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5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season

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Posted: 1/8/2013 7:51 AM

5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 


5. Akiem Hicks:
Yes, the defense allowed more yards in a
single season than any other defense has in NFL history.

Yet, there were
individual bright spots. Like Lofton and Jordan, Akiem Hicks is one those. A
third-round pick out of the University of Regina, few were sure how Hicks would
hold up against NFL-level talent and a long season.

Turns out, he held up
just fine and likely cemented himself as a cornerstone of New Orleans’ defensive
line of the future. He might have finished with only 20 tackles, but he was a
constant nuisance to the interior of offensive lines throughout the
season.

In one play, he provided a snap shot of just what he can do when
he has fully learned the game. Against the Denver Broncos, he tore through the
middle and forced a fumble that New Orleans recovered. That play was the only
bright spot in an otherwise long and gruesome game.

By Bradley
Handwerger / Sports Writer / WWLTV


Full Story –
WWLTV.Com

World Champions   2009

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Posted: 1/8/2013 5:33 PM

Re: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 


I looked at the list and I agree in theory.

5. Hicks
4. Jordan
3. Lofton
2. Ingram/Ivory Tandem
1. Drew Brees

This was the reporters list.  Without giving to much away there is an article with each player.

I would add Morgan in that list.  Although Morgan's production was near the end of the season, his production and ability to stretch the field is something that the Saints missed in the early part of the season.  Henderson isn't the deep threat that he was once.  Because of this the Saints actually had Moore sneak out on some deep routes.

I will never be sold on Ingram.  I do think he performed better during the second half of the season.  Now part of that might can be contributed to an offensive line getting more comfortable with each other.  The league continues to see RBs that come out undrafted and have huge success (Alfred Morris).  I hate to think what LBer or DE that we left on the table because we were desperate to take Ingram.

Brees was his normal self, but did force the ball a bit much and made some bad reads that lead to too many interceptions.  You also cannot have a 5 interception game or end a half with a pick 6 (SF).  His overall percentage was down, but he did experience a lot of drops especially from Colston, Graham and Sproles.

Saint Tiger

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Posted: 1/9/2013 9:26 AM

RE: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 


If y'all could solidify the OL and commit to the run a little more your O would be unstoppable as long as Brees remembers which team to throw it to.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. "

Galileo
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Posted: 1/10/2013 7:20 AM

RE: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 



Jackofalltrades1977 wrote: If y'all could solidify the OL and commit to the run a little more your O would be unstoppable as long as Brees remembers which team to throw it to.

It ain't the OL that needs to be solidified...it's a good OL...the coach needs a change of heart in offensive play calling...if you were to  do a Saints poll...I believe you'd find that the majority of Saints fans would agree that we need to run the ball more...and  in my mind...I'd take it a step further...stop rotating RB's every play...

As for Brees...yea...he had an off season with the most int's he's thrown since he's been here...but he did some great things this season as well...I believe we got behind the 8 ball in our 0-4 start and he pressed a bit much in games...proverbially trying to carry the team on his shoulders....ya press to much and int's are bound to happen...especially when your behind in games...which occured quite a bit this season....happens to the best from time to time...

World Champions   2009

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Posted: 1/10/2013 9:46 AM

RE: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 


Two things hurt the Saints running game. (1) Play Calling  (2) OL Commitment

(1) Play Calling---All year long I watch the Saints offense and really I was kind of astounded in the amount of throws that seemed designed for 3-5 yard routes.  Often you will see these routes on 3rd and short such as a quick slant.  Often you will see an outlet receiver in the 3-5 range, but often these were designed routes and release throws that occured on 1st and 2nd downs.  It often semed that Brees and New Orleans were content to leave themselves 2nd and 6 or 3rd and 6.  Well you could say well this is the passing game, but it has a cumlative effect.  The idea is that with so many short throws and so many throws around the line of scrimmage it really did little to get a lot of movement and space with the linebackers.  So even in situations that may be run or pass the defense anticipated a quick short play around the line of scrimmage.

(2) OL Commitment

I don't know if I will let the OL off scot-free. 

We cannot underestimate the loss of Nicks.  Now I think that Grubbs is one of the top guards in the game, but to think that you would not have some drop off would be strange.  Just the fact that you have a new piece of the puzzle was going to take time to gel. 

I think that several things can lead to this. 

(A) I think that the Saints spent much of the preseason spending time trying to sure up pass protection and not enough time remembering how to get physical and run blocking. 

(B) And this might be a minor thing, but how much of Kromer's attention was taken away to think about and doing other things.  Yes, the commitment to the run should have been made early in the preseason, but the defenses they were seeing were vanilla and then the real games started.  Kromer is the run game coordinator.

Saint Tiger

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Posted: 1/10/2013 10:47 AM

RE: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 



tigerterrace wrote:

Two things hurt the Saints running game. (1) Play Calling  (2) OL Commitment




I would add a couple of other reasons.....

It may not be that big of a deal and is just a personal belief but I think you need a lead running back.

Pick one and let him get in a rhythm.
Spell him when he needs a rest or bring in a "change of pace" guy when down and distance calls for it, but running 25 times a game with 4 guys getting 6 or 7 carries never lets one guy get into a rhythm with his o-line versus the defense on that day.

I also think that the Saints tip the defense with personnel packages.
Ingram/Ivory is the short yardage guy, Sproles the passing guy, etc.
Defenses pretty much know if it's run or pass depending on who's in.
Thomas is the most versatile and probably the best guy at keeping the defense honest.
He's not great at any one thing but can block, run, and receive out of the backfield effectively.

Just my opinion.....noidea
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Posted: 1/10/2013 11:20 AM

RE: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 



battleredtexan wrote:
tigerterrace wrote:

Two things hurt the Saints running game. (1) Play Calling  (2) OL Commitment




I would add a couple of other reasons.....

It may not be that big of a deal and is just a personal belief but I think you need a lead running back.

Pick one and let him get in a rhythm.
Spell him when he needs a rest or bring in a "change of pace" guy when down and distance calls for it, but running 25 times a game with 4 guys getting 6 or 7 carries never lets one guy get into a rhythm with his o-line versus the defense on that day.

I also think that the Saints tip the defense with personnel packages.
Ingram/Ivory is the short yardage guy, Sproles the passing guy, etc.
Defenses pretty much know if it's run or pass depending on who's in.
Thomas is the most versatile and probably the best guy at keeping the defense honest.
He's not great at any one thing but can block, run, and receive out of the backfield effectively.

Just my opinion.....noidea
I think that those things are valid points, but I do think that some of things things are way over blown.  The switching of running back has a cumlative effect and while I agree that you would RB get into a rhythm as you say I also think this is more important when you have RBs that offer different styles.

Take Sproles out of the mix, because I see him as the Reggie Bush/Percy Harvin type back who is more effective on the sweeps and swing passes.

Thomas, Ingram and Ivory are all pretty much inside runners.  So that alone tips the defense that most of the action is coming off of the guards.  About 80% of those runs happen inside the tackles, another 10% occur between the tackle and TE with a kickout block.  So once again the defense can play the gaps and fill them.

As far as the defense being tipped on plays.  I believe that actually works both ways and they are fine with that.  What may be hard for fans to understand is that the Saints spend so much time and plays setting up the deep play action pass that they often will run the same plays with the same personnel over and over again until they see what they want.  So they might now that a run off tackle on 2nd and 10 will likely only yield 3-4 yards, but they will run that 3-4 times waiting for the safety to cheat up to go over the top.

Now the Thomas thing is the key to the whole situation.  Thomas is our best and most versatile back.  Once again this comes back to the Ingram pick.  I don't want this to be another Ingram is a bust thread, but he cannot do the things in the pros that he did in coillege.  To me he also looks 10-15 pounds heavier.  That may be because of the Saints desire to have him be the short yardage back.

Thomas does have the ability to keep the offense very balanced and is also a threat to catch passes out of the backfield.  The Saints have tried screens to Ingram and they just don't work.  Thomas has the abilty to make the first man miss and then set up his blockers.  Ingram is too slow to avoid that first guy.

Maybe the Saints need a different style of back that can get to the edge and threaten the defense to have to work sideline to sideline.  Even the majority of the Saints passing game is to work the hashmarks or middle of the field with Colston and Graham.

Saint Tiger

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Posted: 1/11/2013 8:18 AM

Re: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 


The only running styles I've noticed in the Saints RB's is the ability to get outside [speed] which is what Sproles presents...as far as Ingram...Thomas...and Ivory goes...Thomas has the better ability on screens...otherwise...they're all between the tackle runners...

I agree with BRT in this fact... that "I" can pretty much tell you what the Saints are gonna do with the personel packages they present in the RB's...it's pretty much no secret....but I have to believe that Thomas would be my starting RB...and he'd stay in the game till we wore him down a bit...and then bring in the fresh legs...

Bottom line...as long as we're winning games...I don't care how we go about doing it...seems I've questioned and tried to make sense of every coach we've had from time to time...and I do that with coach Payton at times...but...bottom line....we're winning....that's all that matters to me....so...they must be doing sumptin right....

World Champions   2009

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Posted: 1/11/2013 9:10 PM

Re: 5 Bright Spots Heading into the 2013 Season 


I'm looking forward to next season.Good article bubba.Thanks....biggrin
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