The Future for this Franchise (1 Viewer)

RJ in Lafayette

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Years ago in Indianapolis, Bill Polian concluded that with Manning at quarterback, the Colts would try to surround their quarterback with as much talent as possible, that they would spend their money on their offense, but that under the salary cap the team would not have the money to spend on veteran defensive players and would have to rely on young players on defense. Polian thought that the team needed to move away from the complex defensive scheme of Vic Fangio, an excellent defensive coach with whom Polian had a long relationship, and that the Colts needed to change to a Tampa-2 defense because of its relative simplicity. As a result, Polian told Jim Mora that the team to change its defensive coordinator so that a less complex defense could be installed, Mora refused to let Fangio go, and Polian fired both Mora and Fangio, hiring Tony Dungy, who was the architect of the Tampa-2. Also, because of the type of defense being run, the need for defensive players drafted to contribute quickly, and the Colts drafting year after year late, Polian focused in the draft on smaller players with speed, who were not necessarily graded high by other teams because of their size but who fit the Tampa-2 scheme.

That is what a general manager does.

Years ago, we could see that this team needed to be substantially revamped. A moderator with apparently a mischievous bent has placed as a blog entry a 2013 post I wrote where I advocated that the team not make the playoffs because I believed we did not have the talent to make a playoff run and that a playoff appearance would mask serious problems. Many objected to the treatment plan, perhaps with reason. But the diagnosis and prognosis were right.

I think we can have a competitive team in 2017--with wise free-agency moves and a 2017 draft replicating what we did in 2016. Brees, who turns 38 in a month, may have one more year of playing at a high level, and there is talent of defense. But what about after the 2017 season?

On defense, the team is more talented than it has been since its Super Bowl run. We need to resign Fairley, and we need a defensive end, a linebacker, and another defensive back--with some luck and health in the secondary. But we have enough pieces for an average defense.

Offense is a different matter. First, the quarterback position. We play in a division where the other quarterbacks are Ryan, Newton and Winston. Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa will have for years a quarterback who can be a top 10 quarterback. Immediately after the 2017 season, Brees will turn 39. There is already evidence of some physical decline, however slight. But even slight physical decline at quarterback can be a serious issue, especially for a quarterback whose arm strength was good enough but never a strength. Even if Brees stays after the 2017 season--and he is under contract for only one more year--we can expect to see something closer to the Peyton Manning of 2015 than the Brees of 2011.

Going forward, quarterback is an existential issue for this franchise.

And then the rest of the offense is not terribly talented. I like our wide receivers, though it is increasingly apparent that Cooks is a number two receiver but that he may have difficulty accepting that role. The running backs are average. Our offense needs desperately a running back who is a threat as a receiver, The tight ends are at best average, and the Fleener signing given his contract was clearly a mistake. And then there is the offensive line with two stars and questions everywhere else with two current starters who are now 33.

And finally, there is the lack of clarity and direction in the team's organizational structure. Because of age and health, Benson exercises no influence. Loomis for too long has played enabler to Payton's questionable personnel wishes and has some level of accountability with the disappointment seen in two professional sports franchises. Were Loomis to be let go tomorrow, could he find another job as general manger in the NFL? I doubt it.

And every year there will be the questions with Payton--who seemingly answers to no one: has he grown stale, have the fire and passion diminished, has he become too arrogant for his own good, has he become too inflexible in his schemes, is he too loyal to certain assistants on the staff.

Many of the issues I have identified can be fixed. Three solid free-agency signings, another draft like the 2016 draft, good health and some lucky bounces of the ball, Drew Brees having one more year of playing at a really high level, and 2017 admittedly can be interesting.

But it seems that we are building less for the future than for one more good season, and after next season, because of uncertainty at quarterback and questionable management, things could get ugly.
 

blackadder

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Years ago in Indianapolis, Bill Polian concluded that with Manning at quarterback, the Colts would try to surround their quarterback with as much talent as possible, that they would spend their money on their offense, but that under the salary cap the team would not have the money to spend on veteran defensive players and would have to rely on young players on defense. Polian thought that the team needed to move away from the complex defensive scheme of Vic Fangio, an excellent defensive coach with whom Polian had a long relationship, and that the Colts needed to change to a Tampa-2 defense because of its relative simplicity. As a result, Polian told Jim Mora that the team to change its defensive coordinator so that a less complex defense could be installed, Mora refused to let Fangio go, and Polian fired both Mora and Fangio, hiring Tony Dungy, who was the architect of the Tampa-2. Also, because of the type of defense being run, the need for defensive players drafted to contribute quickly, and the Colts drafting year after year late, Polian focused in the draft on smaller players with speed, who were not necessarily graded high by other teams because of their size but who fit the Tampa-2 scheme.

That is what a general manager does.

Years ago, we could see that this team needed to be substantially revamped. A moderator with apparently a mischievous bent has placed as a blog entry a 2013 post I wrote where I advocated that the team not make the playoffs because I believed we did not have the talent to make a playoff run and that a playoff appearance would mask serious problems. Many objected to the treatment plan, perhaps with reason. But the diagnosis and prognosis were right.

I think we can have a competitive team in 2017--with wise free-agency moves and a 2017 draft replicating what we did in 2016. Brees, who turns 38 in a month, may have one more year of playing at a high level, and there is talent of defense. But what about after the 2017 season?

On defense, the team is more talented than it has been since its Super Bowl run. We need to resign Fairley, and we need a defensive end, a linebacker, and another defensive back--with some luck and health in the secondary. But we have enough pieces for an average defense.

Offense is a different matter. First, the quarterback position. We play in a division where the other quarterbacks are Ryan, Newton and Winston. Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa will have for years a quarterback who can be a top 10 quarterback. Immediately after the 2017 season, Brees will turn 39. There is already evidence of some physical decline, however slight. But even slight physical decline at quarterback can be a serious issues, especially for a quarterback whose arm strength was good enough but never a strength. Even if Brees stays after the 2017 season--and he is under contract for only one more year--we can expect to see something closer to the Peyton Manning of 2015 than the Brees of 2011.

Going forward, quarterback is an existential issue for this franchise.

And then the rest of the offense is not terribly talented. I like our wide receivers, though it is increasingly apparent that Cooks is a number two receiver but that he may have difficulty accepting that role. The running backs are average. Our offense needs desperately a running back who is a threat as a receiver, The tight ends are at best average, and the Fleener signing given his contract was clearly a mistake. And then there is the offensive line with two stars and questions everywhere else with two current starters who are now 33.

And finally, there is the lack of clarity and direction in the team's organizational structure. Because of age and health, Benson exercises no influence. Loomis for too long has played enabler to Payton's questionable personnel wishes and has some level of accountability with the disappointment seen in two professional sports franchises. Were Loomis to be let go tomorrow, could he find another job as general manger in the NFL? I doubt it.

And every year there will be the questions with Payton--who seemingly answers to no one: has he grown stale, have the fire and passion diminished, has he become too arrogant for his own good, has he become too inflexible in his schemes, is he too loyal to certain assistants on the staff.

Many of the issues I have identified can be fixed. Three solid free-agency signings, another draft like the 2016 draft, good health and some lucky bounces of the ball, Drew Brees having one more year of playing at a really high level, and 2017 admittedly can be interesting.

But it seems that we are building less for the future than for one more good season, and after the next season, because of uncertainty at quarterback and questionable management, things could get ugly.
All good questions.

The organization has to have an insanely good off season with personnel. Something they can ride for at least 5 years as with the 2006 draft. Otherwise the wheels on this thing will be seriously in wobble given all the things you noted, especially the lack of clarity over accountability from the top.
 

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speaking of Vic Fangio, he may be on his way out. There is rumor of a rift between him and John Fox. One of them might be let go.
 

saints28

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Years ago in Indianapolis, Bill Polian concluded that with Manning at quarterback, the Colts would try to surround their quarterback with as much talent as possible, that they would spend their money on their offense, but that under the salary cap the team would not have the money to spend on veteran defensive players and would have to rely on young players on defense. Polian thought that the team needed to move away from the complex defensive scheme of Vic Fangio, an excellent defensive coach with whom Polian had a long relationship, and that the Colts needed to change to a Tampa-2 defense because of its relative simplicity. As a result, Polian told Jim Mora that the team to change its defensive coordinator so that a less complex defense could be installed, Mora refused to let Fangio go, and Polian fired both Mora and Fangio, hiring Tony Dungy, who was the architect of the Tampa-2. Also, because of the type of defense being run, the need for defensive players drafted to contribute quickly, and the Colts drafting year after year late, Polian focused in the draft on smaller players with speed, who were not necessarily graded high by other teams because of their size but who fit the Tampa-2 scheme.

That is what a general manager does.

Years ago, we could see that this team needed to be substantially revamped. A moderator with apparently a mischievous bent has placed as a blog entry a 2013 post I wrote where I advocated that the team not make the playoffs because I believed we did not have the talent to make a playoff run and that a playoff appearance would mask serious problems. Many objected to the treatment plan, perhaps with reason. But the diagnosis and prognosis were right.

I think we can have a competitive team in 2017--with wise free-agency moves and a 2017 draft replicating what we did in 2016. Brees, who turns 38 in a month, may have one more year of playing at a high level, and there is talent of defense. But what about after the 2017 season?

On defense, the team is more talented than it has been since its Super Bowl run. We need to resign Fairley, and we need a defensive end, a linebacker, and another defensive back--with some luck and health in the secondary. But we have enough pieces for an average defense.

Offense is a different matter. First, the quarterback position. We play in a division where the other quarterbacks are Ryan, Newton and Winston. Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa will have for years a quarterback who can be a top 10 quarterback. Immediately after the 2017 season, Brees will turn 39. There is already evidence of some physical decline, however slight. But even slight physical decline at quarterback can be a serious issues, especially for a quarterback whose arm strength was good enough but never a strength. Even if Brees stays after the 2017 season--and he is under contract for only one more year--we can expect to see something closer to the Peyton Manning of 2015 than the Brees of 2011.

Going forward, quarterback is an existential issue for this franchise.

And then the rest of the offense is not terribly talented. I like our wide receivers, though it is increasingly apparent that Cooks is a number two receiver but that he may have difficulty accepting that role. The running backs are average. Our offense needs desperately a running back who is a threat as a receiver, The tight ends are at best average, and the Fleener signing given his contract was clearly a mistake. And then there is the offensive line with two stars and questions everywhere else with two current starters who are now 33.

And finally, there is the lack of clarity and direction in the team's organizational structure. Because of age and health, Benson exercises no influence. Loomis for too long has played enabler to Payton's questionable personnel wishes and has some level of accountability with the disappointment seen in two professional sports franchises. Were Loomis to be let go tomorrow, could he find another job as general manger in the NFL? I doubt it.

And every year there will be the questions with Payton--who seemingly answers to no one: has he grown stale, have the fire and passion diminished, has he become too arrogant for his own good, has he become too inflexible in his schemes, is he too loyal to certain assistants on the staff.

Many of the issues I have identified can be fixed. Three solid free-agency signings, another draft like the 2016 draft, good health and some lucky bounces of the ball, Drew Brees having one more year of playing at a really high level, and 2017 admittedly can be interesting.

But it seems that we are building less for the future than for one more good season, and after the next season, because of uncertainty at quarterback and questionable management, things could get ugly.
Look no further then the inability to develop a back up to Drew. That's what the future holds.
 

EagleSaint

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I wouldn't give up on Fleener, he can be good. He just needs to catch the ball.

Brees can play for a few more years than Manning did if the O-line is shored up. There are glaring holes without Unger there. Peat is clearly not ready to start, and Evans can't play another year, Strief is getting old, and if Armstead can't stay healthy, that will be a huge problem.

As for defense, a fast pass rusher is a must, as our defensive line sorely lacks speed.

Another CB is a huge need as well; I like Desomond King out of Iowa, he's a fast corner that can play nickel as well as being a good 1 or 2 corner and he's projected to go in the middle of the 1st.
 

OneBigEasy!!

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Amen RJ!!! I'm buying what you are selling. Micky Loomis has his talents but look at the Saints and Pelicans. Brees is far into his career but the situation with the Pelicans parallels Brees with a much younger Anthony Davis.
 

saint_drago

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But it seems that we are building less for the future than for one more good season, and after the next season, because of uncertainty at quarterback and questionable management, things could get ugly.
Quality post. Well done. You make some really good, valid points. I'll say this though, I fully expect things to get ugly as soon as Drew's gone. I'm prepared for that. Brees isn't the type of player that a team can just replace. He's one of the best passers this league has ever seen. It took decades to find a QB like him. When he hangs up his cleats his name will be at or near the top of every statistical category. I don't think we'll see another like him pass this way again.

So having said that, I'm still in favor of the "all in" philosophy. Despite the results we've seen the past few years. Despite the fact that our front office keeps swinging and missing. Despite the cap issues. Despite the dead money. As long as #9 is playing well the window is still open. And as long as that window is open we need to go all out to win another Super Bowl. I'm fully prepared to face the consequences. Even if means going back to the bad old days. Dark days are ahead so we might as well go out in a blaze of glory. Might as well go down swinging.

When free agency starts I hope we go buck wild and use every cent of cap space.
 

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Amen RJ!!! I'm buying what you are selling. Micky Loomis has his talents but look at the Saints and Pelicans. Brees is far into his career but the situation with the Pelicans parallels Brees with a much younger Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans are much worse. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel with the Saints. Not so with the Pelicans.
Heck, I don't even think Anthony will be with the Pelicans that much longer.
 
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RJ in Lafayette

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An interesting poll question: Which franchise is in worse condition--the Saints or the Pelicans?

At the current time, the Pelicans are in worse shape. But their problems might be easier to fix because they have a young superstar. A new general manager, probably a new coach, and a high quality lottery pick would change fundamentally this team's future. The fix for the Saints seems more challenging if less urgent--if the Pelicans were to lose Davis, relocation would become a serious question.
 

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