If I Were Mickey Loomis.... (1 Viewer)

St. PJ

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This would be my plan this "offseason". Lets face it, the salary cap has changed due to the collective bargaining agreement currently in place, and it will be very hard to get any top tier player becuase teams can afford to place the franchise tag on players even if they aren't elite players. In other words, the only perennial probowl type players still in their prime available are going to be Briggs and Samuels, and only becuase they agreed to be franchised last year under the condition that the tag would not be used again this year. What that leaves are players with injury concerns, high cap figures combined with age, character issues, or mediocre talent.

What this means is that once again, the way to build our team has to be primarily through the draft. However, it is a waste of words to talk about the draft before free agency is completed since we may not have the same needs after free agency. We need to make the best out of free agency becuase we have a good list of needs: CB, S, OLB, ILB, DT, WR, TE, and depth on the offensive line and a probable need for offensive line starters. Free agency offers us the potential to upgrade at a handful of these positions without breaking the bank. I will start with what I feel are the easiest positions to fill.

WR and TE. Other than Colston, WR is open for major improvement. We don't know what we have in Meechum, but I do not see this as a negative as of yet. Patten was serviceable, but is old and an injury concern. Everyone else has had the chance to step up the past two years and have been inconsistent at best. We should target guys like Ernest Wilford who really came on this year with a QB who could get him the ball and a new WR coach to help get the most out of him, or a guy like Kelly Washington, who has overcome injuries and done really well on special teams but was buried on the Pats and Bengals roster by a plethora of talent. Washington has a roster bonus that the Pats will not pick up, so either they restructure or he will be cut and become a free agent very soon. He likes New England, but he may very well like money more and is very talented and I feel ready to break out. At TE, I say we resign Johnson. He was servicable and had more catches than drops, although there was one game he definately hurt us. I would also make a run at Crumpler and Bubba Franks, although it could be costly because according to his agent, 11 teams are interested in Crumpler. What makes him worth the money is he is possibly the best dual threat in terms of blocking and still having speed and the athletic ability to hurt defenses in the passing game. Ben Troupe and Ben Utecht may also be solid options.

Concerning Saftey, I like Roman Harper. Alot. But KK has reached his ceiling in terms of potential, and Bullocks reminds me of Tebucky Jones. I don't care what kind of ability you have if you do not have great play recognition and are constantly out of position and looking confused in the passing game. Most of the horrible plays had on David and Thomas resulted from the lack of contribution from our safeties. By no means do David and Thomas get excused, but the lack of safety help compounded the problem as well as the defensive scheme we run, which I'll get to later. I say we target Madieu Williams from Cincinatti or Ken Hamlin, neither have been franchised, and Cinci already used their tag. Williams is one of the best safeties you never heard of, like Gibril Wilson, also a free agent from the Giants. Any one of these guys would immediately make us better on defense and would make more sense than signing another Kevin Kaesvahorn who is nothing more then depth on a good team.

At defensive tackle, I admire Brian Young's motor and Hollis Thomas' prescence, but each of these have reached their potential, and neither cut it. Hollis would be great to keep for depth if his weight doesn't balloon and make him ineffective enough to not garner a doubleteam, and Young, although quick and with a nonstop motor, just isn't big enough or strong enough to cause anyone problems consistantly. I would keep Clancy, but cut at least one of the others depending on who we could get via free agency or the draft. Heading the list of free agents is Rod Coleman, whom we can go after now since he was cut. He has had 30 sacks the last 4 years for the Falcons; I don't think all of our DT's combined have had that over the same period. This is one of the most important positions we need to address becuase I don't care who you have at CB, if we don't get inside pressure on the QB, he can step up to avoid Smith and Grant and pick apart our secondary. Just ask Champ Bailey and Dre Bly, arguably the best tandem in the league. A solid DT demands double teams, gets interior pressure, allows DE's to beat just one man, and frees up LB's to make plays at the LOS in the run game and get to the QB unabated on three step drops before he can make the hot read, kind of like when Baltimore plays us and Drew can't get it out quick enough when he is notorious at having a quick release and making quick decisions. IF YOU ASK ME, UPGRADING DT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT, IF NOT MORE SO, THAN UPGRADING AT CB. DT play is integral to every level of our defense, and if we are not solid there, even the best LB's and CB's will be exploited. This is why, if you ask any great GM or coach, the best teams are built from the inside out-- from the defensive lines and offensive lines first to skill players later. Without great big uglies, skill players don't have the oppurtunities or time to make plays. I am not sure who else not being franchised can significantly upgrade us in free agentcy, so if we do not grab a difference maker, I hope we trade up to get Ellis or Dorsey in the draft.

At linebacker, I would without a doubt break the bank for Lance Briggs. I would welcome the addition of Zach Thomas or Dan Morgan, considering there were injury clauses in their contracts, but neither are guys we can build on; they are both tentavily serviceable for a few years. Briggs, however, is in his prime. The cost of paying a top tier LB is much less than a CB. Fujita is our only consitant player, and we have definate need of an athletic, sideline to sideline tackling machine. If it weren't for Briggs, we would have played Seattle in the Championship game. That is the difference he makes. I would definately put all my eggs in a basket for a known commodity that will fit in any 4-3 defense. Boss Bailey and the other free agents may start for us, but with the talent level we have at LB, it isn't hard to upgrade. The fact is, Briggs is a sure thing and we better make the highest offer. I can understand if we make the highest offer and he goes to the Patriots instead for less money, but I can't understand if we don't even make an attempt becuase of a philosphy of getting players that fit our system at a low or reasonable cost and building through the draft. THAT IS ONLY A GREAT PHILOSOPHY WHEN YOU HAVE TALENT AT THE CRUCIAL POSITIONS ALREADY IN PLACE. We don't. Even the Patriots have shelled out the dough on great LB's in years past like Thomas last year and Colvin years before. Unless we get a bonafide starter at DT in free agency, I am against taking a LB in the first round, unless of course there is no way we can get Ellis or Dorsey and we failed in free agency. Fact is though, every year there are very good linebackers available in round two, like David Harris last year and DeMico Ryans the year before.

This leads to corner, our most obvious area of need. Many may make my same argument for getting Briggs to get Samuels, who will be the only sure thing in free agency at that position. As mentioned above, without help or solid contributions from safety, without interior pressure from DT, and without linebackers with great range and presence, it will not matter who we have at CB. We have to fix the other problems before our CB's can be successful consistantly. For the price of Samuels, we can sign Briggs, we can sign Coleman, and still have room for an up and coming safety and WR. Simply put, it would hurt us more than help us to sign Samuels. We aren't Dallas going after Deion, we don't have everything but corner. Add to that Samuels isn't a man to man cover corner. His strengths lie in zone coverage, and the best man to man cover corner available was just franchised by Oakland. Mike McKenzie was great at press coverage and has finally adjusted to the rule change made after the Pats/Colts championship game a few years ago. I am not saying we are locked into man coverage schematically, but due to the overall talent we had at each position the last few years, this was the only scheme we could run, it CB was the only position it left exposed. Had we run more zone or cover 2, we would have been more exposed on every level becuase we didn't have the peices to do that.

I don't think are coaches try to fit a square peg in a round hole, just that we have too many needs defensively. I believe they got the most out of the talent they had to work with, but with the need to upgrade at every level, I do believe we can still pursue any 4-3 player, and with enough newly talent aqquired, run a different style of 4-3. However, signing Samuels does not make sense becuase it would hinder our ability to get the additional players need to switch to a more zone oriented defense and would also not fare well for Mike McKenzie's strengths of skill. That said, we need to rely on our coaches abilities to groom a young player, our scouts abilities to identify players that will fit into whatever scheme we will run with our new free agents additions and existing talent. Maybe if we can upgrade significantly at S, DT, and LB, Young can step in and not have too many growing pains. Ty Law would buy us some time if we could offer more than New England. This is one position we need to build in the draft, but I would not pass up on Dorsey, Ellis, Rivers, both Longs, or Ghouston for a CB, even if we signt Coleman and Briggs.

Concerning upgrading the offensive line, we need to get more physical. We need road graders strong enough to open holes and athletic enough to pull and combat quick defenders. We can not break the bank for Fenaca or Starks for the same reason we can't go after Samuels-- it will restrict our ability to upgrade other, more pressing needs. The best we can get in free agency is depth and maybe someone good enough to challenge Stinch, Faine, or our LG. The draft is a great place to get quality linemen at later rounds, and if I know anything about our scouts under Loomis and Payton, it is that they are good at evaluating 2nd day offensive linemen.

Again, it is almost useless speculating on the draft before free agentcy, and my only wish is that whoever is in our scouting department relies more on watching film that combine numbers.
 

kevison

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Well said. I still think we should grab a corner in Round 1, however, if neither Dorsey or Ellis falls to us and we can't trade down.
 
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St. PJ

St. PJ

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Well said. I still think we should grab a corner in Round 1, however, if neither Dorsey or Ellis falls to us and we can't trade down.
I am just not sure which corner is worthy of the tenth pick. I would see value in grabbing Chevis Jackson in round 2. I wouldn't mind trading up to middle/back end of round 1 to give us 2 first round picks either though. I would not choose a corner over Rivers even if we sign Briggs. Then again, we could find a great LB in round two like Ali Highsmith. I hate to sound like a homer, I just haven't paid much attention to potential draftees yet to throw out other names. Thanks for the complement.
 

msusaintsfan

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If I were Mickey Loomis after today I would probably be drinking heavily tonight.

I have to imagine that all the events that happened today probably have changed the thought about the big splash they were planning on making this offseason.

The only two really big names left on defense to be FA are Samuels and Briggs and it has been beat to death today. Samuels I believe will not even be pursued because of price and Briggs will be courted but I don't think we will outbid the 49ers.

I think a strong push for Thomas, Crumpler, perhaps a trade for Hall or if the rumors for Lito Shepard somehow turns out to be true go after him.

Tommy Kelly, Drayton Florence, Coleman could be other guys to target.

Its just hard to even imagine what Payton and Loomis are thinking right now.
 
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St. PJ

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Concerning Briggs and the 49ers, I don't think it is a good fit. WLB is very different in a 3-4 than it is in a 4-3. I think we can bid competively with San Fran, and at least here, he would be the top LB and his contributions would be noticed because of, not in tandem with Urlacher or Willis. I am sure Briggs likes money, but I am also sure we would give him a better chance of being the best he can be in our defense.

I am not opposed to going after Hall, but at what cost. I don't mean financially, and I don't mean character. I mean that Hall thinks he is better than he is. He needs to stop buying in to what Deion Sanders thinks about him and prove it. I don't want to give up a high draft pick for him, not a first or a second, becuase we can easily add a starting LB in either, a safety or DT not named Ellis or Dorsey in the second. The fact is, we could use two starting DT's, two starting LB's, a starting S, and at least one (maybe two) starting CBs. I would like Hall and wouldn't mind Florence, but we need to fix these other positions first.
 

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ok i understand the whole value and bpa thing .... but with this philosophy we are what we are. we have ok first rounders every year .... other than sullivan.
real bad ´2nd and 4rd rounders and some flashes in the rounds after. because : in the first round we only go bpa.... they dont care if its the the 4th OT , 5th DE , 3rd WR or whatever ... the problem is : we have our whole money loaded on two positions ( when smith signs his extension especially ) , the ironic story is that these were the two positions with the worst production : RB and DE. we should stop it and look more on our needs. the lions and the saints are sucky because of bpa drafting. the colts and chargers are good because they alway pick the 100% right fits , value-chart or not.

i dont care about value longer.... is nice for a mockdraft but it doenst make you win a CCG. gimme a corner or DT with the 10th pick and a LB with the second. after it we can pick all positions on defense ....
 

meily

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ok i understand the whole value and bpa thing .... but with this philosophy we are what we are. we have ok first rounders every year .... other than sullivan.
real bad ´2nd and 4rd rounders and some flashes in the rounds after. because : in the first round we only go bpa.... they dont care if its the the 4th OT , 5th DE , 3rd WR or whatever ... the problem is : we have our whole money loaded on two positions ( when smith signs his extension especially ) , the ironic story is that these were the two positions with the worst production : RB and DE. we should stop it and look more on our needs. the lions and the saints are sucky because of bpa drafting. the colts and chargers are good because they alway pick the 100% right fits , value-chart or not.

i dont care about value longer.... is nice for a mockdraft but it doenst make you win a CCG. gimme a corner or DT with the 10th pick and a LB with the second. after it we can pick all positions on defense ....

Agreed, we never get better cause we never address needs, people think a need pick is a reach pick and I just dont get that, who cares if the guy is a late 2nd rounder but we take him in the early second, if he is a guy we targeted then he should be the guy to get drafted, all we do with the BPA philosophy is load up at positions that are filled by solid players, and at the end of the day, we still havent found our linebacker, corner or defensive tackle, because all we do is fill those spots with late round guys and when we get lucky with a pick we look brilliant (Colston, Evans) and we tried to duplicate that last year and it blew up in our face....the first two rounds are easy for us cause all we do is pick the biggest name player we know, but you actually have to do research to find the players you need in the later rounds and I think we do a poor job of that, we dont evaulate talent, look at all the players the Saints didnt select, I'm not the only one who saw a player that was still out there only to hear about a player at the same position being from a school not known for producing consistent talent our of there program and we draft them (Conneticut(fincher), Oregon State(allen), Notre Dame(watson), UNC(hodge) we much rather be lucky than good....



that BPA stuff the Saints are preaching is because they dont have the staff to look deep enough into these 300+ players to find 7 that could have a place on this team, they watch NFL Network like us and figure out who there 1st rounder should be.
 
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St. PJ

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As for luck, I don't think it had anything to do with the drafting of Jahri Evans. I remember we had a fourth round pick, and the guard I was hoping we would draft was Max Jean-Giles, who was rated on some boards before the combine as the best guard. Instead, we wound up trading down and aquiring either Hollis Thomas or Jeff Faine (I forget which) and picking Evans. At the time I was upset because Jean-Giles was the most recognizable player at that position and we trade down then miss him and draft some guy I never heard of. Obviously, these guys knew what they were doing. They had to be watching film to come across Evans because its not like he was invited to the combine or SR. Bowl. Also, I believe Andy Alleman, Usama Young, and Bushrod are all future starters. I remember when we grabbed Bushrod the commentators were saying it was a steal because most other teams had their eye on him.

Concerning the BPA philosophy, I will only say this. The Giants won the Superbowl because of 2 reasons, Eli's light finally came on, and the defensive line was able to get pressure. Considering the had four 1st round defensive ends while they haven't drafted a LB (by fans account their biggest need) in the first for years, fans were disgruntled. But this year against an unbeatable team seemingly destined for perfection, it was those defensive ends that made the difference. If I had it to do all over again, I would still draft Bush. He is a great player, if you know how to use him. Maybe Payton should talk to Pete Carroll, and understand that he needs to rely on the other guy to pound the rock and use Reggie split out or motion him. He is not a bell cow. As for Meechum, I disagreed with the pick at the time, only because of our defensive needs and the offensive linemen available. It is still premature to judge him.

Shoring up our needs in free agentcy allows you to draft the best player available. The Saints thought the did that last year becuase they had signed Simmons, Kaesvahorn, David, Clancy, Johnson, and Patten--- LB, S, CB, DT, TE, and WR---- ironically our same needs this year. Last year, when we drafted, there was no corner worthy of 1st or 2nd round picks available when we drafted. However, there was a really good DT Branch, a very good LB Harris, and a couple of stud Gaurds. The Saints chose who the felt was the best in Meechum, becuase they thought with the free agent additions all their needs were addressed.
 
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St. PJ

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One more point. Last year in the offseason, we saw the Saints making what appeared to be smart moves, bringing in players like KK and Simmons who were tagged as smart players that could fit what we do and come at a bargain price-- taking a page out of the Patriots book for building a franchise by bringing in smart players who do a few things well and drafting bpa. The Saints need to take another page from the Patriots playbook and go out and pay for a linebacker worth a damn. I am all for nickle and diming both on offense and in free agency, but sometimes being frugal and cautious can hurt you. Somewhere, somehow, we need to bring in remarkable talent on defense, and we need it yesterday. Patriots have always spent big on the crucial positions like LB and DT. It is time we do the same.
 

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BPA is why we got Deuce and why we got W Smith
and ?

what about production ? will smith was best as a situational passrusher .... since he is a starter his production declines a little year after year. he is very overrated on this board , while grant while not the high sack numbers gets all the hate... no one saw that he is way more versatile and dangerous in the backfield than the fresh prince .... and deuce , i love deuce but he has a injury bug now....
 

Guitarzan

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first couple of thousands of words or so seem ok. i'll come back to read the other half later.
 

cruize

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It's great when you hit on everything like the Saints did two years ago. It's horrible when you miss on everything like they did last year. Neither is easy to do. The Saints have the potential to get a starter in the first three rounds of the draft. Maybe even four. Throw in two from free agency and the Saints are back in the mix.
 

'79 Saints

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and ?

what about production ? will smith was best as a situational passrusher .... since he is a starter his production declines a little year after year. he is very overrated on this board , while grant while not the high sack numbers gets all the hate... no one saw that he is way more versatile and dangerous in the backfield than the fresh prince .... and deuce , i love deuce but he has a injury bug now....

That guy on your avatar was a 4th rounder...

Actually, what you wrote is pretty absurd. Will Smith is a Pro Bowler. Deuce McAllister is the Saints all time leading rusher. Charles Grant is a solid starter.

"Damning the torpedoes and picking what you need" is how we traded two picks to get Sullivan after the Jets jumped ahead of us to take the guy we targeted: Dewayne Robertson.

Want me to provide a list of linebackers, corners and defensive tackles the Saints have drafted since 2000? Now you want them to pick 'em even higher just because you read a bio on-line, saw a You Tube clip or caught a college game where he lit up SE Missouri State?

BPA is the most sound philosophy because you will end up with more draft hits than misses... drafting for need is how you end up with draft busts.

I can promise you this... it's going to happen, and people will be screaming when it does. The Saints WILL draft one or two offensive players -and probably quite high in the draft.

This draft is loaded with offensive tackles... at least eight could be drafted between rounds one and two, and I would bet money the Saints will be one of them.

I can also promise you the Saints will draft a receiver.

It's a long term philosophy that will work -so logn as it remains consistent. The FO is aware of their needs, and they will try their best to fill them... but they aren't going to spend the entire cap, nor are they going to reach for players to fill them.
 

Bless U Boys

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Deuce McAllister is the Saints all time leading rusher.
I think we only question his future contribution w/ the amount of money he's getting; not his past achievements.
 

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