Friday, October 30, 2009

Saints bloggers are a special bunch

Ahead of Monday nights clash with the Falcons I just wanted to send some love out to all the Saints bloggers who have made me, the newbie, feel so welcome in the community of recent.

It really means a lot to be name checked on other blogs and have people take the time out of their busy lives to say hello to a stranger. So a big thank-you to all of you for making me feel so welcome and I look forward to posting more nonsense on my road to recovery.

Love and Peace

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pierre Thomas jersey sales set to jump

Sales of Pierre Thomas jerseys are set to rise in the coming weeks as the New Orleans Saints continue their pursuit of Super Bowl glory. With many respected tipsters now calling the Saints as winners of the ultimate prize you can bet the attention on number 23 will only increase.

Pierre Thomas Jersey

Thomas has brought much needed balance to the Saints Offence. His eye for the best running lane and patience in letting the play develop has helped to ensure Saints drives maintain momentum where once they would have stalled.

As recently as the 2008/09 season the Saints running game struggled to impose itself on most Defences. The rotation of Duece McAllister, Reggie Bush, Aaron Stecker and Thomas was at times ineffectual and at best unreliable forcing the Saints to the air more than they would have liked.

Whilst this turn of events helped Drew Brees set new team passing records it was clearly no basis for a championship winning team.  Only toward the second half of last season did Sean Payton finally give Thomas substantial game time and the results have been clear for all to see.

Replacing a legend

When you're replacing a team legend like Duece McAllister you know full well that every tiny mistake is being watched and scrutinised. You have to live with fan and media intrusion for the first time in your life and, at the same time, compete against the ghost of McAllister past. That is a tough ask for any young running back, especially one with the unenviable tagline 'undrafted' hanging around his neck.  It was something that held Thomas back at times last season and yet, as we enter week 8 of the NFL season, number 23 is helping to power the Saints running game to 3rd place in the league.

Duece McAllister Reggie Bush
McAllister and Bush sharing game time

Bush, Bell and Thomas - The Time of the Trio?

The combination of Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Reggie Bush in balancing the potent Saints passing attack ensures opposing Defensive Co-ordinators are now left second guessing on field line ups.  Thomas and Bell are both capable of breaking runs to the outside whilst grounding out all important inside yardage.  This has helped to establish a credible play action game and borne witness to some outstanding deep plays.

As the season continues expect to see more of the same from this excellent trio of backs as they look to keep opposing defences unbalanced and on edge.

Saints Pierre Thomas

With the come back win of the season already under their belts and a Monday Night Football audience against the Falcons coming up, the Saints running game is set for wider acclaim with Thomas leading the charge.  Should the Saints go all the way manufacturers of the Pierre Thomas jersey may well consider replacing the number 23 with a giant 'S'.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scott Fujita Injury Update

This past week I've been concerned about Saints fan favorite Scott Fujita and his chances of playing on Monday Night Football against the Falcons.  The big man is returning from a strained left calf sustained in the week 6 win against the New York Giants.

I decided to secretly track the Saints Linebacker and see how his recovery was going.  What you are about to witness is a man so dedicated to the Saints cause it's actually frightening.

Shot 1 - Here he is studying game film ahead of the Dolphins clash.
Scott Fujita Injury

 Shot 2 - Steady progress by Scott see's him beefing up those arms whilst staying off the troubled calf.

Scott Fujita Inury Update

Shot 3 - Now he's just getting cocky!

Scott Fujita Inury News

Shot 4 - OK Scott, you're scaring me!!  Someone get Sean Payton in here!

Scott Fujita Inury Latest

He may have gone a bit over board with his 'eat a Falcon' game plan but you've got to love the intensity of this guy.

Next Week:  Mike Bell eats 1,000 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in 5 minute shocker!!

For up to date info on the latest injury news about the Saints LB please visit the Scott Fujita Injury News page.

(Warning: Photo's may have been doctored to make Fujita look slightly smaller than he actually is!).

Air Reggie - Michael Jordan eat your heart out!

I was watching the Saints Dolphins game back last night and I've got to say that Reggie Bush touchdown leap in the 4th was something else.  I think I overlooked it at the time because of how caught up I was with the way the amazing game was turning out.  The hang time Reggie put on his touchdown leap was pretty incredible.

Reggie Bush Michael Jordan

I know some fans get on his case but the Saints are so much better off with Reggie Bush in the team even if he's not touching the ball a great deal.  The fact is opposing defensive co-ordinators know just how explosive Reggie can be so they always have to ensure one of their faster backs or linebackers is tracking him on each play.  That frees up space for other Saint backs and receivers to exploit and greatly helps the complete offensive team package.

Also, because some fans do get on his back so much, he does try a little too hard at times to match the hype that surrounds him.  I think that is indicative of the fact that he cares passionately about his sport and his role in the team and should not be used as a stick to beat him with.

Reggie Bush Flying

Overall the Saints are better for having Reggie and I for one look forward to more Michael Jordan style leaps in this electrifying Saints season.  Reggie Bush for London 2012 anyone?  You better believe it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saints Player Rankings Week 7

Now that the heat of battle has died down and we've all caught our breath after the heart attack inducing tension of the Saints Dolphins clash I want to take a look at what we've learned about the team this week.

New Orleans Saints helmet cam analysis

1 - Sean Payton is a gutsy leader.  This we have known for a long time but it's worth reflecting on one game changer in particular from this past week. 

What I love about Coach Payton is that even when the chips are down, and without the luxury of being in the driving seat with points on the board, he still went with his gut and took his Quarterbacks word as gospel at the close of the 1st half.  A lot of coaches would have taken the 3 points and come off the field as quickly as possible to speak with his team en masse.  Payton decided to put all his trust in his main field lieutenant and was rewarded when Drew Brees converted with a Quarterback sneak.

Saints Sean Payton
 Lord Payton of Pimlico

2 - Drew Brees is a practitioner of perfection.  Watching Brees beat himself up on the sidelines in the first half was tough to see.  Here is a man who studies the game like no other.  He puts in the hours at the training facility, in the film room and probably at home too.  He works toward and expects perfection from himself and those around him so when the game plan was collapsing you knew damn well he was going to work the situation harder than anyone.

And sure enough when the camera panned to him, time and again in that first half, he was studying those aerial shots intently looking for the dinks in the Dolphin defence that he could exploit.  This is a man that never says die, is born to win and will stay cool when all around him are loosing their heads.  The second half revival was testament to the fortitude of his character and leadership qualities.

Drew Brees Quarterback

3 - The Saints Defence is for real.  They genuinely make us title contenders.  The early points put up by the Dolphins and the speed with which the Saints Offence kept returning possession placed a massive strain on this unit.  They were under pressure to keep the game within reach and give the Saint Offence time to regroup and work a fix.  This they did and then some.

Key to the unit was the play of both Jonathan Vilma and Darren Sharper.  At times in the first half they looked like the only two who had turned up with their game heads on.  Vilma in particular pursued the ball with conviction and plugged up the holes on a number of 3rd downs to stop promising Dolphin drives.  He led the defence by example and was key to the end result.

Meanwhile, in the Saints secondary, Darren Sharper was patrolling with intent and when his moment came he made a decisive interception which he returned for a touchdown to shift the games momentum early in the second half.  The confidence number 42 instils in the secondary unit is clear to see and against the Dolphins they added another 14 points to their season tally.

For these reasons I hereby name Darren Sharper and Jonathan Vilma my Super Saints of the Week.

New Orleans Saints Darren SharperJonathan Vilma Saints

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Inside the Saints helmet and I'm going nuts!

1st play of the 4th Quarter and Jeremy Shockey goes 66 yards on a pass from Drew Brees down to the Dolphins 14.  Huge play.

Bell now with short yardage.  Then... double reverse to Reggie Bush for a spectacular touchdown leap (Michael Jordanesque... makes up for all the short yardage squirrel nuts of earlier).  I guess that's why some people get on his back because when he pulls out magic like that they wonder why not every time.  Reminds me of an English soccer player called John Barnes but that's a different story. 

Touchdown Reggie Bush

Great TD and the game is back on.  Dolpins 34, Saints 31.  Hide behind your barrels folks cause this is a shoot out.

Dolphins possession ended by combo of Greer and Tracy Porter big plays.  Punt.  Saints ball.  Game On.

Mike Bell, Mike Bell, 1st down.  I love Mike Bell.  Saints at midfield.

16 yard pass to Jeremy Shockey and the big man looks pumped.  Must be close to a 100 yards recieving now. 

Jeremy Shockey New Orleans Saints

And again to Shockey for a 1st down to the Dolphins 17 (and definitely now over 100 yards).  Big time plays.  Mike Bell now for 7 yards and the Saints are down to the 10.  Pass out to Heath Evans who takes it to the 4.  1st and goal.

What will Sean Payton call... Oh my, there we see it.  Quarterback sneak by Brees from 4 yards and almost untouched. Great call Lord Peyton.

Dolphins 34, Saints 37 as Carney's extra point is missed; it's just one of those games.

Dolphins ball.  Bobby McCray with some up front pressure.  The Dolphins are 3 and out on this possession.  Punt to Bush and now a Blackberry commercial butchering All You Need is Love by the Beatles.  If I wasn't so turned around by the Saints revival I'd draft a strongly worded complaint to Blackberry that I wouldn't bother sending because really what's the point.

Beatles All You Need Is Love

Back to the game and Dolphins just lost a stupid 15 yards on a self inflicted penalty.  Saints down to the Dolphins 44. 

Drew Brees to Devery Henderson for 22 yards.  Brees now with more time and controlling the ball.  They've really adjusted to the Dolphins pass rush scheme's to make this come back.

Mike Bell for 6 yards, Shockey drop, now 3rd and 4.  Reggie Bush in the flat who brakes a tackle to take him and his squirrels 12 yards.  1st and goal with 5 minutes to go.

Mike Bell through the middle to the 2.  Let that clock run... Bell dropped for a 1 yard loss to the 3.  Big play coming up now and... The Saints take a timeout to have a cup of tea and a calm chat about the best Magnum PI box sets to buy for loved ones at Christmas.

Here we go.  Brees to Colston and... incomplete.  The Saints have to settle for a field goal.

Miami Dophins 34, New Orleans Saints 40.  3.23 on the clock.

Dolphins from their own 20.  Quickly to 3rd and 4.  Dolphins convert to their own 44.  2 min 30 to go.  Give me someone’s nails as mine are no more.

Dolphin’s penalty and a loss of down see's them at 2nd and 8.  Dropped ball by RICKY WILLIAMS, how's that salt and lime taste my man?  Eat turf.  3rd and 8... But then a false start, 3rd and 13.  Henne over throws the tight end.  4th and 13 and the game play. 

Salt And Lime

Here we go.  Henne drops back and... Tracy Porter intercepts and returns the ball 53 yards for a TOUCHDOWN!!  Flag down... But it's against the Dolphins so the touchdown stands!  Saints are going for 2 to put this away... and they fail.

Miami Dolphins 34, New Orleans Saints 46.

The Saints see out the game for the victory.

Well I for one am glad I blogged whilst this game was in progress for I think it shows just what a roller coaster of emotions this has been.  This surpasses the Giants win in terms of learning about the Black and Gold for it just goes to show what the team is made of.  To come back as we have in this fashion is nothing short of remarkable.  We are serious title contenders now.  When the offence was seriously failing the D (and return team) stepped up and kept the Saints in the game.  We were dead and buried before the half and yet somehow affected this recovery.  Talk about knocked down twice for the count and still taking the belt.

Read the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Quarter Saints Dolphins In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

3rd Quarter Report - Saints on the come back trail

Start of the second half and before I can say 'Your mum is on trial for purgery' Darren Sharper intercepts Henne and returns for a TOUCHDOWN!!  Except it's not definitely a touchdown as we go to commercials because it's not that kind of a game.  It will either be a touchdown or a touchback when we return.

Game defining decision coming up and... The play STANDS - Get the fuck in!!  Sorry for all those of a sensitive disposition but I feel justified in swearing after this turn around as we're back in the game!
Get The Fuck In
Next play and Saints sack Chad Henne, is this a momentum shift we are witnessing?  2 more plays and the Dolphins are bringing in their punter... Reggie returns for half a peanut and a packet of squirrels.  The Saints will takeover at their own 35.

Pierre Thomas for a couple, Brees knocked as he throws and the ball falls incomplete.  3rd and 7.  Long to Devery Henderson (Brees was under pressure AGAIN).  1st and 10 at Dolphins 25.

Brees incomplete to Colston, Pierre Thomas stopped for a loss of 1.  3rd and 11.  Brees goes to Colston in the end zone... Colston makes the grab but a fish wrestles it from him and it's an interception and touch back.  Balls.

Dolphins still 24 Saints 17.  This is an important drive.  We need to stop another momentum shift.

The Saints Defence comes up trumps again as Vilma stuffs the run on 3rd and short.  Vilma and Sharper are leading this team by example today.

Jonathan Vilma Saints Captain

Saints takeover at their own 20 after Bush returns for a squirrels nut-sack and an amoeba.

Brees sacked again on 2nd down (4th of the game by the Dolphins).  Brees then hit by Jason Taylor on 3rd down which forces a fumble, Miami's ball at the Saint 15.  As a reserved Englishman would say... Crickey!

But the Dolphins go 3 and out so have to settle for a field goal.

Dolphins 27, Saints 17 with 5.59 remaining in the 3rd.

Mike Bell on the first play of the possession and he takes it 38 yards to the Dolphins 48.  Quality.  Get him in the game (and not just because he's in my fantasy team).  Devery Henderson now on a reverse for good yardage down to the 29.  Pierre Thomas for 6 more.  2nd and 4.  Pass to LANCE MOORE THE MOST UNDERRATED WR for a 1st down to 14.  This is more like it.

Saints quickly facing 3rd and 10 after a pass to Bush which results in a gain of a DNA string.  Next pass though goes to Marques Colston in the back of the end zone for... A TOUCHDOWN!

Football Ref Touchdown

Dolphins 27, Saints 24.  Game Mother Funking On.  Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat gonna go Hex Dem Saints?  1.09 to go in the 3rd.

Miami start at their own 29.  Henne incomplete.  Henne to Hardline for 67 yards.  Ricky Williams gets his salt shaker out and rubs in a touchdown.

Miami 34, Saints 24.  This game really reminds me of the Dolphins Bears 85 regular season game that put a stop to the Bears perfect season.  Don't ask me to explain as frankly I want a sip of beer.

It also reminds me of a song I once wrote called 'So near so far, se la vie my friend'... it was a blues gabba techno track with a fusion of mild hysteria... a bit like Shania Twain stuck at a dull cocktail party with Rush Limbaugh.

Saints 17 Dolphins 24.

Read the 1st, 2nd and 4th Quarter Saints Dolphins In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Saints Dolphins 2nd Quarter Horror Show

Dolphins FG

Saints get the ball and Brees... intercepted near Saints 20. 

New Orleans Saints Horror Show

Dolphins rushing TD.  Only Vilma, Sharper and Grant have turned up too date.

Saints take over.  Pierre Thomas good 9 yards, Thomas again for 1st down, that's more like it.  Brees to Colston finally for 23 yard pass and run.  Consecutive 1st downs for Saints for the first time in this ball game.

Thomas short run... for nada.  Brees drops back and... Sacked, ball pops out and Stinchcomb does well to recover (gets injured for his effort).  So that's Vilma, Sharper, Grant, Thomas (for those two runs) and Stinchcomb who have turned up for the Saints today out of a suited up squad of 45.

Devery Henderson gets a few on 3rd down and now John Carney is back in for a 50 yard field goal attempt that... surprise, surprise, goes wide of the posts.  This is some bad karma day in New Orleans.  Don Shula's on the sidelines looking very happy.  The 72 Dolphins look like they can rest easy the way this is going.  I'm not giving up though... never do...

Smiling Chimpanze

Oh my Cedrick Ellis is being helped from the field with an injury.

Reggie Bush makes nothing on the ensuing punt return so the Saints offence will inherit poor field position again.  I'm not getting on Reggie's back for that though as I still rate the second guessing element he brings to opposing D co-ordinators... just as I type that he looses his footing on a hand off for a loss of two!!  I'm going to stop typing for a bit.

Brees is sacked at the 2 yard line (so much for not writing for a while).  That week off for the Dolphins has clearly given them time to watch a tonne of film and work some pretty intelligent schemes because the Saints have just not got out of the blocks today.

Right definitely shutting up for a bit so I can watch this...

Shutting Mouth

Nope I'm straight back as just had a thought.  The Saints D really isn't playing that bad.  They gave up the big play to Ricky Williams but apart from that most of the points have resulted from short plays and bad field positions.  It's shocking to say this but the Saints offence is simply having a stinker.  PepĂ© Le Pew (skunk from Warner Brother’s cartoons) would be holding his nose watching this one.

But then the Saints D force a fumble and Sharper recovers in Dolphin territory.  Brees to Lance Moore (FINALLY) for 7.  Brees to Bush on 3rd and 3 and they convert on 3rd down for the first time today. 

Jeremy Shockey makes his first grab of the day and gets a first down.  Finally the Saints are driving; again for the first time (and we're now in the two minute warning).  Brees has been under pressure on most plays which is very unlike the Saints O line this year.

But then... Brees to Colston and TOUCHDOWN!!  Back shoulder of Marques Colston, 5th of the season, which takes it to... oh no, the booth are reviewing and declare from on high that he was downed at the half yard line.  This is just not our day.  But hold on to your hats... the Saints were about to kick a field goal as only 5 seconds were left on the clock when the Dolphins inexplicably called a timeout and Brees talks Peyton into letting him back out there... Next play Drew Brees leaps over center and TOUCHDOWN.  Gutsy play calling.  Love it.  Dolphins 24, Saints 10.  That could have been so much worse but for the fumble and that recent run of plays.  

I've seen fish inside barrels being shot at putting up better fights than the Saints offence in this first half.  Just mistakes galore.  Have to take it on the chin and accept it as one of those things.  Regroup boys and let's get back in this.

Read the 1st, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Dolphins In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Analysis from the Saints helmet of Annassasolis

1st play of the game and a 1st down pass from Brees to Marques Colston takes the ball out to the Saints 41 - Looked easy, sign of things to come?

After that we witness an incompletion, a penalty and a catch by Pierre Thomas that ends just short of the 1st down marker. Punt. 

First time the Saints have not scored on a first drive of a game so far this season - I've gone and hexed it already haven't I?

New Orleans Saints Hex

Dolphins take over at their own 30.  Pass, run and then convert on they're first 3rd down attempt.  He who is Saints royalty (Sean Payton) challenges the call.  I love the fact he coaches professionally in the same way that I play Madden... challenge everything, go for it on 4th down every time and ask questions later (except I probably wouldn't do it in real life because I'd second guess myself and have a mouth full of Doritos whilst doing it). 

Wow, the review machine isn't working so Peyton looses the challenge when it was CLEAR the catch in question went incomplete.  Bad omens here to date.  Luckily I don't believe in omens... only beer, beer and patisserie items (as a guy from my school used to say, and no it wasn't private... he was just slightly, er, quaint).  Right less inner monologue or I'm going to loose all the people who probably aren't reading this anyway. 

Dolphins go deep for first time but are blatantly rubbish when set against my man Sharper.  Don't try that throw.  There's only one winner and it's not a guy with a fish on his helmet.

Darren Sharper Saints Safety

They fail to convert on another suspect catch and they can't rely on malfunctioning replay equipment this time (who installed that?  Their mates the porpoi?  Or is that porpoise if it's plural? OK loosing it now, stop with the Stella).  Dolphins punt and LANCE MOORE, the most underrated WR in the league takes it at the 6 and the Saints will take over near their own goal line.

Saints begin with a false start and then delay of game penalty halving the half that was half the distance to the goal line before the half distance to the goal line halving call was halved (my decimal fractions are what football is to the Cleveland Browns - confused)... so squeaky bum time - I hate conceding safeties, it's so uncouth don't you think old boy?

Manners Dear Boy

On 3rd and long Bree's over throws his man and some fish returns it to the Saint 3.  Boy are my predictions off today.  First the Vikings loose to the Steelers in the 4th and then... Miami jump out to the early lead for, as I'm typing, Ex Saint Ricky Williams runs in a touchdown over the right tackle.  Talk about salt in the wound whilst shoe horning a vat of lemon juice in there.

Come on Saints, let's start over.  

Ow BABY, that's the start over. Courtney Roby returns the kick off all the way to the Dolphins 15.  Special teams spark things off.

Brees completion but for loss of 5 on 1st play then a carry by Bush results in 3 yards.  3rd and 13...  Brees sacked!  Oh man/woman, this is such a turn around from last week.  We look a completely different team.  I've clearly shot myself in the foot by pronouncing to all and sunder that we would be unstoppable this week.  John Carney comes in for 46 yard field goal and... We have 3 on the board.

Saints 3 Dolphins 7.

Dolphins return to 35 yard line, Troy Evans with the stop (who's in for Scott Fujita this week - rest well my man, we need you back). 

Oh sweet mother of... Ricky Williams picks up that vat of lime juice again and pours it all over the open sore that is the collective Saints wound and runs for a 65 yard touchdown.  Talk about things not going to plan.  The view from inside my Saints helmet is not good.  Well I guess this is what champions are made of.  We need to see if we have the strength of character to respond.  This is where winners are born.

Lime Juice

Saints will take over at the 2 with 4.47 left in the first quarter.

Pierre Thomas for 5 yards. Brees then incomplete to Reggie Bush 15 yards down the left side line.  3rd and 5 coming up. Dolphins bat down the ensuing pass and the Saints will be forced to punt.  This was not in my Sunday night schedule. 

Dolphins from their own 40.  Run, run, 3rd and 2.  Somehow they power through after being stopped on first effort.  We really need a spark here. 

Darren Sharper makes an excellent tackle 5 yards from scrimmage upending Roddy Brown.  Miami run for a few and it's 3rd and 1.  OK, let's here you out there - Deee fence, Deee fence, Deee fence, etc, etc, platitudes to the Gods of run stopping.  And...  The Gods must be crazy (or deaf) as they convert for a couple.  SO on that bomb shell we end the first quarter and I go in search of a beer, a smoke and some divine intervention.  See you shortly.

Read the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Dolphins In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Vikings Vs Steelers Week 7 - Saints helmet analysis

I'm looking forward to the Saints Dolphins game later today and in preparation have already donned my Saints jersey like the dedicated (geek as my lady calls me) fan that I am.  I will be writing quarter by quarter reports during the game so check in for that and comment as you feel.

Mute Saints Cell Phone

In the meantime I'm getting set up (muting cell phone, cooling beers, blocking out the sound of parental wittering - only kidding Ma!) for a heck of a showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I believe one or both of these could well be divisional playoff and Super Bowl opponents so I will be studying the form with interest.

The headline match up see's Brett Favre square up against Ben Roethlisberger in the 'Who is the most rugged winner on the field' showdown.  These guys are two of the best Quarterbacks/Team Leaders to have graced the league in the modern era and both are football players who deserve ultimate respect as winners and tough, tough competitors.

I'm an old school football kind of guy.  I like players who play hard, work hard and never say die.  In both of these guys you have the epitome of what I call proper football players so it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top.

I think it's going to be a close game but if I was laying my bets right now I would give the Vikings the edge for the following reasons:

1 - The Vikings offence contains both Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson.  You maybe able to stop one but you're never going to be able to stop both all day.
Troy Polamalu Safety Pittsburgh Steelers

2 - The Steelers will have a fitness question mark hanging over Troy Polamalu going into the game.  He is the leader of that Steelers defence and without him firing on all cylinders they loose a certain edge.  I'll be watching the first quarter with interest to see just how freely he is moving.

3 - The Steelers are not killing games off like they used to and whilst the old saying 'form is temporary class is permanent' may hold true I just don't think the Steelers will quite be able to see this one off.

So for me this will be a one score game heading into the 4th which the Vikings will just about see off.

Stay tuned for my New Orleans Saints helmet fan analysis.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saints Injury Report for Dolphins game

The Saints are heading into Copa Miami for a fiesta of Dolphins. They take with them a healthy list (bad use of term there) of injured players. Most are all set to probable game status so with any luck only a couple of the guys will be missing.

Here's the complete list:

Scott Fujita Saints LB: Calf injury, game status questionable.

Malcolm Jenkins Saints CB: Ankle injury, game status questionable.

Jeff Charleston Saints DE: Rib injury, game status probable.

Jahri Evans Saints G: Toe injury, game status probable.

Jason Kyle Saints LS: Knee injury, game status probable.

Thomas Morstead Saints P: right Ankle injury, game status probable.

Jonathan Casillas Saints LB: Hip injury, game status probable.

Jeremy Shockey Saints TE: Shoulder injury, game status probable.

Leigh Torrence Saints CB: Hamstring injury, game status probable.

For the latest Saints injury news week in week out please visit the Saints Injury Report page.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Orleans Saints helmet game day analysis

In my regular new feature 'New Orleans Saints helmet game day analysis' (could you not of thought of something a little snappier? Ed.) I will be taking you inside a Saints fans helmet for a totally biased but fair (but also pretty biased) analysis of the upcoming Saints Dolphins week 8 match up.

New Orleans Saints Helmet
 New Orleans Saints helmet game day analysis

To do this, and to aid my recovery from spinal surgery, I have purchased the NFL Game Pass in order to while away endless bedbound hours watching pixelated footage of our upcoming opponents from the sunshine state. So strap yourselves in and be prepared to be dazzled (or not) by the insights I am about to lay upon you.

Things I have learnt from inside the Saints helmet

Fact 1 - Miami are without (insert dramatic suspense music) Chad Pennington... Yes everyone knows that Peter but it's still worth reminding ourselves as the Dolphin threat is somewhat reduced when missing their number 1 Quarterback.  Be prepared for those crazy fish to employ the Wildcat offensive schemes with Chad Henne in the shot gun.
Red Zone Saints

Fact 2 - The Dolphins are shitty on Defence.  And I'm not talking that feeling in your gut after a heavy night on the Bourbon.  No my friend I'm talking 'couldn't cover a turtle with a blanket if the little leaf eater was only a foot away, sleeping under the tip of a giant neon flashing sign that read "Cover turtle with a blanket and win $1,000,000 right now or ya mumma gets it!!".  They give up an average of 5.6 yards per play ranking 24th in the NFL in this category.  Moreover, they are 23rd in the league in yards allowed per drive and one third of all drives against them penetrate the red zone.  All this bodes well for the leagues number 1 ranked New Orleans Saints offence.

Fact 3 - The New Orleans Saints have the number 1 ranked offence in the league.  Let me repeat that for all Saints fans because it just tastes so good when you say it again... The New Orleans Saints have the number 1 ranked offence in the league.  When Drew Brees looks over the shoulders of his formidable linemen he will be picking from a combination of Robert Meachem, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore, Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Bush and more.  That's a hell of a lot of weapons for a suspect Miami defence to cope with.

New Orleans Saints Offence

Fact 4 - New Orleans can now run the ball and run the ball hard.  In fact, as you may well know, the combination of Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, Reggie Bush and Co. are currently ranked 4th in the league in total rushing yardage.  That is some balance they now bring to what was previously a pass heavy offence.

Fact 5 - THE KEY MATCH-UP... The Wildcat running game Vs the Saints Defence.  Number 1 Vs Number 5.  The fight to end all fights, well in this game anyway.  If Miami are to have a shot at this they need to put up big yards and maintain possession of the ball for as long as possible.  The assignment football the Saints Defence need to play will be key.  The front 7 will have to stay disciplined at keeping to their man or this Dolphin ground game will cause problems.

And finally Fact 6 - The Saints special teams ain't so hot right now and could be our Achilles heal.  The Saints rank 30th in the league in kick off return yards allowed so it would be nice if the black and gold can find a way to improve that figure this week.  The Defence could well be on the field for a long time so it would be 'groovy' if they at least start by defending from deep in Dolphin territory.

Darren Sharper Saints Interception

If the Saints are able to roll into Miami with the same work ethic and attitude as last week then I can see this being a relatively comfortable win.  It will suit them well if they can rack up some early points and force the Dolphins to play catch up football.  Thanks in part to my main man Sharper the Saints lead the league in the turnover ratio so a more desperate Dolphin O could be forced to the air if behind which will play into the hands of number 42.

Prediction - Saints by 20.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints WR

I wrote recently about how I believe a number of unheralded New Orleans Saints players will soon find national acclaim if they continue playing as they have to date this season.  In this post I want to pay particular attention to WR Lance Moore who I truly believe to be the Wes Welker of the Saints and one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

Lance Moore New Orleans Saints WR

Whilst the Saints offence has functioned well without him at times this season I believe Moore brings added balance to the team when healthy, as witnessed by the display on Sunday last against the Giants.  He has excellent hands and runs strict routes which gives Drew Brees great confidence when checking off receivers.  Combined with the short yardage receiving threat posed by Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey it's no wonder that Moore is able to find the slot for so many key third down conversions.

No Lance Moore in NFL draft 2005

Moore went undrafted in 2005 but was invited to try out for the Saints practise squad after being passed up by the Cleveland Browns.  His story could have ended there but as with a number of current undrafted Saints players his determination and strength of character ensured that he would make the most of any opportunity that came his way.  Such an opportunity came about in the 2007 season when he made his first pro start and scored on a reverse play from 7 yards out against the Seahawks.  From there on in he has proved his worth as a consummate team player time and again.

No doubt because of such humble pro beginnings coaches enjoy an ego free zone when dealing with Moore.  He is not afraid to go up over the middle and risk the big hit if it advances the Saints downfield.  I like such players; in fact I think the Saints are blessed to have found a group of wide receivers who prefer to do their talking on the field rather than in the press.  Give me that kind of pro than a T.O. any time.

So far this season he has been hampered by injury as he stated after the Giants game: "It has been a long struggle for me this season because I have been injured. It felt great (today). It was awesome being with my teammates and playing in front of this crowd. Hopefully, I am able to stay healthy".

Saints Lance Moore

For a national audience his numbers will not be on the radar but for those of us who follow the Saints closely there will be few surprises when Moore's name is mentioned in dispatches come playoff time.  When the game is on the line and you need successive 3rd down conversions in the 4th Quarter keep your eyes on Saint number 16 for he may just remind you of a certain New England Patriot of recent years.

Full name: Lance Andrew Moore
DOB: August 31, 1983
Born: Columbus, Ohio
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 190lbs
High School: Westerville South High School
College:  University of Toledo
Draft pick: Undrafted in 2005
Rookie year:  2006
Standout year:  2008 = 79 Rec, 928 Yards, 10 TD's

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Famous New Orleans Saints players of the future

I have a feeling that when all is said and done we are going to end up with a number of newly famous New Orleans Saints players at the end of this season. 

At present the Saints roster is full of unassuming team players who do not get national recognition at their position.  That is sure to change if they continue to play in the same vein of form that has taken the Saints to 5 and 0.

Chief among them are the receiving corps, running backs and the totally unheralded Offensive line.  So I hereby present to you my soon to be famous New Orleans Saints players.  I only pray we can keep hold of them come years end:

1.  Lance Moore - the Wes Welker of our receivers, the slot guy and 3rd down specialist.  I've watched Moore's progress with great interest over the past year and a half more out of disbelief that the Saints scouts had unearthed yet another unheralded gem.  I really like his selfless team play, a coach's dream.

Lance Moore WR Saints

2.  Pierre Thomas - the undrafted 2007 free agent has been a real find and has helped balance the offence by powering the running game.  An excellent inside runner he also has the speed to turn the corner and is another team first player.

Pierre Thomas Jersey

3.  Robert Meachem/Marques Colston - both have already posted good numbers in previous seasons so there is some level of awareness out there but I believe they will both end up with stellar numbers this season.  Both are tall, strong and quick with good hands.  Like the rest of the team they are more interested in doing their talking on the field than the media, a blessing for any cohesive play off bound contenders.

Needless to say I have left Drew Brees off this list as he already has some nationwide recognition.  That said I still do not think that he gets the credit he deserves and a stellar season could see him widely accepted as the best QB in the league, a title he more than deserves in my wholly biased eyes.

Saints Drew Brees QB

Finally a big shout out to Jermon Bushrod, Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, Jonathan Goodwin and Jon Stinchcomb, the offensive line who make it all happen around them.  The way they handled the Giants front 7 on Sunday goes to show what a unit they have become.  The pass protection has been flawless and they have helped establish the Saints as one of the leagues best running teams.  Sadly these guys are never going to find the fame attached to the likes of Bush, Brees and Co. but if they continue playing as they have they could help make this the most famous New Orleans Saints team of all time.  Here's hoping!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday Night Football - Bears Vs Falcons game summary

After the Saints storming win in the early game the question heading into last night was whether the Bears could steal a tough win on the road against a well balanced Falcons team on Sunday night football.

Matt Ryan Falcons QB

The game was close from the outset with both defences imposing themselves on the game and both Quarterbacks blowing hot and cold on possessions.  Matt Ryan seemed to have the edge early on as he continued to impress with his maturity.  He has a canny ability to avoid the sack whilst also not forcing too many plays which makes him a dangerous foe for years to come.  Jay Cutler on the other side was having problems under pressure as the Bears struggled to establish the running game.

The contest was littered with penalties and some surprising mistakes by the Bears special teams.  Coach Dave Toub will be having nightmares after this one.  They managed to get away with a huge mistake late on where they fielded 12 players and kept a late Falcons drive alive.  Luckily the Defence stepped in and picked Ryan on the next play giving the ball back to the Bears deep in their own territory with just 3 minutes left on the game clock, trailing 21 to 14.

Devin Hester Punt Return

Cutler was able to drive down to the red zone in part thanks to a great open field move by Devin Hester but ultimately they were unable to convert on 4th and 7 and blew what would have been a perfect Sunday in my household.

The Falcons next up face the Cowboys before heading to the Super Dome for a division showdown with the Saints. It's a mouth watering clash in prospect. 

The Falcons may be without Jerius Norwood who limped out injured in the first half of this game.  Without him the Falcons will rely on Michael Turner to carry the ball even more than they do at present.  Turner is more effective with Norwood in the game as the change of styles offered by the two RB's keep defences guessing.  His recovery from injury in time for the Saints clash could be an important factor in the eventual outcome.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Orleans Saints close out victory over Giants 48 to 27

4th down conversion by Manning then they're straight back facing another 4th and goal.  Bradshaw makes a heck of a catch for a touchdown but it gets ruled out by a holding call so the Giants have to settle for a field goal (not sure about that holding call).  41 to 20.

Pierre Thomas breaks his first long one of the day on the next possession.  They're going to start to eat up this clock now using Bell and Thomas.  Interesting stat popped up at the end of the next Bell run: Saints Offence play selection = 31 runs, 29 passes.  That shows what a complete package the Saints O now is and helps explain how they've kept the Giants guessing all day.

Mike Bell Saints

Back to the drive...  Long one to Meachem on 3rd and 8 completes down to the 2.  1st and goal.  Give it to Bell, give it to Bell (fantasy team!)... Nope, Heath Evans draw play making him the 7th player to score a touchdown for the New Orleans Saints today.  Perfect offence, I mean literally.  I knew they were good but they have totally made this very good Giants D look ordinary.  I did not predict this.  It had been total domination.  Jeremy Shockey is looking very happy and relaxed on the sidelines.  Saint 48, Giants 20.  Remember this also, if it wasn't for the Vilma penalty the scoreboard would read 55 to 13!

Heath Evans Touchdown

Sub bet - Jim Zorn to loose his job Monday morning?  I'll take that.

Back to the game.  The Giants are facing 4th and 8 within 3 plays and will punt.  Saints starting from their own 32.  Mark Brunell comes in for Bree's who finishes the day on 23 of 30 for 369 yards, 3 TD's and 0 ints. Punt.

Eli Manning to someone or other (sorry was day dreaming about the Super Bowl) for a touchdown to bring it back to 48 to 27.  Don't think I'm going to win any Sports Writer of the year awards for such blatant lack of attention and bias.

Game ends with a sack by Ellis, nice.

The Saints go to 5 and 0 with Miami next up before two home games at the Super Dome including the Falcons.  What bet 8 and 0?  Who wants my money?

Read the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Saints Giants 3rd Quarter Report

Both punters are called into action at the start of the 3rd before Manning is picked by the Saints under pressure and the Saints start driving with a highlight 3rd and 17 conversion by Lance Moore.  1st and 10 at the Giants 12.  Play action and Colston wide open for another TD.  41 to 17 with 4.10 still left to go in the 3rd.  9 plays, 71 yards.

Marques Colston WR

That's the 6th different Saint to score a touchdown today!  I mean that just tells you a story in itself.  How can any Defence cover so many threats when you have a QB like Bree's able to execute in the way he is?  Pressure on Bree's is the only answer and they just can't get near to him because of his quick release and/or great protection.

Both teams exchange punts again to end the 3rd Quarter.

Read the 1st, 2nd and 4th Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Saints Giants Half Time - what a game!

Brees deep to Meachem and the Saints continue where they left off.  However the Giants hold the short running game and on 4th and goal they deny Thomas over left tackle.  Is this a game changer?  Giants ball.

Oh my... oh my what a game.  2 plays after the goal line stand and another momentum shift as a Roman Harper blitz strips the ball from Manning and Shanley recovers all the way down to the 7 yard line.  Unbelievable.  So the Saints have another crack at it with 18 seconds to go.

1st play battered down pass from Bree's.  1st incompletion in 16 attempts for Bree's.
2nd play - TOUCHDOWN REGGIE BUSH!!  Hand off from shotgun and Bush gets to the corner.

Touchdown Reggie Bush

Saints 34 Vs Giants 17 at half time.

315 total yards of offence for the Saints.  Perfect football match up and everything we've been waiting for.  Bree's 17 of 20 for 247 yards and 3TD's at the half against a top top Defence.  They've scored the same number of points in two Quarters as the Giants have allowed all season!

Tune into a TV near you now to catch the rest of this game as it is on fire.  The Kings of Leon should change their song lyrics to reflect this game!

Kings of Leon Saints

Read the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

The 2nd Quarter and the Giants are hanging in

Next drive, Thomas run, Thomas run, Shockey catch, Robert Meacham catch Touchdown!!  Absolutely perfect throw again into double coverage.  The Giants are just not able to deal with Bree's at the moment.  The Saints O are moving the ball on the floor and in the air at ease.  It's quite shocking.  207 total yards offensively already.

20 nothing after blocked point after.  Scott Fujita is out the game though.

1st challenge of game by Peyton for a spot of the ball on Manning 3rd and 10 connection.  It looked short of the spot.  The Giants will have to go for it if they are to stay in the game even if they turn possession over at midfield.  The Saints loose the challenge.

Sharper intercepts ball and returns for TD but called back for roughing the passer called on Vilma.  Bradshaw takes the ball in from 12 yards 2 plays later instead making it 20 to 10 instead of 27 to 3.  I hope that Vilma call does not come back to haunt us as the Saints are only 10 points ahead despite complete domination.  73 yard drive on 9 plays.

Jonathan Vilma Saints Linebacker

Brandon Jacobs is shook up.

Reggie Bush 1st play of the day takes a pitch and picks up 9.  3rd down converted by Mike Bell to the Giants 47.  That's all 3 backs now in the game and making good plays.  Perfectly balanced offence which allows Bree's to play action and throw deep which draws a pass interference penalty all the way down to the Giants 12.  Play action again and Touchdown to Lance Moore!!  The play picks me up points on the Fantasy team, heralds the 100th touchdown pass by Bree's as a Saint and puts them up 27 to 10 with an almost perfect game to date.

Giants special teamer Hixon returns another long one though and gives the Giants great field position at the Saints 37.  Bar 2 returns by Hixon and the Vilma penalty this game would be over.  Manning moves the ball and it's another TD making it a 10 point game.  This worries me.  To play this perfect and have the Giants still in the game?  Not a good omen.  Keep the faith though as Brees is on fire and is a cool customer.

Read the 1st, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Saints end first Quarter 14 to 3. Couldn't have been more perfect.

Giants next drive highlights:

Tracy Porter batters down ball,
Brandon Jacobs running well - 4 carries, 26 yards on 2 drives.  Saints have to plug the holes to stop him imposing himself on the game.
Manning has Steve Smith open on the post pattern and over throws for what would have been a certain touchdown.  Now that is good news.  Giants settle for a 49 yard field goal.

14 - 3 Saints at end of 1st Quarter with Saints back in possession.

The Giants D needs to find a way to get to Bree's on the next drive or the Saints are going to run away with this.

Read the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Saintsational - Defence holds Giants first drive then Brees comes out firing

Saints Defence holds first Giants drive to 1 first down.  They managed to knock down Manning once, stopped Jacobs after a 6 yard pick and knocked down 2 balls.  Great effort.  As good a start as you could hope for.

The Defence just looks like such a changed team this year.  The confidence Darren Harper brings to the secondary really helps the aggression of the front 7.

Saints offence comes out and 3 straight passes each for a 1st down.  1 to Moore, 1 to Shockey and 1 to XYZ (was typing so missed it).  Then straight onto Henderson for short yardage.

Drew Brees

WOW - bullet to Colston who catches around the 5 and the momentum takes him through.  Post pattern, double coverage and he puts it on the money.  Incredible throw and a perfect start.  I cannot even keep up the typing with how fast Bree's is moving this offence.

Kill joy Coughlin is challenging the play and it looks like he'll win it with the ball being downed at the 1.  Yep they win it.  1st and goal on the 1.

No bother, Bree's to Shockey in the back of the endzone on next play, TOUCHDOWN.  Bree's 6 of 6 for 80 yards on the drive.

I'll check back in at the end of the Quarter.

Read the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

New Orleans Saints football opening drive

OK here we go, game time.  The Saints take the kick off and will begin on the 30.  The Super Dome is buzzing for this one.

5 yard run for Pierre Thomas.
1st down Shockey on 2nd and 5.
2nd down Thomas picks up 3 making it 3rd and 7.
Lance Moore takes a great juggling catch and tacs on 7 more yards down to the 25 for a 1st down.
Thomas gets 3 through the middle to make it 2nd and 7.
Moore again on a slant for 4 yards to make it 3rd and 2.
Moore again down to the 10.  Saints moving nicely, Brees with excellent protection so far.
Thomas for 2 which takes it down to the 8.
Thomas draw play sees him spin his way down to the 4 making it 3rd and 3.
Thomas follows lead blocker Evans down to 1 and the chains are coming out.  They're short by a couple of inches.
They're going for it on 4th and inches.  Come on!!  Gutsy play call, I like it.
Mike Bell takes off over the pile - TOUCHDOWN SAINTS!!

Superb opening drive.  Established the running game and short passing.  15 plays, 70 yards and 7 zip.

Read the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Quarter Saints Giants In Game Posts by clicking on the Blog Archive in the right hand menu, select October and then find the Quarter you require.

Man monsters - Brandon Jacobs and Jonah Lomu

As I wrote in my last blog one of the key match ups in today's game will be between the Saints front 7 and the Giants running game, in particular, Brandon Jacobs.

The man is a monster and I say that with the utmost respect.  Jacobs is an old school back from the field of hard knocks and I for one love to see him play football.  His style reminds me of old bruisers like Earl Campbell and Larry Csonka although I'm not sure even that is a fair comparison.  Instead I think it's better to look outside football to the great All Black rugby player Jonah Lomu.

Both players are freak like in combining speed, size and strength and, at their best, are close to unplayable as shown in these two highlight reels.  Once Jacobs has broken through the front 3 or 4 teams need to gang tackle him in order to halt his forward progress and the same went for Lomu who, in the open field, was just unstoppable when coming up against smaller wingers, the secondary of Rugby Union.

Above and beyond anything else though is the fact that they are both great athletes and players who, even when in competition against your team, you have to sit back and admire.  I always think it's better to be beaten by greatness than by anything else.  That said I do hope coach Payton has been working over time this week on stunts to ensure the Saints front 7 halt the big guy as early as possible.

Either way, sit back and enjoy these highlight videos ahead of game time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saints Injury Report for Giants game

As we welcome the Giants of New York into our fair city we have a couple of injuries hanging over the roster.

Here's the up to date list ahead of the Week 6 clash:

Malcolm Jenkins Saints CB: Ankle injury, game status questionable.

Leigh Torrence Saints CB: Hamstring injury, game status questionable.

Mike Bell Saints RB: Knee injury, game status probable.

Jermon Bushrod Saints T: Knee injury, game status probable.

Kendrick Clancy Saints DT: Knee injury, game status probable.

Darnell Dinkins Saints TE: Foot injury, game status probable.

Jason Kyle Saints LS: Knee injury, game status probable.

Jahri Evans Saints G: Toe injury, game status probable.

Pierre Thomas Saints RB: Hamstring injury, game status probable.

Rod Harper Saints WR: Foot injury, game status doubtful.

For the latest Saints injury news week in week out please visit the Saints Injury Report page.

Saints Vs Giants - Only one winner!

Well unless it's a tie obviously.  But seriously what a game in prospect.  I cannot wait for this.  Two excellent teams, both playing strong good football going head to head making it my game of the week.

Some individual match ups are intriguing.  On one side of the ball you have Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs and co. going up against a rejuvinated Saints defence.  The Saints D play better against the run than the pass so it will be key to keep the middle of the field plugged up early forcing the Giants to throw.  If they can do this they will be pitting Eli Manning against an improved Saints secondary who will be covering a glut of impressive rookies.  The winner of this dual may well decide the game.  If they can stop enough 3rd and long passes and turn the ball over to the Saints O then the Saints have a good chance as time of possession will be key.  The longer the Giants have it the better their chances.

Football Game Clock

On the other side of the ball Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Robert Meachem and co. will be up against a tough Ginats D.  It is vital that Peirre Thomas and Mike Bell are able to establish the running game early.  If they are able to punch a enough holes then it will open up the long play game and in Devery Henderson the Saints have a dangerous deep threat.  Break a long one early on and Brees will be able to keep the Giants second guessing which then leaves room for his slot recievers and balls out of the back field.  The Giants will have their work cut out if that happens because Brees is one of the best in the business when it comes to reading defences and changing plays at the line.

Reggie Bush Running

Last, and by no means least, there is the question of special teams where the Saints returners should have the edge.  Reggie Bush may have his detractors but he is still one of the best in the business in the open field and the Giants would do well to get some good air time on any punts.  Luckily for them they have the best punter in the league in Jeff Feagles so it will be intriguing to see who comes out the winner here.  If Reggie is able to break one or two for reasonable yardage then it will give the Saints O great field position by which to take advantage, which will help if the Giants are consuming the clock.

My pick for this is a narrow Saints victory but only on the basis of home field advantage.  If it were in Giants Stadium it would go the other way, it's going to be that tight.  I just think the Saints will be able to edge it late and I'm going for a 27 to 23 Saints win but for things to come down to the wire.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Men are from Mars and woman love Sex in the City

I was watching Sex in the City last night with my wife (hey get off my back guys, I get football on Sundays, she gets Sex in the City reruns in the week - plus I secretly pick up useful tips from time to time) when it occurred to me how great it would be to see some linebackers taking on those roles for a while.  Instead of Carrie signing off her monologues with one of her usual 'which got me to thinking if men are into football is it alright for us to be into men?' wouldn't it be great to see Ray Lewis in a night gown and mud pack typing away at his mac book 'if Drew Brees audibles at the line of scrimage is it because he's changing plays or is it because he's trying to ask me out on a date?'.

Meanwhile across town Brian Urlacher was having his own problems with commitment.  'Look coach I just don't think I'm ready to get back into rehab, I think I want to work for Christian Louboutin and help his Fall collection become something really special'...

OK maybe not.  Back to the drawing board.  The morphine is clearly playing tricks with my mind.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mike Singletary and the eyes of steel

I don't know if you managed to catch the 49ers Falcons game on Sunday but I for one am glad I am not a San Fran player this week.  Mike Singletary's eyes told a story of just what he thought of the lack of concentration and effort on display by players throughout his team.

Mike Singletary Eyes

If there is one coach you would not want to cross in the NFL Singletary stands head and shoulders above all others for me.  He coaches how he played, with maximum intensity and hard work.  He was a model professional; smart, tough, committed and a leader.  Now that he is a head coach you better believe he expects such qualities from his players and, at the very least, total commitment to the team cause.  What he got on Sunday was something of a joke and I dread to think just how bad the screaming in the locker room got.  That said his team deserved such a tongue lashing.

From the outset too many of his players simply did not have their heads in the game.  Stupid penalties, blown assignments and unnecessary show boating made me angry for him.  I mean how hard can it be?  You train all week, you watch game film over and over, you are paid a big salary to play the game you love and you are led by someone that demands every players respect.  I would give anything to play or simply work for someone like that.  Someone you can rely upon to have your back if you guarantee him maximum effort.  Even if you fall short with Singletary you can rest assured that if you worked your socks off for the team he is going to support you and give you the confidence to come back and prove him right.

If I were a 49er player this week, Bry springs to mind, I would take a long hard look in the mirror and ask myself whether I am ready to grow up and sieze the opportunity I've been presented with.  I would then spend the next week preparing to play the game of my life and to run through walls if necessary to get things right.  It's the least you could do to prove you are worthy of a place on his team.