Most Disappointing New Orleans Saints of the New Millennium
Everyone across Who Dat Nation and beyond knows about the Saints troubles pre-2000, but what about in the new millennium?
New Orleans has seen its greatest success these past dozen or so years, beginning with the first playoff win in 2000 and continuing on to this year. The Saints have posted three consecutive seasons of double-digit wins in the last three years.
Between all of the good years recently, there have been some low spots that have been bad. Some were high draft picks who didn't pan out, and others were key free agents brought in to take the team to the next level.
Either way, all of these players ended up on this list for a reason...and it isn't a positive one.
Reggie Bush gets top billing in this category, and he will continue to look even worse as Darren Sproles continues to break records in the "position" created especially for Bush.
I hate the argument about, "Well, if he wasn't drafted second overall..."
Get over it, Bush lovers. He was picked where he was picked. It doesn't change the fact that he gave about as much to the team as Aaron Stecker did when he was in New Orleans. He also came at a very cheap price compared to the Top 5 money Bush was getting.
Fans will remember his big game against Arizona in the playoffs during the Super Bowl run in 2009, or him diving for the piling in the next week for a critical score in the NFC Championship Game versus Minnesota.
But is that what a second overall pick supposed to be? A couple of highlights here and there while spending most of the time either hurt or just not producing, period?
It says a little something that when Bush was healthy during the Seahawks playoff game in January 2011, the older Julius Jones got the bulk of the plays. And that was during a game where the Saints were decimated at running back due to injuries.
His low-lights far outweigh his sporadic highlights, but he will always be remembered for the person who had a position made for him that he never excelled at.
But Sproles can.
This is the other top draft pick that the Saints whiffed on big time. This time New Orleans traded their two 1st round picks (17, 18) to move up with Arizona at six.
Now at the time, I was thinking they were going to go after three players with Terrence Newman being taken at number five to Dallas. Those players were Terrell Suggs, a smallish defensive end that racked up sacks at Arizona St., Marcus Trufant, the second-best corner behind Newman or Jordan Gross, an offensive tackle out of Utah.
Any of those players would have been a thousand times better than "The Round Mound of Nothing" that they chose in Johnathan Sullivan, a defensive tackle out of Georgia.
He lasted a few years and was eventually traded for David Patten from New England. His 1.5 sacks and 57 tackles or so will always be remembered as a huge disappointment.
You know you were a huge disappointment for a team when your release makes front-page news. And not just front-page news, but Jason David had the featured article for the day, smack dab right in the middle of the page.
Now that is disappointment.
He was a Cover-2 cornerback stuck in a man coverage scheme.
I don't know if the front office was blinded by David being a starter on a Super Bowl-winning team, but his skill-set never matched up with what Gary Gibbs wanted to do.
And the Saints paid dearly for that in completions and touchdowns that went towards David.
(I actually couldn't find a picture of him not being burned for a catch. Weird, right?)
David was great within 10 yards of the line-of-scrimmage, but outside of that he was basically a revolving door for opponents receivers. Not something you want when you sign a player to a 4 year, $16 million contract.
Anybody out there remember him?
His acquisition in 2001 bears an eerie resemblance to the Saints adding Nick Toon this offseason.
Both seasons New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl. Both times the Saints front office added a big play-making receiver across from an already established star (Joe Horn in '01, Marques Colston in '12). Both years had huge expectations.
Let's just hope 2012 doesn't end like 2001.
Connell came to the Saints after four years in Washington. His last two years there he had 101 receptions for 1,894 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was suppose to add that "wow" factor that incumbent No. 2 Willie Jackson never had.
Connell tanked with a bad attitude and worse work ethic.
His only season in NOLA was a disaster: 12 catches, 191 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games played (with only 1 start). Not what you expect to get back when you shell out close to $3.5 million for one year.