Rod Harper?? (1 Viewer)

blake0025

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Can someone please explain to me why we kept him?? He returned to punts in preseason for Td's and has not seen any action? Bush has been horrible in punt returns.. We cut Roby for Harper and re-sign him and he was less effective than Meachum last week returning kicks.. Just think if our special teams were clicking what we could do?? Anyone??
 

BobE

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I think the front office did it just to give us something to post about
 

Daddy_Duke

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He needs to be returning punts. Reggie looks slow, indecisive, and is pulling his vintage running backwards BS. He needs to be given up the duties a few times to get his head out of his ***.

Let Harper return punts!
 

GoldRush26

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Can someone please explain to me why we kept him?? He returned to punts in preseason for Td's and has not seen any action? Bush has been horrible in punt returns.. We cut Roby for Harper and re-sign him and he was less effective than Meachum last week returning kicks.. Just think if our special teams were clicking what we could do?? Anyone??

They aren't going to activate a player just to return punts.

Who else do you think they should've kept in place of Harper?
 

SaintlyAgenda

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I truly believe that he was kept mainly because of his receiving skills. Yeah, he's above average on punt returns but they didn't keep a player solely for returning skills. If the returns are what they were most impressed with, he'd be activated for the games and returning punts already. If a receiver goes down this year, you can bet he'll be activated.
 

Waymer

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We cut Roby for Harper and re-sign him and he was less effective than Meachum last week returning kicks.

Not really. Meachem had two nice returns, which thrilled me. But overall he had a return average of 24.7. Roby had a return average of 24.0. Not exactly a difference.

Payton has stressed consistency, so that's why he went with Roby.

As for why they kept Harper, I think it was for the potential they saw in him. We touched on it at length in another thread. This was my take on Harper vs. Roby in that thread:

It's an interesting case study. Personally, I disagree that it's an easy answer. I believe that, as of right now, Roby provides more for the Saints than Harper does. Now, bear in mind that's right now. There are a few reasons for my belief in this, and again, it's just my belief.

1) Roby appears to be the much better KR. Was he elite last year? No, not at all. But he was more than serviceable and as DP's original post points out he had a stretch of games where he gave the team great field position. Harper did not return one single kick this preseason, which tells me the staff simply doesn't feel he is the right fit for that position.

2) Harper had a terrific preseason returning punts, there's no question about that. However, it should be noted that his returns for TDs (which obviously "padded" his stats) occurred in the 3rd and 4th quarters, not against the 1st string special teamers. Does this mean it was a fluke? Not necessarily. Michael Lewis performed similarly in the preseason for the Saints and turned out to be a terrific return man. It's simply an observation in this case.

3) Will Harper return punts, and does he provide that big a difference? Well, we all know that pending his health, Bush will get the key returns during a given game. That's not exactly a surprise, it would be that way for almost every team. That's not a knock on Harper...but, IMHO, it does limit his value to the team. Does Harper provide that much more than Lance Moore as the 2nd PR? I don't believe so, but I sure hope so.

4) Roby appears to, and his play seemed to back it up, provide a better burst and is more adept at performing as a gunner on punt coverage.

5) As another person has noted, Thomas will likely step into the KR role, exposing him to more hits. Personally I think this factor is overrated, and that a person can get hurt just as likely running the ball as he can returning it, but it's a point that has been made so I brought it up.

All in all, I just feel Roby provides more to the team now. Having said all that, I partially believe this was a move based on the future. I think the staff sees good potential in Harper, and what he might provide as a 3rd and 4th WR in the future. The fact of the matter is, barring injury, he won't see the field too much on offense this season. The top 4 WR spots are pretty locked up. However, next year there will be some decisions to make (the CBA negotiations could affect some issues, but that's out of staff's hands and they need to assume the worst). Lance Moore will be in line for a bigger contract, and could possibly leave if he and/or the staff feel it's the right move (remember there were some discussions this season about the Titans making an offer to him - next year pending the CBA there will be no RFA tag to help the Saints keep suitors at bay). Roby will never be Lance Moore, but I believe the staff sees a little bit of Moore in Harper...a player they can develop for a year and then allow to blossom opposite the other WRs on the team. This would allow the team to let Moore walk, or at least look around at other teams without being too concerned, in theory.

Payton has never been shy about keeping players who perform, and this is why I think Harper made the team. We've seen it with his inclusion of Moore, Thomas, Colston, etc. All guys who were essentially afterthoughts, but who he wasn't afraid to allow blossom in his system based on preseason and practice performace. It's certainly paid off, and I think he believes Harper will be the next one to blossom.

So to recap, I think Roby provides more of an impact now, but that Harper was kept for his future. I would have liked to have kept both, but that's why there are roster limits after all.
 
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blake0025

blake0025

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They aren't going to activate a player just to return punts.

Who else do you think they should've kept in place of Harper?

Didn't we just resign harper for the exact reason?? i think we should have kept him, just trying to figure out why we won't use him??
 

Flipx99

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I have noticed that sometimes we as fans see a player in pre-season that we fall in and love with and then they disappear in the regular season and we wonder why. Then, in a season or two, that player assumes the role that we thought they should have had when we first noticed them. See, LM and PT.

I think the answer is that they just need more time in the system before the coaches pull a more experienced player in their favor.

We are not wrong, and the coaches see what we do, but they also see the details of the player's game.
 

GoldRush26

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Didn't we just resign harper for the exact reason?? i think we should have kept him, just trying to figure out why we won't use him??

I'm guessing you meant Roby. Roby is a ST gunner as well as a kick returner. His value outweighs Harper's as far as I can tell. I don't recall Harper shining as a gunner during the preseason.
 

FlySaint

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I am curious to see how Harper would do as a KR. He would seem to have the skill-set to do well at it.
 

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