Ask Mike – April 14, 2007 (1 Viewer)

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Ask Mike – April 14, 2007


Name: Reggie Lee

From: Baytown, TX

Comments:


Always a pleasure when I see the new "Ask Mike" questions posted. I was a devoted WWL-Radio listener for many years and to be honest I really miss Buddy D. more now than ever. I just can't listen to the SportsTalk Show on the Big 870 anymore, other than when I hear you are on or when the "Big Chief" is talking sports.

What I really miss is the comments and commentary you would give to the listeners when anything happened in the football world, personnel, coaching, etc. What is the reasoning for this to not happen anymore, other than your relationship with Buddy?

I hear you more on ESPN Radio, The Sporting News Network and on Sirius than WWL-Radio. I know you have a very lucrative job, but do you have any aspirations to host your own radio show somewhere in this market?

Also, what are your thoughts on WR David Patten?

Thanks.

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OK Reggie, first thanks for the nice comments. I appreciate them.

To be honest it really came down to the relationship I had with Buddy and he trusted what I said. In this business you are not always going to be correct on football matters, but you have to be right most of the time and give a solid opinion. Everything changes in this business, but that's life. I appreciate the confidence ESPN, Sporting News and the other outlets have in me and I give them the best opinion and knowledge of a situation I have.

To answer your question, Yes. I do have a desire to host a show one day locally, and in the near future that will happen.

David Patten is a proven veteran, who still has excellent foot speed and run-after-catch ability, but he just did not fit in well in Washington. He also has fought off injury problems, especially in 2006, but he is a sure-handed end and he gives this team a veteran with football savvy, good route-running skills and a strong locker room presence.

The big question mark for David is can he stay healthy at his age. He will be 33 years old to start the season and that is always a great concern when you hit the 30-year old-plus time clock.
Even though they have signed Patten I still look for the Saints to pick up a young receiver on the first day of the draft.

Take care.

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Name: Uptown D

From: New Orleans

Comments:


Great stuff Mike D. I enjoy reading your info and listening to you on SportsTalk. Keep bringing us the good stuff.

I know that we have a couple holes to fill in the secondary, but wouldn't a pass rush help those guys out on the backend?

I know that Will Smith is a bona fide stud at DE, but what happened to Charles Grant? A lot of folks would rather keep him, but he's got 8.5 sacks in the last 2 years. Although a lot of people are willing to give the team a pass for last season (Haz's last year) I don't think 2 sacks is going to cut it.

Your reply is much appreciated, Mike.

Uptown D

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Uptown D, I agree with you that Will Smith is a bona fide blue-chip player, but good young DE's are very hard to find. The problem is that Charles Grant is a good NFL defensive end, but he is not one of the elite players at his position. He wants to be paid as one, but he is not one of the top 10 defensive ends in the game. The main cause for concern for the Saints is that very few of those top 10 guys come loose on the open market so you are put in a position to overpay to keep good players, not elite players.

Charles did play much better in 2006 than in 2005 and his run defense skills were certainly better than the previous year. In 2003 and 2004 Grant totaled 20 1/2 sacks in those 2 seasons combined and that got everyone's attention, but he has not been nearly the pass rusher since.

There is no question he has the talent to be a top pass rusher and he did get his weight down considerably last season after working out with Tom Shaw, but what I believe you see is chronic inconsistent performer. At times he plays very well and other times, if you watch the game against Washington or Chicago in particular, he was a non-factor.

I just believe his inconsistent nature will always keep him from being one of the top DE's in this game, but believe me, if he was available in free agency they would have a number of teams lined up to give him the contract he wants. That's the nature of the football beast. The other problem is that there is no one on this roster that could fill his shoes adequately, if he were traded.

Take care.

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Name: Furor

From: Houston

Comments:


Mike, thanks for your contributions to SaintsReport.com, I always look forward to your segments.

How will the emergence of Marques Colston affect the evaluation of talent coming out of smaller schools in the upcoming draft, if at all?

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Furor, I really don't think it will have much of a factor. Every year players come out of the smaller colleges and emerge as starters in the league. The thing that made this so special was that Colston was such a late round pick. Rod Smith, who has been a terrific receiver for many seasons with the Denver Broncos came into the league as an undrafted free agent and he also came from a small college, Missouri Southern. It boils down to good scouting and also having a little draft-day luck.

With the draft in late April very few small college players aren't looked at closely. In the case of Marques, everyone missed on just how talented and how quickly he could adapt to the NFL game. I recently wrote an article for the Courier that pointed out 12 to 14 players from small colleges that were heavily scouted and will be picked either in Day 1 or fairly early in Day 2.

Take care.

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Name: The Carpenter

From: Baton Rouge

Comments:


Mike, it’s great to read your stuff and hear your commentary on matters. I travel quite a bit on business and I was shocked at the amount of East Coast coverage you get. I heard you on at least three different New York shows in the ten-day period I was there. Great job and congrats on the Sports Illustrated award. People just don't realize how big that is for someone in this small market.

There is always a player or two that runs up the draft board as the draft day nears. Who are those players that make that big run this season that wasn't rated as high in your book?

Mike, just a thought, if USC's Ryan Kalil was available at the 27th spot would you think seriously about selecting him and then putting him inside at offensive guard for a season or two?

Also, with your busy schedule will you continue to do your LSU pre-game coverage on the LSU Network?

I heard you the other night on ESPN Late Night with Jason Smith give a stat out on Orlando Mare and was wondering if you could repeat it. It concerned kicking in cold weather sites in December.

Thanks. Great job on the book, as usual.

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Thanks Carpenter, I appreciate the kind words..

On offense, the player running up the charts is Stanford QB Trent Edwards. I ranked him as my 4th ranked QB and a probable early 3rd round pick and don't be surprised to see him come off the boards in the early part of Round 2. The word around the league is that Mike Martz loves this guy and he will push for the Detroit Lions to select him early in Round 2.

On defense, the player zooming up the charts is Kent State cornerback Usama Young. I had Young rated as a 5th round choice and some scouts tell me that they have re-evaluated Young over the past few weeks and ranked him as a possible 3rd round choice due to his foot speed, athletic ability and overall coverage skills.

I really hadn't thought about Kalil as a guard, but that certainly would be a possibility. Ryan is a terrific center and while he could last that long it would be based on him being the top player on the board. I believe he could play the guard spot and what I think you are getting at is challenging Jamar Nesbit at his guard spot.

To be honest I hadn't thought about that scenario, but if it happens I will give you full credit. I know one thing he is a terrific football player and he will start in this league at center or at guard very quickly. Ryan is a quality offensive line prospect and every bit the football player that Nick Mangold was when he came out of Ohio State.

We haven't finalized everything on the LSU pre-game front, but that normally happens in June. I do expect to continue to do that pre-game feature..

On Olindo Mare, the stat I think you were looking for is that in cities with cold weather climates he has connected on 13 of 16 field goals (81.3 %) in November and December over the past 6 seasons.

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Name: Chairman

From: NC

Comments:


Hi Mike. Now that we're a year into Coach Payton's tenure, I was wondering if you could give us a quick review of his assistant coaches and coordinators. Strengths/weaknesses?

OC/OL Doug Marrone
DC Gary Gibbs
ST John Bonamego
LBs Joe Vitt
RBs George Henshaw
WRs Curtis Johnson
DL Marion Hobby
DBs Tom Hayes
QBs Pete Carmichael Jr.
TEs Terry Malone

Any head coaches in the making among these guys, either on the college level or in the NFL? Or, in the case of Gibbs and Vitt, having already been HCs, do you think either will get another opportunity in the future? Evidently Gibbs would like to be a HC again. And I assume Marrone's and Carmichael's careers are on the upswing. What about the other guys' prospects for advancement?

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OC/OL Doug Marrone

Doug was the offensive assistant coach of the year in 2006. He does a great job with the fundamentals and he has the looks of a future head coach at either the college or pro level. His job getting the line to play at such a high rate was just outstanding.

DC Gary Gibbs

Gary is a very low-key individual, who wants to become a head coach again, but his personality seems best suited to be a coordinator. Very good X and O coach, who plays a simple defensive scheme and puts plenty of emphasis on "position" football and flowing to the football. He got great production from an average at best "talent" team in 2006. You can see he maximizes the talent around him. If the Saints continue to have success he could well end up with a college head-coaching job.

ST John Bonamego

Very energetic coach, who did a fine job with the special teams unit in 2006. This is the area that changes more than any from year to year. Bono did a wonderful job with the rookie punter Steve Weatherford.

LBs Joe Vitt

High-energy coach, who puts tough love and a professor approach to football. Had the linebackers playing at a high level each and every week. Likes smart players, who will not over-pursue and get out of position. Could well emerge as a defensive coordinator in the league next season.

RBs George Henshaw

Veteran RB coach who knows the ins and outs of the league and how to handle different personalities. He tries to get all his backs involved in game plans and also in the passing game.

WRs Curtis Johnson

"The Recruiter". Known as one of the top recruiters in the college game at Miami (Fla.) and he really got a lot out of a young unit last season. He is a high-energy guy, who is a fundamentally sound coach. I believe he is a future college head coach.

QBs Pete Carmichael Jr.

He is a young coach, who really knows this game very well. His dad, Pete Carmichael, is a veteran college and NFL QB mentor. He has great rapport with Drew Brees and he has the quick mind that you want in a future offensive coordinator one day. He is still young in this business, but I believe he will eventually become a head coach in the college ranks.

Take care.

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Name: Aaron Nethercott

From: London

Comments:


I think the run defense is a major need this off-season and the best way to improve that in my opinion is to get a big run stuffing DT. What are your thoughts on Paul Soliai out of Utah, where he projects to be drafted and do you think the Saints will be interested in him?

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Paul is a huge body in the middle and he really came on strong as a senior. He runs well for a big man and he has learned how to tie up blocks well and get good inside penetration. He is never going to be a great inside pass rusher, but he is a very effective inside player that clears the way for others to get to the ball carrier. I believe he will be a late 3rd or early 4th round selection. He certainly caught everyone's attention at the Combine workouts when he ran a (5.11) 40-yard dash time at 344 pounds. If he were still around late in Round #3 I could see the Saints selecting him.

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Name: C.C.

Handle: Teach

From: New Orleans (now live in White Plains, NY)

Comments:


Mike, thanks again for all of the good reads as well as congratulations on the long-overdue awards and exposure.

I know that not long ago, Fred Thomas was our most dependable corner even when Mike McKenzie first arrived. I find it difficult to believe that he just "lost it". What do you really think the issue is?

Also, where do our linebackers stand in your eyes, and where would upgrades there and in the secondary occur (Roman Harper rehab and the fact that Josh Bullocks seemed lost from the middle to the end of theseason) ?

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Thanks Teach, I appreciate the kind words.

Age is what has happened to Fred Thomas. In this business there are not a lot of 33-year old cornerbacks starting. Thomas has started to lose his foot speed and recovery ability and it shows out on the field. At his age, he is best suited to play in the nickel and dime packages, going up against a teams' 3rd or 4th option at wide receiver.

I like the starting linebacking core of Fujita, Shanle and Brian Simmons and Mark Simoneau gives good depth at any of the positions, but his team needs to add a couple of good young linebackers via the draft to aid the special teams and to have in the wings for the future. Don't be surprised to see this team add a linebacker or two come the second day of the draft.

Troy Evans, who they signed as a free agent, is a very good special teams performer and he could well turn out to be a standout on that unit. Watching him on tape he was a real demon on the Texans special teams over the past few seasons.

I think we all agree that the Saints need to draft a couple of cornerbacks in the draft, and possibly even add another veteran to the unit.

Roman Harper is rehabbing well from the knee injury and he should be back to full strength for the summer. I agree that Josh Bullocks was out of position a number of times, especially on deep passes and he must upgrade this part of his game. I know the coaching staff thinks highly of him and barring an injury I believe that the Bullocks/Harper duo will start.

Kevin Kaesviharn can play both spots and he is a ballhawk in nickel and dime schemes. There is a lot of depth at safety in this draft and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Saints select a safety late, especially one with a good special teams background.

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Name: Brian Washington

From: New Orleans

Comments:


Hi Mike,

In some previous "Ask Mike" segments you said the Saints may draft DT Tank Tyler. What other DT's do you think the Saints might consider in the upcoming draft? Also, what do you think of Quinn Pitcock of Ohio
State. There seemed to be a lot of buzz around him, but no one is talking about him right now.

Thanks,

Brian

<hr color="#a29b4f"

Brian, the things in this business what you really pay attention to is when you hear and see a team paying a lot of attention to a prospect. The Saints brass spent a lot of time talking and interviewing Tank Tyler after practices at the Senior Bowl and assistant coaches at NC State tell me that the Saints have quizzed them quite a bit about Tyler and about his work habits and off-the-field problems.

Sean Payton in the past has stayed away from players with problems and there certainly have been some concerns about Tyler's off-the-field incident, his quick temper on the field and his inconsistent play. I personally think these issues will keep him out of Round 1, but someone will draft him in the 2nd round.

There is no question that the Saints have done their homework on Tank and now it is up to Peyton, Mueller and the scouts to decide if he fits in their scheme and their program. There seems to be some genuine interest in Tyler's football skills, but if what Payton has done in the past gives you any hint, I say they pass on him.

Quinn Pitcock is a lot like former LSU Tiger and current Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams. High-energy performer, who lacks great size and speed, but he has excellent instincts and a passion for the sport. Pitcock looks like a late 4th or early 5th round selection.

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Name: Ken

From: Metairie

Comments:


Hi Mike,

I have a hypothetical question. If a player is drafted and cannot come to terms with the club and then decides to sit out the season, what happens to him the following year? Is he allowed to re-enter the draft or
is he still the property of the same club that drafted him.

<hr color="#a29b4f"

If he is not signed by the respective club that drafted him or had his rights traded away, then he returns to the draft. He does not stay the property of the team forever. If he doesn't sign, he does return back into the draft pool for the following season. Remember that Bo Jackson was the 1st overall pick in the 1986 draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs. He did not sign, instead signing a baseball contract, and he was re-drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 1987 draft.

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Name: Louis

Handle: WhoDatWorm

From: Lafitte, LA.

Comments:


Mike,

I'm a big fan and look forward to your draft guide again this season.

Listen, I think we all agree that corner back is the Saints biggest need and although the top 4 corners (Hall, Revis, Houston and Ross) will likely be gone by the #27 overall pick do you think that the Saints will elect to gamble on Marcus McCauley of Fresno State and his shaky confidence or turn to another position in the first and address cornerback in a later round?

Thanks,

WhoDatWorm on the Bayou

<hr color="#a29b4f"

WhoDat Worm, if the corners are off the board, then draft the best player on the board and address the cornerback position later.

The worst mistake you can make is overdraft someone in the 1st round, just because of need. If the top 4 cornerbacks are gone, then a top WR like Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Dwayne Jarrett or a DT like Justin Harrell from Tennessee, or even a linebacker like Lawrence Timmons or Jon Beason makes more sense.

If you really like Marcus McCauley, just deal back a few picks, acquire another draft choice and pick him at 35 or 36 instead of 27.

I certainly see the Saints picking more than one cornerback in this draft because they need a starter-type player and they also have virtually no depth.

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Name: Ken Chiasson

Handle: Armchair Expert

From: Gretna

Comments:


Dear Mike,

First, let me say, you make a living doing something that I love. I envy you greatly. Also, IMHO, you are the best at doing it.

Now with that out the way, and the draft inching ever closer, I would like your opinion regarding a few prospects (and where you think they'll fall in the draft) at the positions I feel are the Saints' most glaring needs: Cornerback, defensive tackle, linebacker (in no particular order).

At cornerback:

Daymeion Hughes (Cal)
Josh Wilson (Maryland)
DeAndre Jackson (Iowa St)

At D. Tackle:

Demarcus Tyler (NC St)
Clifton Ryan (Mich St)
Trey Lewis (Washburn)

At LB:

Justin Durant (Hampton)
Jon Beason (Miami)
Stewart Bradley (Neb)

Also, what are your opinions on Preston Brown, WR, Tulane? Will he be drafted? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Thank you, Mike.

<hr color="#a29b4f"

Thanks for the kind words.

I agree with you that cornerback, defensive tackle and linebacker are need areas, but I would also add a wide receiver in that mix. I feel as though they will select a receiver in Day 1.

Daymeion Hughes (Cal) will be late 2nd round pick.

Josh Wilson (Maryland) is an early 3rd round selection.

DeAndre Jackson (Iowa St) should be a late 4th round selection or early 5th round choice.

Demarcus Tyler (NC St) should go in the middle to late part of Round 2.

Clifton Ryan (Mich St) is a 5th or 6th round selection.

Trey Lewis (Washburn) 1s a 6th or 7th round selection.

Justin Durant (Hampton) should go late in Round 2 or early in Round 3.

Jon Beason (Miami) should be selected late in Round 1 or very, very early in Round 2.

Stewart Bradley (Neb) should go in the middle or latter part of Round 2.

Preston Brown will be a free agent signee. Preston has good size, but he lacks great speed and separation quickness. The WR that will probably get selected late from Tulane is Damarcus Davis. The Saints and Tampa Bay really like him and the Saints had a private workout with Davis on April 12th.

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Name: Tom Didier

From: Youngsville, LA.

Comments:


Mike, I love your work and am glad for your growing recognition nationwide. You deserve it. Any chance the Saints use one of their 4th round picks on Mason Crosby if he is available? I for one would like to see it.

<hr color="#a29b4f"

With the acquisition of Orlando Mare, the Saints will not select a placekicker in this draft. Before the trade selecting a kicker was a distinct possibility. I do believe that the Saints will put a lot of emphasis on upgrading their special teams units in the draft.

Sean Payton puts a lot of credence in getting players that can help on special teams and I think this team will put a lot of focus on upgrading their coverage teams and also to look for a young kickoff return man with Michael Lewis getting up in age.
 

Dre

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Thanks!
Ask Mike is easily one of my favorite parts of SR.
 

Saint Droopy

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Uptown D, I agree with you that Will Smith is a bona fide blue-chip player, but good young DE's are very hard to find. The problem is that Charles Grant is a good NFL defensive end, but he is not one of the elite players at his position. He wants to be paid as one, but he is not one of the top 10 defensive ends in the game. The main cause for concern for the Saints is that very few of those top 10 guys come loose on the open market so you are put in a position to overpay to keep good players, not elite players.

Charles did play much better in 2006 than in 2005 and his run defense skills were certainly better than the previous year. In 2003 and 2004 Grant totaled 20 1/2 sacks in those 2 seasons combined and that got everyone's attention, but he has not been nearly the pass rusher since.

There is no question he has the talent to be a top pass rusher and he did get his weight down considerably last season after working out with Tom Shaw, but what I believe you see is chronic inconsistent performer. At times he plays very well and other times, if you watch the game against Washington or Chicago in particular, he was a non-factor.

I just believe his inconsistent nature will always keep him from being one of the top DE's in this game, but believe me, if he was available in free agency they would have a number of teams lined up to give him the contract he wants. That's the nature of the football beast. The other problem is that there is no one on this roster that could fill his shoes adequately, if he were traded.

Take care.
I just had to ask him... and he told us all exactly what I thought he would...
 

pancho

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Anyone know what his new radio gig will be? I hope he goes on in Gerry V's old spot.
 

guillermo

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A much needed Ask Mike, only bad thing is that he didn't answer my question this time.
 

Saints#34

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Only wish it was coming out today instead of two days ago so we could get Mike's thoughts on Jason David. The board seems pretty evenly split on him and I don't know much about him. Hopefully Mike D can shed some light on him at some point in the future if we pick him up.
 

pancho

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Old Spot. I've been out of town a few weeks and Gerry is leaving?

What happened to marrying a local girl and staying for the long haul???
Gerry V's show has been cancelled for several months now. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I would love to see Mike take that slot on 1280 to compete with the 20 minutes of sports per hour that you get in between commercials on 870.
 

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