Saturday Reading

I've got a couple of more articles for you guys today. One is new, and two are a little old but I never got around to posting them.

This comes from the Kansas City Chiefs official site. They have been doing a series of articles about NFL offensive lines. Today they covered the Saint's, and this is what they had to say...

2007 Offensive Overview: The Saints were able to throw the ball last year, but had troubles running the ball. Overall, they were fourth in offensive yards per game (361.3) and third in passing yards (269.6), but only 28th in rushing yards (91.6). They tied for 12th in points scored with 379. New Orleans backs averaged 3.7 yards per carry and the Saints pass protection ranked No. 1 in the league, allowing a sack every 41.8 pass plays as quarterback Drew Brees went down just 16 times. New Orleans finished the season 7-9.

Left Tackle: Jamal Brown joined the Saints as a 1st-round choice (13th) in ‘05 out of the University of Oklahoma, where he was a three-year starter. Brown entered the starting lineup at left tackle his rookie year and has been a fixture there. He turned 27 years of age in March.

Left Guard: Jamar Nesbit came to New Orleans as an unrestricted free agent in ‘04 out of Jacksonville. Nesbit came into the NFL in ‘99 with Carolina as an undrafted free agent out of the University of South Carolina. He started all four seasons with the Gamecocks. Nesbit spent four years with the Panthers before signing in 2003 as an unrestricted free agent. Overall, he has started 87 of 133 career games in the league, playing center, left guard and left tackle. He will be 32 years old in December.

Center: Jeff Faine came to New Orleans in a Draft Day ‘06 trade with Cleveland. He entered the league as a 1st-round choice (21st) in ‘03 out of Notre Dame University, where he was a three-year starter for the Irish. He has started 66 games in five seasons. Faine left the Saints in ‘08 free agency, signing with Tampa Bay. He was 27 years old last week. New Orleans signed UFA center Matt Lehr from Tampa Bay.

Right Guard: Jahri Evans joined the Saints as a 4th-round pick (108th) in the’06 Draft out of Bloomsburg State University in Pennsylvania, where he was a three-year starter. Evans moved into the starting lineup as a rookie and has opened 32 games there. He will turn 25 years of age in August.

Right Tackle: Jon Stinchcomb was a 2nd-round choice (37th) of the Saints in ‘03 after being a four-year starter at the University of Georgia. Stinchcomb did not become a starter until ‘06, but has now opened 32 straight games at right tackle. In August, he will celebrate his 29th birthday.

Line Overview: The Saints have used all avenues to fill their blocking unit. They went with the 1st-round pick to play the important left tackle spot, especially in an offense that’s built so much around the passing game. Like the Chiefs have done recently, the Saints show great interest in players coming out of the college ranks with extensive playing time. In the last five years New Orleans has used seven draft choices on offensive linemen, including three taken in the first three rounds.

This article only mentions our former center, and doesn't address who will be our center. This one is kinda up in the air. Jonathan Goodwin is expected to be Faine's replacement and with him there, we shouldn't see a noticeable drop-off. Our new lineman Matt Lehr could also fill the void this season, if this whole steroids thing doesn't blow up in everyone's face. The official Saints roster has them both listed as guards also, so there can be some shifting around there.

Drew is a great quarterback. But he is nothing without his O-line. No quarterback can be successful in this league without enough time to get passes off. I think the offensive line is one of the most over-looked aspects of football to the average fan but it is such an important part. The men "in the trenches" can often dictate a game. (That sounds like a John Madden soundbit in one of his video games.) Anyway, they have been pretty good the last two seasons and they are a huge part of the reason why the Saints have had a powerful offense. Check out Football Outsiders offensive line ratings. You will see we were ranked third best O-Line in the league for pass protection based on sacks allowed/pass attempt. What I am saying is, if you want to see Drew Brees light it up in 2008 than our offensive line needs to continue playing well to make sure Drew has time to work his magic. And it is magic. Sweet, sweet, sweet......magic.

                                                                                 

This next article comes from the Washington Post. I didn't see anyone talking about this online. It seems to have slipped through the cracks. Apparently, after losing Vice President of Football Administration (nice title) Russ Ball earlier this year, the Saint's are in need of a new financial expert.

The Saints wanted to interview Skins VP of football administration Eric Schaffer, but were denied, league sources said....Two other teams blocked the Saints from interviewing their cap guys as well...Atlanta refused to let Brian Xanders, their director of football administration, interview as well and Miami denied permission for the Saints to speak to Matt Thomas, their general counsel/football administration.

It seems quite a few teams are a little guarded about their money men. Hmmm. Interesting.

                                                                                 

On a lighter, but more aggravating note...JOEY GALLOWAY! Ugh! If you are a true Saint's fan, you hate this guy. Football Jabber explains why...

Going over the stats since the Sean Payton era began I noticed how Galloway has excelled against the Saints more than any other team in that time. On paper if the Bucs played the Saints every week in a season Joey’s average would come out to 2004 yards and 20 TD’s (of course he likely wouldn’t but that’s what the numbers would add up to).

2006 Week 5:

Joey has 4 catches for 110 yards and a TD.

2006 Week 9:

Joey has another 4 catches for 97 yards and two more TD’s

In 2006 Galloway had 7 TD’s. Three against the Saints. The week 9 game is his only game with more than one TD.

2007 Week 2:

Galloway pulls in four grabs for 135 yards and 2 TD’s.

2007 Week 13:

Finally they keep him out of the endzone but he has 7 catches for 159 yards!

In 2007 Joey topped 100 yards only three times and two of them were against the Saints.

Over four games in the last two years Galloway totaled 19 Rec. for 501 yards and 5 TD’s. 26 yards per reception!

Actually, I'm gonna let Football Jabber finish this one up, cause I don't think I could say it any better. Goodbye. Enjoy your Saturday. I'll be working.

I know, I know, the Saints suck against everyone in the passing game. But even in comparison to Steve Smith of the Panthers (4 games, 27 Rec. 266 Yards, 4 TD’s) in that time frame Galloway is consistently having his way with the Saints...and the guy does age every year!

This might sound crazy but it is apparent that one of the keys to getting back the NFC South title for the Saints is to stop a 36 year-old WR. Easier said than done I guess. The Saints have made more additions on defense this year than I can recall in recent memory and we still have the NFL Draft to come yet. I hate to say it but come Bucs vs. Saints week, Joey Galloway is starting if I have him on a fantasy football Fantasy-Football-Booming squad.

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