As a former NFL player time has come for me to start sharing my thoughts each and every week on the Saints and some insight on things that you may not have thought about.
First up when it comes to the Saints win over the Panthers on Sunday tight end Dave Thomas came up big at just the right time. Several big catches at nut-cuttin time is just what the Saints needed. Let me tell you when a game is on the line and the ball is headed your way the pressure cannot even be described as to what is going through your head. Thomas deserves a great deal of credit in helping the Saints go to 3-1 on the season.
Something that I thought a great deal about watching this game was that if 0-3 team had it in them to fight the Saints this tough and could have won the game just as much ac the Saints. What will it be like if and when they face a 5-5 or 6-1 team. Trust me folks the magic of last year is still in the air in New Orleans and that magic could grow huge like it did last year or it could disappear just as easy.
No doubt that everything hinges on how Drew Brees plays. I was very concerned to see that Brees spent most of the day throwing from the pocket, there weren't a whole lot of roll outs or boot legs and that makes me feel very uneasy on the condition of that knee. I know the Saints have downplayed the status of Drew Brees knee and claim its not an issue. I'm here to tell you that's a bunch of you know what. That knee is injured and it's gonna get worse.
Let's talk about the running game. Betts and Ivory earned their pay on Sunday. But if anyone thinks that they can carry this teams ground attack your sadly mistaken. Yes they played well but they aren't Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. The Saints need these guys back on the field and they need em back SOON.
I am beginning to think that Colston may also have something bothering him like an ankle or hamstring, something. I don't know what but Co Co should be getting that rock more often. At critical times when the coverage tightens up he is not getting enough separation for Drew to go to him. It is something I will be keeping an eye on and you should too, an unhealthy Colston is almost a bad as an unhealthy Brees. Let me add that their are other targets that can get it done. I know Devery hasn't looked good lately but he also came up with a big catch in the 4th qtr. Meachem did the same thing and of course Shockey is always gonna make big catches. The Saints offense just hasn't hit on all cylinders for an entire game. Of course they have it in them but where is it. Deep down in their guts and time is coming soon when they need to let it out. If they physically can?
A big ting that has happened in these first four games s that the Saints defense can't play loose. Loose meaning it's OK to give up a 120 yards on the ground cause they have an offense and an entire game plan each week that sprints out to big leads and plays " catch me if you can" Those big leads aren't there and the defense is laying tight. Now that they have 3 of 4 starters on the back end watching from the sidelines, it may be a long time till we see that loose defense. Good teams are gonna try to cash in on the Saints while they can.
The secondary players that are out there are sittin on routes way too much and not tryin to jump the routes. If it continues it's gonna bite em in the ass. Harper and Sharper are desperately needed back in the line up for one thing and one thing alone. Their LEADERSHIP!
I also have noticed that Jonathan Vilma is no way 100%. He started the season with a groin injury and I have had that injury so many times during my career I can't even count em all. Vilma is gonna have to battle through it all year and it's gonna get harder and harder to play balls out. That's the only way he knows how to play and he looks like he is at about 80% to me. They might have to just sit him for at least 3 weeks to get him ready for the stretch run. Now that is long way off so there is plenty of time to keep an eye on Vilma. Just remember, watch Vilma when he is in persuit of a back trying to turn the corner. If he repeatedly can't get there than he needs to sit down and let the groin heal.
Let me know what you think about my take on what we are all looking at right now. Simply comment here on my blog and I will answer your questions. Also check me out for anther cup of Joe later in the week and we'll talk about the Cardinals and what the Saints will need to do to come home 4-1. Later Gaters........... Joe Horn