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TCUDan

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Alright guys, shoot your questions my way. I'll be in and out and will answer them as best I can as they come in.

Let's kick it off!
 

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Hi Dan. I thought this was an interesting question from the other thread by shortFused9.

Caesar Ruiz. What do you feel is the best course of action, Move him to Center, Stay at OG, trade him? I get the abbreviated off-season of 2020 hindered a possible switch to Center, but given his turn at Center I liked him better at Guard. He's been a turnstile at times and gets bullrushed into the play he does work well in double teams and I think I've seen a few good kickout blocks out of him so it's a mystery why he's such a roller coaster you see flashes but then you see head scratches. What should be done
 
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If you were the Saints GM would you have traded with the Eagles and also moved up in the draft ?
 
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Should we be concerned about Penning’s temperament and grabby tendencies being a potential flag magnet?
I wouldn't be. Obviously I'd prefer that he didn't go full Kyle Turley/WWE-style brawler, but I think Dennis Allen put it succinctly--and this is a common coach's perspective--that it is much easier to rein that aggression in than it is to dial it up.

In short: you can't coach aggression, so it's better for a player to have too much rather than too little. I don't think that Penning's temperament should be any more of a concern than CJGJ's penchant for trash-talking.
 

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Hi Dan. I thought this was an interesting question from the other thread by shortFused9.

Caesar Ruiz. What do you feel is the best course of action, Move him to Center, Stay at OG, trade him? I get the abbreviated off-season of 2020 hindered a possible switch to Center, but given his turn at Center I liked him better at Guard. He's been a turnstile at times and gets bullrushed into the play he does work well in double teams and I think I've seen a few good kickout blocks out of him so it's a mystery why he's such a roller coaster you see flashes but then you see head scratches. What should be done

I thought this was a good question as well. To add onto the Ruiz topic, do you think the change in blocking scheme hurt Ruiz as well as the position change. Michigan is a power gap blocking scheme and the Saints have primarily been zone for a while now. Marrone is a power gap guy. Will the addition of Marrone help Ruiz develop and do you see a blocking scheme change?
 
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TCUDan

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If you were the Saints GM would you have traded with the Eagles and also moved up in the draft ?

Given that I wanted Olave and Penning just as much as the Saints apparently did... yeah, probably. I know according to the value chart the Saints got the shorter end (the Eagles had the leverage here), but the true value will be shown when the two players they got hit the field.

And my personal belief is that Olave and Penning are pro-bowlers--possibly as rookies (though I think Olave has a better shot than Penning, just due to the nature of the positions.)

I'll add as an aside that even after giving up their 3rd and 4th round picks to trade up (again) to get Olave, I thought that the Saints made the most of their remaining picks... especially with regard to their 2nd round (Taylor) and 5th round (D Jackson) picks.
 
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Dan, many thanks for your excellent insights. If you were adding just one more free agent to the Saints roster, whom would you select?
Probably Sony Michel, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Kamara. I'd still like to get a more well-rounded RB in the passing game, but if Kamara did miss a few games, Ingram is versatile enough to pick up those touches.

Jarvis Landry is obviously tempting and would give the Saints a loaded 1-2-3 at WR, but I want to see Callaway and Harty get their shots (and T Smith isn't exactly chopped liver).

I'd also love to get Kwon back, but I don't think the move makes sense for him and I think we drafted our "developmental Kwon Alexander" in D'Marco Jackson.
 
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Hi Dan. I thought this was an interesting question from the other thread by shortFused9.

Caesar Ruiz. What do you feel is the best course of action, Move him to Center, Stay at OG, trade him? I get the abbreviated off-season of 2020 hindered a possible switch to Center, but given his turn at Center I liked him better at Guard. He's been a turnstile at times and gets bullrushed into the play he does work well in double teams and I think I've seen a few good kickout blocks out of him so it's a mystery why he's such a roller coaster you see flashes but then you see head scratches. What should be done
I don't think you move him to center because I'm too high on McCoy there. I hope he's Jamies's center for the next 10 years.

With Ruiz, he was definitely disappointing last season, but I'm not ready to give up on him. I would like to see him face some competition. If the Saints had been able to keep the 3rd and 4th (I am not saying I was against that trade), I would have loved them to grab an interior guy in the mid rounds to compete with Ruiz.

I'm sure there are some free agent guards available who could come in and push him, if there isn't already one on the roster. But who knows--maybe he'll benefit from having a consistently healthy OL around him. All that said, I still think it's too early to toss him to the trash heap, but he definitely needs to step up and earn his dinner.
 

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It’s good to talk Saints with the OG members. Thanks TCUDan.

Who are your CAMP BEASTS 2022?

How can Taysom Hill win plays outside of QB?

What can OT Hurst do well?

Thanks again. I’m off to a family function. I look forward to talking saints.
 
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I thought this was a good question as well. To add onto the Ruiz topic, do you think the change in blocking scheme hurt Ruiz as well as the position change. Michigan is a power gap blocking scheme and the Saints have primarily been zone for a while now. Marrone is a power gap guy. Will the addition of Marrone help Ruiz develop and do you see a blocking scheme change?
I don't think so. If you're a OL in the NFL--especially one drafted in the first round--you should be able to block both gap and zone effectively. The Saints tend to go zone on base down's (1st & 2nd) and go gap in short yardage, red zone, or when certain personnel take the field (for example, with Taysom's designed runs, which are like 70% power, 29% counter, and that 1% pin'n'pull to mix it up a little).

In short, I don't see any significant changes inbound to the Saints running scheme. Ruiz development won't be about scheme. It'll be about the individual coaching he receives at the position level, and how well he commits himself to elevating his game.
 

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I thought Payton Turner did well his first game last year. I don't know what injuries he acquired during that game, but his playing time was cut short and he wasn't really effective the rest of the season and was placed on IR. Predraft his wing span was one of the biggest in the history of the combine. Analysts and some fans here have given the team flack for drafting an pretty unknown player. (I didn't know his name until the draft myself). From your perspective, can Payton Turner surprised a lot of people and be a force on that line? Physically he looks bigger than Davenport. Has bigger lower leg than him.
 

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Hey Dan, while we know Pete is going to run the same system, what changes do you think we will see with him calling plays?

I think we will be more patient with the run game and use the play action more often.

Do you think will continue to keep Jameis under control, or give him more liberties?
 
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It’s good to talk Saints with the OG members. Thanks TCUDan.

Who are your CAMP BEASTS 2022?

How can Taysom Hill win plays outside of QB?

What can OT Hurst do well?

Thanks again. I’m off to a family function. I look forward to talking saints.
Camp beasts: Penning and Olave will light it up, but that's expected. In fact, I think all of our draft picks are going to show up well at camp.

But getting into the UDFA's (I mean, that's where we really get our camp beasts, right?), I think Rashid Shaheed is gonna pop and wow on some deep routes (I don't know if he makes the team, I still think he's super raw when it comes to releases and route tree, and Deonte has the return game on lock as long as he's healthy).

Smoke Monday will definitely make some plays, but he's another guy whose roster spot is gonna hinge primarily on Special Teams.

UDFA I have my eye on gonna be Eric Wilson from Penn State. He's super sharp and has the raw strength to play inside... MAYBE he can be a guy who pushes Ruiz? Much easier for a UDFA to make the roster at guard than tackle.

I also think we'll see very strong showings from Callaway and Harty (somewhat expected) who will benefit from not having to go against top coverage players.

Taysom Hill--I think he still does a lot of what he did last season in that F spot. Waggling into the flats, running stick routes, a seam here and there. I would like to see him utilized more in the passing game, and hopefully him not being spread thin will round out his receiving game. I still think Juwan Johnson is my downfield target, but I'd like to see Hill used more between the hashes, in dirty yard situations where he can rumble for YAC, and in the screen game.

Oh and it's not outside of QB, but I really, really, REALLY think he's underutilized in the red zone at QB. I think that's where, as a DC, you're really crapping your pants when you see him out there.

Hurst is a solid backup at tackle, prob a little better as a pass protector. I don't think he stands out in any one area, but it's nice to have him on the bench or as that 6th OL in heavy situations. He's technically sound, good at everything, but not great at any one thing.
 

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