By Special Request of Herself

38

 
Cute kitten

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, and frankly I was enjoying the time off. No more racking the brain every day (other day, week, whatever) to find something new to say that hadn’t already been said better by someone else, or screwed up completely by the legitimate media. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to, you know, earn money. Always a plus.

But then, my lovely and gracious bride hit me up with a request: “Would you please post something new? I’m tired of looking at Tumba every time I go to your site.”

Well…ignoring for a moment the fact that when I do post something new you’re the first person to know about it, so why do you keep going back there…sure. Be glad to. Here’s your post.

Um…so now what do I write on? This being the pre-draft offseason, the logical subject would be whether or not the NFL is ready for an avowedly gay player. But CBS and ESPN and Fox Sports and all those other heavy hitters are taking care of the really important stuff, so I’m going to stick with the little details. Like, who will the Saints draft? Who should the Saints draft? And what will it all mean?

If you’d asked me this a week ago (or if I’d actually posted what I’d written), I would have said that the key to the whole situation is what the Saints decide to do with Akiem Hicks. He’s a star in the making, but in what position? He’d make a massive defensive end…but then again, Richard Seymour is about the same size, and I wouldn’t mind at all having the next Richard Seymour. Then again, he’d make a hyperathletic nose tackle, kind of like Haloti Ngata when he plays in the middle. I wouldn’t mind that, either.

But he can’t play both positions; and whichever one he doesn’t play will have to be addressed, either in the draft or in free agency.

But that was a week ago. Now, I’m not so sure. What changed my thinking was the mind-blowing wealth of athletic talent at this year’s Combine. I wish the Saints had the first 32 picks…then they might be able to stock up on everyone I covet. But with only five picks, spread out over six rounds, they’re going to have to go for maximum impact, and that might entail taking a few chances.

For instance: Tyrann Mathieu. Normally, I’d say the Honey Badger is a train wreck waiting to happen. He is extremely talented, extremely raw, and extremely full of himself. Which one of those is most likely to manifest itself on the field (and in the locker room) is anybody’s guess at this point. Jason Bernos over at Da Chronic had the team taking him in the third round, and my first thought was “too high.” But then it occurred to me that the Saints must swing for the fences, so to speak. If the future is now, and it is, we need maximum impact.

And that got me to thinking: what’s the quickest way to achieve maximum impact? Shoring up a new and completely untested defense that’s almost bound to improve from last year? Or fine-tuning what was once the best offense in the league, and which could again be the best with just a few tweaks?

And the conclusion I came to was: I don’t know what to expect. Don’t be at all shocked if that rush linebacker you’ve been drooling over falls right past the Saints’ at 15, where Mickey and Sean snap up an offensive tackle. Because we do need some serious help on the offensive side of the ball, and the front office is about due to throw us for a loop.

But…but…the Saints have historically devalued the offensive tackle position! Everyone knows this, on account of Drew Brees and short and guards and stepping up in the pocket and natter and natter. Yeah, I hear you. And I raise you a 25th-place finish in rushing last year, and MetLife Stadium.

Huh?

Okay, follow this logic. 1. The future is now. We have one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever step onto the field, right now. Under contract and all. If we expect to win another Super Bowl, we need to maximize his chances by providing him with the best players and the best scheme. And I don’t think Sean Payton will ever be satisfied with less than a Lombardi. The future will always be now as long as he’s here.

2. The Super Bowl is in New Jersey. The prize that Payton and Brees and everyone else connected with the Saints are aiming for is going to be handed out in MetLife Stadium in 2014. On February 2. In, again, New Jersey. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac is already predicting the weather for that day: “an intense storm, heavy rain, snow and strong winds.” Yeah, I know: it’s a weather prediction. A year in advance, yet. Still, New Jersey in February has been known to enjoy some conditions that the rest of the country would describe as “shitty,” and that includes the weather. In fact, right now, as I write this, the temperature at MetLife Stadium is 33°, with winds gusting to 22 mph. And it’s no longer even February. All of this adds up to Not Good for a Dome team, and especially not good for a passing team.

3. So we won’t be a passing team. Remember 2009? Remember 2011? The offenses that struck terror into the rest of the NFL featured strong ground attacks. One of them got us to the Super Bowl; the other one should have. You better believe Sean Payton understands the importance of running the football. Especially if it’s going to be necessary to seal the deal on a frozen, windy field in New Jersey next February.

4. We need a stronger offensive line. Grubbs and Evans are a great guard tandem. De la Puente is a serviceable center. We can get by with one serviceable player on the offensive line, and we’ve already played that chip. That means we need upgrades at the tackle positions, and we need them badly.

But, you say, Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief played those positions in 2011, when we were so great. So why can’t they do the same thing this year? Maybe they didn’t play so excellent well in 2012, but neither did anyone. It was a fucked-up season. Maybe it was just the general fuckery manifesting itself, and not individual suckitude.

Well, I’m not going to argue with someone who uses words like “fuckery” and “suckitude.” And you may be right. But you never know what will happen with the draft. What if someone like Lane Johnson happens to slip to 15? Do we pass up the opportunity to nail down the left tackle position for a decade, in order to draft (for instance) Ezekial Ansah, an athletic freak who is, however, untested at linebacker? Do we hope for the best, or do we go with the sure thing?

But I’m contradicting myself. Tyrann Mathieu is anything but a sure thing; he’s a high-risk, high-reward type of player. Ansah is a relatively low-risk, high-reward player. On the other hand, Lane Johnson is a no-risk, high-reward player, and that’s my point. I think.

There are other possibilities, though. For instance, after having ditched David Thomas, we’re in need of another tight end. Why not get the best one available and run a lot of two tight-end sets, using the ends to chip block on passing downs? That gives help to Strief and Bushrod, and provides us with mismatches down the field. And just imagine putting, say, Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert in a bunch formation. Does the safety just crap his pants and get it over with?

So don’t assume this draft is as cut and dried as the experts predict. A rush linebacker, a nose tackle, a nickel back, and two picks wasted on camp bodies. Mickey and Sean might have some surprises up their sleeves, and their eyes on a frozen field in February.

Oh, and about the illustration: I couldn’t find a photo of Drew Brees hoisting the Lombardi in the snow. Guess we’ll just have to wait another eleven months. In the meantime, kittehs.

Posted by Himself in The Draft | 38 comments

38 Comments

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  • AcadieMarch 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm

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    I just want to make it absolutely clear that I did not request kittehs. I requested non-Toomba. Anything but Toomba. Anti-Toomba, if you will. Something I can look at without imagining penis sheaths.
    And I want to say for the record, I’m going to miss Dave Thomas. He always struck me as being a righteous dude.
    And Tyrann spooks me. I really don’t know if he can get his mind right.

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    • HimselfMarch 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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      He’d calm down a lot if he could find a penis sheath that fits.

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      • PhilistineMarch 3, 2013 at 10:19 pm

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        I have to second this. There’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting penis sheath.

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      • Just Nother DayMarch 4, 2013 at 1:54 am

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        They sell penis sheaths in Japan but they only come in small.

        (BTW, welcome back, Mr. Himself!)

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    • AcquiredPanicMarch 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

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      The only thing wrong with him is that he felt that it was ok to hang out with Jordan fucking CFL outcast Jefferson……Burn in hell JJ!!! Burn in hell!!!

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      • Doc BoudinMarch 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

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        AP sighting! Where you been, dude?

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        • AcquiredPanicMarch 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

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          I’ve been around……just haven’t been in the “blogging” mood for the last several months. Last football season and everything included just kinda left a hole in my soul. I’m just now starting to come out of it. Just really wish we had that second round pick.

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          • Doc BoudinMarch 8, 2013 at 9:58 pm

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            I ‘spect we’ll live. Don’t be surprised if we make a deal somewhere and get that 2nd round pick back.

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  • HansDatMarch 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

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    Maybe that cat knits sheathes/sheaths…LOLZ – u can haz sheathz?

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  • HansDatMarch 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

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    Welcome back ‘self!! I’ll take another Maker’s over ice, now that they retracted that crappy plan to water it down to stretch their supply to meet demand…

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    • HansDatMarch 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

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      …is my tab still open? If not, here’s my credit card – and go ahead and serve a round for everyone, on me!! My tax refund should be pretty good this year!

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  • HansDatMarch 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

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    And I agree in that I have no idea what will happen in the draft – Pay-loo could do ANYTHING, and as in 2011, I’m all in on the Win Now – Wingramania all over again. And I trust in the Pay-loo.

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  • PhilistineMarch 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

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    This time of year was never meant for football; it was meant for recovering from Mardi Gras and paying penance for those oh so many things you shouldn’t have done over the past year. Given that the Saints started the off-season somewhere between 13 and humpty-zillion million over the salary cap, I have to shake my head at all the homers at CSC saying “YES!” to the forty thousand “Should we take so-and-so” posts. However, Loomis the Magnificent seems to be whittling things down for yet another run at things, so we might be ok. The draft is the affordable place to make improvements if the team can decide the best HGH-engorged overgrown boys to draft. Plus, they might pick up a cheap veteran or two, since everyone else seems to be dumping them to get under the cap. I will make no predictions, but I can say with certainty that we need a lot of work.

    Does the offensive line need help? You betcha. Drew wouldn’t need to throw for so many yards (and so many interceptions) if he had an offensive line that could open holes for any of our eighteen running backs. Plus, if we don’t have David Thomas to chip the opposing right DE to help out Bushrod (now there’s a guy who could use a good penis sheath).

    Does the defensive line need help? Do I really have to ask that question? Will Smith stands a good chance of getting cut, has been around awhile and isn’t exactly the prototype 3-4 defensive end or linebacker.

    Does the linebacking corps need help? Well, that’s open for debate. If Vilma will settle for less money, he and Lofton are a pretty good start; and we ought to be able to find someone out of the stack of lesser lights the Saints have accumulated to do the rest, but they don’t inspire a lot of confidence when it comes to rushing the passer. Maybe the Saints can find a prospect or two somewhere.

    Does the defensive backfield need help? I said – DOES THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD NEED HELP? Roman Harper’s contract takes a big chunk of cap space, and his suckitude is legend. Greer has been a steady contributor, but he seems to spend more and more time on the injury list. Malcolm Jenkins could buy a jet if he received a dollar for all of the times someone has written some variant of “unrealized potential” following his name. That’s the good news. Given the fact that the passing game dominates these latter days of football, the importance of the defensive backfield has never been greater – and the Saints need help there in a bad way. But Matthieu is not third-round talent. I’d rather see the Saints take Mingo to use as an outside linebacker, if they’re going to draft an LSU player. If they want the Honey Badger, they should take what they want – after the fourth round.

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    • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

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      I can’t shake my head at the Daily SportsKos homers, because the comments don’t load. I can view the rest of the site, but not what anybody says about it. (If I use a browser that loads the comments, it also loads the ads, and that’s just not happening.)

      Frankly, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if we aren’t pretty well set on defense. Brodrick Bunkley ought to be a decent nose tackle. Akiem Hicks ought to be a more than decent 3-4 end. A linebacking corps of Lofton and Hawthorne in the middle, and Galette and Wilson outside ought to be serviceable. As for Harper: if he’s used more the way GW used him, he’s less of a liability. I wish we had a superman at strong safety, but that’s not going to happen…there is no superman strong safety in the NFL. Even Troy Polamalu can be a liability in coverage (I give you Larry Fitzgerald in the Super Bowl).

      So I wonder if now is the time to make a heavy investment in personnel for a new defense without first knowing how our present roster is going to work out. (And last year doesn’t count. It was the mother of all outliers.) On the other hand, Sean Payton knows everything there is to know about his offense; and if he and Loomis say that what we need more than anything else in the first round is a long snapper, I’m going to be on board. It will hurt to see Dion Jordan and Barkevious Mingo and Ziggy Ansah going to competitors, but something like that happens every draft. (Actually, there’s a good chance of it happening in this draft too, because they might all be gone before 15.)

      As for Matthieu: I think the third round is about right for him. A starting nickel back who doubles as a dynamic return man…yeah, third round. He just has to live up to it. Not saying we should take him, because there might be someone else more valuable still on the board. Like, what if Cleveland mistakenly drafts Leon Jordan, and everyone just assumes they meant the linebacker from Oregon, and nobody notices before the Saints. Yeah, it’s unlikely, I know. Like the Saints winning the Super Bowl. Like that’s gonna happen.

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      • sagehawkjhMarch 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

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        I know that was just a “for example”, but I’ll reply anyway because I like him – Jed got that covered! ;)

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        • sagehawkjhMarch 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

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          Yeah, apparently I like him so much I type Jed instead of Justin. I think I need a Maker’s Mark as well.

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          • HansDatMarch 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

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            Ask, and ye shall receive…I like mine on the rocks.

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            • HansDatMarch 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

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              oops – scoot over everyone – I’m taking up the whole bar with this landscape

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            • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm

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              Man…good thing I can edit the sizes.

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              • HansDatMarch 8, 2013 at 8:57 am

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                TWSS

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  • Doc BoudinMarch 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

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    I realize hindsight is 20/20, but I think a unicorn might have been a better way to go than a kitten. Just seems to me like it would have been a better segue, vis a vis the penis sheath.

    Nice post. And good to hear from you again; I was afraid the offseason had driven you around the bend already. Although I’d have guessed you were already close enough to walk.

    It’s still early, and I could use some vitamin C, as well as a healthy dose of Vitamin V. So how bout a Bloody Mary?

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarMarch 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

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    Hold up. Before we start talking draft/free agency, let’s pick up where we left off. You were upset that the falcons narrowly escaped a collapse against the Seahawks, but never got around to basking in the Falcons even more epically humiliating choke against the niners. We could laugh about that bed shitting all off season and beyond. Begin.

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    • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm

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      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

      No, but seriously:

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

      And then the 49ers’ epic bed-shitting in the first half of the Super Bowl, followed by the even more epic bed-shitting of their last 4 offensive plays:

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

      Followed by Jim Harbaugh’s epic whining:

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

      And the best thing is, it was all made possible by John Fox’s epic cowardice at the close of his game against the Ravens:

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

      And, of course, the 49ers got into the Super Bowl only because the Saints collapsed:

      Shut up.

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  • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

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    And the more I think of it, the more I like the idea of drafting Tyler Eifert. Just imagine having a two-tight end set consisting of Jimmy Graham and Jason Whitten: that’s what having Eifert would be like. And just imagine what you could do with Graham and Eifert, and Chris Ivory in the backfield along with Jed Collins, with Joseph Morgan split out wide. A power formation with a power runner whose YPA is as good as Adrian Peterson’s (almost); but what if it’s play action, and Morgan gets open deep? Or what if Eifert and Graham just go vertical on you? What’s more: Eifert is almost certain to be there for us at 15. We could even trade down and still pick him up–maybe even all the way to the top of the second round. How about trading our 1 for two 2s, and snapping up Eifert and Terron Armstead?

    As for edge rushers: maybe we already have our outside rush linebackers. Almost everyone it seems has succumbed to the temptation of mocking Barkevious Mingo to the Saints; but he has no experience as a linebacker. As athletic as he is, he’ll still have to be coached up one hell of a lot. Martez Wilson was a linebacker in college; and in case you’ve forgotten, he was the fastest linebacker at the 2011 Combine with a 4.49. That’s nine hundredths of a second faster than Mingo’s Combine time of 4.58. Wilson is also ten pounds bigger than Mingo. And if Wilson’s not the guy, maybe it’s Junior Galette, who was a linebacker before they converted him to a defensive end, so at least he has experience in that position.

    Maybe it’s both. Maybe the Saints’ defense suddenly gets very good without needing big help in the draft. Or, if not very good, at least able to hold its own while the offense tears the league a new asshole.

    All in all, I’m feeling more comfortable by the minute with the idea of bucking the conventional wisdom that insists the Saints have a dire need for defensive playmakers. What we need most is a system that the players believe in, and which allows them to believe in themselves again. If Rob Ryan has that system, we’re going to see a dramatic improvement on the defensive side of the ball, as they go from a Trabant to, say, a Ford. And meanwhile, the offense goes from a Porsche to a Koenigsegg…or a Mack, as need dictates.

    Cool. I’m starting to feel good about this. What a sucker.

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  • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

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    Okay, let’s see…that’s two Maker’s over ice, a Bloody Mary, glass of Merlot…anything else while I’m at it?

    Jeez, service is slow here…

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  • cc58March 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

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    I put a Mock together Himself , you know over there at that other site. I went OLB/DE, CB,LOT, DE, and A blocking TE. Draft should be pretty deep at several positions, especially LBers, DEs and OTs.
    Bye the way, I worked 8 hours last night and came home and had to put in another 6 working on a broken water line. Pour me a

    May have time for a few, have to let the glue cure for a couple of hours.

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    • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm

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      Pour me a…?

      I’ll hazard a guess: how about this?

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      • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

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        Whoops, sorry, your photo didn’t display. What is that? Can’t make it out.

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        • cc58March 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

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          You wouldn’t approve…but it’s a Black Crown Budweiser.
          I bought a 12 Pack of Longnecks to try. Not bad.

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  • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

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    And another thing: why can’t Jonathan Casillas play strong safety?

    He’s about the same size as LaRon Landry. He’s faster than Roman Harper. If Harper’s time with the Saints is up, why not try Casillas in his place? Strong safety is traditionally the position that undersized linebackers move to, so maybe it will work this time, too.

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    • PhilistineMarch 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

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      Whatever it is, you don’t have it. You’re the one that has to special-order cranberry juice.

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      • PhilistineMarch 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm

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        Shit. That was supposed to be a reply to the 5:50 pm post.

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        • HimselfMarch 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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          Don’t sweat it. You were right: I don’t have it.

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  • PhilistineMarch 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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    The Saints defense is going to be a work in progress. Remember what last year’s work in progress looked like? This probably won’t be as bad, but it will be ugly at times. We may well see Jonathan Casillas playing strong safety – when he’s supposed to be playing linebacker. That’ll be fun.

    Seriously though, PayLoo must have some idea of where to slot the existing guys that they’re keeping – because the draft isn’t too far away, and they have to have some idea of what positions they need to address. “Best available player” aside (and who believes that most teams really do that?), they need to get a lineman or two on both sides of the ball; safety and/or defensive back could use some help too. After that, maybe a TE. The Saints are going to miss David Thomas (Herself, I’m with you on that one).

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    • HimselfMarch 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

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      LE: Cameron Jordan
      NT: Brodrick Bunkley
      RE: Akiem Hicks

      LOLB: Junior Galette
      SMLB: David Hawthorne
      WMLB: Curtis Lofton
      ROLB: Martez Wilson

      LCB: Jabari Greer
      RCB: Patrick Robinson
      SS: Roman Harper
      FS: Malcolm Jenkins

      As things stand right now, this is our defense. The secondary is shaky; the rest of it, on paper, looks good. As I recall, it looked good on paper last year, too.

      But I honestly think they’re better suited to Ryan’s defense than they were to Spagnuolo’s. Not because this squad lacks athleticism, because it doesn’t. Because they’re more likely to respond well to Ryan and his aggressiveness, rather than the cerebral discipline that Spagnuolo tried to impose on what was a truly fucked-up atmosphere in Metairie. With last year over and done with, Payton back in house, confidence once again peaking, these guys should be able to pull off a rise at least into the bottom of the middle third of the league, stats-wise.

      If not, they all should be sterilized.

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  • maybetodayMarch 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

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    Did I hear penis sheaths?

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    • Doc BoudinMarch 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm

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      Not sure; what do they sound like?

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  • AcquiredPanicMarch 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

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    I really need a t-shirt of that Napoleon/Payton bust on the header…..

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