What the Hell happened?!

Hello there good Saints fans. My name is Jeff, I moved down here to New Orleans from Washington DC a few years ago and have quickly become invested in the football team here. But fear not, I am no bandwagon or fair weather fan, I am actually far far far far more partial to the Washington Redskins as they are the team I grew up cheering for. However, I am a firm believer that you must root for the home team (Outside of division rivals and as for the city of Dallas... that's what the Houston Texans are for).

Now, the reason I have made this fanpost here is because I need your help. As a history buff I have always felt that to understand something you must read up on it's history. I have read up on the History of the New Orleans Saints. And something has confused me a great deal. Between 1987 and 1993 the Saints fielded one of the best defenses in the league. They were one of the few teams to run a 3-4 and run it with great success in those days. A style of Defense that was put in place by Bum Phillips and Wade Phillips in 1981. They fielded a Linebacker corps consisting of three men who have a Hall of Fame resume (one is already there). And in all that time they rarely, if ever, had a losing season. They were so good and left such a lasting impression on the players they played against that in that NFL Network Top 10 Linebacking Corps episode apparently just thinking about them makes Roger Craig ache and Mike Singletary grimace.

Start at about 38:20

My question to you Saints fans is this:

What the Hell happened?!

I mean really what the Hell?! Why didn't you build around that when it was there? Why didn't you stick with that style of Defense and make it your thing like the Steelers have for decades? They have been using a 3-4 since Joe Green and L.C. Greenwood retired. Why did you drop the scheme? What happened to all the players and coaches? Why wasn't that talent and ability fostered and allowed to grow year in and year out? Why weren't these great players transitioned out slowly so that other great players could take over ala Deacon Jones being replaced by Jack Youngblood?

I mean here is what I do know:

The Dome Patrol was dismantled when Swilling went to Detroit.

Rickey Jackson went to the 49ers where he won a Super Bowl in 1994.

Sam Mills went to Carolina where he was such a great player and leader that they put a statue of him outside their stadium.

Vaughn Johnson went to Philidelphia and eventually had a somewhat journeyman career.

Mora Sr wound up in Indy

Mora Jr was HC for only a short time

Vic Fangio (LBs) followed Dom Capers (DBs) to Carolina and Houston with a short stay in Indy with Mora Sr. Fangio is now the DC of the 49ers and Capers brought the 3-4 to Green Bay.

The 3-4 was gone by the Hazlett days

That's about the size of it. But I don't have any real details, were there contract disputes, trades, changes of management and head office philosophy. It just doesn't make any real sense to me.

Please help. I am really fascinated by this part of the team's history. Anything at all, rumor, gossip, sited fact I don't care, let me hear it.

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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