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Regular Season Game One: Top Five Concerns for the New Orleans Saints

I know we still have the preseason finale against the Chiefs this Thursday, but the core of our roster is set and starters should see little to no playing time this week. This last game will help management fill the last few roster spots, so I am overlooking this JV game and focusing all my time in preperation for the Saints, who travel up to Lambeau on September 8th. This game will feature the previous two Super Bowl champs, as shown on the commercial where Packer fans are tailgating at Lambeau, having beer and brats, trying to have a good time when that freaking Mardi Gras band comes strolling in like they own the place, makes me want to throw up. I live in Mississippi, and unfortunately the “Who Dat” phrase is thrown around far too much, it makes my ears bleed! Anyway, we have enough to worry about with the Saints, so here goes with my top five conerns….

1. Dree Brees – This 11 year vet has been with the Saints since 2006, having 5 Pro Bowls under his belt, and the ’09 Super Bowl ring. He is short by NFL standards, but sniper accurate when given time. He has a pretty big arsenal of weapons and likes to spread the ball around. He is not a threat to take off and run like Rodgers, but is good at buying time and finding receivers breaking off their route. I see countless experts ranking Brees as the 3rd or 4th best QB, behind Manning and Brady, usually being coupled with Rodgers and Rivers, but I firmly believe Rodgers is ahead of Brees, possessing the same deadly accuracy, field vision, and weapons. Oh yeah, and Rodgers can run! Brees will be a great first test for our 2011 defense, and he will put up points, no doubt about it, but we should be able to as well. This game has shoot-out written all over it, I just hope Rodgers has the quickest draw!

2. Gregg Williams – This Defensive Coordinator has been with the team since 2009 and has been a big part of their success. He brings a very fast, blitzing style 4-3 defense to Lambeau. The Saints had 33 sacks and 25 turnovers last season, down from 35 sacks and 39 turnovers during the 2009 Super Bowl season. Their leading sack man was DT, Sedrick Ellis (6), followed by the Star Caps cheater, Will Smith (5.5). They love blitzing their MLB Vilma and SS Harper. They also beefed up the D-line by adding Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers, and drafting Cameron Jordan. With the way our O-line has performed this pre-season, this definitely has me concerned!

3. Wide Receivers – The Saints possess a very gifted crop of WRs and TEs, and Brees knows how to spread the ball to all of them. The core is lead by Marques Colston (84 rec. for 1023 yards, 7 TDs), while complimented by Lance Moore (66 rec. for 763 yards, 8 TDs), Robert Meachem (44 rec. for 638 yards, 5 TDs), and Devery Henderson (34 rec. for 464 yards, 1 TD). They have two young TEs, one being freakishly tall, Jimmy Graham (31 rec. for 356 yards, 5 TDs) and the other, David Thomas (30 rec. for 219 yards, 2 TDs). This crew rotates frequent to stay fresh, and all can hit for big plays. Our secondary will get a big test from the start, but has the players to limit the Saints where their secondary will not be able to match our skill players.

4. Darren Sproles – Sproles has taken over the role of Reggie Bush, and while Bush had some skills, Sproles has speed, quickness, and a very low center of gravity, making him very dangerous in the return game as well as the 3rd down back. Any Packer fan can second me in saying our special teams coverage has a lot of work to do, and they will be tested here. Sproles averaged 24.6 yards per kick return last season and only 6.9 per punt return, but San Diego’s special teams is worse than the Packers. He also had 59 rec. for 520 yards and 2 TDs as the 3rd down back. He can be a game changer so the Pack better prepare for his explosiveness!

5. Preperation – It has been very well documented that the Saints has been practicing all off-season, with Brees taking the tab. I for one, have thought this is way over-blown, and over-rated but we will find out come Septemebr 8th. The Pack decided not to get together in the off-season, and have been characterized as being over-confident and lazy for not meeting. NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes called out Aaron Rodgers for not organizing these player only workouts back in July. Around 10:00 PM Thursday night, I will be able to tell whether all this preperation or lack there of decides a team’s fate!

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3 Responses to “Regular Season Game One: Top Five Concerns for the New Orleans Saints”

  1. John Zoul says:

    I am concerned about New Orleans for two main reasons:
    1. They have a powerful offense
    2. Greg Williams is known to incite his players into cheap shots and late hits on the QB. The O-Line had best be ready.

  2. hiramsaint says:

    cheap shots???? it’s football girly man and if your qb is to wimpy to take a legitimate hit , then you better start flynn

    • Billy Needham says:

      whoa boss, nobody said anything about Rodgers being any kind of a wimp. The Saints are known for cheap shots but I’ll take it, no worries, because Matthews does not play dirty, and he’ll still have Brees running for his life! Your on the wrong site to try and play tough guy. Good luck Thursday

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