What Would Jim Finks Do to Turnaround the Saints? (1 Viewer)

Swimmer

Medsamust Saint Fan
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
16,806
Reaction score
24,235
Age
68
Location
Slaughterhouse Five
Offline
We were a foot away from this board being ecstatic and talking about all the great moves in the turnaround - at least for a week. But this loss did finally release some posters who know NFL pretty good to post some tough insights. EJW's historical analysis of bad moves by the FO over the past 4 years should become the standard for Saints FO effectiveness reference.

Jim Finks was the best NFL and CFL franchise turnaround specialist in history: Bears, Vikes, Saints and I think Stampeders (Guillermo?). So what was his strategy

1) He rarely made dramatic moves the 1st year, preferring to get to know 1st hand what the real franchise problems were. With the Saints, he hired Mora 1st year, but he had Mora hand-picked from the UFL whenever Finks made his next move.
2) We wouldn't be in cap hell. I suspect the Pats learned some from Finks. Finks was often described as being cheap by his peers. But he definitely believed in "selling high and buying low." He let a number of our star LBs go instead of paying the inflated open market value
3) He built his FO with professional, expereinced NFL executives. He gave his coaches say in all matters, but the GM ran the team.
4) He built strong defenses as fast as possible believing championships were won with defense and great defenses made-up for a lot of mistakes of the offense. He built depth in the front 7 of his defenses over time. On offense he wanted ball control running game and No turnovers.
5) He never reached for the 1 or 2 great FAs who might help the team turnaround overnight. He simply wasn't going to pay a premium.

These are just a few of his fundamental tenets for building winning organizations of Finks. So I'll take a stab at some of his analysis of the current Saints. Here's some of my hunches:

- After analyzing the team, he would realize the team had no professional FO and the team was being run by the head coach
- He would realize the team had one of the great offensive minds as head coach. However, he would also realize that this head coach had something systemically wrong in his defensive strategy and defensive player acquisition pipelines
- He would likely realize the head coach poorly hired defensive coaches and hung-on to them under performing way too long
- He would realize we had one of the great Leaders and QBs of all-time in Brees, but that his best days were numbered.
- He would cringe at what he would consider expensive, reckless, spontaneous near desperation FA moves. To him, this would be a base fundamental problem that had to be changed. Paying 20%-25% of Talent Budget on players who no longer play for the team would be insanity to him. That means there was no room for error in drafts and FAs as well as not enough money for talent depth on defense and the O-line.

Please disagree or add to any of the points above.

But mostly I am asking the board members to express the specific moves they think Finks would do to turnaround this team. Go for it. Most of us are in "emotional" mode since that Dagger to Heart Loss Sunday. Hopefully, by trying to look through Finks eyes, we may collectively start to be able to think about moves from a Big Picture, Long-Term success view. Or what would Bellicheck do?
 

insidejob

Respect existence or expect resistance.
Approved Blogger
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
32,276
Reaction score
53,905
Location
Back in 70124
Offline
He would cringe at what he would consider expensive, reckless, spontaneous near desperation FA moves. To him, this would be a base fundamental problem that had to be changed. Paying 20%-25% of Talent Budget on players who no longer play for the team would be insanity to him. That means there was no room for error in drafts and FAs as well as not enough money for talent depth on defense and the O-line.
He would have made the same moves himself at the time they were made. This rewriting of history like signing Spiller, Byrd, Browner, etc. wasn't celebrated by 95% of fans and talking heads around the league at the time they were made is ridiculous.

Reckless, spontaneous, near-desperation is not how those moves were made.
 

Complex Kid

Most things I worry about Never happen anyway
Joined
Nov 14, 2002
Messages
12,237
Reaction score
19,911
Age
41
Location
Lake Charles, LA
Online
He'd decide Drew Brees is too expensive and tell him to sit out if he liked then trade a couple of 1st rounders for Dallas's backup QB. Then Drew Brees would go to Atlanta and throw a game winning TD against the Saints in the dome and act like an airplane.

You know. The usual.
 

crosswatt

Gone Fishing.
Staff member
Administrator
VIP Contributor
Joined
Jul 10, 2001
Messages
32,282
Reaction score
46,065
Location
Chesapeake, VA
Offline
It would certainly be an interesting exercise to see how an old school GM like Finks would've adapted to this new era of football. Or how a Payton would've coexisted with a personality like Finks, or conversely how Mora would've been able to deal with Loomis' cap gymnastics...
 

blackadder

...from a chicken, bugwit
VIP Contributor
Joined
Nov 8, 2003
Messages
30,536
Reaction score
23,446
Offline
He'd decide Drew Brees is too expensive and tell him to sit out if he liked then trade a couple of 1st rounders for Dallas's backup QB. Then Drew Brees would go to Atlanta and throw a game winning TD against the Saints in the dome and act like an airplane.

You know. The usual.
Finks didn't account for the passionate anger of a Cajun scorned.

I waited and waited for Hebert to make an impact play like that in a crooshal situation with the Saints and he only ever choked. Of course he did it for the Falcons.

Still, he didn't set the world on fire for Atlanta. He was competent. We always needed better at QB.
 

blackadder

...from a chicken, bugwit
VIP Contributor
Joined
Nov 8, 2003
Messages
30,536
Reaction score
23,446
Offline
We were a foot away from this board being ecstatic and talking about all the great moves in the turnaround - at least for a week. But this loss did finally release some posters who know NFL pretty good to post some tough insights. EJW's historical analysis of bad moves by the FO over the past 4 years should become the standard for Saints FO effectiveness reference.

Jim Finks was the best NFL and CFL franchise turnaround specialist in history: Bears, Vikes, Saints and I think Stampeders (Guillermo?). So what was his strategy

1) He rarely made dramatic moves the 1st year, preferring to get to know 1st hand what the real franchise problems were. With the Saints, he hired Mora 1st year, but he had Mora hand-picked from the UFL whenever Finks made his next move.
2) We wouldn't be in cap hell. I suspect the Pats learned some from Finks. Finks was often described as being cheap by his peers. But he definitely believed in "selling high and buying low." He let a number of our star LBs go instead of paying the inflated open market value
3) He built his FO with professional, expereinced NFL executives. He gave his coaches say in all matters, but the GM ran the team.
4) He built strong defenses as fast as possible believing championships were won with defense and great defenses made-up for a lot of mistakes of the offense. He built depth in the front 7 of his defenses over time. On offense he wanted ball control running game and No turnovers.
5) He never reached for the 1 or 2 great FAs who might help the team turnaround overnight. He simply wasn't going to pay a premium.

These are just a few of his fundamental tenets for building winning organizations of Finks. So I'll take a stab at some of his analysis of the current Saints. Here's some of my hunches:

- After analyzing the team, he would realize the team had no professional FO and the team was being run by the head coach
- He would realize the team had one of the great offensive minds as head coach. However, he would also realize that this head coach had something systemically wrong in his defensive strategy and defensive player acquisition pipelines
- He would likely realize the head coach poorly hired defensive coaches and hung-on to them under performing way too long
- He would realize we had one of the great Leaders and QBs of all-time in Brees, but that his best days were numbered.
- He would cringe at what he would consider expensive, reckless, spontaneous near desperation FA moves. To him, this would be a base fundamental problem that had to be changed. Paying 20%-25% of Talent Budget on players who no longer play for the team would be insanity to him. That means there was no room for error in drafts and FAs as well as not enough money for talent depth on defense and the O-line.

Please disagree or add to any of the points above.

But mostly I am asking the board members to express the specific moves they think Finks would do to turnaround this team. Go for it. Most of us are in "emotional" mode since that Dagger to Heart Loss Sunday. Hopefully, by trying to look through Finks eyes, we may collectively start to be able to think about moves from a Big Picture, Long-Term success view. Or what would Bellicheck do?
I think coming in and taking stock he would talk to Payton and get input but he would end up saying "I'm hiring someone I trust to rebuild the defense from bottom up, and I've got final say on personnel decisions. I will hear your viewpoint on needs but you're going to work and cooperate with the new DC and accept my decisions, right?"
 
OP

Swimmer

Medsamust Saint Fan
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
16,806
Reaction score
24,235
Age
68
Location
Slaughterhouse Five
Offline
He would have made the same moves himself at the time they were made. This rewriting of history like signing Spiller, Byrd, Browner, etc. wasn't celebrated by 95% of fans and talking heads around the league at the time they were made is ridiculous.
I can't read tee leaves, but those moves would have been way out of character for Finks. Finks style would be more like picking up Roberson (LB).
 

longtime lurker

Buddy D lives FOREVER!
VIP Subscribing Member
VIP Contributor
Gold VIP Contributor
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
16,381
Reaction score
6,231
Location
Placentia, CA
Offline
The game has changed so much with real free agency....it's hard for me to imagine how he would operate in it.
 

noser222

ALL-MADDEN TEAM
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
1,813
Offline
Is there a Steve Walsh to trade for?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP

Swimmer

Medsamust Saint Fan
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
16,806
Reaction score
24,235
Age
68
Location
Slaughterhouse Five
Offline
The game has changed so much with real free agency....it's hard for me to imagine how he would operate in it.
Good point Lurker. But from reading his book, I think it's pretty clear how he would have handled today's FA, "Sell High, Buy Low." The Pats FO adopted this strategy. In this sense, he viewed it as a business. I will use the word of one of the posters yesterday. He viewed Talent as "assets." What did he have to pay for the performance received from the player. By implementing this Sell High-Buy Low attitude, overtime, he was paying less for player productivity than most other teams which gave him freedom to build depth.
 

Goatman Saint

Subscribing Member
Platinum VIP Contributor
Joined
Apr 18, 1999
Messages
22,494
Reaction score
20,546
Age
49
Location
Between here and there
Online
Let's not kid ourselves though. Wilkes, Warren, Jackson, other keys were here before he came. No one thought Mills was worth anything, Johnson was a leftover and Swilling was a lucky pick, nothing more. The only pick that Finks made on the defense that was
Worth anything was Martin.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rsmith2783

Specialist
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
7,318
Reaction score
5,836
Offline
Our best GM since Finks was Mueller.
I know there's still some rumors today about why he was fired, and i'm sure that reason overshadowed his accomplishments here; but if he was still the GM, the Saints would have been much more competitive during the Haslett years.

I give Loomis credit for finding Payton. Most fans didn't know who he was prior to him becoming the head coach.

Loomis has received credit for making it happen and squeezing the life out of the salary cap to get players. However, he is not a good personnel guy.

If Payton were to quit today, the franchise would be in a mess, and Loomis is not the right guy to turn it around.
 

Moon

Pro-Bowler
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
1,631
Reaction score
4,100
Offline
Yeah, he'd come in with his fundamentals and hire great assistant coaches like Carl Smith. Any objections from Payton would be met with: "Hey, pal, you need to listen to me--------I almost won a playoff game here.."
 
OP

Swimmer

Medsamust Saint Fan
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
16,806
Reaction score
24,235
Age
68
Location
Slaughterhouse Five
Offline
It would certainly be an interesting exercise to see how an old school GM like Finks would've adapted to this new era of football. Or how a Payton would've coexisted with a personality like Finks, or conversely how Mora would've been able to deal with Loomis' cap gymnastics...
Watt - Really good point. As far as Old School, is Finks philosophy much different from: Carolina, Ravens, Denver, Vikings, Cincy, Texans, Chiefs and Seahawks and possibly Pats? These teams, exclude Texans for now, are pretty much perennial playoff contenders.

To me, the comment about how SP and Finks would have co-existed is a powerful and interesting insight. thx
 

kcirdor

Clackin
VIP Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
19,319
Reaction score
8,805
Offline
He'd play hard ball with Drew Brees and Brees would go to the Falcons.
 
OP

Swimmer

Medsamust Saint Fan
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
16,806
Reaction score
24,235
Age
68
Location
Slaughterhouse Five
Offline
He'd play hard ball with Drew Brees and Brees would go to the Falcons.
Let's pretend he may have traded Brees to another team, but then again, a top 3 HOF QB still playing lights out on basically a 1-year extension, which all props go to Loomis on that contract, may have been an option to keep Drew. Then again, Sell High-Buy Low.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Similar threads



New Orleans Saints Twitter Feed

Headlines

Top Bottom