To finish up the Saints free agency needs series of posts, we now move on to special teams.
This post is going to be short and simple since there are only five actual positions outside of "Get more good backups." Still, I want to take a look at positions that aren't as remembered as others.
Read on for the final post.
Need: Camp body.
Why: This is just my personal opinion, but I think Hartley needs someone to come in and compete with him. Not to actually take his job, but to keep him focused on the Saints. The guy seems to share veins with Drew Brees in that he can handle any clutch situation, but have him make a routine or short yardage kick and he freaks the hell out. When you apply pressure to Hartley, he seems to do better than if there is no drama. Besides, bring in someone like Josh Jasper and let Hartley get back up to football strength. Of course, the Saints don't want my opinion on this; they did sign him to a four year contract after all.
Need: To get a better tackler on special teams than the freakin' punter.
Why: Thomas Morstead will be the Saints punter in 2011. Yay and huzzah and all that. He's a consistent punter who seemingly always knows when he needs to kick a deep punt (2009 NFCCG anyone?). The only thing to worry about is making sure he doesn't get injured again.
Why: It's hard to really say. I don't have game tape to be able and go back and see if the current long snapper, Justin Drescher, is any good. Jason Kyle is 39 years old, however, and if the Saints want to go the Drescher way then I have faith in them to make that call. Same if they decide to pick up someone else. They just need to make sure they get it right. Long snapper may seem unimportant, but just like center, they can change a game if they aren't good.
Need: Better blocking.
Why: Assuming Reggie stays with the Saints in 2011, the Saints need to come up with some better blocking for Reggie. How I would love to see more of Reggie doing this. Reggie's best performances have come as a punt returner so give Reggie more to work with. We won't see Bush turn into Hester just like that, but it could improve his chances of taking it back to the house, or at the least giving the Saints better field position.
Need: A possible new starter.
Why: There's a chance that Courtney Roby may no longer play football anymore. If so, the Saints will need a new returner. Meachem and Henderson looked like they had no idea how to field a return. As coldpizza mentioned in one of his FanPosts following the Ravens game, I like the idea of Reggie taking over kick return duties as well. Quick lightning fast guy with a lot more room to work with and more structured blocking. If he'd work with it (which I believe he would) he could become a dangerous return man and maybe win some goodwill with Saints fans after the bad history involved.
And with that, the series is complete, the teams needs have been examined and soon I hope to explain who specifically the Saints could/should target. So what are your thoughts on the Saints remaining off-season needs? What about moving Reggie over to kick returner? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.