Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why David Thomas' absence is going to hurt down the stretch

A couple of years back, during our Super Bowl winning campaign, I used to flippantly joke that David Thomas was a future Hall of Famer. I did this from a sense of Saints luxury. Drew Brees seemed to have so many weapons at his disposal that anytime the ball made its way to Thomas I felt the guy needed an honorary beef up so marginalised was he from recognition.

Well now that same sense of humour is paying its penance as David Thomas looks set for a prolonged spell on the side lines.

You see it's not that Thomas is the greatest Tight End on the planet, far from it, but he brings a work ethic and versatility that is much needed to the Saints offense. He is the 3rd check down guy, Mr dependable with a safe pair of hands for a 3 yard gain. He's the guy who can be relied upon to put his neck on the line blocking an elite pass rusher coming off the edge. He is, in short, a great team player.

Yes we have an abundance of riches in Colston, Graham, Sproles, Moore, Meachem, Thomas (Mr Screen) and even Henderson but for me Thomas offers something else and that is, to borrow the kind of garbled phraseology a Presidential contender would entertain in a public debate, dependientability. His loss is the Saints loss because of that and every chink in the overall awesomnessability (see I'm on a roll, is it too late to make a late run?) of the Saints O is another mm of daylight the Packers have over us.

Which makes Monday night’s game all the more noticeable. For we are about to play an excellent front four on the Giants D line and we need every blocking option we can to slow their attack. Give Brees time and he can pick apart anyone especially if the opposing D need to bring more than the front 4 so leaving holes in coverage. The Saints have a well-trained receiving corps who are adept at finding the soft in a zone D and Brees will exploit this.

As such I think this game will once again be won or lost by our O line. If we can keep the big blue at bay we have a heck of a good shot at marching on. Lose and we're looking over our shoulders afresh. This is why David Thomas is a sad loss. Yes we've been fine without him to date this season but in the tight games against the better teams I want my best unit avaiable and he is an important cog in the system. Anything that makes the whole weaker is important. Death by a thousand cuts and all that. Let's hope Strief and Bushrod get some help on the edges or we could see the Brees INT number up by a couple.

Get well Mr Thomas. I used to joke about you but now I know the value of a good team player. Dependable Dave is my new moniker for you. Wear the name well on your return.

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