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Defensive overhaul still needed despite 1st win!

 
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Posts: 3135
Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject: Defensive overhaul still needed despite 1st win! Reply with quote

1. Do NOT fire Steve Spagnuolo!
Yes Spags is overseeing potentially one of the worst defensive units this league has ever seen but it’s not all his fault. Spags needs time to draft and implement his players into this defense and the support of the front office when it’s time to make some unpopular cuts. Spags has been dealt a tough hand with the talent level on this unit and it’s like my dad always says… “Ya can’t make chicken salad outa chicken sh*t”!

Having said that… this defense is slowly improving as they grow more and more comfortable in this scheme but it remains absolutely certain that changes must be made to personnel in order for us to get over the hump.

2. Out with the old, injured & overpaid… In with the young, promising and athletic.
The Saints have a good young core of defensive players to build around in Lofton, Jordan, Gallette, Hawthorne, Robinson, Jenkins, Bunkley, Wilson, White, Hicks, and Patrick. The one thing they need is time in this system to grow. Their or however players who are either to old (Shanle), to fat (Smith), or to slow (Harper). This offseason is going to come down to doing what’s best for this defense to excel and some decisions will likely be made that won’t sit well with some fans. Below are a few I think will happen…?

Jon Vilma
We have our MLB of the future and he’s a good one. Let not let Vilma’s presence in this organization constantly having Lofton looking over his shoulder. He’s our new leader; times to take the money spent on Vilma and invest it into younger more athletic player around Lofton.

Will Smith
Smith still gets it done from time to time but by in large he’s a player well past his prime with a combination of a big cap number and younger more athletic players behind him in Gallette & Wilson. Much like Vilma, Will Smith’s time in New Orleans has been appreciated but has come to an end.

Roman Harper
Harper has a bad combination of a high cap number and not being actually a good fit in Spags defensive scheme. Most Saints fans held out hope at the beginning of this season that Harper would be able to adapt to Spagnuolo’s system but he simply does not possesses the physical skill set to compete in this scheme as a safety. Harper has been routinely been used as a linebacker in nickel coverage and has been subbed out in favor for Quddus in many base packages. With so much upgrading needed on this unit, paying a nickel linebacker 5 million per year is simply a luxury this Saints team cannot afford any longer. The Saints would be better suited trading Harper while he’s still a valuable asset to a team with a more attacking style defense (Rams) for a 3rd rd selection and freeing up the cap space for players who better fit this scheme.

Scott Shanle
Shanle I’m sure is a nice guy but an elite athlete he is not. This game is quickly becoming a wide open attack and even your strong side linebacker better have athletic ability otherwise he will be exposed like Shanle often is.

Sedrick Ellis
I’m not sure if Ellis is simply a complete bust or if he just needs a better defensive fit. Either way, I’m not willing to continue paying him his absurd cap number to find out.

3. Time to shake up the defensive lineup for the good of the team.
Patrick Robinson seems to be developing into a shut down corner and Corey White (while he has made his share of rookie mistakes) exudes confidence and physical ability. White possesses the physical makeup and press cover skills Spagnuolo covets and seems to be slowly getting better acclimated to the speed of the NFL. P-Rob & White give Spags his two big physical corners he likes on the outside heading into the 2013 season. Jabari Greer is still a top corner in this league and should make the transition to the slot and nickel position he excelled at during his time in Buffalo, while Jonny Patrick gives New Orleans quality depth as the teams 4th corner on the roster.

The Safety position needs a face lift. Malcolm Jenkins needs to move to strong safety and this team needs to go out and find either through the draft or free agency a free safety with ball skills. Isa Abdul-Quddus provides quality depth.

At linebacker I feel this team is set on the inside with Lofton and on the weak side with Hawthorne even though #57 has battled injuries and scheme understanding thus far. It’s the hole on the strong side that needs to be filled. This organization made a great move switching Martez Wilson to defensive end this off season but he’ll never be a full time DE in this league due to his size. Wilson is a better fit as a 3rd down pass rush specialist with his hand in the dirt and as a SAM linebacker in other defensive alignments. Spagnuolo used Mathias Kiwanuka in the same manner in New York. In today’s NFL your nickel corner plays more than your same backer and utilizing the skill set of Wilson like he did Kiwanuka would give the Saints defense more athletic ability and speed when the Sam is on the field while freeing up an additional roster spot for another defensive player.

Along the defensive front it’s not as much of lineup changes but simply continuing to add versatile defensive lineman that are disruptive and can beat one on one blocks. This team needs #1 offseason need is a stud right defensive end that can set as well as threaten the edge in this base front. Cam Jordan is a very good LDE with versatility as an inside pass rusher, Junior Gallette and Martez Wilson are improving pass rush specialist, while Akeem Hicks development will be key to our success on the interior.

4. Be aggressive in free agency and land Spagnuolo more tools to work with.
The need along this defense is pretty obvious… A starting caliber pass rushing RDE with athletic ability, A safety with ball skills, depth at linebacker, Interior tackle that’s disruptive and can penetrate, playmakers.

I’m not saying we need to land all the high priced free agents, just the free agents who fit this scheme and fill a need.

5. Draft well, Hit a homer in round one on a pass rusher!
It’s well known about how Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton’s track record with 1st round draft picks have fared thus far in New Orleans. The bottom line is this team needs a dynamic pass rusher and this draft is full of them and we simply cannot afford to miss on this one.

I’m sure that during the draft process Sean Payton is bound to fall in love with the potential of certain offensive players and go to bed at night dreaming of plays he could draw up for them in his offense… RESIST THE URGE, stay the course and land this team the edge rusher it so desperately needs!


WHODAT

Congrats on 1st win boys, Colston was BEAST MODE tonight!!!
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Jlowe22


Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 837
Location: South Mississippi
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, IMO, our number 1 need is a stud pass rusher. After that, we need to get some quality dbs and let the whole bunch figjt tooth and nail for the starting jobs. As sad as it is, id prolly cut Ellis and Smith, neither of which are getting any better, and they are currently not gettint the job done. Cut shanle already! I mean come on....I know we got Wilson as back up de and special teams expert, but from what ive seem, hes a playmaker, and deserves a chance at a starting job on this defense....bench whoever needs it, and freakin play Wilson more please!!!

of course im.no coach, but man.maybe I dont understand, but some of these defensive shenanigans make me bang my.head against a wall in frustration..
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tylerdouglass


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything other than what you said about Harper.

He's been our best safety this year, and it's not really even close. The fact that he can play up as a WLB makes him even more valuable, not less.
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tylerdouglass wrote:
I agree with everything other than what you said about Harper.

He's been our best safety this year, and it's not really even close. The fact that he can play up as a WLB makes him even more valuable, not less.


Has he been productive... Sure, somewhat but watch the film he's not playing safety when he's doing it.

I gotta say something here... By NO means am I covering for Malcolm Jenkins shortcomings on the field but this has got to be brought up In his defense.

Jenkins for the most part is being asked to do to much. Just like in Williams scheme, so far under spags when Harper is in the game and offensses see this they are subbing into 3-4 rec sets forcing Harper into coverage on a wideout instead of a RB or TE. When this happens the saints audible ino the only thing they can do... Either Harper has to blitz or he is forced to play underneath coverage close to the line of scrimmage due to the lack of his coverage skills.

What this means is that the offense knows exactly where Harper will be and are dictating the game based on this. Jenkins meanwhile has to make up for Harpers shortcomings by playin the entire centerfield which usually leads to him getting caught out of position.

Anyone with a basic defensive knowledge and understanding of this game can see that as far as coverage goes, Harper is the big weak link on this unit. It's almost like playing defense with 3 defensive backs at times. Jenkins might not be what we all expected at FS but he isn't as bad as it looks. The bottom line though is until we pair Jenkins with an actual quality safety (not undersized LB) on the back end, he will NEVER realize his potential.

Sean Payon says do your job... Well Jenkins job has always been his and a little of Harpers and it's simply to much!

With a 100 million dollar QB on the roster and major defensive upgrades on the horizon... Harpers 5 mil per is simply to much for a luxury LB and it's time we face the facts and realize that is exactly what he is and always will be.

Harper is one of my fav Saints, I'm not a hater but he is (in spags scheme) holding this defense back.
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Raves


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Joined: 03 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whodatworm23 wrote:
tylerdouglass wrote:
I agree with everything other than what you said about Harper.

He's been our best safety this year, and it's not really even close. The fact that he can play up as a WLB makes him even more valuable, not less.


Has he been productive... Sure, somewhat but watch the film he's not playing safety when he's doing it.

I gotta say something here... By NO means am I covering for Malcolm Jenkins shortcomings on the field but this has got to be brought up In his defense.

Jenkins for the most part is being asked to do to much. Just like in Williams scheme, so far under spags when Harper is in the game and offensses see this they are subbing into 3-4 rec sets forcing Harper into coverage on a wideout instead of a RB or TE. When this happens the saints audible ino the only thing they can do... Either Harper has to blitz or he is forced to play underneath coverage close to the line of scrimmage due to the lack of his coverage skills.

What this means is that the offense knows exactly where Harper will be and are dictating the game based on this. Jenkins meanwhile has to make up for Harpers shortcomings by playin the entire centerfield which usually leads to him getting caught out of position.

Anyone with a basic defensive knowledge and understanding of this game can see that as far as coverage goes, Harper is the big weak link on this unit. It's almost like playing defense with 3 defensive backs at times. Jenkins might not be what we all expected at FS but he isn't as bad as it looks. The bottom line though is until we pair Jenkins with an actual quality safety (not undersized LB) on the back end, he will NEVER realize his potential.

Sean Payon says do your job... Well Jenkins job has always been his and a little of Harpers and it's simply to much!

With a 100 million dollar QB on the roster and major defensive upgrades on the horizon... Harpers 5 mil per is simply to much for a luxury LB and it's time we face the facts and realize that is exactly what he is and always will be.

Harper is one of my fav Saints, I'm not a hater but he is (in spags scheme) holding this defense back.


So how about we draft another CB, move Quddus to permanent FS, Jenkins to SS, he's got the ability to tackle though the entire team is going too low too often, blitz, and cover, and then our secondary should be better. Heck move Harper to WLB right now with our injuries at that position.
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TE Jimmy Graham-86 rec, 1215 yds, 16 TDs
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking into the future, Harper would have to take a big pay cut to stay but he'll likey be a better value as a trade asset to help rebuild this defense the way spags wants.

As far as the draft... I dont see the Saints making the playoffs but i do see a run at it. If the Saints find themselves ina position where they are picking between 10-15 and the top 2-3 pass rushers are off the board and LSU's Eric Reid is sitting there, I just don't see how they pass on him!
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