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Old 08-05-2012, 12:37 PM    (permalink
diabsoule
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
It's not just Xs and Os though. Being a HC is so much more than that. The Saints are gonna be without their HC all year, and will transition btw 2 temporary HCs during the season.

You need a singular voice in the lockerroom, a singular leader to run the team. You can't have a committee. It doesn't work.

The division didn't get any easier either. I honestly don't see how they'll be any better than 9-7 this year. It's not because I doubt the talent, I don't even doubt the leadership. But the distractions and the losses are just too great for any team to overcome.

When the offense and defense quarrel this year, and it will happen, it happens on every team, who's the singular authoritative voice to stop it? Nobody. Vitt? Nobody cares what Vitt says, he's just a temporary HC, as is anyone else on that coaching staff. No one cares how close Vitt is to Payton either. He's not Payton. Period.

If they do pull off a playoff season, I'll tip my hat to them. But I'm not expecting it. It's a long, stressful, exhausting season. It's not just about talent. Talent alone won't get it done.
We'll just see if we're revisiting this topic come playoff time. I think they make it (obviously) and you don't. Should be a fun season nonetheless just to see how they respond to this off-season's adversity.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:13 PM    (permalink
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44.) NFC Divisional Round: (6) Giants over (1) Packers and (2) Saints over (5) Bears.
Great stuff overall, +Rep already dished out..... but if ^ that happens again, there are going to be some people who get shot.

I would love to see them again though in the playoffs.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:37 AM    (permalink
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Passer friendly system ? You mean a decimated o-line and terrible receivers who couldn't catch ? And a coordinator who kept him in a 7 step drop with no time to throw and nobody to throw to ? Man, if that's passer friendly, I would hate to see non- passer friendly.
Josh McDaniels runs a fairly passer-friendly system. He compartmentalizes things for his quarterbacks and gets defenses to show certain things given pre-snap alignments and window dressing. His route combinations are effective and he doesnít force receivers into uncomfortable areas of the tree. McDaniels has made productive quarterbacks out of Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton and gotten run out of receivers like Jabar Gaffney before. In his career as an offensive coordinator:

2006 NE: 6.8 yards per attempt
2007 NE: 8.3 yards per attempt
2008 NE: 7.2 yards per attempt
2009 DEN: 7.0 yards per attempt
2010 DEN: 7.3 yards per attempt
2011 STL: 6.1 yards per attempt

Sam Bradford is the low-end outlier. I understand that having one of the worst pass-catching groups in the NFL and a porous offensive line affects those numbers. I would never expect the 2011 Rams to match the 2007 Patriots. The talent just isnít there to enter that kind of class. It all canít be rested on the shoulders of his supporting cast though. Bradford has opportunities to make line calls and protection adjustments and get the ball out of his hand quicker.

And while Iíll admit that I wasnít a religious Rams-watcher last season, I am confident in stating that McDanielsí seven-step drops were different from someone like Mike Martzís, for example. Martz utilizes seven-step drops to incorporate a menagerie of slow-developing, vertical routes that get receivers attacking and turning upfield. McDaniels might call for greater drop depth, but heís got more built-in underneath outlets and short spread concepts installed in his offense. In that case, the ball is supposed to be out at the top of the drop. Based on watching previous viewings of McDaniels, I would be surprised to learn he sent receivers like Gibson, Pettis, Salas, and Kendricks on deep releases on a consistent basis. McDaniels is a dreadful head coach and talent evaluator, but thereís much worse around the NFL as far as offensive coordinators go, and that would be a departure from his offensive character.

The part of Bradfordís game that Iíve noticed needs reprogramming most is his perception of separation. In college, and in the spread in particular, windows are much larger and separation is defined. A receiver is either open or heís not. In the NFL, separation is more distorted. Coverage is tighter and windows shrink. Often, quarterbacks transitioning from a wide-open spread will perceive a small window to be a closed one and continue on to their next progression. When Iíve watched him, Iíve seen Bradford hesitate to pull the trigger, and Iíve noticed it most in the red zone. Heís got an accurate arm. He can make stick throws. He just needs the confidence to fire.

Iím not labeling Bradford a bust because of his sophomore season either. The overall point was that the Rams are armed with an arsenal of future picks and the entire team will be under the microscope this season as Fisher evaluates what heís got on the roster and what he needs to win. Bradford included. If Fisher doesnít like what he sees, or prefers a draftable quarterback more, heís not married to Bradford. Weíve seen coaches move on from inherited quarterbacks before and weíll see coaches do it again and again.

But, to the point, the future of St. Louis looks that much brighter if Bradford can rebound and be the man and the Rams organization can devote all of their energies and picks to surrounding him with better talent. Rather than gambling on another quarterback with a top selection and starting the process over again.

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Still reading through, but having skipped ahead to the giants section, you're drastically under-estimating Perry Fewell's ability to **** **** up. I'm absolutely convinced we'll not just see a return of his absurdly complex option-coverages, but also his marvelous 3 man rush.
If that kind of mismanagement of talent happens again, then I just donít even knowÖ

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Originally Posted by Bixby View Post
How is a guy who has 29.5 sacks in 3 years in the NFL not a great edge rusher? And he's been top 10 in the NFL in two of his first three seasons in run stop rate at OLB according to FootballOutsiders so I'm not sure about that "average run defender" stuff. Plus, he's probably the best 3-4 OLB in coverage in the entire league. You're crazy if you think Clay Matthews is overrated.
Because heís not. Since when does it take just a little under ten sacks per season to be considered one of the best edge rushers in the NFL? Ware and Suggs are on a tier of their own and that isnít debatable. I would take Harrison and Hali as pass rushers over Matthews, too. And thatís just counting rush linebackers. If weíre grouping all edge rushers together regardless of formation, Iíd rather have Jared Allen, JPP, Trent Cole, or Julius Peppers. Thatís eight pass rushers right there that Iíd take over Matthews without much pause. Then thereís that next tier involving people like Aldon Smith, Von Miller, Cameron Wake, LaMarr Woodley, Elvis Dumervil, Mario Williams, and Dwight Freeney. Matthews belongs somewhere on that tier. Which is filled with good-to-great pass rushers themselves. But none of them are the absolute best of the best. And I will maintain that. If people are claiming Matthews to be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, which Iíve seen a lot of, then heís overrated.

Also, I never said heís an ďaverage run defenderĒ. I said heís not a strong run defender. Again, because heís not. There are two kinds of run defenders. The first is someone who can anchor, disengage, and either make the tackle or funnel the runner to the defensive flow. The second is someone that can get to the ball clean and make the stop. Matthews excels at the second, but he struggles at the first. Hence, heís not a strong run defender. Iíve seen tight ends wash Matthews out of gaps to create running lanes. Heís just not as strong at the point of attack as some of the other edge-setters that heís grouped with on a regular basis.

Iím not calling Matthews garbage. He brings a lot of positive things to a football team and thereís not a team in the league that wouldnít be interested in him for the right price and for good reason. It just seems that most have him in the elite class when it comes to 3-4 outside linebackers. I donít see that kind of value, so Iíd have him lower than that.

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Originally Posted by Bixby View Post
And people keep pinning the Eagles hopes on Vick's consistency but what people really should be talking about is his health. If he's healthy, the Eagles win games. The Eagles are 15-6 the past two seasons in games that Vick starts and finishes and they're 3-8 when he doesn't. Consistency isn't the problem, his health is. If Vick stays healthy, the Eagles can compete for it all but if Vick goes down early they might be in contention for a #1 pick because Mike Kafka just isn't going to cut it.
Vickís health is a huge issue for the Eagles, too. I alluded to that as well.

He still doesnít have full trust as a quarterback from me though. Rough coverage on the outside receivers, a smart rush, and hit him as hard and as often as possible. Constrict the pocket and dare him to attempt breaking containment. He still gets impatient. And patience isnít just one of the most important virtues for a quarterback; itís also one of the hardest to develop. When Vick gets frustrated, Vick makes quick decisions. When Vick makes quick decisions, Vick makes mistakes.

Thatís the part I donít trust. Thereís no question heís evolved as a passer since Atlanta and heís got explosive potential in Philadelphiaís offense. But I need to see better decision-making still.

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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
Great thread. I just don't see it with the Saints. I don't care how good Brees is, hes not the OC. I think we're undermining Payton and his game plans with the assumption that Brees can just run thr offense, do all the responsibilities of qb AND the gameplan by himself. Plus the loss of structure is just catastrophic for a team. Brees is just 1 guy. Theres 52 other guys on thr team that needs that structure. I dont doubt the talent, but I just can't see them overcoming their obstacles.
It is a bit of a projection, I admit.

But I love the talent on the roster and I trust the core minds in charge of it to rise to the occasion. Carmichael has been offensive coordinator in New Orleans for the past three seasons and an assistant for three more. The Saints have had the best offense in the NFL in four of those six seasons. Granted, Sean Payton is an undeniable influence on that stat, but Carmichael has been a very productive play-caller when given the opportunity and, as far as I understand it, the tandem of Carmichael and Brees were involved in the implementation of each offensive gameplan and offered their own input. By now, they share many of the same philosophies, so a crisis of identity isnít likely.

Now, Iím not expecting New Orleansí offense to just show up and set the league ablaze. There will be an adjustment period to losing their head coach and offensive mastermind. But that side of the ball is dripping with talent and sends the third best quarterback in the NFL out there to harmonize it. Graham and Sproles are two of the biggest mismatches in the league. Their backfield has some tough, reliable runners and a reloaded offensive line thatís still strong in the middle. Their receivers group is good enough to manipulate certain matchups and gets the job done, too. The offense doesnít have to be the most explosive in the NFL again. But I anticipate it wonít fall much further than five or so.

One of the biggest reasons Iím all-in on the Saints is the addition of Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator. I think he can take this defense and make it a much, much better unit in his first season there. Under Gregg Williams, the Saints sold out to create turnovers and often took themselves out of position doing it. Spagnuolo designs are more controlled, but I still see an aggressive, hard-hitting defense that generates turnovers and gives the ball back to their offense. I just expect a more responsible and technical approach to accomplish that vision.

Your point about the leadership structure is 100% fair. Right now, this team is galvanized. The whole organization feels wronged over the suspensions that were handed down and it has cultivated an us-against-the-world attitude. Thatís a powerful chip to have on their shoulder and that can propel a team to their goals. But, at the same time, it is almost certain that there will be a moment where factions of the locker room fracture and thatís when a decisive voice would help most in deterring division. How the biggest leaders in the locker room respond to that stimulus is what decides the Saintsí season.

As long as the offensive and defensive leaders are unified, I think New Orleans can survive the fights that stem from the grind.

With regard to the Super Bowl prediction, Iím not convinced just being in the Superdome is enough for the Saints. Granted, riding the Superdome momentum and avoiding the Packers at Lambeau is a reason I picked them to get there in that scenario, but I doubt the electric atmosphere would be the same. The Super Bowl is a corporate climate. I canít see it coming close to replicating the rabid environment and the Patriots offense isnít too bad in a dome either.

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Originally Posted by Thecollegedropout View Post
1) I agree the running game is such an enigma early in August but.....take into account Sparano is so heavy run as opposed to the awful Schottenheimer who played around with the small dumpoffs and didn't mix enough plays and didn't capitalize on a defense's weakness. I think if anything, a runner like Greene will have their stats inflated in Sparano's system like we saw with Bush or Brown in Miami.

2) Mark Sanchez rookie year overrated? I think the term "overrated" gets tossed around way too loosely. From what I remember, everyone saw Sanchez as the guy who held a Super Bowl esque defense from going all the way and a guy who plenty of people bashed and knocked around. Yes he did garner alot of praise the first 5 or so weeks when the team was undefeated but that quickly went away as the team began to lose some more. Overrated means to have been thought highly of and talked about greatly by most....and that is far from what happened to Sanchez. He got chatted more as a game manager than being overrated.

3) Sanchez will have a tighter leash than most feel......I think at worst he will have 10 games to prove himself unless he gets hurt and Tebow takes the ball and runs or Sanchez is that bad(Which I dont think will happen)

In the end, I guess you dislike Sanchez while I still think he can be a good QB in this league. I can't blame you for thinking like this given the past 3 seasons of play but I do think getting out of Schotty's clutches WILL be better for him moving forward.....just because Sparano will be much more imaginative and will take risks rather than dumb down the whole offense and be predictable.
For me, it does boil down to the fact that I donít have faith in Sanchez.

Since his rookie season, some have given the moniker of a gamer, but I donít see how he elevates his poorest supporting cast to a strong finish. I agree that Sparano will maximize the rushing attack and the game wonít be placed on Sanchezís arm like Schottenheimer seemed so willing to do so often, but thatís not enough for me to believe. I just donít see the talent there for Sanchez to succeed and his most talented weapon is oft-disgruntled. What happens when Sanchez misses Holmes or doesnít throw to him because the defense is rolling their coverages over him? Given the media circus the Jets have become, even the slightest incidents could be enough to ignite a volatile situation.

(For the record, I think Shonn Greene has been the recipient of unwarranted hate. Heís not a stud, but heís a workhorse that gets whatís blocked for him and finishes runs. He was just never fed the ball on a consistent basis under Schottenheimer and the line isnít as strong as it used to be. Sparano will fix some of the issues with the latter, but Iím still not too excited at the prospect of Greene against a lot of eight-man boxes.)
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:55 AM    (permalink
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Me when someone does one of these threads

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:44 AM    (permalink
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Caddy, you really do suck at this whole being a decent human being thing.
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JPP is a better and more productive player than Brandon Graham
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:08 AM    (permalink
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Clay created plenty of pressure last season. The issue was they had nobody opposite him and the Dline provided zilch in the pass rush, so D's just zoned in on Clay

Raji was the one who really had a bad season. He didn't really do much of anything.
I think that they need to stick Raji at NT and leave him there. They keep trying to make him a DE, and it doesn't seem to work.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:21 PM    (permalink
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32.) I don’t think the Lions will make a return trip to the postseason, but I don’t expect a precipitous drop either. It’s something that happens each season. A perennial cellar-dweller breaks out and puts together a good run. Then, in the following season, said team is knocked down from their perch due to a harder schedule and a higher respect level around the league.

I don’t think Detroit replicates their team success from last season. But I don’t think this team plummets and returns to being the old Lions either because Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are two of the best building blocks in the entire NFL and that combination is lethal enough to keep them afloat on their own. I think this team finds itself in that 7-9 to 9-7 range at season’s end. Winning a good amount of games, but dropping some to contending teams and being eliminated from the postseason picture.

The main hesitance I have with the Lions is the same as a lot of people. I don’t see how this team covers at an NFL level. That backend is as threadbare as I’ve seen. With as efficient and prevalent as the pass is in the modern NFL, that’s a huge handicap to have to overcome. Even if the defensive line shows up, I’m not sure it will be enough to cover it. This backfield needs to be the target of an overall talent infusion. Once Detroit does that, I think the Lions will be right back in the hunt.
____________

The Lions went 10-6 without beating a winning team but beat several 8-8 teams(Dallas,SD,Oakland,Denver,Chicago with Cutler/Forte) and went 10-6 without healthy RBs or any discipline. Lions play 6 winning teams from last year and of course Bears will be improved. 8-8 or 9-7 is possible but the Lions have the talent to beat winning teams like the Titans and Falcons, Pack/Bears at Ford Field to get to 11-12 wins. They have a big range from 8-12 wins.

The Lions secondary was top 5 before injuries last year on Thanksgiving. They rely on Houston and Delmas staying healthy which is a big IF for them and are screwed if either of them get hurt for an extended period. If they can muster 14 games each from Houston/Delmas, the Lions are a very dangerous team very capable of repeating in the playoffs. Rookie Bill Bentley has been doing well in camp and Lacey fits the slot, has experience(much more than Berry did) and will be aided by much more pass rush(100 more sacks/hits/hurries than Indy had last year). If Alphonso Smith sees significant playing time though they are in trouble and losing Berry, Smith could play with one injury. Dline is good and LBs are solid(and have a year together unlike last offseason).

Lions offense will be good, the defense can be good with good health.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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I like this Cudders.

He's a good poster.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:47 PM    (permalink
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Josh McDaniels runs a fairly passer-friendly system. He compartmentalizes things for his quarterbacks and gets defenses to show certain things given pre-snap alignments and window dressing. His route combinations are effective and he doesnít force receivers into uncomfortable areas of the tree. McDaniels has made productive quarterbacks out of Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton and gotten run out of receivers like Jabar Gaffney before. In his career as an offensive coordinator:

2006 NE: 6.8 yards per attempt
2007 NE: 8.3 yards per attempt
2008 NE: 7.2 yards per attempt
2009 DEN: 7.0 yards per attempt
2010 DEN: 7.3 yards per attempt
2011 STL: 6.1 yards per attempt

Sam Bradford is the low-end outlier. I understand that having one of the worst pass-catching groups in the NFL and a porous offensive line affects those numbers. I would never expect the 2011 Rams to match the 2007 Patriots. The talent just isnít there to enter that kind of class. It all canít be rested on the shoulders of his supporting cast though. Bradford has opportunities to make line calls and protection adjustments and get the ball out of his hand quicker.

And while Iíll admit that I wasnít a religious Rams-watcher last season, I am confident in stating that McDanielsí seven-step drops were different from someone like Mike Martzís, for example. Martz utilizes seven-step drops to incorporate a menagerie of slow-developing, vertical routes that get receivers attacking and turning upfield. McDaniels might call for greater drop depth, but heís got more built-in underneath outlets and short spread concepts installed in his offense. In that case, the ball is supposed to be out at the top of the drop. Based on watching previous viewings of McDaniels, I would be surprised to learn he sent receivers like Gibson, Pettis, Salas, and Kendricks on deep releases on a consistent basis. McDaniels is a dreadful head coach and talent evaluator, but thereís much worse around the NFL as far as offensive coordinators go, and that would be a departure from his offensive character.

The part of Bradfordís game that Iíve noticed needs reprogramming most is his perception of separation. In college, and in the spread in particular, windows are much larger and separation is defined. A receiver is either open or heís not. In the NFL, separation is more distorted. Coverage is tighter and windows shrink. Often, quarterbacks transitioning from a wide-open spread will perceive a small window to be a closed one and continue on to their next progression. When Iíve watched him, Iíve seen Bradford hesitate to pull the trigger, and Iíve noticed it most in the red zone. Heís got an accurate arm. He can make stick throws. He just needs the confidence to fire.

Iím not labeling Bradford a bust because of his sophomore season either. The overall point was that the Rams are armed with an arsenal of future picks and the entire team will be under the microscope this season as Fisher evaluates what heís got on the roster and what he needs to win. Bradford included. If Fisher doesnít like what he sees, or prefers a draftable quarterback more, heís not married to Bradford. Weíve seen coaches move on from inherited quarterbacks before and weíll see coaches do it again and again.

But, to the point, the future of St. Louis looks that much brighter if Bradford can rebound and be the man and the Rams organization can devote all of their energies and picks to surrounding him with better talent. Rather than gambling on another quarterback with a top selection and starting the process over again.



If that kind of mismanagement of talent happens again, then I just donít even knowÖ



Because heís not. Since when does it take just a little under ten sacks per season to be considered one of the best edge rushers in the NFL? Ware and Suggs are on a tier of their own and that isnít debatable. I would take Harrison and Hali as pass rushers over Matthews, too. And thatís just counting rush linebackers. If weíre grouping all edge rushers together regardless of formation, Iíd rather have Jared Allen, JPP, Trent Cole, or Julius Peppers. Thatís eight pass rushers right there that Iíd take over Matthews without much pause. Then thereís that next tier involving people like Aldon Smith, Von Miller, Cameron Wake, LaMarr Woodley, Elvis Dumervil, Mario Williams, and Dwight Freeney. Matthews belongs somewhere on that tier. Which is filled with good-to-great pass rushers themselves. But none of them are the absolute best of the best. And I will maintain that. If people are claiming Matthews to be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, which Iíve seen a lot of, then heís overrated.

Also, I never said heís an ďaverage run defenderĒ. I said heís not a strong run defender. Again, because heís not. There are two kinds of run defenders. The first is someone who can anchor, disengage, and either make the tackle or funnel the runner to the defensive flow. The second is someone that can get to the ball clean and make the stop. Matthews excels at the second, but he struggles at the first. Hence, heís not a strong run defender. Iíve seen tight ends wash Matthews out of gaps to create running lanes. Heís just not as strong at the point of attack as some of the other edge-setters that heís grouped with on a regular basis.

Iím not calling Matthews garbage. He brings a lot of positive things to a football team and thereís not a team in the league that wouldnít be interested in him for the right price and for good reason. It just seems that most have him in the elite class when it comes to 3-4 outside linebackers. I donít see that kind of value, so Iíd have him lower than that.



Vickís health is a huge issue for the Eagles, too. I alluded to that as well.

He still doesnít have full trust as a quarterback from me though. Rough coverage on the outside receivers, a smart rush, and hit him as hard and as often as possible. Constrict the pocket and dare him to attempt breaking containment. He still gets impatient. And patience isnít just one of the most important virtues for a quarterback; itís also one of the hardest to develop. When Vick gets frustrated, Vick makes quick decisions. When Vick makes quick decisions, Vick makes mistakes.

Thatís the part I donít trust. Thereís no question heís evolved as a passer since Atlanta and heís got explosive potential in Philadelphiaís offense. But I need to see better decision-making still.



It is a bit of a projection, I admit.

But I love the talent on the roster and I trust the core minds in charge of it to rise to the occasion. Carmichael has been offensive coordinator in New Orleans for the past three seasons and an assistant for three more. The Saints have had the best offense in the NFL in four of those six seasons. Granted, Sean Payton is an undeniable influence on that stat, but Carmichael has been a very productive play-caller when given the opportunity and, as far as I understand it, the tandem of Carmichael and Brees were involved in the implementation of each offensive gameplan and offered their own input. By now, they share many of the same philosophies, so a crisis of identity isnít likely.

Now, Iím not expecting New Orleansí offense to just show up and set the league ablaze. There will be an adjustment period to losing their head coach and offensive mastermind. But that side of the ball is dripping with talent and sends the third best quarterback in the NFL out there to harmonize it. Graham and Sproles are two of the biggest mismatches in the league. Their backfield has some tough, reliable runners and a reloaded offensive line thatís still strong in the middle. Their receivers group is good enough to manipulate certain matchups and gets the job done, too. The offense doesnít have to be the most explosive in the NFL again. But I anticipate it wonít fall much further than five or so.

One of the biggest reasons Iím all-in on the Saints is the addition of Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator. I think he can take this defense and make it a much, much better unit in his first season there. Under Gregg Williams, the Saints sold out to create turnovers and often took themselves out of position doing it. Spagnuolo designs are more controlled, but I still see an aggressive, hard-hitting defense that generates turnovers and gives the ball back to their offense. I just expect a more responsible and technical approach to accomplish that vision.

Your point about the leadership structure is 100% fair. Right now, this team is galvanized. The whole organization feels wronged over the suspensions that were handed down and it has cultivated an us-against-the-world attitude. Thatís a powerful chip to have on their shoulder and that can propel a team to their goals. But, at the same time, it is almost certain that there will be a moment where factions of the locker room fracture and thatís when a decisive voice would help most in deterring division. How the biggest leaders in the locker room respond to that stimulus is what decides the Saintsí season.

As long as the offensive and defensive leaders are unified, I think New Orleans can survive the fights that stem from the grind.

With regard to the Super Bowl prediction, Iím not convinced just being in the Superdome is enough for the Saints. Granted, riding the Superdome momentum and avoiding the Packers at Lambeau is a reason I picked them to get there in that scenario, but I doubt the electric atmosphere would be the same. The Super Bowl is a corporate climate. I canít see it coming close to replicating the rabid environment and the Patriots offense isnít too bad in a dome either.



For me, it does boil down to the fact that I donít have faith in Sanchez.

Since his rookie season, some have given the moniker of a gamer, but I donít see how he elevates his poorest supporting cast to a strong finish. I agree that Sparano will maximize the rushing attack and the game wonít be placed on Sanchezís arm like Schottenheimer seemed so willing to do so often, but thatís not enough for me to believe. I just donít see the talent there for Sanchez to succeed and his most talented weapon is oft-disgruntled. What happens when Sanchez misses Holmes or doesnít throw to him because the defense is rolling their coverages over him? Given the media circus the Jets have become, even the slightest incidents could be enough to ignite a volatile situation.

(For the record, I think Shonn Greene has been the recipient of unwarranted hate. Heís not a stud, but heís a workhorse that gets whatís blocked for him and finishes runs. He was just never fed the ball on a consistent basis under Schottenheimer and the line isnít as strong as it used to be. Sparano will fix some of the issues with the latter, but Iím still not too excited at the prospect of Greene against a lot of eight-man boxes.)
I've been considering taking that angle with the Saints as well. Their offense is just so damn good and I'm a huge Spags believer.

Also, they've actually upgraded at LB with Lofton and Hawthorne added, and Bunkley was awesome in Denver last year so he might be a huge addition as well.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:49 PM    (permalink
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1.) Most Valuable Player: Drew Brees.
I will pick a non QB - Arian Foster

2.) Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady.
Same

3.) Defensive Player of the Year: Jason Pierre-Paul. As a runner-up, Iíll take DeMarcus Ware.
Ware also


4.) Breakout Offensive Star: Robert Meachem.
Ryan Matthews. for someone more obscure, Jacquizz Rogers

5.) Breakout Defensive Star: Malcolm Jenkins.
If he's eligible, Eric Berry. If not Leodis McKelvin

6.) Most Underrated: Jay Cutler and Calais Campbell.
Jordy Nelson and Charles Tillman

7.) Most Overrated: DeSean Jackson and Clay Matthews III.
Devin Hester and Dwight Freeney

8.) Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning.
Eric Berry

9.) Coach of the Year: Gary Kubiak.
COY should go to a team that is not expected to win big. Mike Smith Atlanta

10.) The Hot Seat: Andy Reid and Norv Turner.
No argument. I would add Rex Ryan.

11.) Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck.
RG III

12.) Defensive Rookie of the Year: Luke Kuechly.
Reasonable

13.) Mid-Round Rookie Watch: Joe Adams and Josh Chapman.
Ronnie Hillman and Issish Pead

14.) Best Draft Classes: Steelers and Eagles.
Giants and Chargers

15.) On the Clock: Jacksonville Jaguars.
Indianapolis Colts, again

16.) The Patriots addressed some of their defensive concerns in the off-season, but that wasnít their most impactful addition. Brandon Lloyd was their biggest addition.
Probably. Improvement will be mostly home grown, but not the rookies

17.) Buffalo has an underrated collection of defensive talent.
Oh yeah. Big time.

18.) The Jets are a recipe for disaster.
May be. If the wheels fall off they could pick first. Reportedly HC Ryan actuall got in shape.

19.) Miami shouldnít be afraid of starting Tannehill this season.
Disagree. They have Garrard as a caretaker, and it will work well enough.
20.) Pittsburgh is the favorite in the AFC North. 21.) But Baltimore is still dangerous.
Reverse those

22.) The Bengals are pretenders.
Yep.

23.) The Browns are going to struggle in the win-loss ledger, but I expect them to be competitive and progress.
The Browns offense will struggle with a rookie QB, whi is a rhythm passer who has not found his rhythm. Top 3 pick, but big improvement in 2013.

24.) Houston is a true championship contender.
THE true contender

26.) San Diegoís talent decline has gone unnoticed.
San Diego has retooled after years of aging decline

27.) While the Eagles are ultra-talented, I donít trust them to compete for the Lombardi. Because I donít trust Michael Vick when it counts.
The Eagles are not ultra talented. The rest is true.

28.) I canít figure out the Giants.
Join the club. Membership is free

29.) If Dallas realizes their window is closing, eliminating mental mistakes should be their biggest focus.
DeMarcus Ware has a window. He is the only one.

30.) The Packers offense sets the floor and the defense sets the ceiling.
Nicely put

31.) Chicago shouldnít be considered a sleeper.
Again, nicely put

32.) I donít think the Lions will make a return trip to the postseason, but I donít expect a precipitous drop either.
Accurate but not as well put

33.) Despite all of the distractions, New Orleans is primed for a big-time run.
Because of all the distractions the Saints struggle to finish .500

34.) Cam Newton has made Carolina a hot preseason pick, but his assumed development is the biggest misnomer in the NFL.
Interesting take. Can Cam refine his game? Vick never could.

35.) A pair of new coordinators will determine the fate of the Falcons. Under Mularkey and VanGorder, Atlanta was the most vanilla team in the NFL. They had pretty good talent, but they generally lacked dynamic playmakers and schematic creativity. While I still believe they need the former, the latter can certainly get better.
This is the NFC team to beat

36.) The revamped Buccaneers will struggle to see dividends this season.
Struggle AND see dividends

37.) San Francisco will take a step back, but should still be considered the frontrunners for the NFC West crown.
A big step back. This team has good starters, but no depth and a tougher schedule. Rams are the surprise winner

38.) The Cardinals and Seahawks are near carbon clones.
In what universe? Granted both have QB issues, poor OL and good defenses, but they are very dissimilar

39.) Itís a make-or-break season for Sam Bradford and the Rams.
Make, but not his last shot regardless

40.) The NFC is a much deeper, more competitive conference than the AFC.
False. It is very close

41.) AFC Wild Card: (3) Steelers over (6) Chiefs and (4) Broncos over (5) Bills.
Chiefs (3) over Bills (6), Ravens (4) over Chargers (5)

42.) NFC Wild Card: (6) Giants over (3) Eagles and (5) Bears over (4) Niners.
Cowboys (3) over Eagles (6), Bears (5) over Rams (4)

43.) AFC Divisional Round: (1) Patriots over (4) Broncos and (2) Texans over (3) Steelers.
Texans (1) over Ravens (4), Patriots (2) over Chiefs (3)

44.) NFC Divisional Round: (6) Giants over (1) Packers and (2) Saints over (5) Bears.
Atlanta (1) over Bears (5), Cowboys (3) over Green Bay (2)


45.) AFC Championship Game: (1) Patriots over (2) Texans.
Texans (1) over Patriots (2)

46.) NFC Championship Game: (2) Saints over (6) Giants.
Falcons (1) over Cowboys (3)

47.) Super Bowl XLVII: (1) Patriots 24, (2) Saints 20. MVP: Tom Brady.
Texans over Falcons MVP Arian Foster
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:28 PM    (permalink
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25.) The Chiefs have a talented roster…except where it matters most. And that lowers their ceiling. Matt Cassel can be a capable caretaker, but I don’t think he’s good enough for legitimate title aspirations. He would need all-time great performances from certain aspects of the team to accomplish that. That said, I think the supporting talent is there to make the Chiefs postseason contenders.

The Chiefs have the best one-two punch at running back, a stable of talented receivers with the potential to mix up personnel groupings and isolate mismatches, a revamped offensive line, and established defensive talent at each level. On the whole, this is a well-rounded football team with age on their side. Outside of Cassel, arguments could be made that this is one of the most talented teams in the NFL.

And that’s what Pioli needs to work toward addressing above all else. A big-time quarterback is the last cornerstone this team is missing. It’s now his job to exhaust each avenue and option that might lead to a quarterback upgrade because this team has a championship window if it acquires one.

(On an unrelated note, I’m curious to see how Romeo Crennel handles his second campaign on the sidelines. With the Browns, Romeo mismanaged himself and his in-game responsibilities. He detached himself from defensive duties and those units were unimaginative and frustrating to watch. Now he’s got experience with things like clock management and he’s armed with the knowledge that delegating didn’t net him the defensive results he’s accustomed to. From what I’ve heard, he’s keeping defensive duties on his plate this season. That’s a good sign. Disappointments from previous experiences don’t have to define future opportunities.)


QB is the biggest weak spot on the roster. That being said, it is a flaw not a hole. This is an 11 win roster WITH Cassel at QB.

The defense will blow people back. Much attention is focused on Dontari Poe, but the main NT seems to be UDFA Anthony Toribio, who has been around the fringes for years. He is an undersized technician who will be a 2 down run stuffer. Poe will be on all the sub packages, but mostly the pass package. He gives them a big penetrator for the first time since the 1990s. Poe will collapse the pocket and snuff draw action. Think Phil Taylor. Tyson Jackson has quietly become the best two gap DE in the AFC. Dorsey is also good and there is depth. This is a vastly under rated DL, because all three positions play 2 gap.

Justin Houston is ready for a star turn. When allowed to go all out, he is a beast rusher, but he also plays the run well and is decent in coverage. Hali is a liability in coverage. Derrick Johnson is the best little known LB in the NFL.

In the secondary is the star of an outstanding defense. Brandon Flowers is a stud. Brandon Carr is gone, but Stanford Routt is a solid CB2, though not up to Carr. Eric Berry is the centerpiece. He is the 800 poung gorilla; he plays wherever he wants. Really he is a fast Jack safety with CB grade coverage skills. Even the depth is good.

Offensively, the addition of Eric Winston puts a solid player in a gaping RT hole. The rest of the line is solid, except 2nd year C Hudson, who is unproven. Charles is back, and looks full speed in camp. His career YPC is exceeded only by Jim Brown. Replacing Thomas Jones is Peyton, reunited with his OC from Cleveland. Only Ben Tate is a better RB2. Among receivers, Boss is a nice addition, Moeaki is back and Baldwin has been looking like a future Pro Bowler.

With Cassel under C, this will never be an elite unit, but he is capable of getting out of the running games way, and effectively. Though many try to disregard it, Cassel has been QB of two double digit winning teams, 2008 and 2010. If the team is good enough, he can win with it. Not everyone can.

The schedule is middle. The Chiefs avoid the power divisions, except the last place team from the AFC East and North. In division, Denver is improved, SD is solid and Oakland is retooling. Call that level.

Much is made of Romeo Crennel's time in Cleveland. He is not the only HC to fall flat there. In KC he has a much better GM and has put together a good staff. He will be his own DC, which likely means that OC Daboll will have considerable autonomy. From Miami, we know he likes to run the ball, but he did not have these tools.

Add it up, and this is an 11 win team, given reasonable health. The team is very young, with no one over 30. Of the main players, only Cassel and Derrick Johnson are over 28. Last season, they were prone to roll out stinkers, including 40 point losses to Buffalo and Detroit and 30 point losses to Miami and NY Jets. That inconsistency is a concern, but one cause of volatility is gone, former HC Haley.

J
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:06 PM    (permalink
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Isn't Weeden super NFL ready? How could he possibly be struggling to find his rhythm when he's so NFL ready? Is it possible that your assumption that he would be more capable of performing well as a rookie because of his age were baseless and idiotic?
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Caddy, you really do suck at this whole being a decent human being thing.
Wouldn't I have to try to be a decent human being to then fail at it? Logic win!
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:54 AM    (permalink
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[b]7.)
Clay Matthews III is a similar case. Now, Matthews is a great piece of the puzzle in Dom Capersí defense, but he doesnít belong in the conversation of best edge rushers. Thereís a clear separation between him and the best of the best. He still contributes a lot of things to a defense though. He just isnít a top-flight pass rusher or a strong run defender. That said, in all fairness, his value has returned to a more reasonable level and he is relentless in his approach, so I donít see him disappearing soon. But some of the extravagant claims that have been made on his behalf are so far past ridiculous that I still canít forget them. .
First of all, love the write up overall! Very intelligent and well written. A+.

I disagree on this particular point, however. Clay has turned into one of the best overall players in the league and Capers used him to plug numerous holes last year in an attempt to save a shaky front 7 from being simply horrendous.

Watching game tape of him really shows how he was rarely in an ideal situation to put up big numbers last year but was greatly benefiting the team. One could easily argue we had a bottom 5 DLine last year with out best DLineman, B.J. Raji, basically played to the point of exhaustion and ineffectiveness. Considering two of our linebackers were also simply horrendous, another good but probably overrated in Desmond Bishop, Matthews really carried that front 7 with minimal help.

I'd argue we would have lost at least two more games with only an above average player at his position.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:02 AM    (permalink
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Isn't Weeden super NFL ready? How could he possibly be struggling to find his rhythm when he's so NFL ready? Is it possible that your assumption that he would be more capable of performing well as a rookie because of his age were baseless and idiotic?
No such thing, unless you count Cam Newton.

Who said he was super ready in the first place? I never did. I said is that he was worth a 1st round pick, not that he would be an instant success. All his age will bring him is maturity and possibly some leadership skills.

Did you read anything I wrote?

J
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:04 AM    (permalink
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No such thing, unless you count Cam Newton.

Who said he was super ready in the first place? I never did. I said is that he was worth a 1st round pick, not that he would be an instant success. All his age will bring him is maturity and possibly some leadership skills.

Did you read anything I wrote?

J
I'm sure if I spent more time looking I'd find something even more egregious, but right here you claim he's more NFL ready than RGIII or Tannenhill:

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More pro ready than RG III, absolutely. Weeden is much better at reading progressions and making the right decision. He does not have RG III's upside. More to the point, he is more pro ready than Tannehill. And he does not have6-7 less years of NFL pay. Its more like 3-5 years less.

Back in January, RT was my hot preference for the Chief's pick at #11, Trent Richardson as second choice. IIRC V was down on me then, on both counts. Weeden is just my latest, "This guy is grossly under valued; we should get him." player.

J
Strange that those guys can manage to look just as good n comfortable as Weeden at this point.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:21 AM    (permalink
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30.) The Packers offense sets the floor and the defense sets the ceiling.
I think the play of Worthy could be one of the deciding factors for GBs defense. The Collins injury got a lot of blame for their decline, but the loss of Cullen Jenkins was just as important. In his last year in GB, Jenkins had a QB pressure once every 16 snaps. His replacement as their nickel pass rusher was Jarius Wynn, who averaged one pressure every 47 snaps. If Worthy can split the difference between the two, the unit should be much improved. They started looking for Jenkins' replacement before he even left, and they'll continue looking for him until they find the right guy.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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I'm sure if I spent more time looking I'd find something even more egregious, but right here you claim he's more NFL ready than RGIII or Tannenhill:

Strange that those guys can manage to look just as good n comfortable as Weeden at this point.
I just said he was more pro ready than RG III, who is still learning to do progressions, and Tannehill, who has only one year as a starter. Both RG III and Tannehill are unusually raw for first round picks. Weeden is less raw, but that does not mean he is pro ready. As I said, there are no pro ready QBs.

That being said, I expect RG III will have some success the way Cam Newton did.

J
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:30 AM    (permalink
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I just said he was more pro ready than RG III, who is still learning to do progressions, and Tannehill, who has only one year as a starter. Both RG III and Tannehill are unusually raw for first round picks. Weeden is less raw, but that does not mean he is pro ready. As I said, there are no pro ready QBs.

That being said, I expect RG III will have some success the way Cam Newton did.

J
You also said he was the most pro-ready QB in the class, which would imply that he's more ready to have an impact as a rookie QB and yet he's done nothing to imply he's more prepared and doing better than RGIII or Luck. Hell I still expect Tannenhill to show more this year than Weeden even though he signed late and isn't likely to start until the Phins bye week.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:31 PM    (permalink
onejayhawk
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Luck is the most pro ready in the class, and it is not close. I never said otherwise. I simply said that Weeden was worth a 1st round pick, and defended the position.

J
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:45 PM    (permalink
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Don't mind the this bump. Just making sure I get a post in here to make it easier to bump once we get further along into the season.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:10 PM    (permalink
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Toonster, is that you?

Hell of a post Cudders. Hard to comment on all of it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the read and respect the time and effort put into it.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:54 PM    (permalink
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I just read the whole gtdamn thing. I love Cudders. Best poster ever haha

Cept you didn't mention the Raiders so....**** you!!! jk lol

I'm also on the Saints bandwagon. Want to keep this thread around so BBD can eat his crow later.
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