Just saw THIS at the Times-Pic. Too much here for a Fanshot:
Mike Triplett says calm the F down about the punter pick:
I just got a look at the comments and feedback on the Saints' decision to trade up into Round 5 and draft a punter. ... Wow. I guess I'm not surprised, but geez, this generated more interest than yesterday's first-round pick.
Calm down, folks. It's not like they passed up on Beanie Wells or Brian Cushing to get this guy. Of course, we were all a little stunned in the press room here, too, but I don't think they gave up too much to get him. And who knows? Maybe he'll pan out, and they can finally solve one of their nagging issues from the past three years.
Saints Coach Sean Payton said the punter position was listed under the team's "needs" on the grease board after the postseason evaluations. He credited veteran Glenn Pakulak for stepping in during midseason and performing well, but he said Pakulak would admit that he needs to work on his consistency.
He said the team looked hard at some free agent options, but the two best (Oakland's Shane Lechler and Atlanta's Michael Koenen) re-signed with their current teams. After that, they spent more time than usual evaluating the top draft options at punter, and SMU's Thomas Morstead was clearly the one they liked best.
Brian Young suffered another set back and will soon be released:
It sounds like defensive tackle Brian Young won't be on the Saints' roster this year. Payton said he had another knee surgery three weeks ago, and he just can't seem to get healthy. It's too bad. Young is one of the great guys in this locker room, but his body isn't cooperating.
Pay-Loo team assessment strategy:
Payton said the team broke down those grease-board categories into "musts," "needs" and "wants." He said the secondary fell into the must category, and the Saints addressed that with free agents Jabari Greer and Darren Sharper and draft picks Malcolm Jenkins and Chip Vaughn.
He said punter was a need. And a big power running back was a want.
All you folks who are so up in arms about the punter pick seemed to want a power running back. But Payton said when the Saints evaluated the tailbacks available, they simply didn't rate any of them higher than current young power backs Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton.
"We didn't add the big back, but I'm not so certain he isn't in the building," Payton said.
Pay-Loo plan to be very busy tonight:
The Saints plan to sign 10 undrafted free agents tonight. Payton estimated that they'll target two or three guys in the secondary, two or three offensive linemen, two defensive linemen, two receivers and a linebacker. He said a fourth quarterback is a possibility, but only if there's a player the team really likes. A second kicker or second long snapper is possible too.
No offensive player? No problem:
This was the first time in Saints history that the team has never drafted an offensive player. Payton gave the quote of the day when asked about it.
"I think some of you guys think it just kills me that we don't draft an offensive player," he said. "That's not the case. As a head coach, I want to win."
In this POST, Jeff Duncan gives a "F" grade for the drafting of punter Thomas Morstead. He doesn't understand it either:
• Thomas Morstead, fifth round: One word: Wow! I've seen a lot of crazy picks by the Saints over the years but this one ranks right up there. I guess I can understand taking the kid. He was the second-rated punter in the draft. But trading up for him seems a little much, especially one day after General Manager Mickey Loomis said the club's goal was to keep all of its 2010 picks protected for next year. Supposedly the Saints wanted to jump in fron to the Indianapolis Colts, who had Mostead targeted in the lower rounds. But still, we're not exactly talking about the second coming of Shane Lechler here. Morstead was only honorable mention in Conference USA, for goodness sakes. So either CUSA is the cradle of college punters or the Saints reached for Morstead. I'm going with the latter. Besides, I thought Glenn Pakulak did a solid job last season and should only improve with a full offseason under his belt so I'm not sure the need for more punting compeition justified the decision to trade up for Morstead. Grade: F.
Could this guy Morstead be the "Touchback Kid" that Payton has craved for so long? He's billed as a kicker too. Since he reportedly has such a powerful leg, could Payton envision him as the guy who can finally kick-off into the endzone with some consistency? Maybe that combined with the punting ability is why Payton seemingly defied all logic to grab him. I don't know. I'm also still trying to make sense of this pick.