Sunday, November 21, 2010

All hail Roman Harper

We go into the second half of the season in great shape. Not only do we have a winning record despite playing some patchy football we also have a much improved Defense.

In particular I'm loving the play of Roman Harper. His hustle to the ball, tackling and all over play has been one of the standout elements of the teams play for me this season.

He's lead by example in a banged up secondary and has set the bar for the likes of the young Patrick Robinson and Malcolm Jenkins, who have also been playing excellent football. It's great to know we have such strength in depth going into the business end of the season and the experience these guys have had will pay dividends down the stretch.

O ready to go

What's also got me excited is the fact our great O has been steady and consistant without being the explosive beast of old. As has been much talked about the deep ball has not been on so Payton and Brees have adapted the game plan and taken what's been on offer in the short/medium range.

Now that is all good but the law of averages suggests we are in for a big second half to the season from the O. You can't keep the weapons we have down for a whole season and soon enough that barn storming rhythm will be back... you know, the one that jumps out to 35 to zip leads and leaves the opposition with nose bleeds at the end of the 1st Quarter.

Getting healthy when it matters

Add to that the fact we are getting the cavalry healthy in time for the playoffs and you're looking at a mean Saints machine. Bush, Young, Sharper, Porter, Thomas... All important players in their own right and all getting back, or are back, to health.

I like what that brings to the team. The young guns have got their experience in some hard faught games and now the vets return to fight for their jobs. Competition is strong and it bodes well for us.

Now a personal whine (do excuse me)

I just have not been able to find the time to write my blog these past few months due to working at all hours. I really miss writing but if it's a choice between hustling to make some money to put food on the table or writing my blog there's only one winner.

Still it pains me to not have the time to write so I hope regularly blog friends can stay with me. I wish there were more hours in the day to devote to my beloved Saints but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do when it comes to providing so apologies for leaving it so long between posts.

I will try to make some time to update more often. In the meantime let's be looking forward to a Seahawk mauling this afternoon. I have the feeling the birds are in for a hiding!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Randall Gay placement on IR shows Saints heart

Boy was it good to watch last Sundays performance. It was great to see the offense finally clicking into gear and getting the ball moving effectively.

Drew Brees was able to hit balls acurately down the sidelines for deep gains and control the field with short to middle distance passing.

The D played great again and boy is Sedrick Ellis blossoming into a top DT.

Two major points of praise

But beyond that I have two major points of praise to hand out.

The first is pretty obvious. It goes to Chris Ivory for a truly outstanding break out performance. It was fantastic to see the guy hitting holes at such speed and giving the Saints a compelling run attack on the day.

Yes the holes were ridiculously huge, which is all credit to the O line, but still his explosive speed made the most of it and he also showed great ability at shaking tackles. It's been a long time since we saw a Saints back make that kind of impact.

I'm looking forward to seeing more from the young back in weeks to come. It's going to make for a compelling back field once Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush are back.

Randall Gay placed on IR

Now onto the second point. I applaud the Saints organization for the way they have handled Randall Gay.

In past years teams would have thrown him back into the lions den and hoped for the best. Now the league is getting rightfully cautious about these dangerous injuries and teams more compassionate about player safety.

A softie softie I am not

No I don't want to see the end of hard tackling and yes I accept and love the fact football is a physical game. The sudden rule change and fines introduced this week for dangerous tackles are stupid in my eyes.

Players will injure themselves trying to get out of a tackle and, as Malcolm Jankins said, if an O player suddenly ducks his head before contact there's not much the D player can do but continue with their momentum. As such head shots are likely to continue unintentionally. Afterall you can't uncoach the way a player has been taught to tackle since age 6.

But, all that said, I do applaud the Saints for being so cautious with Gay. He had a bad head injury last year and it's only right they look out for his overall welfare.

As a hard working team player he deserves that protection. He will have a life after the game and concussions are a serious serious business.

Players can be their own worst enemy

A competitive player can be his own worst enemy trying to be put back in the game. This decision takes that out of his and the coaches hands.

I hope other teams respect their players to this extent. It's that kind of loyalty which bonds a team and is sometimes missing from pro sports where money and winning get in the way of the being in human being.

I applaud you team HQ. A great decision and one that shows the roster that the front office have their backs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Drew Brees My Lord Kumbaya

Drew Brees My Lord Kumbaya,
Drew Brees My Lord Kumbaya,
Drew Brees My Lord Kumbaya,
Oh Lord Drewy Brees

It is at times like this that one's faith in the Lord, Drew Brees and the Saints nation ensures I am yet to succumb to the mass hysteria, train ball wreck, hair pulling, fatalism that has gripped so many comment pages on of recent.

You see I live by a simple truth... In Drew I trust.

The man is hurting more than any of us can appreciate. For he is a true competitor and you can bet your big old hairy butt/svelte shinny toosh (delete as befits your posterior) that the man is working tirelessly to turn this thing around.

Obviously one man does not maketh a team. But Brees does lead this club from the front and you can see clearly he's not playing to his best. So you just know he is working overtime to correct the small faults that make such a huge difference to his game.

Pass Protection

One of the major issues to date has been pass protection. It seems people are getting up in Drew's face more than Simon Cowell to a bad debutante. He needs proper protection so he can show his magic.

Teams are taking away the deep ball, not worrying about the non playing Reggie Bush factor, not worrying about the screen game or the run. So right now it's all on Brees and even he isn't Superman.

Get the pass protection sorted and a healthy PT back and you'll see it's not all doom and gloom.

Defence is better

On top of that the D is performing better than last year. Yes take aways are down but we just seem a more solidified unit despite the neverending casualty list in the secondary.

So once we can get back healthy and jumping out to leads we'll be ok. Trust me. These Saints are still the Saints of last year. They're hurting and they will get it sorted it out. The only difference this year is reality has replaced fantasy football. Just keep the faith and keep supporting.

Til next time
An over worked Father Falcanor

P.S. Thanks to Scott Fujita for posting up the article I wrote about him on his site. I never knew I had such a legend reading my blog!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Garrett Hartley not to blame

It appears some people I know have very short memories. Yes Garrett Hartley missed a field goal in over time but why were we even in that position in the first place?

Could it be that we couldn't run the ball yet again?
Could it be that we couldn't stop ANY third downs?
Could it be that we couldn't stop the run AGAIN?

There are all sorts of reasons why we lost. Chief amongst them is that we faced a real up and coming Falcons team led by a quality QB. Matt Ryan was poised and accurate throughout. Obviously it didn't help that on every 3rd down conversion it appeared that no one wanted to be anywhere near Tony Gonzalez and there's a story in itself.

You'd think that having all feasted off the NFL films eulogy to the Saints Super Bowl victory that someone on the D staff would have noted Coach Paytons' imploring rants of his D not to let their best player, Dallas Clark, win the game single handedly.

Well that's exactly what the Saints were facing against the Falcons and yet nobody seemed capable of getting close to the guy. Yes he's a future Hall of Famer but come on. Just cover him once and that's one possession handed back to Bree's.

Now let's also not forget the Falcons running game that once again showed the fact we cannot stop the run. It's an old story but one that we just don't seem capable of sorting.

All that said, and that looks like a rant against the Saints but... I also thought we played some good football!

The fact is we played tough throughout and almost pulled out a win against the odds. I like the way we are hanging in there throughout and showing spirit.

The Falcons never once looked to be running away with it (well apart from on the ground but we'll come back to that). Neither team could get absolute momentum and as such it was a real gritty old fashioned football match. And I for loved it for that. Hard hard football play.

The Saints clearly need to sort some issues out this week.

1. Find a way to open running holes for the backs. For the best O line in football you'd expect some holes could be opened but so far this season it's been pretty sparse.

2. Stop the run. Anyway any how. Just stop it. Shut it down in the middle.

3. Stop 3rd down conversions. Pressure would be good and coverage of the oppositions best receiver would help.

4. Don't get down on Garrett Hartley. Yes he shanked his kick but he converted one in normal time, took us to the Super Bowl, is young and looks mentally strong. Give him the benefit of the doubt and show him some support. If the first 3 issues were resolved we wouldn't even be mentioning his name.

5. Find some backup for the running backs. Pierre Thomas has too much of a load to carry. Chris Ivory is inexperienced and should not have been in on 4th down when he fumbled.

6. Make Devery Henderson do a thousand push ups anytime he drops the ball in practise (hell it worked for Wesley Snipes in the film Major League).

And finally.

7. Keep the faith. After all the years of dissappointment some parts of the Who Dat nation are showing clear signs of having it too good for too long. Remember the lean years and realise it ain't all bad.

Yes we've got to fix the above things but the team know that. We lost a tight game against a good good team so keep the faith. Drew Brees and co. will be working over time this week to sort things out so keep cheering, keep that dome noise up and believe in Coach Payton for there is no one, NO ONE, I would rather have calling the plays.

In Sean we trust.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Saints win the hard way in San Fran

Man I hate the 49ers. Always have always will... It's just been a while so I forgot how much!

It was like watching those old games off youth when the Saints would be in the game and then cool hand Joe would march his team down the field and snatch a win.

Well luckily for the Saints we now have a great team who stick together in tough road conditions whilst the 49ers find new ways to implode. I for one love that fact and want to take my hat off to the 49ers center for that opening snap that cost them the game.

Mike Singletary demon eyes

I sure am glad I was not in the 49er locker room after the game as some of their players literally handed the Saints keys to stay in the game at times.

What was it, 3 turnovers when they'd marched to the Saints red zone? Jeez, that is the kind of thing to make the iron man go purple with rage.

Now onto the Saints

I feared it at seasons start and now I'm worried even more. Loosing Mike Bell is going to hurt this team.

The diminuitive runner would have pounded out some hard yards in that second half to take the pressure off Pierre Thomas and give the 49ers more to think about. Instead it was left primarily to Pierre to fight for some small incremental yardage.

Clearly coach Payton didn't want to throw DeShawn Wynn into such a tough situation but the guy is going to have to get his game face on now with the loss of Reggie Bush.

Reggie Bush injured again

It pains me to see Reggie down and injured yet again especially after the week he had. The guy had his first healthy off season in a long while and looked sharp but once again lady luck has spoiled his season, a fact that could impact the Saints big time.

Without Bush we loose a lot of disguises that keep opponents on edge. It's going to result in a lot more blitz packages coming at Brees.

Drew Brees hurried too many times

Which brings me onto another concern. Brees was hurried far more times than was comfortable.

He is the undisputed leader of the team and to see him being put to the ground and under pressure so much was a concern. You could see it through the loss of his rythmn at times. Let's just hope that was a one off as our O line is made of better stuff.

The Positives

All that said there was a lot to take from the game. The team stuck together in true champion spirit coming into a hostile Monday night environment.

I thought the D played pretty well in large patches and did a great job at once again going after the ball. Vilma and Harper were once again excellent as was the entire secondary. I'd like to see more pressure from the line but they were facing a pretty good front five so let's wait and see how that front bears out in coming games.

Finally it was great to see the play of our special teams once again and especially the clutch kicks of Garrett Hartley. The young kicker held his nerve in tough circumstances to seal a Saints win and put paid to last weeks misses the only way a quality kicker can.

Great also to see some tighter defensive coverage on the return teams and a true all round effort from Courtney Roby. Oh and I best not forget Morstead as his booming kicks sure do go a long way to helping the D at times.

So in summary

A tough road win, hard fought against good opponents. The team has time now to reflect on where we were missing some connections ahead of the Falcons game. That sure is going to be a tough one but so long as our collective spirit holds true then we have a great shot.

In the meantime best wishes to Reggie. Fingers crossed for positive news in the coming days.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Roman Harper key to Vikings win

The Saints kicked off the season with a win against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday with some solid defensive play and the rousing backing of a sold out Super Dome. Following the coin toss Drew Brees led the Dome through the Who Dat chant which will now kick off every home appearance this season.

The game itself was a close run affair in this rematch of the NFC Championship game. After the Saints came out firing on their first drive with a Brees Henderson touchdown the O subsequently struggled to impose it's will in the half.

It was left to the D to keep the Vikes in check and they really did an impressive job. As ever Jonathan Vilma led the way directing his unit around the field to match the threats of Peterson and Favre.

Key to the units display were big time performances from Sedrick Ellis and Roman Harper. Ellis was able to fill the middle channels well and keep the Vikes famed running attack in check. The big man even ended up with a sack on Favre which was great to see.

Roman Harper was also imposing managing to pressure Favre as well as break up passes whilst chipping in with some crucial tackles. In the absence of Darren Sharper his leadership qualities in the secondary will be crucial and it was great to see him get off to a flying start.

Also of note was an improvement in the special teams return coverage. The unit looked to gang tackle on a number of occasions and if they can maintain such pressure this is one area the Saints could really benefit from.

So all in all a good start to the season against some tough opponents. Whilst it wasn't the kind of score we were all expecting it was a great team win all the same. If we can keep up that kind of effort on the D side of the ball we will be in great shape for another winning season.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Drew Brees Saints Who Dat Chant for 2010 season

Drew Brees today announced the new Saints chant for the 2010 season...  It's the famous Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat say dey gonna beat 'dem Saints!!

The plan is for the Saints honorary captian of the day to follow the coin toss by walking out onto the field, raising his fist and then dropping it to start the whole Dome chanting in unison to the famous Saints song.  That is going to be one hell of a way to unite the whole Who Dat Nation and intimidate the opposition with a wall of noise... bring it on Saints!

Drew Brees Chant 2010 - Who Dat Press Conference

Brees said in the press conference "We as a team wanted to find a way to kind of engage our fans prior to the start of the game with some kind of interaction where we just get the Dome excited, electric.  We've got the best fans in the world.  We've got the loudest fans in the world.  Let's do something like this so that every opponent that comes in our stadium knows what's in store, and it just kind of sets the tone."

The Drew Brees 2010 pregame chant will now be a united Who Dat Nation chant.  Brees is set to kick it off in the game against the Vikings and in subsequent weeks the captaincy will rotate.  I for one cannot wait.

So the Saints 2010 chant will go (like you need to have the words confirmed but anyway):

Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat say dey gonna beat 'dem Saints,
Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat say dey gonna beat 'dem Saints,
Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat say dey gonna beat 'dem Saints
(Followed by mass hysteria cheering!!!!)

Bring it on New Orleans Saints Nation.  Last years Drew Brees chant was sensational, this years is going to take it to a whole other level with the full chorus of some 70,000 behind them.  Two Dat indeed!

Saints Vs Vikings opening day

It is almost upon us oh brethren. Yes indeed the New Orleans Saints are about to begin the defence of their Super Bowl crown right here in New Orleans and it is time to get excited.

Pretty much all the starting line up are back for another tilt at the title and all noises coming out of training camp are of a unified collective intent on Two Dat'in. Praise the Lord!

Up first are the NFC Championship game losing Minnesota Vikings... now remind me once again who beat dem? Ah yes if it ain't good ole Sean and the boys.

The Vikes will be hungry for revenge and with a D-line and the duel threat of Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre they will be tough cookies. If Williams can cook up anything like the gameplan he produced for the Championship game then we should be in business.

Last time the defensive genius sent Darren Sharper on blitz packages through the A gap unchecked to put hits on Favre boy. This time around it will be someone else hounding the NFL great. If we can once again get to the man and make him release before he's set then we stand a chance... just all shout for Hargrove to fall on that ball should you see him picking it up and running on a fumble recovery... bigman you ain't no full back but we love you just the same.

AP if you can continue turning that ball over to our D we sure would appreciate it.

On the other side of the ball Drew Brees is back to command the league like only his sheer perfectionist streak can. I'm hoping we can jump out to an early start to pile on the pressure for the road team. Let's be hoping for the same noise intensity as last time to really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

A good start to the season sure will settle nerves and give the whole league something to think about so let's pray for an all round great team display and a healthy return for number 9 in whom we all trust.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chris Ivory 76 yard TD reception

Wow!  Well if ever I was needing reassurance that the Saints were going to fill the 3rd spot in the backfield with a decent runner here was the evidence courtesy of Chris Ivory and his 76 yard TD reception.

He has a decent first half and seemed to be cementing his place in the team and then came this excellent touchdown.  The guy showed great hustle, power and decent speed on what was an innocuous reception in the flat when he got the ball.  What he then did with it helps go to show that potentially we have a more than decent back to fill the void left by my old favorite Mike Bell.

Chris Ivory Highlights TD Vs San Diego Chargers

So long as we can keep Pierre Thomas healthy I will remain confident our ground game will remain the perfect counter balance to our strong arm passing attack.

Drew Brees back with a bang

It was also great to see Drew Brees commanding the troops with some real game time once again.  There are not enough superlatives to say about the guy so I won't bother.  What I will say is I love to see the guy continue to work so hard on his game despite what he has achieved.

To see him beat himself up about a missed read or a slightly miss thrown ball is to see a QB who continues to strive for perfection which must be damn inspiring for the entire team.

Soon we'll get to see it all proper come seasons kick off.  I for one cannot wait!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saints running game concerns

Hi All,

I've been away working for a long time but with football season fast approaching I thought it time I checked in and add my two cents to the latest Saints debates.  And the issue most concerning me (football wise) at this time is the Saints running game.

The loss of Mike Bell was distressing for me.  I thought Bell was the perfect balance in the Saints backfield last year and an unsung hero.

His short yardage running kept the Saints ticking over time and again and his combative style was an excellent compliment to the greater finesse of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.  Add to that the fact the little guy was pretty hard for linebackers to find when he drove behind his lead blockers and his ability to lower his head and gate crash the party and you had one fine addition to the Saints roster.

So it was with some sadness that we had to let him go this past off season.  I was concerned that Lynell Hamilton would struggle to fill the role quite so adequately but in coach Payton and Mickey Loomis I figured we had two of the most astute heads in the business so was obviously going to give them the benefit of the doubt and then some.

But now we've lost Hamilton for the season with a torn ACL (get well fella) I'm concerned we could be lightweight in this department this season.

Running game key

The running game was a key reason behind last seasons success. The productive trio kept defenses on their toes and unable to key solely on Brees and the passing game. As a result we had probably the most balanced offense in Saints history and one of the finest in the League for some years.

With some doubt now hanging over that third RB spot we now have a clear weakness.

Yes I know Pierre Thomas will deliver great yards and Reggie will break some big ones but Reggie is not an every down back and PT can only do so much on his own.

Trust in Payton

That said we must always trust in coach Payton to deliver because he is an offensive genius so if any team stands a chance of unearthing a diamond from the rough it's gotta be the Saints. So as ever it is in Sean we trust. I just pray he can make something out of Chris Ivory, Ladell Betts and PJ Hill because one of them is going to need to make a name for himself this season.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To the Good Ship New Orleans Saints

and all who sail within her... The Falconer is alive and well.  The posts may have dried up but the fire and love for the Saints is still the same as it has always been!  So I want to say hello and send big love to the natives at this difficult time for our local fisherman.

The past year has been a roller coaster personally and Worldwide.  I am now back on my feet following the major back problems of last year and have spent the past few months working round the clock to get my business off the ground so apologies for the silence.  But when you find your back to the wall trying to earn the dollar whilst your physical health ain't great something has to give and I'm afraid it's been the blog which was such a sanctuary last year through the difficult times.

That said now, many of our brethren, are facing tough times as the BP oil washes up on the shores so it's no time to moan and instead one must put things in perspective for, whatever one's own troubles, there are always those facing greater difficulty and hardship.  As such I'm on here to wish the great and good fishing industry of our great state, and the rest of the Mexican Gulf, my best wishes for a speedy solution to the problems which are causing so much worry to so many.

May the New Orleans Saints once again win the Super Bowl next year to bring more cheer to a state who has suffered it's fair share of natural disasters now.  Enough already.

Best wishes to all

Monday, March 15, 2010

Scott Fujita - The King is Dead, Long Live the King

It is with some sadness that I have to inform you that Scott Fujita has left the Saints to join the hapless Cleveland Browns... (cue LP scratching off turntable/People turning round with looks of disdain).  OK so I'm a little late writing up the news these days, in fact a lot late, so sue me why don't you.  I've got to earn a living after all.  But I just wanted to add my two cents to the Scott Fujita tribute archive whilst we are still in the official period of mourning.

You see the Saints LB was not only a supreme team player but also a great guy as witnessed by his generous donations to the coastal improvements fund.  He's the kind of guy every locker room should have and the Cleveland Browns will be well served with him in their team.

It also underlines the fragility of our attachment to Saints players.  Over the years I have been pained to see players I love and respect leave town for adventures new only to see them excel elsewhere and leave me crying into my giant Saints foam hand.

'Why Pat Swilling?  Why oh why do you have to leave us?' I cried at the age of 16.  'First Ricky Jackson leaves and now you?  I will never again enjoy watching QB's being torn limb from limb in such numbers'.

That was the first real period of mourning I had in my Saints life.  It was tough going.  Friends would drop by the house.  I would hear my mum let them in and offer a cautionary 'don't mention the Dome Patrol' warning to them.  They would come into my room and make polite conversation, offer to open the curtains maybe and then retreat as my cold hard stare froze their will to live in their tracks.  I was inconsolable, I was a wreck, I was 16.

Days would pass, I would slumber in bed sometimes listening to In Utero sometimes not.  Always thinking about Pat and Ricky tearing in from the edge, knowing I would never again see fear in Joe Montana's eyes.  Over time the freakish devotion to the Dome Patrol and the Saints would make way for girls, bad haircuts and rebellion but always the pain would linger.

That is why I say to all adolescents out there (and Michelle at Saints Rants for I know you must be hurting) you have to let go.  I know it hurts but Scott is going to a new life now.  He will always have a place in our hearts and will not be forgotten but you have to open the curtains again and let the light in, turn off In Utero (or whatever the teenage angst album of choice is these days) and go forth and prepare for the draft.

It will be OK and maybe one day, like all good ex-Saints players, he will return to the fold in some management capacity and once again infuse a bit of that Scott Fujita magic back into the organization.  In the meantime blessed be you on your journey Scott - the King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sean Payton Head Coach Extraordinaire

Boy do I love Coach Payton.  No sooner have the Saints won the Super Bowl than the gutsy play caller is already planning for 2010.  I remember on Super Bowl night, about 10 minutes after we had seen the coach lifting the trophy, thinking (in my inebriated state) 'I love this feeling and I'm sure Payton is hungry for more'.  Well no doubt given his comments on from the 27th Feb.  

"I think the key is to not lose sight of the journey it takes to get there (the Super Bowl), how much work it takes to get in that game," Sean Payton said. "And in every aspect of the program, from the evaluation of talent, the decisions in regard to your roster, the decisions in regard to what we're doing as coaches and evaluators, you know, all those things, it's easy to be critical when you don't have success. What's more challenging is to be that same objective voice of reason, or have that same objective evaluation process, when you do have success."

Now that is a born winner.  To win once is great but to be considered legends in your own time you need to win it again and again and with the team we've got at the average age they are I think that is a real possibility.  A Saints Dynasty, now that really would be something.

Speaking of which he also said Mr Soap Opera himself, Reggie Bush, is definitely in his plans and coming back.  Now I've made clear all along that I'm a big fan of Reggie's.  He is a game changer at his best and at his worst he is a major distraction for the opposing D as someone needs to be tracking his every move.  That leaves room for other players to get open so it's a great early statement of intent by coach Sean Payton to say he is definitely on his way back.

I also like the news they've made tender offers to Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas.  Both were integral in getting the Saints to the Super Bowl with their combination of inside power running, outside and screen play.  To keep this group of runners togethers would be a real coup and send a message to the rest of the league that we really mean business.

Coach Payton also rates Lynell Hamilton very highly so we could also see more from him this coming season.  It's little wonder therefore that the gutsy Saints head coach is willing to forgo the opportunity to sign LaDainian Tomlinson.  As great a player as he has been Tomlinson definitely looks to be in the twilight of his career and would most likely force out one of the younger bucks from the Saints roster.  Better me thinks to invest in the youth and leave some of that money free to get my main man Scott Fujita signed up for one more year.

Finally, whilst I'm glad to hear he's already busy planning for next year I am hoping Sean Payton Head Coach Extraordinaire takes some time to recharge the batteries.  He more than deserves it and will need all the energy he can get come the big time play calls he will no doubt make again in next years Super Bowl.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Darren Sharper Contract Situation

After the highs of the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras it's time to get back to business and what better way to return to Earth from a fairytale than to talk about free agent Saints player contracts.  At the last count there are some 18 restricted free agents on the Saints roster including the likes of Darren Sharper, Roman Harper, Jermon Bushrod,  guard Jahri Evans and tailbacks Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell.  I would like all of these guys to be resigned at the earliest opportunity but it is Darren Sharpers contract situation that concerns me given the leadership and game changing qualities he brings to the Saints D.

Sharper signed on for $1.7 million last season with two midseason bonuses included in the one year deal.  The Saints could have placed a franchise tag on the super safety but that would have pushed his salary up to $6.455 million which is pretty difficult to justify no matter how much we all love number 42.

Saints free agent contracts
Darren Sharper Contract Negotiations... Well actually Cuba Gooding Jr, but you get the point
So whilst the Saints have every right to let Darren Sharper test the waters of free agency I am just hoping good sense prevails and both sides recognise the perfect match they make for each other.  To give him his due Sharper has repeatedly stated that he wants to re-sign so let's just hope General Manager Mickey Loomis is waxing lyrical in his discussions and both sides can come to an accomodation sometime soon.

I guess the one thing that all players will recognise in this period of horse trading is that as a collective the Saints players reached the pinnacle of their sport only a matter of weeks ago.  So long as they can keep in perpespective the fact that winning the big one is attainable again next season then perhaps they will be prepared to forgo a little salary bump in return for keeping this special group of players together for one more season.

That is why it is imperative that the remaining restricted free agents Jammal Brown, David Thomas, Kyle Eckel, Lance Moore, Courtney Roby, Chris Reis, Remi Ayodele, Anthony Hargrove,  Jeff Charleston,  Marvin Mitchell and Leigh Torrence think about what can be achieved so long as the 'quan' doesn't get in the way.  The Saints could be at the start of a defining era so whilst every one deserves their pay day, let's just hope it doesn't tear a great team apart.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Drew Brees Confirms Words to his Chant

Drew Brees dropped into Lucy's bar following the Saints Super Bowl parade and finally confirmed the words to his chant.  Here's the video and the confirmed words as previously reported on the Drew Brees chant post.

Drew Brees Chant at Lucy's Bar

Brees: 1; Chorus: 2
Brees: Win; Chorus: For You
Brees: 3; Chorus: 4
Brees: Win; Chorus: Some More
Brees: 5; Chorus: 6
Brees: Win; Chorus: For Kicks
Brees: 7; Chorus: 8
Brees: Win; Chorus: It's Great
Brees: 9; Chorus: 10
Brees: Win; Chorus: Again
All: Again, Again, Again, Again! 

What a legend.  He makes me want to suit up now and go get the opposition.  Just wish the season was starting again today.  

I love rewatching all these videos of the Super Bowl parties in New Orleans.

And this Bourbon Street party.

Great videos and memories for all Saints fans.  It's still unbelievable two weeks down the line.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiger Woods Ain't No Saint

Look into my eyes, directly into my eyes, not around my eyes but directly into them... OK and you're under my spell. I am Tiger Woods. What I did was wrong. I am very sorry for the hurt I have caused. I did not mean to do these things. I am very sorry. I messed up. Please stone me oh court of public opinion and have your pound of flesh but in the end forgive me so I can go back to my comfortable life again pretty soon... So said the man who looked like a machine talking to camera at the end of last week.

Talk about being forced up there by your PR man and sponsors. What a sterile, insincere performance.

I'll level with you, I hate golf. Yes I know that's a sin to some people but I just couldn't give a rats ass about the sport so all in all I know very little about Tiger Woods and care even less.

So to me this whole affair has been a case of 'who cares?'... But as it turns out, just about every one. However watching the public reading the other day was pretty uncomfortable viewing.

Here is a guy idolized by millions, paid astronomical sums of money to hit a ball with a stick and apparantly sleeping with half the population of Florida. Talk about caught with your pants down. Wow, I don't know about your golf Tiger but that is some impressive bed hopping. How he had the mental fortitude to lie on such a scale is pretty amazing.

To watch that performance was to see a guy who felt he had to say those words to keep sponsors happy. Is he really sorry? I doubt it. I think he's more sorry he got found out. If he was really sorry he wouldn't have cheated on his wife and kids with so many woman.

I mean there's having an affair and then there's complete and utter contempt for your family. Yes people make mistakes in life and have affairs, etc, which you forgive and move on, but to have that many extra marital affairs is industrial scale cheating.

I just feel sorry for his wife and kid because they have to live with that fact. Never again can Tiger say 'just popping out for some milk, need anything' (not that he probably does) and his wife not think 'is he sleeping with the girl from the 7/11?'.

I guess all I'm saying is everyone makes mistakes and deserves forgiveness but did I see someone who is genuinely sorry for what he has done? Nope. More a case of 'how much do I stand to loose if I don't get up and make this apology?'. Shame as I hear he's quite good at hitting a ball with a stick and was a role model to millions of kids.  I guess at least he can take heart in the fact he's now a role model to Charlie Sheen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

And the World just keeps on turning...

It's almost two weeks since magic Sunday and I'm only just about starting to come down from that high when Tracy Porter picked Mr Perfect. It still feels weird to be known as Super Bowl champions. I roll it round in my mouth like some kind of wine connoisseur and it tastes like something distant and faint like something lost in the sands of time. I find it hard to believe that the team of my life somehow found it in them to not be shit, average or just about good but instead be bold, brilliant and majestic... Finally I know what it feels like to be with the winning team!

That said I would not change the years of suffering and plain ineptness for all the tea in China (and my mums cupboard - which literally competes with China when it comes to tea consumption).

There was so much beauty in our beast. The ecstasy of big jump out leads, the pulse racing brilliance of watching big time come backs, the nerve shredding endurance race that was the Super Bowl first half, all played their part in a season to remember.

And now we just have the off season and time to reflect.

I've already watched the Super Bowl game back 5 times and whilst it is always great I just wish the new season was upon us so we could go again whilst team Super Bowl are all together. I fear however that many of our close knit team will depart to big money offers and we'll loose some of the magic that so held this great bunch of players together. Only time will tell but in the management we trust.

And so to matters at hand and how to get through the next few months without football.

We've obviously got the sheepish apology of Tiger Woods to look forward to, the 4 man bobsleigh event at the Winter Olympics (got to love the sight of people running down an ice sheet and then jumping into a tiny buggy and praying to God not to crash), the first shoots of spring and the annual Easter egg hunt where over competitive Dad will go all out to bring home the candy. 'Out of my way kids, that egg is mine', 'look there's no point crying about it', 'life is tough, get used to it', 'no I won't give the kids a share of my candy no matter how much you threaten to withold sex lady Falconer'... 'Kids here's the candy, Daddy was wrong to win the egg hunt and, sorry what was the next line dear? oh yeah and I was juvenile and I should realize I'm an adult now and not a child and something else, blah de blah, blah, boring, boring... Honey where are you going? Hun? I said I was sorry', 'Oh man am I in trouble'...

And so the World keeps on turning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saints Super Bowl Merchandise

I've just been looking through the Amazon shop for Saints Super Bowl Merchandise and I cannot believe what you can already buy.  I know people are geared up for either team winning but it still amazes me how fast they get this stuff put together and ready for the rush of us frenzied fans.  I admit I couldn't help buying some stuff as I went through there.  I mean how often have the Saints ever been Super Bowl Champions?  Well now the answer is a nice big beautiful one time baby!!

I think my favorite items have to be the Saints Super Bowl DVD, the shot glasses, the Saints Super Bowl Monopoly board (brilliant!) and the Super Bowl Commemerative Gold coins.  They've also got Reggie Bush, Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Lance Moore Super Bowl player jerseys to name but a few.  I'm not normally one to buy this stuff but somehow it just feels right for once, you know what I mean?

There's got to be a pile of this exact same stuff with the Colts logo all over it heading for land fill somewhere right now.  Oh well, better that than Who Dat Super Bowl Merchandise as there can only be one winner... Oh yeah right, it was us!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Drew Brees Super Bowl MVP

The Saints Super Bowl Sunday win is a night that will live long in the hearts of all the Who Dat Nation.  After decades of hurt and after the trauma of Katrina the city of New Orleans came together last night to rejoice in the brilliance that was our Saints team and boy did we deserve it!

Bourbon Street Super Bowl Party

After some early nerves and missed opportunities the team came together with renewed vigor to get the job done in the second half.  Sean Payton made one of the gutsiest calls of all time with the kick off and from then on we had the wind in our sails.

If ever there was a game changing moment you can attribute to a coach this was it.  It seemed to give the whole team belief and they played the second half in the fashion we've become accustomed to - high intensity and an unstoppable will to win.

Drew Brees Super Bowl MVP - The Saints legend was sheer class once he'd got his nerves under control.  He found his rhythm early in the 2nd Quarter and never looked back.  His 32 completions from 39 attempts equalled the Super Bowl completion record set by Tom Brady.  But it was his ice cool leadership, play calling and execution that really told the story of the Saints Super Bowl win and ensured the great man left the big game rightly hailed as the games MVP.  Finally he has the recognition he so deserves for all his tireless work and dedication to the Saints cause.

Drew Brees Super Bowl MVP Interview

On the other side of the ball Jonathan Vilma continued to do what he has done all year by directing the Saints D around the field in answer to Peyton Mannings audibles.  His reading of Manning on a 3rd and 11 with 11 on the clock in the 4th Quarter was another game changer.

Manning audibled and Vilma reacted directing the secondary to drop back before himself making a play on the ball to break up the eventual pass near the end zone.  With the score set at Saints 16 Colts 17 this was a moment of genuine brilliance by the Saints D Captain and one that ended up being decisive.

Talking of decisive moments how about Tracy Porter getting the read on Peyton Manning and taking it to the house?  I don't think I have ever been as excited in my life as I was in those few seconds of brilliance by the young Saints CB.  What a play and what a way to kill off the biggest game in Saints history.

All the team are Super Saints

Praise goes to every Saints player and coach on the field as they all did a great job but there are a couple of under appreciated people I want to pay tribute to.

First up Lance Moore.  The Saints WR has spent the majority of the year on the sidelines with his troublesome ankle injury so it was great to see him make such an important grab on the 2 point conversion.

Lance Moore 2 Point Conversion

Next up Roman Harper who was all over the field making important tackles throughout the game and underlining what a vital player he is.  Yes he got burned by Garcon for the go ahead touchdown but he continued to play his game and helped contain the many threats the Colts receiving corps posed.

Finally a shout out to Pierre Thomas and Marques Colston.  Both produced the goods when called upon and helped the Saints juggernaut offense start to move with conviction.  Colston for one could have lost confidence following an early dropped pass but he put it behind him to lead the Saints in receiving with 7 grabs for 83 yards.

Oops I almost overlooked new Saints legend himself Garrett Hartley who nailed all 3 of his field goals, the shortest being from 44 yards, to keep the Saints in contention.  Without his cool temperament the game could easily have gotten away from us in those early exchanges.


All in all it was the best night of my life and I still cannot believe we are Super Bowl Champions.  It just feels so alien.  But if ever there was a city and a people that deserved it then the people of New Orleans and all the Who Dat Nation would be first in the queue.  Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat say dey gonna dem Saints?!! 

Saints Super Bowl Highlights

The Saints have finally won a Super Bowl and all of New Orleans will be partying for weeks to come. It's what the city has been waiting for and this year the Saints have played some unbelievable football en route to our first ever Super Bowl victory.

Who Dat Super Bowl Highlights
Here are a selection of Saints Super Bowl highlights videos from the big game. Watching it back it stands to reason that Drew Brees should win the MVP award for the way he cooly led the Saints back from that early defecit. He was perfection personified and the major reason why the Saints have had a season that will live long in our memories.

Saints Super Bowl Highlights Video

Drew Brees Super Bowl MVP on David Letterman

What a great guy, what a leader, what a player, what a team!

The 2009/2010 Saints Super Bowl Champions - every player is a legend!!  Who Dat Tracy Porter, Who Dat Jon Vilma, Who Dat Pierre Thomas, Who Dat Reggie Bush, Who Dat Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore, Who Dat Jeremy Shockey, Who Dat David Thomas, Mike Bell and the incredible O line, Who Dat Scott Shanle, Scott Fujita, Malcolm Jenkins, Usama Young, Roman Harper and Darren Sharper, Who Dat Courtney Roby, Jonathan Casillas, Chris Reis, Garrett Hartley and Thomas Morstead, Who Dat Will Smith, Remi Ayodele, Sedrick Ellis, Bobby McCray, Charles Grant and Anthony Hargrove, Who Dat all the Saints players past and present... and finally Who Dat Sean Payton and Gregg Williams, Commanders in Chiefs, technicians of the Master Plan!! 

The Saints Super Bowl Highlights videos will live long in the memory.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Drew Brees MVP Super Bowl

Drew Brees is the deserving winner of the Super Bowl MVP award following the most legendary performance of all time.  That was incredible and forever Drew Brees will be a Saints legend.

I cannot take this in.  I just cannot believe it.  We are Super Bowl champions.  Drew Brees be thy name!!

I don't think I've ever been so happy.  Fuck I just cannot take this in.

Who Dat Nation = we won it baby!!  We won it baby!!

Drew Brees MVP Super Bowl!!!

Saints Super Bowl Victory!!!!!!

Oh MY God!  Oh MY God!  Oh MY God!  Oh MY God!  Oh MY God! Oh MY God! Oh MY God!

I cannot believe it!  The New Orleans Saints have won the Super Bowl, I repeat the New Orleans Saints have won the Super Bowl!

What a result.  What a team.  What a season.  What a city.  I love you New Orleans!!!!!!

Saints Super Bowl Party

With just hours to go until the greatest night of the Who Dat Nations collective lives and I am as excited as a kid in a candy store who's been told every day is Christmas and he never need go to school again... and his house is made of jelly and his team, the Saints, are about to win their first ever Super Bowl.  In a word I am excitelingly-fantasmically-prepersezedly-my-lord-hallelujahlarly-out-of-this-World -fired-up for tonight,  None of that made sense but you catch the drift.

It's been such a long road to get to this point that I can't quite believe this is finally Super Sunday with the Saints in the big game.  All those years of heartache and worry, all the years of holding our heads in our collective hands, all those years of being the laughing stock of the league have all been worth it to get to this point.

I don't think we would be this excited if we hadn't been through so much.  So to the class of Hobby Brenner, Bobby Hebert, Rueben Mayes, Dalton Hilliard, Wayne Martin, Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, Morten Anderson, Craig Hayward, Eric Martin, Frank Warren, Dave Waymer and co. through my early childhood class of Earl Campbell, George Rodgers, Jeff Groff, Richard Todd and Dave Wilson (my first Saints shirt and first experience of people laughing at my team) right through to the teams of Brooks, Horn, Smith, Cleeland, Stallworth, and every other Saints player who has busted a gut for the team before or since, now is our time, today is our day of destiny, today is our payback!

Big love to the Who Dat Nation and all who have ridden the waves to get to this point.  May our collective will ensure a happy ending to this dream season.  Our team has the talent, the desire and the ability to get it done.  Now it's time to tune in, drink some beer and shout until our voices go hoarse!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saints Injury News for Super Bowl Sunday

The Saints injury report makes great reading ahead of Super Bowl Sunday with only reserve running back Lynell Hamilton reported as questionable. Even Saints talisman Jeremy Shockey was running full routes throughout Friday's final practise session leaving Saints fans and coaching staff with all round smiles heading into the big game.

In contrast the Colts continue to have question marks about the playing ability of pass rush king Dwight Freeney. So whilst trying not to get ahead of ourselves I think that can be chalked up as Saints 1 Colts 0 ahead of the big kick off. Now if only we could somehow slip a couple of laxatives into Peyton Manning's coffee tomorrow morning I think we're all set for a slightly more comfortable game.

Here's the complete Saints Injury News ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.  Don't worry, I think they'd report someone as having a slightly grazed knuckle right now but every Saints player is all set to go for Sunday with the possible exception of Lynell Hamilton:

Lynell Hamilton Saints RB: Ankle injury, game status questionable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Randall Gay Saints CB: Illness, game status probable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Jermon Bushrod Saints T: Thumb injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Jonathan Casillas Saints LB: Ankle injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Darnell Dinkins Saints TE: Foot injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Jahri Evans Saints G: Foot injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Scott Fujita Saints LB: Knee injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Jabari Greer Saints CB: Groin injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Robert Meachem Saints WR: Ankle injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Lance Moore Saints WR: Ankle injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Tracy Porter Saints CB: Knee injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Pierson Prioleau Saints S: Quadricep injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Will Smith Saints DE: Groin injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Jonathan Vilma Saints LB: Knee injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Malcolm Jenkins Saints CB: Hamstring injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Bobby McCray Saints DE: Back injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Courtney Roby Saints WR: Knee injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Darren Sharper Saints S: Knee injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Jeremy Shockey Saints TE: Knee injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Zach Strief Saints T: Shoulder injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Saints Super Bowl Shopping List

Like many a good Saints fan who can't make it down to Miami I will be watching the big game at home with a group of friends and a nervous disposition. I'm excited as hell but the fact is I'm developing a slight twitch and am already finding it difficult to hold a drink without spilling it such is the inner tension. So the only course of action I can see is to write a big Saints Super Bowl shopping list to keep my mind at bay. So here's what Dr. Falconer is ordering.

1. A Drew Brees 400+ yard game, 3/4 TD haul and 0 ints - check,

2. A Pierre Thomas 100+ yard game - check,

3. A Will Smith Bobby McCray Peyton Manning sandwich with a side of Reggie Wayne fumbles - check, check,

4. 2 Reggie Bush game changing moments for the highlights reel - I'll have to see what they've got out back but I'm pretty sure we can accommodate,

5. Another Darren Sharper Jonathan Vilma same game interception haul - absolutely, check,

6. About 100 tins of beer for the Falconer troop + whisky when we win - goes without saying and already in the house,

7. A Who half time performance we can all sing along to safe in the knowledge the Saints are almost home and dry - hmm, might struggle with this one but we'll see if there's any in the warehouse,

8. A combo of ribs, pizza, chips and dips to be on hand throughout the game - you sure that's all? I think we have more stuff en route for delivery.

Saints Super Bowl shopping 
Is that all you want dear?  
N.B. Not actually Lady Falconer

Good lady Falconer is off to the grocery store shortly to get the complete Saints Super Bowl Shopping List order fulfilled. Anything you want ordered please holla now.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saints Super Bowl Dream

Sometimes in my dreams I'm able to levitate. Othertimes I'm out somewhere chatting to people and they keep changing into random people from the past. Last night however it was Super Bowl Sunday and the Saints were winning. Now that is a dream I can believe in!

So using my unconcious mind as some sort of predictive tool here is what's going to happen in the big game.

The Saints will open up with a quick 7 point lead. How they get there I can't quite remember. On the next possession Payton Manning will drop back and turn into Brett Favre at which point Tracy Porter will blitz out of nowhere and sack him for a safety. Saints 9 Colts 0. After that it gets a little strange.

Saints Super Bowl Dream
Saints Super Bowl Dream
On the Colts next possession the Colts lineman will turn into cheerleaders who will hold the Saints pass rush at bay. Brett Favre will continue to lead the Colts but not really get them anywhere. The Saints will then get the ball back and score but I can't really tell you who gets the TD as by this point I'm running round the house being chased by a wolf. And so the Saints go into the locker room 16 to 0 up.

What happens in the 2nd half is anyones guess as I got rudely awakened by the alarm clock. I guess we'll just have to wait till Sunday to find out. If we do score in that order I may set myself up as Mystic Pete and rent a booth down on Coney Island boardwalk. That and remind myself that no one is interested in listenting to other peoples dream stories and so apologies for wasting 3 minutes of your life on this drivel.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fleur de Lis t-shirts

This week I recieved a nice email from a lady who designs t-shirts asking if I would give her Fluer de Lis t-shirts a plug ahead of Sundays big game.  Now I know as much about ladies t's as farmers in Uzbekistan know about Courtney Roby's shaving habits, that is to say very little (as witnessed by the litany of returned Xmas presents over the years from my good lady wife).  That said these t's do wear the Saints emblem, are made by a very nice lady and I gave my word I would let people know about them.  

So without further ado here they are.

Fleur de Lis t-shirts

Fleur de Lis t-shirts

Sparkle Plenty Designs, Inc.
Specializing in Custom Crystal logos...
see your name sparkle like diamonds!!!
*** As featured in Entrepreneur magazine ***
Special shipping discount available so they are shipped ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

Coming soon... An actual post about football.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saints Super Bowl Preview

Now that the dust has settled, the initial hangovers have become but a distant headache of a memory and the hype has truly kicked in it's time to turn our attentions to the realistic battles that are going to need to be won if the Saints are to come home with the Vince Lombardi trophy.  In my totally unbiased moments (basically when I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about a Manning Monday) I have thought through the real battles we must win.

1.  It goes without saying but Drew Brees needs to play at or close to his peak for us to stand a decent chance.  I'm thinking the Patriots or Giants games from earlier this season.  If Drew was to suffer a Super Bowl nerve display day, think Jim Kelly or John Elway (early years) to name but a few, then the Saints will really struggle.  It's clear the Saints MVP and leader needs to be at his accurate best for the Who Dat to come out flying.

Drew Brees MVP Super Bowl 
Drew Brees MVP Super Bowl

2.  As per my last point our Saints need to come out flying.  We need to put the points on the board early to steady the nerves and make the Colts play catch up.  Easier said than done but given the past Super Bowl and big game experience many Colts players hold it's imperative we come out fighting in the first to help steady many a young Saints players heart.

3.  Getting to Payton Manning will be key.  As Gregg Williams has identified it doesn't matter whether we get there with a clean sack but we have to let Mr Unflappable himself know that we are there and we mean business.  If that means Bobby McCray paying another $20K fine come Monday morning for late hits then so be it... I'm sure Bourbon Street will be happy to gather the cash in a hat to help out.  Manning will pick us apart if left standing too often.

4.  Jeremy Shockey needs to impose himself.  The big man truly is the Saints talisman and when he is in the game he gives opposing D's a heck of a headache.  With all the other weapons on the Saints O the presence of number 88 frees up space for the likes of Bush and Thomas in the flat given the mismatches it causes.  I for sure will feel more confident if Jeremy Shockey is out there running routes from early as he can make a physical and emotional difference.

5.  Jonathan Vilma, Darren Sharper, Roman Harper, Will Smith, Tracy Porter... heck they'll all have to play out of their skins.  The D needs to be aggressive, strip some balls and hope they can throw Mannings reads off enough if we are to have a better than evens chance.  

6.  Thomas Morstead to continue his great kick offs and punts and Reggie Bush and Courtney Roby to continue making good yardage on their returns.  The play of the special teams and the field positions they leave the O and D with respectively will be all important.

That may all seem negative but if I was a bookie I would be giving the Colts the better odds because I think they are that little bit better all round.  That's tough for me to say but it's the honest truth.  We will need to put in an A-team performance across the board.  That said it is well within our capabilities to do so and Sunday night will be a time for hardcore mental strength.  Yes they can do it, yes they should believe, yes they will!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What a Bittersweet Week

You wait 32 years for this moment to come along and you go and suffer another major problem with your back and can't walk again.  Well that's my story anyway.  

I loved Sunday night in so many ways and no bitching pain in my back was going to stop that (well except when I jumped up in the air when Vilma picked Favre and remembered my back was part broken and ended up collapsed on the floor).  The game was total tension throughout and I'm just glad I dosed myself up with painkillers as I was half floating all the way through.  Not sure I could have taken it without. 

I would like to thank the following people in order for making Sunday night the best night ever:

Brett Favre
Adrian Peterson
Brad Childress

No seriously our boys were fantastic and they all deserve all the plaudits for a great team effort.  The D were absolutely brilliant with Sharper, Vilma, Fujita, Harper, Hargrove... the list goes on.  The O stuttered but did enough to get it done against a great D with Pierre Thomas making his moves at all the right times.

I'm just so happy for the whole city and region to see our boys in the Super Bowl.  It's going to be a hell of a great time.  In the meantime I'm off to see the surgeon tomorrow to find out what's gone wrong with the old back and am back stuck in bed again.  At least it affords me the company of mates who keep coming round with beers to take my mind off things (or to talk continuously whilst I'm trying to type this - cheers D.May).  And we've all got the great promise of a Super Bowl in under two weeks.  As ever in life you take the rough with the smooth and nothing could be better to keep you focused than a Saints Super Bowl!! 

Big love fellow Who Dats!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saints Championship Game Injury News

It's almost NFC Championship Game time people and the Saints have some concerns about some key personel with Jeremy Shockey chief amongst them.  The big man has been struggling with the knee injury which so clearly troubled him during the Divisional Playoff victory against the Cardinals last Saturday.  His status is officially rated as questionable.  The loss of the big man will be a big blow given the strength of the Vikings front four as well as the fact he is something of a Saints talisman.  Let's hope we over come.
Jeremy Shockey Injury
Jeremy Shockey Injury Doubt

Come on the Who Dat Nation.  Here's the complete injury list:

Malcolm Jenkins Saints CB: Hamstring  injury, game status questionable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Jeremy Shockey Saints TE: Knee injury, game status questionable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Jonathan Goodwin Saints C: Knee injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Bobby McCray Saints DE: Back injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice.

Robert Meachem Saints WR: Ankle injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Darren Sharper Saints S: Knee injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Reggie Bush Saints Highlights 2009 and 2010

The Reggie Bush Saints Highlights reel just continues to grow thanks to his ability to get it done when it matters most.  After having to put up with the continued debate about his contribution to the team it's great to see the incredible athlete just gets on with his game and let his feet do the talking where it matters most... On the field.

Reggie Bush Saints Highlights Vs Cardinals in 2010 Playoffs

That touchdown run against the Cardinals was just unbelievable.  It reminded me of a classic Walter Payton run from many years back although thankfully for the Saints our Reggie was able to go north to south with his rather than just east to west.

It just goes to show you can never keep a great athlete down and all season he's been promising to do that.  When he then took that punt return 83 yards it was like a re-run of the return against the Vikings last year.  He suddenly put those after burners on and you knew there wasn't a cats hell in chance any Cardinal was going to catch him.

That's not the only game that Reggie has shown his class in this season and yet you always get the moaning fraternity who say he doesn't play enough downs.  That has never been his game and who really cares so long as he delivers enough on the percentage of plays that do go his way?  Right?  Right!

Reggie Bush Touchdown Leap Vs Dolphins

I just hope we can find a way to re-sign him next year as he brings that X-Factor to the Saints team that makes opposing Defenses have to properly account for him everytime.  That frees up more space for others and so, in many ways, he contributes even when he's barely factoring in the ball handling.

So let's just hope the Reggie Bush Saints Highlights reel continues to grow for some time as we're better off with the speedster than without him.

Saints NFC Championship Game

The Saints demolished the Cardinals on Saturday night en route to only their second NFC Championship of all time... And I can barely remember a thing about it!  I know I was off my seat more times than a man with piles on an ice cold wooden bench but for the life of me I can't piece it altogether because I quite simply lost all control of my actions and drank like a fish for I was so ecstatic.  I'll make it up to my liver in the week but for now I just want to enjoy this moment ahead of the Saints NFC Championship game against the Vikings.

What I believe happened is that the Saints played the game of their lives to demolish the Cardinals and stick two fingers up to all those doubters out there.  I remember Jeremy Shockey limping his way to a touchdown being the warrior he is, Lynell Hamilton driving for a short yardage thouchdown, Sharper either taking a pick or a fumble recovery and more importanly the D playing an absolute stunner at times and getting to Kurt Warner more than even my optimistic part of the brain would have predicted.

I loved also Reggie Bush running to an incredible touchdown and returning a punt to the house to shut up all those doubters who always go on about the number of downs he plays.  Who cares?  He's a luxury player who we can afford to use as we choose given the other options on the team.  When he is called upon he is ready to deliver at any given moment and thanks to some inspired moves he managed to do it when it counted most.  Let's look forward to more of the same next week 

I am going to watch the game back tonight and enjoy it all over again without the faintest idea of how it all pieced together.  And I am going to watch it with a big smile on my face because the Saints are entering the NFC Championship Game on Sunday with the best team in our history and with every chance of going all the way.  I cannot wait!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saints Injury Report for Cardinals Game

Here's the latest Saints injury news for the Cardinals game.  It's great to see the overall numbers reduced so clearly the time off has helped with general team conditioning.  Let's hope it makes all the difference come Saturday.

Here's the complete Saints Cardinals injury news:

Rodney Leisle  Saints DT: Knee  injury, game status probable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Bobby McCray Saints DE: Back injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice

Pierre Thomas Saints RB: Ribs injury, game status probable. Full participation in practice

Malcolm Jenkins Saints CB:
Hamstring injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Lance Moore Saints WR: Hamstring injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Saints Cardinals Preview

With the big game fast approaching my nerves have steadily grown through the week so to keep my mind at rest I'm going to be positive and give you my top 10 reasons why the Saints are going to beat the Cardinals on Saturday.

Saints Cardinals Preview Picks

1.  Drew Brees is the best Quarterback in the NFL.  I don't care where the official MVP award went because here's a fact for you, there is no Quarterback in this league that I would rather have under center than the Saints QB.  The MVP award is just a popularity contest anyway.

2.  The Saints will jump out to an early lead and stay there.

3.  The Saints will maintain that early lead because the Defense will be able to play their natural aggressive game.

4.  The aggressive natural game will be dialled up because most of the Saints DBs are back to full fitness which has not been the case since the Dolphins game way back in week 7.

5.  Kurt Warner will become a Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove breakfast on 3 occasions as Gregg Williams goes for an all out blitz package.

6.  Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Jeremy Shockey, David Thomas and Devery Henderson will find all kinds of holes in the Cardinals zone D.

7.  Reggie Bush will break two big runs and one big punt return.

8.  The Drew Brees chant will inspire the Saints to such a degree that many Cardinals players will feign injury rather than dare run out on to the field.

9.  The Saints crowd will make so much noise that the Super Dome roof will fly off into the night sky.

And finally,

10.  Peace on Earth will be declared and all man kind will rejoice by getting together at Baskin Robbins for a double chocolate fudge Sunday and to watch reruns of Mash.

OK I'm clearly too nervous to make accurate predictions and have resorted to wishful thinking.  Either way I am looking forward to Saturday with the same nervous energy I normally reserve for dentists visits and back operations.  And that's my really great/good/rubbish (delete as appropriate) Saints Cardinals Preview.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

5 Reasons We Should Be Happy With 13 and 3

Now that the dust has settled on the regular season and in the lull before the playoffs begin I thought I would reflect on the season so far with my list of 5 reasons to be happy with the 13 and 3 record.

1.  It's the best record we've ever had!  I couldn't have asked for a better season to watch from my bed and couch whilst recovering from spine surgery.  Talk about great bad luck!

2.  For the first half of the season we looked like the most complete Saints team I've ever seen in 27 years of support (I would say 32 but I don't remember the first 5 years of my life).  Yes the D is not looking anywhere near as good as the early season but we've still got a heck of a chance if we can just get some basics working again... T-A-C-K-L-I-N-G!!

3.  Being 13 and 3 lets us dream that one day we can better the record.  Sure it may never happen in my lifetime but you've got to have goals and if we had have gone perfect I think a lot of people would have settled permanently for living in the past like them dam Dolphins.

4.  Drew Brees was the best QB in the NFL this season and that's the first time you could say that about a Saints QB.

5.  It's been a hell of a party all season and I've enjoyed reading loads of great posts by the likes of Saintseester, Michelle/Saints Rants, Chef Who Dat, Hakim Drops the Ball, Black and Gold Patrol and Moose Denied to name but a few.  I'm sure y'all know about them already but for the odd folk who doesn't they're all are on my blog roll if you want to go read them.

Saints bloggers
Saints bloggers are Star bloggers
Now the regular season is over I am getting confident again about the playoffs.  I think the time to regroup and recharge will end up doing the team good.  If anything it may just focus a few minds on what is at stake now the hype has died down.  Here's hoping!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saints Vs Panthers 4th Quarter

Welcome to the who cares bowl.  The Panthers lead the Saints here in the 4th Quarter 23 to 10 although with most of the Saints 2nd stringers on display is it any wonder.  At least some of these guys are showing a passion for the tackle on the D.

Highlight of the 4th Quarter comes as Jonathan Casillas jacks up the Panthers return man after the Saints fail to do much on O and punt away.  Great hit by the rookie.

Julius Peppers makes a great interception grab as Mark Brunell went to throw a screen pass after a long Saints drive down to the Panthers 20.  A shame as the drive was again a nice mix of Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton runs and short grabs out of the back field.

And that's about it as the Panthers end up with the win 23 to 10 and the Saints finish the season 13 and 3 after a 13 and 0 start.  Whilst you can discount today's game from any real record those previous 2 losses sure loom large in the brain ahead of the playoffs so the boys in black and gold face 2 weeks of prep, game film and hard drilling to turn their end of season form around. 

Can they do it?  Course they can.  They are the New Orleans Saints and I love em.  This is still our year!

Saints Vs Panthers 3rd Quarter

The snoozefest continues as the Panthers kick a field goal early in the 3rd.  The Saints D is tackling a bit better today which is nice to see at least.  Anthony Hargrove filling the middle nicely and some better gang tackling all round.

Saints 3 Panthers 20

A Robert Meachem fumble on the next drive leads to another Panthers field goal.

Saints 3 Panthers 23

Saints drive 80 good yards for a Lynell Hamilton touchdown.  It was a nice mix of short yardage passing by Brunell, a pretty lucky Robert Meachem unnecessary roughness penalty and some nice running from Hamilton and Mike Bell.

Saints 10 Panthers 23

Saints Vs Panthers 2nd Quarter

The Saints start the 2nd Quarter by running the ball all out with Hamilton and Bush combining.  The drive stalls when the Saints fail to convert on 3rd down.  Garrett Hartley will try from 35 yards and makes it.  Shame he didn't have that in him last week.

The Panthers next possession sees Moosie boy Mohammed beat 4 Saints players as they try to make tackles.  So much for the early optimism that we remembered how to tackle.  The D redeems itself though with some more aggressive tackling and pursuit to stop the Panthers on next few downs to give the Saints the ball back at the Saints 41 or so.

The Saints do nothing on the next possession and I'm loosing the will to continue writing about this.

The teams then swap possessions a few times in this snoozefest before Moore drives the Panthers down the field just before the half and throws a 30 yard TD to Dwaine Jarrett.

Saints 3 Panthers 14 

Courtney Roby fumbles the ensuing kick off which the Panthers recover and Roby is hurt during the play which is not a good sign.  Is Courtney Roby injured for the playoffs?  Let's hope not as he has had an excellent season.

The Panthers kick a field goal to extend the lead before half time.

Saints 3 Panthers 17

Saints Vs Panthers 1st Quarter

The Saints fly into Carolina today with home field advantage secured throughout the playoffs courtesy of the Vikings choking even more than we have at this vital juncture in the season.  It makes this game something of a meaningless contest for the Saints in so far as Drew Brees is sitting it out along with any number of Saints starters.  So the point of today is to see how the second stringers get on whilst resting the heart ahead of what promises to be an agonising game in 2 weeks.

The Panthers take the opening kick off and will start at their own 32.

1st down Panthers.
Jonathan Stewart takes the opening hand off and runs into the Saints front 4 for a gain of 1.  2nd and 9.
Stewart takes the next hand off makes a simple cut back and runs the length of the field for a touchdown of 67 yards.  The Saints D over pursued the play and were left embaressed.  Oh dear.  Looks like it's going to be more of the same today.

Saints 0 Panthers 7

1st down Saints at the 35.
Mark Brunell comes in to make his first start since the 2006 season and completes 3 yards to Marques Colston.  2nd and 7.
Mike Bell takes a hand off and gets hammered for a gain of 1.  3rd and 6.
Brunell drops back and is hit on release so the ball goes incomplete.  Jermon Bushrod again got beat.  4th and 6 so the Saints punt it 51 yards.

1st down Panthers at their own 9.
Stewart up the middle for no gain.
Stewart again but this time drags the pile for a gain of 8.  3rd and 1.
Stewart again on the hand offand just gets it according to the officials only.

1st down Panthers.
Moore to Mohamed and already I can't be bothered to keep this up all the way through the game.  They got a first down out to the 37.

Next set of downs sees a couple of incompletions so the Panthers will punt.

Saints start their next possession at their own 11.
Bell run, Brunell airs his old arm but does not complete although a pen moves the chains anyway to the 21.
Reggie Bush makes a nice run out right for 11 or so.  Brunell then hits Dinkins for a few before setting up a screen to Hamilton that picks up another 1st.

Mike Bell then takes 1 carry a good few before being dropped for a big loss on the next play.  The drive was going so well until then as well.  Reggie Bush tries to convert 3rd and 11 on a draw but the Saints fool no one so punt.

Panthers start at their own 9.  2 carries make 0 yard and brings a big smile to my face.  That smile becomes a huge beaming laugh as Matt Moore rolls out on 3rd and 10, looses his feet and looses control of the ball on his way down coughing it up in the process to Anthony Hargrove who recovers in the end zone for a touchdown.  Well done big man.  That's his 2nd TD against the Panthers this season.  Except the Panthers challenge and win it so ignore the above.  The Panthers punt to Reggie Bush who returns it 30 yards to the Panthers 20 before the zebras pull it back for a blocking pen.

So the Saints start at their own 45 do nothing with it and then punt straight back.

The Panthers start at their own 12.  1st 2 plays and the Saints D looks totally different by gang tackling runners at the line.  Impressive.  3rd and 7, will the Saints hold?  Yes they do as the Panthers run it and Jabari Greer makes a great tackle for only a gain of 1.  Good showing by the Saints D as the Panther punt and Reggie Bush fair catches near midfield.

Brunell rolls out and completes to Dinkins to end the 1st Quarter.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saints Injury Report for Carolina Panthers Game

After last weeks debacle against the Tampa Bay Bucs the Saints now head into Carolina to face the Panthers in a battle for pride and to restore confidence to the team and fans ahead of the playoffs.  The wheels have come off the team at just the wrong time so if we are to make any progress in the playoffs the Saints need to deliver a commanding performance this week to restore confidence amongst themselves. 

With home field advantage secured thanks to the Vikings also stumbling at just the wrong time the Saints should focus on executing plays to generate some belief and kick start some momentum ahead of 2 weeks sitting on the sidelines.

Here's the complete Saints injury list for the Week 17 clash:  

Lance Moore Saints WR: Ankle injury, game status out. He did not participate in practice this week.

Pierre Thomas Saints RB: Rib injury, game status out. He did not participate in practice this week.

Usama Young Saints S: Abdomen injury, game status out. He did not participate in practice this week.

David Thomas Saints TE: Calf injury, game status doubtful. He did not participate in practice this week.

Scott Shanle Saints LB: Concussion injury, game status doubtful. Limited participation in practice this week.

Darren Sharper Saints S: Knee injury, game status questionable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Jonathan Vilma Saints LB: Knee injury, game status questionable. He did not participate in practice this week.

Sedrick Ellis Saints DT: Knee injury, game status questionable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Bobby McCray Saints DE: Back injury, game status questionable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Jeremy Shockey Saints TE: Toe injury, game status questionable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Jermon Bushrod Saints T: Wrist injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Darnell Dinkins Saints TE: Foot injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Jahri Evans Saints G: Foot injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Randall Gay Saints CB: Concussion injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Jabari Greer Saints CB: Groin injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Lynell Hamilton Saints RB: Shoulder injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.

Jason Kyle Saints LS: Back injury, game status probable. Limited participation in practice this week.