Article on Scott Shanle (1 Viewer)

TCUDan

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I don't usually post articles... but just to reinforce things a little :)...

"He was our MVP last year on defence," Payton said. "I think sometimes it's misunderstood when we work out a linebacker that it's to replace Scott Shanle.

"That really couldn't be further from the truth. He's playing well. He's smart. He can run well. He got his hands on a ball last week which was a big play for us. He's someone who is getting a lot of snaps, not only in the base but in the nickel as well."

Vilma, who played every defensive snap for the Saints in 2008 after being traded to New Orleans from the New York Jets, was quick to praise Shanle's play as well.
"He's been that consistent guy week in and week out and that quiet guy," Vilma said. "Right now I'm really excited for him because he's making big plays, so now people are taking more notice of him and the way he plays.

"He's definitely a very athletic linebacker for his size. He can move, he can run, he can cover, so for us, having him have that athleticism is great ... and he can fly around and he makes plays."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5j8lCdJl36jKN0TKWD9WhDfi2lLKw

And not calling him out, but I'd like to have Truck Man respond to this if he happens to read it. I don't remember if it was him or someone else saying that Shanle being voted MVP by his peers was a charity move by the team.

Pretty hard to deny that the guy is a solid player at this point, IMO.
 

retthib

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At the end of last season, Vilma said SS was the most underrated player our D. Said he is always in position and Vilma thought it was a luxury to play beside a guy where he didnt have to worry whether or not SS was going to be in the right place, or not. When JV said that, regardless of the criticism, I will believe the guy who lines up next to him, snap after snap.
 

bergeaux

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First, I'm all for giving Shanle kudos for his performance so far. He's doing great. And if he's really that great of a player, then I am HAPPY for us all.

What I don't get is how this jives with the concerted effort by the Saints to draft and acquire LBs. Is it Fujita that they want to replace then? We know it's not Vilma, obviously.

The only other thought is that they are concerned about Fujita and Shanle injuries due to age and want to be prepared for them declining. Otherwise, Payton's comments just don't jive with HIS OWN comments in the offseason when they said that LB was a big focus in the draft.
 
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TCUDan

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First, I'm all for giving Shanle kudos for his performance so far. He's doing great. And if he's really that great of a player, then I am HAPPY for us all.

What I don't get is how this jives with the concerted effort by the Saints to draft and acquire LBs. Is it Fujita that they want to replace then? We know it's not Vilma, obviously.

The only other thought is that they are concerned about Fujita and Shanle injuries due to age and want to be prepared for them declining. Otherwise, Payton's comments just don't jive with HIS OWN comments in the offseason when they said that LB was a big focus in the draft.

I think that has more to do with depth than anything. Drafting a LB early is (rounds 1 & 2) is one thing. A 3rd round starter is a nice surprise. But anything beyond that (2nd day) is for depth. Behind their 3 starters the Saints have 2 young UDFA, a special teams player, and a physically limited 7th round pick. I don't think Arnoux was brought in to take Shanle's position. He was brought in to provide youth, athleticism, and depth.

I think it's exactly what Payton said... people misinterpret team improvement (which also means constantly improving depth/talent at the bottom of the chart) with a specific player being targeted for replacement. Dan Morgan was signed to a 1-year deal coming off of numerous seasons that he was unable to complete. Derrick Brooks and Derrick Smith were brought in for workouts and not signed (and this is after injuries to both Simoneau and Arnoux). Basically, if the Saints were trying to replace either of those guys, there would be more of a concerted effort. For example, when you trade a 2nd round pick for a guy like Vilma, you're bringing him in to start. When you draft a LB in the 5th round, sign a UDFA, tenure a oft-injured veteran to a 1-year deal, or bring a guy in for a workout... that's not really a concerted effort to replace anyone.
 
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TCUDan

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Also, targeting Beanie Wells in the draft comes to mind. The Saints are happy with Thomas/Bush (and now Bell)... but they liked what they saw in Wells and thought it was a good value pick. They probably didn't have anyone in mind for him to replace, but intended to bring him in for solid depth and competition.

They haven't gone nearly that far in bringing in young LB talent, so I'd say that they're pretty satisfied with what they have.
 

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