The bye week blues are here and to be honest I think the fans just like the team could use a break especially after the last two weeks of disastrous football.

New Orleans Saints Round Table Discussion During The Bye Week

Before we get too far into the break I took the time to catch up with WhoDatWarriors staff writer and contributor Christopher Pate and had a sit down to discuss an overview about the Saints season now and what we think the future will bring.

We might as well start getting to the nuts and bolts of things. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan was fired Monday evening what are your thoughts on his dismissal.

Chris –  It was no surprise to see him go. It was a pleasure watching him on the sidelines as he was very enthusiastic. However, this is a cut-throat business, If you don’t get the results you won’t get the job. He did a great job of turning around the defense when he first arrived in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the defense has been terrible the past two seasons. Quite frankly, I don’t know if it is a lack of talent or lack of coaching. Either way, he had to go. With the bye week, it was the perfect time to do it. Dennis Allen will have some time to work on this defensive unit.

Patrick – Right after the game I was having a discussion with somebody who I respect their knowledge of the game and he was leaning towards lack of talent and injuries and I was leaning towards coaching in regards to alignments, playing players to their strengths, scheme and so on….I think it was probably a combination of both.

Rob RyanWith that being said I do think Ryan is a good coach, I’ve studied his work the last three years and some of the schemes and stunts he does are brilliant. The problem is that as good as some of his tricks are there were also multiple break downs and mental mistakes and ultimately that cost him his job.

I would also add that the situation the Saints are in has been years in the making and it doesn’t just fall on Ryan’s shoulders. Bad drafts coupled with free agency blunders will leave the bottom half of your roster bare and when injuries happen and they always do, you are seeing the results.

Chris – Definitely. Injuries have really affected this team. It is also important to recognize the number of young players with large roles on this defense. The rookies need good coaching to become the superstars they could be.

Can we expect any improvement with Dennis Allen taking over for Ryan calling all the plays and installing his scheme? I’m just not sure it’s going to make that much of a difference with only six games left.

Chris – Definitely hard to say. The players have to be down at this point in time. Throughout the Redskins game it appeared there was a serious lack of desire. I am only going to expect improvement because of players becoming healthy. I wouldn’t expect immediate results with Allen calling the plays.

Patrick – Yes I sensed the lack of desire also, it felt like they got into the “here we go again” mode and it snowballed from there. It was really the first time this year I felt that the defense mailed it in.

In your opinion what needs to improve the most on defense going forward?

Chris – Tackles need to be made. There were a lot of missed tackles in the game. Despite the fact that the secondary hasn’t been playing all that well, it starts with the front seven. There have been too many big run plays and that must stop. The linebackers aren’t playing well in coverage. The return of Dannell Ellerbe should improve the coverage. Big plays must be minimized and that starts with making the tackles.

Patrick – I’ve noticed a lack of discipline and a ton of mental mistakes, this defense for the past two years has played sloppy ball and that starts with coaching. I also agree the front seven need to improve, you see it in spurts but they can’t maintain anything consistent. A lot of the mental mistakes can be attributed to youth and a major roster turnover but after ten games you can’t keep repeating mistakes that should have been cleaned up in the preseason. I think if they clean things up you will see an improvement.

Chris – Consistency is certainly an issue. They started to look good for a few games but then plummeted to their typical ways.

Patrick – I think in this years draft they have to find a big dominant interior lineman, it is a must.

Chris – Certainly. Unfortunately for the Saints, they have a lot of needs on defense. The defensive line could use a boost.

Patrick Sorry I Should have been more clear ~ a big defensive tackle or nose depending on what defense they play next year.

Chris – Size is something they lack. A big defensive tackle could help limit the number of big plays by plugging up the gaps.

Stepping back a bit, who has been the most disappointing player after 10 games? offense and defense.

Chris – Offensively, I’d have to say the most disappointing player had been C.J. Spiller. Quite frankly, this isn’t fair as he doesn’t get as much playing time as he could. After the signing, many Saints fans were expecting loads of big explosive plays. We have seen bits of the explosion, but it has been underwhelming at best.

BrownerThe biggest disappointment on defense has to go to Brandon Browner. He has cost the Saints greatly. He was supposed to make the Saints one of the formidable secondaries. He has been getting penalized like crazy, and it seems to me like the penalties come at the worst possible times. I don’t quite think he is being utilized as he should be, however. I can’t even imagine what the defense would be like without the emergence of Delvin Breaux.

Patrick – Agree with you on Browner, he’s a penalty waiting to happen. On offense I would have to say Zach Strief and Marques Colston, it pains me to say that because they have been great for so many years but father time waits for no one.

Who do you think has played well in these first 10 games?

Chris – Well defensively, I want to point at Delvin Breaux and Cameron Jordan. Delvin Breaux’s story is incredible, but his play is even more incredible. He was forced into a starting role at corner with the injury of Keenan Lewis. He has delivered. He has blanketed guys consistently. He has only had a few bad games here in New Orleans, and he has played exceptionally against some of the best receivers in the league.

Cameron Jordan has returned to his normal self. He has performed well against the run and has been a constant force against opposing offensive lines.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans SaintsOffensively I’ve liked the performances of Benjamin Watson and Willie Snead. Terron Armstead and Brandin Cooks have played well too but Snead and Watson have been bigger surprises. Watson has done a good job of replacing Graham. It looks like his age hasn’t affected him one bit.

Willie Snead has done a phenomenal job. Just when it looked like Brandon Coleman would be the third wide receiver, Snead stepped up and took that role with authority. Quite frankly, he is now the Saints second wide receiver. I love his enthusiasm. He manages pressure well and has made some big time catches.

Patrick I agree with you on Delvin Breaux and Cam Jordan but I also like what Hua’oli Kikaha and Stephone Anthony have shown plus Damian Swann has a ton of potential, even though the defense has been horrible this year I do think the future is bright with this young core.

On offense of course Snead has been tearing it up (Watson too) I think that really has opened things up for Brandin Cooks, I also think Ingram has been real solid when they decide to use him as he should be used.

Chris – Yeah. Quite honestly, I wanted to put Kikaha in there but I wanted to limit it to two players. Cooks has benefitted from the emergence of both Watson and Snead. Ingram has been a valuable player as he is now a solid pass catcher too.

Going forward what are you expecting these last six games?

Chris – Going forward, I expect the Saints to approach these next six games as if they were in the hunt for the playoffs. Even though it is highly unlikely they will make the playoffs, they will want to go out winning.

I’d personally love to see the Saints play upset role and spoil a few team’s chances of the playoffs (Falcons). They will look to improve. These next few games are also important for the future of the coaching staff. If the defense plays well, Allen will likely continue to be the defensive coordinator next year. There is a lot of speculation over the future of Sean Payton in New Orleans. They way the team finishes out the season may determine whether or not he stays.

Patrick – On Payton – there seems to be a lot of dysfunction on Arline drive. It almost reminds me of when coach Mora was melting down back in the day before he quit and to be honest ten years is a long time for any coach, some times a fresh start is good for both sides.

That being said I still think he is one of the best coaches in the NFL but his edge is not what it once was and the rest of the NFL is catching up to what he is doing a bit…but in all honesty I see him returning here, he has full control of this team and a lot of other places can’t or won’t offer that, another words he writes his own ticket here. If he wants to stay, he will be here.

Chris – I also believe he will return. I don’t think there are too many positions that are currently available/attractive.

Patrick, what do you think the future holds for players like Brandon Browner and Marques Colston? Do they get cut?

Patrick – With Browner they signed him for 3 years and if they cut him after this year his dead money hit I believe is in the 5 to 6 million dollar range so I think he stays and they use him in a different role. As far as Colston, he’s done. He’s just a shell of what he once was, I really hate watching him struggle this year…I really feel bad for the guy.

One last question, do you think they extend Brees contract after next year?

Chris – I think it depends on his play next year. He is playing at a high level right now. If they do extend a contract for him, I think it’d be this year so he is less of a cap hit next year.

Patrick – I’m thinking they extend him for two years after next year, lets hope they address the offensive line situation so he can make it that far.

Okay that’s a wrap, I want to thank Chris for taking the time to talk Saints tonight and we’ll do it again soon.

Chris – Thanks so much. Fun time.

You can find Chris on twitter at @WHODAT_Informer give him a shout, he’s always ready to talk Saints.

New Orleans Saints Round Table Discussion During The Bye Week

New Orleans Saints Round Table Discussion During The Bye Week