Although many agree that this 2015 Saints team has “potential”, it has also some serious question marks. The biggest one is not the uncertainty whether one of the worst defences in football will improve (it probably will, if only because the bar is so low), or whether a certain player is “in decline” (he is not) or whether doing a deep clean of the roster will weaken the team (it will not). Nope.
The main uncertainty is related to the fact that what started during the off-season as a deep breath of fresh air, which after the initial shock had led many to believe that there was method in madness after all, has now evolved into something which has gone overboard, based on hysteria and irrationality.
For as much it pains me to write this, Payton (and co) seem to have lost it. Although the roster is likely still a work in progress for few days, if not weeks, and some “imbalances” will probably correct themselves, inexplicable is the only adjective I can think right now when I look at some of the moves made since the weekend.
If people want to ignore or spin the recent transactions they can go ahead, but here it is the skinny:
– Lost for nothing, a serviceable QB, aged 25, in his prime, who during the waiver process had four claims; let me repeat… four claims; they kept a 36 year old who however well might have played to get a clipboard is probably at the last stop of his journeyman career; after that, they probably hope that the third rounder they just drafted will pan out at least as a back up (he probably will). When you look at the rest of the roster, why not four QB? They dropped a dollar on the ground, looked at it and still walked away;
– Gave up on a second rounder CB who never saw the field; I am not sure if it was dumber to draft him where he was in the first place or to lose patience so early; probably the latter. Some say winners need to cut their losses – winners also let their play develop before cutting it short, otherwise that’s the definition of losers, who tend to see “small” losses as negligible. In spite of the fact that they judge talent for living, with mixed results let me add, this smells of a rush move by an agitated, vengeful coach and the fact that the player was given the boot after that kind of telling off on the field points to that;
– After a summer long competition between two young kickers, who showed to have skills both in practice and game action, the winner has only been guaranteed a job for a whopping two days, when they started setting visits for “vets” that could replace him; it is a dumb move because the confidence of the young guy is now going to get shattered, whether they sign a new guy or not; they might as well waive him, as they should, right now. The tribulations this team has had at the position over the last few years are directly correlated to this kind of unnecessary pressure these guys have been subject to;
– While the roster is a living, evolving entity, one can only notice some disturbing trends since the final cuts. It seems setting the roster for week 1 is an after-thought right now. They waived a reliable vet safety who was arguably holding a spot until the “superstar” was back from injury – which it seems he has now but still he hasn’t practiced this season. Are we to believe that he will suit up on Sunday? Did they get rid of this other guy to save few cents so not to guarantee his salary? Seem a rush move, dangerous, and outright stupid…
– Furthermore, they have a plethora of DL and LB (17 between the two groups last I checked, including one or two “projects”) – one would think that it is the piece of resistance of this team. On the other hand they are keeping two TE, and have now been clutching at straws for a couple of days working out third rate players who have little chance to get a grasp of what is required of them if they sign one before Sunday, while also unable to count on help from the Squad (where they have stashed two young men with no experience). So the plan is clearly to go with two TE on Sunday while, I can only guess, they are waiting for their suspended number three to be back next week.
– I am not even touching the fact they have only four WR on the roster right now – I am assuming this will get rectified before this goes to press, but I am not surprised to see that part of the roster set for week 1 either. True, they usually suit four, but again the margin of error is nil, and again have a look at the rest of the roster.
So all in all, while this course of action might or might not affect the result this Sunday, and heaven forbids if it does, it is symptomatic of something lingering under the surface, and it is worrying. Some of these roster decisions don’t make much sense and with some others they are just playing with fire.
People should keep this in mind before forecasting the season based on the team’s “potential”. Start by figuring out the Coach first.
In Search of the Lost Plot for New Orleans Saints
In Search of the Lost Plot for New Orleans Saints