I posted previously about how important Shockey is to this offense and in the game vs. Minn. I think it was very obvious. Clearly he was not at 100% and they didn't target him much. This is what happened down the regular season final stretch when he was injured- our offense just wasn't the same. Why? I suggest that we need, on many downs (obviously not every down) a formation where we have Shockey AND Dave Thomas in the game. Thomas can play either FB or TE and he can shift to one or the other. But, if Shockey either isn't in the lineup or is playing at 70%, it changes the opponents defensive approach. The more attention Shockey gets, the more our other weapons can be targeted such as PT,Bush,WRs etc. And D Thomas can be a blocking back and Shockey can also block whether it's a run or pass protection-- Shockey is very good at that. Without Heath Evans or Darnell Dinkins in the lineup, it becomes really limited. I think it was brilliant to put Zach Strief in and motion him- who would expect that? But that can only work a couple of times. And clearly he won't be pass receiving.
When Shockey isn't hitting on all cylinders or has to be out of the lineup, it's just way less for the defense to deal with. It means we now have either a mortal TE and no FB, or we have a FB and zero TE. To me, this is why our offense was mediocre ( Seems strange to call a 31 pt effort mediocre!). But, by Saints 2009 standards we were mediocre. This is why Brees didn't have his level of comfort. I am optimistic Shockey will be closer to 100% for the SB. Geaux Saints!!