Recently in Saints memories Category

No huddle - Fake injury nonsense

From SI's Peter King:

I think it is wrong to coach players to fake injuries. I also think teams do it (I have long suspected New Orleans defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove took a dive in the Colts-Saints Super Bowl when Peyton Manning had Indianapolis rolling in the no-huddle in the second half), and teams coach it. There's little doubt of that.

Yet another potshot at the Saints Super Bowl XLIV victory. It just galls some that the Saints won that one over their favored son. GOOD. And about this one: You can't, on the one hand, extoll the virtues of the no-huddle hurry-up offense and how it wears defenses down, dehydrates them, and takes their legs out from under them and then cry about it when it does exactly that. The no-huddle is especially hard on defensive linemen. Must be hard on wide receivers, too. Reggie Wayne's legs looked like they were in concrete on the very next play.

An anniversary

Today is the 5th anniversary of the re-opening of the SuperDome.

I remember going to work that day. It was Monday. The Saints were 2-0. The Falcons were also 2-0 and were favored because they ran all over the first two teams they played. The Saints had a new coaching staff and a lot of new faces. I knew maybe two or three guys on the offense and even fewer on the defense. The rest of the team was draft picks and free agents. They had somehow beaten the Browns and the Packers on the road but they were going to be really tested that night. Michael Vick was a monster in the wildcat formation and he was always hard on the Saints. This was going to be a tough game. I decided to wear one of my Saints shirts that day. I thought nothing of it at the time.

When I got to work, I knew something special was happening. Just about everyone was wearing Saints gear. The game was the talk of the town. We didn't really know what we had yet because Head Coach Sean Payton was also a new face and they'd only played two games. Both games were close but one thing was immediately apparent. Drew Brees was much more accurate and decisive than Aaron Brooks ever was.

The video below is from the pre-game festivities. It is fantastic and I never get tired of it.

I would always prefer to be at the game rather than watching on TV but there are some games that I am especially sorry I didn't attend. The Falcons game that night is one of them. The Saints forced a three and out on the Falcons first possession. Steve Gleason came through almost untouched and blocked the punt. It was recovered for a Saints touchdown and it sent the crowd and the Saints bench into orbit. The Saints won that night and their trajectory as a franchise changed right before our very eyes. We've always loved our Saints ... even when we were hiding behind paper bags. We hide no more. I've said this before and I truly believe it. The Saints saved the city of New Orleans. I can't imagine what that soul-crushing period after Katrina and the hard recovery would have been like if we'd had another sorry Saints team to despair over.

The Saints take on the tough Houston Texans in about 25 minutes. The formula remains the same. If they take care of the ball, they'll take care of the Texans.

On the fantasy front, I'm going into today's game short-handed. Peyton Hillis is out so do I go with Daniel Thomas against the Browns or DeAngelo Williams against the Jaguars? My choice is Daniel Thomas. DeAngelo is getting a lot of money in Carolina and producing very little. He'd better make the most of his opportunities today but he stays on my bench until he starts doing so.

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20 days

We're in the BS stage of preseason now. Last week, a 25-0 road win over the Chiefs meant nothing for the young Tampa Bay Bucs. This week, the starters were drubbed and manhandled by a New England team that was "in midseason form". Last week, the Eagles did nothing to tamp down Super Bowl talk and their "Dream Team" self-proclamation. This week, they stunk it up big time. It's still just practice, folks.

The thing about preseason is that people do sometimes put stock in it. They'll say things like, "They were only in for a quarter but the starters on defense were pushed all over the field and the starters on offense couldn't get anything going". Yeah, so? Anyone remember Super Bowl XLIV? Preseason games mean nothing, nothing at all, not ever. However, when your team looks good in one of these overpriced practice games, you feel good and when your team looks bad, you get worried. It's a quandary fans of the Bucs, Pats, Eagles, and Steelers find themselves in this morning after their meaningless games last night. 20 days ...

20 days until Saints v Packers


Jon Stinchcomb

The Saints released Jon Stinchcomb yesterday. He's been a fave here for a while now. Jon is a good guy in a tough business. He may have other opportunities this season but I think he'd be better off if he took time off and healed before he pursued any of them. He played through a knee injury last year. He had surgery during the offseason to re-attach his quad muscle and he still doesn't look fully recovered from it. The 49ers ran around him Friday night fairly easily. Good Luck, Jon.

23 days until Saints v Packers


Thoughts on Saints-49ers

The Saints were pretty aggressive in their 24-3 win over the 49ers last night. That was the first time I watched a preseason game from start to finish in a long time. Just some things I'm curious about, noticed, etc ...

  • Not sure what was accomplished by blitzing a team that obviously wasn't prepared for it.
  • Where did all of those defensive linemen come from? Pretty deep there.
  • I liked what I saw out of Jonathan Casillas and Johnny Patrick before he got hurt. Cam Jordan might not be starting for a while.
  • Not going to worry about the first team offense yet but I see some of the same things I saw last year. They're not doing the "shock and awe" thing they were doing in the Super Bowl year. Enough with the sluggish starts.
  • Both teams looked tired to me. Joe Morgan looked gassed by the end of his punt return TD.
  • How can the Saints keep Joique Bell if they've already got Ingram, Thomas, Sproles, and Ivory? He looked great last night. Can the Saints keep five tailbacks? If you put him on the practice squad, someone will grab him.
  • The starting wide receiver group (Colston, Henderson, Meachem, and Moore) has nothing to worry about.

26 days until Saints v Packers


NFL Overtime Rules Suck

A few years a go, the Colts and Chargers ended regulation tied. The game went into overtime. The Chargers won the coin toss, took the kickoff in overtime, and drove the field into field goal range, kicked the field goal, and won the game. Peyton Manning and the Colts never got a chance, unless you call the 60 minutes of regulation a chance or the opportunity to stop the Chargers in overtime a chance. OUTRAGE. How dare the NFL allow an important game to be decided by a coin toss. Well, 60 minutes of regulation, overtime, and a coin toss. Two years ago, the same thing happened in the NFC Championship Game in the SuperDome. After 60 minutes of regulation, the Saints and Vikings were still tied. The Saints won the overtime coin toss, drove into field goal range, and kicked the field goal to win. EVEN MORE OUTRAGE. We must change the rules. The NFL, spurred on by two of the NFL's loudest sports pundits, Mike Florio and Peter King, changed the rules. Now, both teams get a chance unless the team winning the toss scores a touchdown. These rules only apply during the playoffs. In the regular season, the old rules apply.

That's just stupid. The same rules should apply to the regular season and the playoffs. The old rules were better. Overtime should be severe. It should be dreaded. No coach should want to think, "Let's take our chances in overtime". Overtime should not be safe. Under the old rules, very few coaches ever went for the first down, touchdown, or two points to try to win the game in regulation rather than go into overtime. They almost always kicked the field goal or extra point but the day was coming when many coaches might do something different. When faced with a decision to kick the extra point to tie or go for two to win, we will probably now never get to see a coach decide, "We're going to decide this game right now with the ball in our hands at the two yard line". If the overtime rules had remained, the game might have evolved to that way of thinking and I think it would have. That's what football should be about. Bold and aggressive. Now, not coming to a stadium near you.

28 days until Saints v Packers


End of

It's the end of a chapter in the New Orleans Saints story. Reggie Bush has been traded to Miami. No, it's not Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Not by a longshot. Still, I'm sad to see him go. It was exciting when he got the ball in his hands. He didn't live up to expectations in his time here but, to be fair, his expectations were ridiculously high. He was NOT a bust. He had some spectacular games and he was a difference maker in quite a few of them. There shouldn't be any second-guessing anywhere about the Saints taking him with the 2nd overall pick in the 1986 draft. He was a spectacular player at USC and he had enormous buzz about him the year he came out. The Saints were coming off of the horrible Katrina season and that buzz was needed. Picking Bush was good football AND good business. There was NO WAY they could have passed him up. Good Luck, Reggie.

Saints are practicing for the first time today. The full regular season starts in less than six weeks. All NFL teams will be practicing before the weekend is out. Each team will have 90 players on their training camp roster and the coaching staffs probably haven't even met half of them. The fans aren't the only ones who will need a program. Some think the quality of play will be off the first few weeks because of the time lost to the lockout. I don't think anyone will notice.

One last thing: The Patriots seem to have totally moved away from their philosophy of acquiring team-first players. It started a few years ago with Randy Moss but was totally completed this year with the moves for me-first players, Chad Johnson Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. There is just not enough aspirin in the world.

41 days until Saints v Packers


The Hartley Kick has been counting down the Top Ten Most Clutch Plays in Saints history. They've decided that Garrett Hartley's oevrtime field goal in the NFC Championship Game vs the Vikings rates Number One. I think Tracy Porter's interception in that same game should rate higher because it put Garrett there in the first place. It's not a bad choice, though, and I'm not complaining. It's a subjective list. What I wrote about it at the time. Love the Joe Buck call and the reaction of the fans as their medium roar turns into a loud roar.

47 days until Saints v Packers ... I hope


Baseball v Football

From a reader of the Detroit Free Press:

I love the moments of reflection -- a blown call that changed the outcome of a contest and the sweet memory of walking to a ballpark with my tiny hand, enveloped by my mom's hand and knowing that she was as excited as me to be going to the game.

Those memories are similar in all sports. I remember going to football games with my Dad at City Park Stadium and old Tulane Stadium, parking in his old neighborhood a mile away, stopping at K&B to pick up a portable raincoat, catching the Claiborne bus to the game, walking back from the game and talking about the game, the plays and players, and the scores from around the league as relayed through Dad's transistor radio with earpiece. It's like the kid who goes fishing with his Dad. It's not only about the fishing. The only thing that makes one game better in your eyes than another is how much of yourself you put into it. I love both baseball and football but my first love is football for reasons mostly unrelated to the game.

103 days until Saints v Packers ... I hope


Rookies at the workouts

Glad to see rookies joining the workouts at Tulane. They really need coaching but, since that's not available, being part of this will give them an idea of what it takes to be a professional football player, which is not something they'd get working out on their own.

Man, get this thing done.

108 days until Saints v Packers ... I hope


Dumbass Quote of the Day

Clearly, the Saints’ popularity and success is attributable to the team’s owner, not its lazy, spoiled, greedy, communist “franchise QB.” If you have been keeping up with the totally unsuspicious anti-player comments on this site, you would know that players like Drew Brees are easily replaceable.

Saints Tidbits

Well, duh. Drew Brees is the best free-agent signing of last decade. Wrong. Best free-agent signing ever ... in any sport. He may be just under 6 feet tall on the football field but he's 100 feet tall in Louisiana. No other player anywhere has ever meant as much to his team and their fans as Drew.


A little embarrassing

Am I the only Saints fan that finds the list of inductees a little embarrassing? I remember those players. I've been a Saints fan since the beginning. Billy Kilmer? He was the best quarterback on really bad teams but he wasn't much more than decent. Reuben Mayes? He had a terrific rookie season, tore up his Achilles tendon in the playoff game, and lost his job to Dalton Hilliard. He hardly ever played again after his injury. HoF on the strength of one season? That list should be reduced by half. The guys in there now should be more worthy. The guys on the current team who end up in the Saints HoF will be. Guys like Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, etc. Some of the guys they'll be joining don't belong.


2011 First Round Results

The Saints selected Cam Jordan with their own first round pick at the 24 spot and then traded up with New England to select Mark Ingram at the Pats' 28 spot. I like both picks but I'm still a bit concerned that they continue to give up draft picks, this time to a good New England team, who has a boatload of them now. The future is mortgaged to the present. That's not to say that I like what New England is doing, either. Stockpiling draft picks hasn't proven to be sound player acquisition and in the end, that's what this is all about.

If you need some rationalization for this, here it is: The Saints gave up next year's first round draft pick for a first round pick this year. They gave up a low second round pick this year but they had a high third round pick in the bank from the Redskins for Jammal Brown. Essentially, they just moved their second selection down a few spots. If Ingram works out, it was a great move.

I know nothing about Cam Jordan except what's been written about him. I have not seen him play. Going by what I've read, it was a solid pick but I've been fooled by what I read many times. I want to see him play.

I am a LSU Tiger fan and I do know something about Alabama's Mark Ingram. He joins a backfield that is suddenly very crowded ... and very expensive. Ingram will make all of them better in my estimation but there is still a durability issue in that group. It will also send at least one of them up the road. Reggie Bush is convinced it's him. I'm not ... yet. As it stands now, Ingram and Pierre Thomas are in while Reggie Bush, Chris Ivory, and Lionel Hamilton will compete for the other two spots and that's all assuming the Saints even keep four tailbacks. Based on their injury histories, I think they have to but the Saints may think otherwise. You can make an argument that Bush is still in based on his skill set, which is much different from the others, and by everything Sean Payton has said the last few months. His salary is the big issue now and the Ingram selection puts a lot of pressure on the Saints to reduce payroll and get some of the money out of the backfield. Thomas has a healthy new contract and Ingram will get one as a first rounder. I don't see them paying three premium salaries at RB. Chris Ivory and Lionel Hamilton are similar to each other and Mark Ingram. Ivory has an edge over Hamilton if it comes down to those two. It will be an interesting battle if they go to camp with all five of these guys.


About "Who Dat"

You will not see much of that expression here unless I'm quoting someone. I don't like it. Never have. There is quite a tussle going on about who owns it. The first time I ever heard it was when Alabama fans and Arkansas fans were in town for the Sugar Bowl. That was 1979. The game was played on January 1, 1980. I don't think anyone owns it but don't come looking to me for support if that's your side, too. I wish it would go away forever.


First Entry

The purpose of this blog is to talk about the New Orleans Saints, the NFL, and fantasy football. I'll still talk about those topics on occasion on CrabAppleLane Blog but this blog will be devoted to it.

First, an introduction and a little of my Saints history.

My love for the Saints began when the franchise was awarded to the City of New Orleans on November 1, 1966 ... aka All Saints Day. I was at the first game in 1967 at Tulane Stadium with my dad. They played the Los Angeles Rams who had Roman Gabriel on offense and the fearsome foursome on defense. We saw John Gilliam run back the opening kickoff for a touchdown that day. It was so wide open that I've heard people say it was fixed. I don't believe that. That game ended in a loss. It was the first of way too many.

Dad and I had seasons tickets for the Saints at Tulane Stadium from 1968 to1974, South Endzone. We saw a lot of the greats. They all played for the other team. :) Johnny Unitas, Gale Sayers, Sam Huff, and Roger Staubach to name just a few. The Saints moved into the brand new Louisiana SuperDome in 1975. I was tired of going to the games by then and Dad didn't like the seat assignment he got in the transition from Tulane Stadium to the SuperDome (He was a little tired of going to the games, too) so he gave his tickets up.

I got married in 1981. I got seasons tickets again in 1982, this time for my wife, Patsy, and I, first in the terrace and then later in the club. Patsy stopped going to every game soon and stopped going altogether by 1990. I kept the tickets through the 1999 season, though. In 2000, the last of the Mike Ditka years, I was hit with a 40% price increase on those tickets. I was totally dissatisfied with the direction the team was taking under Mike Ditka, it was getting harder and harder to find anyone willing to spend a day at a Saints game and, coming on the heels of back-to-back 6-10 seasons, I decided I had other things I could be doing with my limited disposable income. I did not renew and, naturally, they finally turned things around. First, under Jim Haslett, and then, spectacularly under Sean Payton. I firmly believe that would not have happened while I was still going. I take some credit for my sacrifice. :)

It took 20 years for the Saints to post a winning season. I had seasons tickets the year (1987) they finally did. They won 9 games in a row to close out the season and earn their first ever playoff appearance. I was there for that, too. Naturally, it ended in disaster as Wade Wilson and the Vikings pummeled them, 44-10, and that was after the Saints took a 7-0 lead. Many, many years of up and down seasons followed, but no championships. Then, Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina was a life-changing event. Ask anyone who survived and rebuilt. Louisiana and the Saints were also on the ropes with each other. The damage the SuperDome endured is well-documented and provided owner Tom Benson with cover to either move the team or extract a better deal with the State of Louisiana. At least, that's how I saw it at the time. I now give Mr Benson a pass for his erratic behavior in that aftermath. Mine was erratic, too. I blame it on Katrina and I close the book on that.

Saints fans are a hardy lot. We've endured a lot of heartache and I'll delve into that some later but not now because the tide turned a few years ago when owner Tom Benson let GM Randy Mueller go and promoted Mickey Loomis. At the time, no one knew that Loomis would blossom into one of the NFL's best GMs. Mickey brought Sean Payton in and the two of them brought in Drew Brees, who is currently the best free agent signing in NFL history. Loomis, Payton, and Brees changed everything here.

Welcome to the CrabAppleLane Saints Blog. Hope it's worth your time. Suggestions are welcome.


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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Saints memories category.

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