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Friday Training Camp Update

So much to update, so little time. No time ... there's never any time!

  • So that whole thing about Brian Simmons winning the middle linebacker position? Mark Simoneau's not going down easy. That's tremendous, the Saints have a motivated starter and an effective backup. Depth kicks ass.
  • Imagine this: The Saints are in the red-zone. They've got Colston and Meachem working sidelines, Johnson working the middle, Reggie doing what he do and Deuce at running back. Yeah, I definitely expect to see an improvement of the red-zone offense this season.
  • Another article speculating that Lance Moore will be the primary return man, with Reggie back there on special occasions.
  • This is a fascinating article from the Football Outsiders that explores which positions provide the greatest impact on team DVOA (Football Outsiders' awesome value stat, sort of like VORP in baseball). Defensive backs (surprisingly) provide less value to a defense than defensive linemen. The research is a bit rough, but it looks pretty interesting nonetheless. I think the Saints expressed this sentiment--to a certain extent--when they chose to re-up their defensive ends to huge contracts and invest in moderately-priced members of the secondary, instead of pursuing a guy like Nate Clements. Kind of adds a whole new frame to it. (Gracias, TST).
  • Purely hypothetical question here (since hindsight is 30-10): the writing was on the wall on draft day--Daunte Culpepper was going to be either cut or traded. He certainly wasn't going to be a Dolphin during the 2007 season. Would the Raiders have been better served drafting Calvin Johnson and taking their chances in the QB marketplace? I mean, when you combine JaMarcus Russell's holdout with the fact that the guy replacing him is a more experienced version of him, it's easy to speculate that JaMarcus won't see much PT this season. The potential is there for a Drew Brees-Phillip Rivers situation where the high pick is forced to sit for several seasons because the starter is too effective to let go. The Raiders? Winners? This thought experiment just became absurd.