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First; great writeup Auron. It will be a very interesting off-season for sure. Brees will obviously be back, the question is whether or not we'll have to use our franchise tag on him. I don't know where our cap is at the moment, but keeping Brees, Nicks and Colston is very important. Realistically we might have to get used to the idea of losing either Nicks or Colston, and my guess is that they'll let Nicks walk before Colston because of how much we already pay Evans.
Gregg Williams leaving isn't all that bad I think. Our defense never got back to where we were at during the championship season. Mike Nolan, Steve Spagnuolo or Jack Del Rio would all be great hires.
Yeah, I really appreciate what Greg Williams has done for us. Especially in '09 when he first brought his aggressive Defense. However it was time to move on, it became clear that his scheme was losing it's luster as we were getting more ineffective as a blitzing team, and our Turnovers created plummeted.
I know the players loved Greg, and played hard for him but the results just were not there this year, the new coordinator needs to come in and completely re-evaluate every player on this Defense.
Interesting to hear your take on Spagnuolo. I can't say I disagree with you fully, but I am more optimistic on what he can do. However I do agree with the notion the he isn't going to just magically come in and make all our Defensive problems vanish. What he's going to do is bring some solid scheme work, and instill good fundamentals, but he's still going to need talented players to execute those schemes.
I believe we'll still be a team that disguises looks, and brings pressure but we won't be as "All or Nothing", Boom or Bust so to speak as we were with Greg Williams running the Defense. We'll run more Zones coverages behind our blitzes and I don't think we'll run a lot of Cover-0, or straight up Press Man, with Cover 1 and having Malcolm Jenkins account for an entire length of the field by himself, those days should be over.
I have a faith, and trust in what Payton and Loomis are doing, so if they were so straight forward in pursuing Spags, I'm going to trust their instincts on it. I do see what happened in St.Louis when he had very little talent to work with, but I also see his limited sample size with the Giants which was brilliant when he had beasts on the Defensive Line to terrorize opposing Quarterbacks. If we can get more pressure, sacks, turnovers without having to blitz as hard as Greg Williams did I will think that would be a great job.
Auron, as I'm procrastinating from work at the moment, let me say I will have to definitely sit down later and say why I have been skeptical of the Steve Spagnuolo hire.
That said, I found an article that all Saints fans, whether you support the hire or not, might find interesting.
Postscript: Never thought I'd see the Bucs play so much Single Safety, Man Under looks. Their Linebackers played aggressive and downhill pretty much all game, and I mean they limited the run.. but therefore opening up huge holes in the middle of the field for Brees off play action.
Really thought Schiano would follow the Raheem Morris-strategy for Defensively playing Brees, and pretty much disregard the run drop everyone except 4-5 rushers into coverage, and mostly play Zones; but I guess we showed enough run for the Bucs to respect it.