The New Orleans Saints enter the bye week with a 4-4 record and one of the best ranked offenses due to its first place passing game. Unfortunately, the Saints position on defense is no where near stellar.
The defensive rankings for the team through 8 games: 24th in total yards, 27th against the pass, 5th most penalties, 2nd most passing yards allowed, and 12th most rushing yards allowed. The Saints have allowed the 6th most points in the NFL to complement an offense which scores the 2nd most in the league.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary inspired me after his rant about Vernon Davis following the game. I began to think about it in perspective to the Saints. The team has players on the team that just don’t seem to work and its obvious the past 2 plus seasons that we’ve had trouble winning with them. The Saints deserve players and people that want to win; to make the franchise a winner.”
The following are a number of players who need to grab their helmets and hit the showers:
· Free Safety Josh Bullocks, hit the showers. You have never resumed the great play and athleticism from your first two seasons in the league. You miss plays constantly by either under-perusing or over-perusing. Finally being replaced as starter this season by Kevin Kaesviharn, whose talent alone should make him only a backup at best.
· Free Safety Kaesviharn, previously mentioned, has looked lost while in coverage and cannot seem to tackle much at all. He’s a decent player, but any quarterback can take advantage of him easily. He simply is not getting it done.
· Defensive End Charles Grant has to be the most overpaid player on the whole roster. He has done nothing of consequence since back-to-back 10 sack seasons in 2003 and 2004. He always comes in overweight and seems lazy about his approach on the field. He provides little pressure on the quarterback and has trouble chasing players down.
· Linebacker Scott Shanle, how do you still have the starting job? A good coverage tackler, but anything in the open field one-on-one will not end well. He cannot cover a receiver, back, or tight end well. He may be good against the rush, but not enough to keep him as starter. Jo-Lonn Dunbar is the future without a question, but I still think a rookie Dunbar is better than 6 year vet Shanle any day of the week.
· Defensive Tackle Brian Young needs to be relegated to certain packages, not as a starter next to Sedrick Ellis and Charles Grant. He has begun to show his age and is no real threat against the pass or the rush.
· Strong Safety Roman Harper, you have begun to disappoint me. There have been a number of times that you have gone in on a player and fail to even slow his momentum. You always seem to play for the interception instead of putting a shoulder or hard hit on someone to prevent a catch. That is the core of your position, hard hitting and great tackling.
· Cornerback Usama Young, I am tired of trying to defend you. You have all the attributes to become a great corner in the NFL. You have the speed, the hands, the vision, and the tackling ability. Yet, you can never seem to pull all of your unique qualities together at the same time throughout a game. You are terrific at special teams, but that is not where your potential should be wasted.
· Cornerback Jason David, or as most of my colleagues aptly refer to you as “Burnt Toast,” has seen little action this season. This is a sigh of relief for any Saints fan. But when he has played, he still does the same things that have always bothered him since coming over from the Indianapolis Colts. He seems to yet master the playbook or schemes brought on by the coaching staff.
These players need to go to the locker room and re-evaluate themselves. Certain players shouldn’t even be in the position as starters in the first place. Some may say that this is the best we have. I’ll simply ask, who could you know that if we don’t see them play? For without a doubt, what is put out there every week is viciously nauseating.