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Hindsight: Why we need to focus on our own first!

 
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Posts: 3161
Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:21 pm    Post subject: Hindsight: Why we need to focus on our own first! Reply with quote



Why Joe Lonn Dunbar?
At the end of the Saints 2011 season, if asked what position absolutely needed to be addressed that offseason any Saints fan would have emphatically screamed the linebacking core. The Saints proceeded to go out and presumably upgrade the position with key offseason additions with the likes of Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne and Chris Chamberlin. Combined all together the Saints spent close to 50 million dollars on their new linebacking trio while former Saints linebacker Joe Lonn Dunbar was left to find work elsewhere. Dunbar eventually ended up signing with the St. Louis Rams for a whopping 2 year 3 million dollar deal.

The resultsÖ

Chamberlin never saw the field in a regular season game for the Saints ending up on IR during the preseason. That eventually ended up forcing Hawthorne to play the strong side (which he wasnít signed to do) where he himself battled injuries all season and ended up with a disappointing season of 38 tackles, 0 FF, 0 sacks & 0 ints. Lofton was the lone bright spot of the trio where he stepped into Velmaís shoes as the new leader of the defense as our starting middle linebacker and ended the season with a solid season of 123 tackles, 2 FF, 0 sacks and 0 ints. Thatís what the Saints have received thus far on a 50 million dollar investment.

On the other handÖ

For the mere investment of 3 million, Joe Lonn Dunbar produced 115 tackles, 2 FF, 5 sacks and 2 ints and has firmly entrenched himself as a solid building block on an up and coming defense. This is a home grown self made player that we as an organization put time and effort into developing and itís not like Dunbar didnít show us signs of stardom either. During his time with the Saints, Dunbar proved to be an extremely versatile defender by playing every linebacking position at one point or another and always delivering a solid performance when given the opportunity (remember his 20 tackles against Miami).

So, where am I going with this?

I donít blame the Saints for going out and getting upgrades at the position but I do blame them for not seeing what almost everyone who is a Saints fan sawÖ That Jo Lonn Dunbar was better than Jonathan Vilma and should have been kept and given his opportunity that he rightfully earned. A linebacking core of Lofton, Hawthorne and Dunbar would have given this defense some real punch this season and allowed Spagnuolo more leeway in calling schemes. This organization to loyal to a fault! We continue to hang onto aging veteran players simply because of what they have done in the past and itís causing us to miss what we have developing right before our eyes.

Think about it this way, EVERYONE and their momma wants us to find a big time pass rusher. Will Smith has had the majority of the defensive snaps at RDE over the last two seasons and has still been outperformed by Junior Galette in his brief playing time in the sack dept. Now Galette is a RFA. Letís say he ends up on another team next season, a team willing to give him his opportunity to be a full time starter and he posts double digit sacksÖ Who do you blame?

It makes me sick when I look at a player like Dunbar (who I always admired during his time here) and while Iím happy for his success, I got to admit Iím a little POed that itís not happening in the black and gold.

The fact isÖ Some players simply need an opportunity and that falls on the coaching staff. Letís just hope Dunbar is the last good one to get away.

WHODAT
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Raves


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always told I was unrealistic, or a homer, to think some of our own players could make an impact.

Another guy to look at is Rob Ninkovich we draft him late, spent a year developing him, he goes to Miami for 2 years developing, comes back for a year, then heads to New England where over the past 4 years he's gotten more and more starting time and ended this season with 8.5 sacks...

Sometimes we need to be patient with the players we draft and not just automatically assume they are busts if they don't make an immediate impact as they might still need some time to simply develop some more. Gallette is the perfect example of one still on the team that might be on his way out soon not to mention guys like Casillas, Patrick, Robinson, and even Jenkins.
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TE Jimmy Graham-86 rec, 1215 yds, 16 TDs
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Posts: 3161
Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sometimes we need to be patient with the players we draft and not just automatically assume they are busts if they don't make an immediate impact as they might still need some time to simply develop some more. Gallette is the perfect example of one still on the team that might be on his way out soon not to mention guys like Casillas, Patrick, Robinson, and even Jenkins


Exactly,

I think players like Charles Brown, Isa Abdul-Quddus & Martez Wilson could all be thrown into the mix. Sometimes player just need to play. You can never get a full evaluation on a guy unless he's given a true oppertunity to start.

I say throw'em in, sink or swim but at least we'd know where they stand in the end. Watching how impactful Dunbar was this season for the Rams was painful to watch. I don't know if you had a chance to see him play but the dude was simply beastly at times. We can't afford to lose players like that, especially on defense.
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Raves


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whodatworm23 wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes we need to be patient with the players we draft and not just automatically assume they are busts if they don't make an immediate impact as they might still need some time to simply develop some more. Gallette is the perfect example of one still on the team that might be on his way out soon not to mention guys like Casillas, Patrick, Robinson, and even Jenkins


Exactly,

I think players like Charles Brown, Isa Abdul-Quddus & Martez Wilson could all be thrown into the mix. Sometimes player just need to play. You can never get a full evaluation on a guy unless he's given a true oppertunity to start.

I say throw'em in, sink or swim but at least we'd know where they stand in the end. Watching how impactful Dunbar was this season for the Rams was painful to watch. I don't know if you had a chance to see him play but the dude was simply beastly at times. We can't afford to lose players like that, especially on defense.


Wilson looks like he could be a very good edge rusher for the future at DE, he just needs to add some weight. There was a similar situation with a recent HOF inductee that played for the Vikings. He was an OLB that just didn't grasp the position, they put him with his hand in the dirt and goes on to have a HOF career as he would just cause havoc in the backfield.

Granted Wilson might be best suited for a 3-4, which I think if we move Bunkley and draft Hankins, sign someone like Kenny Phillips to play SS...

DE-Cameron Jordan
NT-Jonathan Hankins
DE-Akiem Hicks
ROLB-Junior Gallette
ILB-Curtis Lofton
ILB-David Hawthorne
SOLB-Martez Wilson
CB-Patrick Robinson
FS-Malcolm Jenkins
SS-Kenny Phillips
CB-Jabari Greer

That's a lot of pressure from the outside, run stuffing in the middle, and a secondary that wouldn't need to work as hard...
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2013 Adopt-A-Saint
TE Jimmy Graham-86 rec, 1215 yds, 16 TDs
WR Kenny Still-34 rec, 641 yds, 5 TDs
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whodatworm23


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Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raves wrote:
whodatworm23 wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes we need to be patient with the players we draft and not just automatically assume they are busts if they don't make an immediate impact as they might still need some time to simply develop some more. Gallette is the perfect example of one still on the team that might be on his way out soon not to mention guys like Casillas, Patrick, Robinson, and even Jenkins


Exactly,

I think players like Charles Brown, Isa Abdul-Quddus & Martez Wilson could all be thrown into the mix. Sometimes player just need to play. You can never get a full evaluation on a guy unless he's given a true oppertunity to start.

I say throw'em in, sink or swim but at least we'd know where they stand in the end. Watching how impactful Dunbar was this season for the Rams was painful to watch. I don't know if you had a chance to see him play but the dude was simply beastly at times. We can't afford to lose players like that, especially on defense.


Wilson looks like he could be a very good edge rusher for the future at DE, he just needs to add some weight. There was a similar situation with a recent HOF inductee that played for the Vikings. He was an OLB that just didn't grasp the position, they put him with his hand in the dirt and goes on to have a HOF career as he would just cause havoc in the backfield.

Granted Wilson might be best suited for a 3-4, which I think if we move Bunkley and draft Hankins, sign someone like Kenny Phillips to play SS...

DE-Cameron Jordan
NT-Jonathan Hankins
DE-Akiem Hicks
ROLB-Junior Gallette
ILB-Curtis Lofton
ILB-David Hawthorne
SOLB-Martez Wilson
CB-Patrick Robinson
FS-Malcolm Jenkins
SS-Kenny Phillips
CB-Jabari Greer

That's a lot of pressure from the outside, run stuffing in the middle, and a secondary that wouldn't need to work as hard...


I've been beating the 34 defensive switch to death lately... I have come to grips with the understanding it aint gonna happen under Spags though.

Don't kill me on this but if it did, I'd personally rather Jonathan Jenkins at NT over Hankins but that's just my prefference. I also feel the talent on this team defensivly is better suited for the 34 once Smith, Ellis and Vilma are shown the door. Some think Lofton and Hawthorne wouldent be fits inside but I actually think they would excel! Wilson could be a poor mans Aldon Smith and Cameron Jordan was a exellent 34 DE at Cal. Hicks has the size, talent and athletic ability to be a dominate 5 tech and Jenkins would excel at safety with the created front seven pressure.

But hey, Im just a fan... what do I know! Wink
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Raves


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Hankins would be better but this is how I see comparisons for the front 7 players, though obviously not as good but similar in their abilities and how they would fit in the defense.

Cameron Jordan - Justin Smith
Justin Smith is not only great at setting the edge against the run but is also able to get into the backfield and create pressure. Jordan this year as well as college proved to be able to get after the QB to go along with setting the edge like he was able to the year prior.
Jonathan Hankins - BJ Raji
Hankins is a big body that requires double teaming and that will help with run support simply by letting linebackers fill the gaps, but when you make the mistake of not double teaming him he's going to beat the single blocking much like Raji does and create pressure.
Akiem Hicks - Richard Seymour
Seymour was adequate in the run game but he was simply able to break through offensive lines and make it to the quarterback. Hicks has that same ability to break double teams and get into the backfield or since he'll likely be facing single blocking just use a variety of moves to beat him and get into the backfield much like Seymour used to.
Junior Galette - Shawn Merriman
Both are simply pure pass rushers that could help out in the run game at times but they were at their best just attacking. Let Galette simply come off the edge and continually go for double digit sacks beating LTs with both speed and strength.
Curtis Lofton - David Harris
Stout run defender that will simply crash the gaps and blow up the running game.
David Hawthorne - AJ Hawk
An often underrated member of the Packers that is able to fill gaps or drop into zone coverage and break up passes that way. I see Hawthorne being able to help clean up what the gets past the defensive line rather well.
Martez Wilson - James Harrison
James Harrison has been able to rush the passer but also to drop back into coverage quite a bit in his time with Pittsburgh and I think Wilson can do similar with his background as a MLB and SLB in both college and the NFL. Sure he didn't excel at it but the skillset is there and as a 3-4 OLB he won't be asked to do as much coverage as he would otherwise so his problems playing that position would be lessened. Harrison is also a skilled pass rusher much like Wilson is so we could see similar production.

Heck with that front 7 you could even argue that you could keep Harper on the team and let him play the Polamalu role of basically freelancing around the field, but then you would have to worry about him dropping back in coverage outside of the redzone still which is why I would still prefer bringing in a guy like Kenny Phillips who is much more well rounded, and likely at least on the first year coming in on a much cheaper contract.
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2013 Adopt-A-Saint
TE Jimmy Graham-86 rec, 1215 yds, 16 TDs
WR Kenny Still-34 rec, 641 yds, 5 TDs
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Heck with that front 7 you could even argue that you could keep Harper on the team and let him play the Polamalu role of basically freelancing around the field, but then you would have to worry about him dropping back in coverage outside of the redzone still which is why I would still prefer bringing in a guy like Kenny Phillips who is much more well rounded, and likely at least on the first year coming in on a much cheaper contract.


With the switch it would make Harper valuable to the team as a safety once again. Harper playing the free lacne role like Troy P. while Jenkins plays centerfielder like Ryan Clark.
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