Quick Out, March 13, 2013
So, here’s something new. I’m going to start writing short posts on a single subject—sorta like my own version of Twitter, but better because I don’t have to deal with Twitter.
And then, y’all can comment on it? See? The beauty is that you guys do all the work, and I get all the page hits. So, in advance: molto grazienzo. Or something. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Anyway, there’s the first Quick Out.
It is my considered opinion that the re-signing of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, coupled with the loss of Chase Daniel and Jermon Bushrod, signals Payton’s intention to stand pat on defense—for now—and retool the offense first. We now need a legitimate left tackle (unless you think Charles Brown is that guy, in which case no more beer for you). We need a backup quarterback, even if we hope he never plays a down. What we don’t need any longer is another defensive end, or depth at inside linebacker. What’s more, I haven’t come across anyone seriously linking an available free agent pass rusher to the Saints (other than Paul Kruger, and he’s gone). That may mean they indeed intend to take care of that in the draft…or it might mean they think they’ve got the line and the linebackers taken care of now, and it’s the secondary they’re looking to fix. (Meeting with Derek Cox, for example.)
And Larry Holder agrees with me. Hell, Sean Payton agrees with me:
Payton pointed out how the Saints have a history of finding their best values where there’s a need for the team.
“Where there’s a need for the team.” Apparently, Sean and Mickey see different needs than almost everyone.
I’m not saying that the Saints definitely won’t be drafting a pass rusher in the first round…but I reiterate: don’t be surprised if Loomis and Payton buck the conventional wisdom and draft a top tackle, like Lane Johnson or D.J. Fluker. Or even trade down in order to pick up a serviceable tackle and another weapon. My preference is a top-notch tight end, like Tyler Eifert, to pair with Jimmy Graham. That also allows us to run a lot of heavy formations, which will come in handy in the snow in MetLife Stadium.
And there’s another aspect of the Saints’ free agent behavior that I’d like to point out: they’re sticking with their guys. I would think that’s a popular move in the locker room, rather than treating everyone as if they’re expendable the moment a shinier object appears.