statistic held the worst in the NFL, with that said their are plenty of holes to be filled on the defense. The saints have a chance to fill a few of these defensive holes early in the draft. The most important fills i would say are defensive end, nose tackle, and outside tackle. <BR><BR> Even though Will Smith had some success last year hes about to be 32 at the start of this coming up season and was close to being off the team this off season. Bunkley was solid his first year but debth is always an issue we all know that. This is football you cant play every second of the game. Sedrick Ellis was an influence as a nose tackle but hes a free agent instead of signing him again we can drop him and pick up someone who can play. If we get another nose tackle we could throw him in the rotation with Bunkley. Lastly last year we spent quite a dollar on our lineback position. Wsigned Hawthorne and Lofton on free contract signings with hefty contracts. Our starting line backers are on the chart as Hawthorne and Vilma. I believe if we sign some one early in the draft we can enhance our ability in this postion and save a few bucks while doing it.
If you have not heard already, Our Saints Blog has a new home. We are excited to officially merge with TeamSuperstore.com today. Click here for our new Saints Blog Home Page.
With Sean Payton suspended along with many key defensive players many predicted a rough season in 2012 for the New Orleans Saints. The bounty scandal surrounding the team was a huge distractions for the whole organization, and the Saints started the season 0-4. A few players suspensions were uplifted and the team rebounded the second half of 2012 to finish the season at 7-9. With Sean Payton back lets see if the team can carry their strong finish into the 2013 season. I believe they can, and look forward to Drew Brees to have another great year.
The Saints have a bye week at a good time. With a struggling start, it is not too late to turn it around. After all, Drew Brees is their quarterback.
The Saints were 13-3 last year and will go 9-7 this year. The team is just a mess, but luckily Drew Brees is still there.
Yes, the New Orleans Saints don’t have their head coach Sean Payton for this year. And yes, their middle linebacker Jonathon Vilma is suspended for his participation in the Saints bounty program. But really, that’s about the only thing different between this year’s team and the one that went 13-3 last year.
They still have their core of skill players from tight end to wide receivers to running backs. Jimmy Graham finished 3rd in the league in reception, Darren Sproles finished 7th and Marques Colston finished 12th. All three had seven or more touchdowns and haven’t even hit 30 years old yet. And, oh yea, they still have Drew Brees who broke the NFL passing record last year. After contract negotiations lasted longer then both Brees and the Saints would have liked them to, both seem to have put it behind them and are ready to pick up where they left off this year.
After winning the Super Bowl in 2009, the New Orleans Saints took a step backward in 2010, finishing 11-5 and being upset at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. The defense that made so many huge plays was unable to duplicate that performance. Even though Drew Brees threw 33 touchdowns, he had a tough year throwing 22 interceptions and fumbling 9 times. A poor running game was the main reason for the turnovers. The Saints suffered several injuries to their running backs. Already a heavy passing team, opponents barely had to respect the run and were able to sit back and put more people into coverage.
To aid the struggling running game, the Saints took Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram in the first round. Although he lacks top-end speed, Ingram is a very complete back and should be able to contribute in all facets of the game for the team. Returning from injury is starter Pierre Thomas. Thomas injured his ankle early in the season, and did very little when he returned to the team in December before ending up on IR. Receiving threat Reggie Bush was lost to free agency, but was replaced by the diminutive Darren Sproles. Like Bush, Sproles has been an excellent receiver and punt returner, and will fulfill that role. All-pro center Olin Kreutz was signed and will bolster a solid offensive line. An increased emphasis on the running game should open things up downfield for Drew Brees and his receivers. Brees will look to extend his streak of 4,000 yards passing to 6 consecutive seasons. He will be working with the same group of receivers as last year. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, and Devery Henderson all return to New Orleans in the same roles. The wild card on the offense is tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham has not been playing organized football very long, but the team was high enough on him to cut Jeremy Shockey to free up playing time. Graham came on towards the end of the season and could see a bigger role this year.
Blitz-happy defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will be back ratcheting up the pressure for the Saints again in 2011. He may be working with his weakest defense yet so far. Will Smith and Sedrick Ellis anchor the defensive line, but Smith is suspended for using an illegal diuretic in part of the Starcaps case. Aubrayo Franklin and Turk McBride were signed to start at defensive tackle and end respectively, although neither has produced much as of yet in their careers. Ends Cameron Jordan and Greg Romeus were drafted by the team and offer intriguing depth and potential at the position. They may be called upon to contribute this season. Jonathon Vilma leads an unimpressive group of linebackers. Scott Shanle and Will Herring will be flanking him on either side. Malcolm Jenkins heads the secondary, most likely the best unit of this defense, but that isn’t saying much. Roman Harper will be the other safety and Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter man the corner spots. Porter made a great play to intercept Peyton Manning for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, however, he struggled in coverage a lot last year. Overall the defense does not look very impressive at all, and Gregg Williams will have a very tall task ahead of him to slow down opposing offenses.
The Saints will most likely be involved in a lot of shootouts this upcoming year, and that’s just the way they like it. Coach Payton believes there aren’t many teams that can keep up with his high octane offense. An improved running attack could go a long way for New Orleans. Not only will it open up down-field throws for Brees, it will give their lacking defense a chance to get more rest on the sideline. If the Saints are able to establish a legitimate ground attack, look for them to take back the NFC South crown. If Brees is forced to throw 50 times a game, the Saints could struggle and potentially miss the playoffs altogether.
It’s official. Garrett Hartley is essentially out as the New Orleans Saints kicker as of Thursday. The defending champions are planning for the newly signed 46-year old John Carney to kick the field goals in their matchup with the Panthers on Sunday.
Carney started out as the Saints’ kicking consultant last year after spending time on the active roster. I was unaware of that position existing. The 22-year veteran moved into the starting sport after Hartley was suspended for four games after testing positive for the banned stimulant Adderall. I almost forgot about that one. You know it’s getting bad when your kicker test positive for a banned substance. Classic.
Hartley has made 4 of 7 field goals so far this year. The miss that ultimately doomed him was the knuckleball of a miss that would have won the game against the Falcons last weekend in overtime. One kick that really impressed me is the 37-yard partially blocked kick that won the game for the Saints against the 49ers in Week 2.
The playoff hero from their championship season is pretty much being exiled. Hartley won the NFC Championship game against the Vikings, followed by three 40+ field goals in the Super Bowl against the Colts. That’s an NFL record by the way. Nonetheless, Hartley is out. He has missed five total field goals in his three year career, including the three he has already missed this season through only three games.
The job of an NFL kicker truly echoes the philosophy of “what have you done for me lately?” However, one has to wonder if they are on too short of a leash.
What do you think? Is the Saints decision to switch kickers this soon a good thing?
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network
Boy am I tired of hearing about the Saints and their feel good comeback story. In case you don’t know, the Saints won the Super Bowl last year (speaking as a Vikes fan, if it wasn’t for a few mishaps on the Vikings’ part it could have been them). That’s good and all, now it’s time to prove you can do it again, or at least make the playoffs.
No matter how successful a team is in the NFC South one year, they always come crashing down the next. Over the past decade or so, no team in the division has won back-to-back division titles. This is one of the main reasons why I am picking the Falcons to win the division.
Another thing, nobody seems to be talking about the Saints as a title contender this year. One of the reasons could be because there hasn’t been a repeat since the Patriots dynasty earlier in the decade. Some are even saying it’s because they are still celebrating their win last year. Whatever. Once the season starts they will be geared up and ready to go just as any other team.
All of the key playmakers are back from last year, so that definitely is a plus. The question is can they duplicate the results from last year. I don’t think they will be as dominant through the first 13 games like they were last year but they will put up a solid season. The Falcons will give them a test this time around as well as the Panthers. In the end, I have the Saints at 11-5, placing second in the NFC South.
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network