2016 New Orleans Saints

Discussion in 'New Orleans Saints' started by Don Wassall, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Is Sean Payton mellowing a bit? Previously always a reliable Caste disciple, the Saints this year sport eight White starters and 17 White players on the 53, which makes New Orleans roughly equal to New England to start the regular season.

    Three White starters on the o-line is a new high under Payton. Much maligned but very effective Zach Strief starts again at right tackle. He’s joined by center Max Unger, one of the very best, and LG Tim Lelito from Grand Valley State. They need to stay healthy as all of the backups are non-White.

    Drew Brees at 37 and in his 16th NFL campaign remains one of the top quarterbacks in the league as well as an all-time great. He combines high intelligence with deadly accuracy.

    35-year-old Luke McCown is again Brees’ primary backup, while second year QB Garrett Grayson from Colorado State has all the tools to succeed but won’t get an opportunity for as long as Brees is still effective.

    Coby Fleener was signed away from Indianapolis in the offseason. He’s a pure receiving tight end in the mold of Jimmy Graham and the hope is that Payton won’t be reluctant to use him that way, even though it’s quite rare that a White TE isn’t required to be a blocking demon no matter how good a receiver he is. Fleener has a good shot at going over 1,000 receiving yards in 2016 and scoring a bunch of TDs.

    Payton has raved about Josh Hill’s athleticism and talent but he remained the backup to veteran Ben Watson last year and will back up Fleener this season.

    John Kuhn, now 33, is the team’s new fullback. Kuhn has had a few moments running and receiving in his NFL career, but at a bulked up 250 pounds his primary role remains that of an extra offensive lineman in the backfield.

    While the Saints used a “snow patrol” at linebacker early on in Payton’s coaching career, since then Whites were effectively purged from the defensive side of the ball, with the Saints’ defense being atrociously bad year after year, so it’s nice to see five overachievers on the roster this year.

    Now in his 8th year, James Laurinaitis, the Rams’ former first round pick out of Ohio State, was waived after injuries derailed his usual tackling machine form in 2015. Immediately considered washed up by the media and DWFs, Laurinaitis instead will man the middle of the New Orleans defense in 2016.

    Newly acquired Paul Kruger is listed as the starting left end by Our Lads. He should provide an immediate boost to the team’s pass rush.

    Mike Mauti and Nathan Stupar are second team linebackers and will see some action other than as special teamers.

    Erik Harris, a 6’ 3” 225 pound rookie safety from California (PA) made the final roster though his spot is likely not very secure.

    The waiving of the very talented DE/OLB Davis Tull after an injury-plagued rookie year was a big disappointment. Tull didn’t even make the practice squad and remains unsigned.

    Fully half the practice squad is White – WR Jake Lampman (from Ferris State), TE Garrett Griffin (Air Force), FB Austin Johnson (Tennessee), and OL Jack Allen (Michigan State) and John Fullington (Washington State).

    All in all this is the best Saints squad from a Caste Football perspective in quite some time.

    Starters:
    QB Drew Brees
    FB John Kuhn
    TE Coby Fleener
    LG Tim Lelito
    C Max Unger
    RT Zach Strief
    DE Paul Kruger (may be in battle for position)
    MLB James Laurinaitis

    Total number of White players on 53 man roster: 17

    Grade: D+
     
  2. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Pretty sure Erik Harris is light skinned mulatto
     
  3. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I checked pictures of him and he passes the eye test to me, but you could be right.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. RTTAS

    RTTAS Newbie

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    I'd pass Harris as one of our own - even if mixed he still looks very white which would cause him to automatically get a lot more detractors by the system
     
  5. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    The Saints cut Grayson
     
  6. referendum

    referendum Mentor

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    Not sure if Lelito is still a starter, as I believe he might have been supplanted by Jahri Evans, who Saints signed after he was cut by Seattle.
     
  7. TwentyTwo

    TwentyTwo Mentor

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  8. Quiet Speed

    Quiet Speed Mentor

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  9. referendum

    referendum Mentor

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    Missed the Lampman promotion. I love it when these undrafted white WR's finally crack the 53 man roster after the usual struggles. Just getting that minimum nfl salary for several weeks will hopefully give fuel and inspiration for these guys for future roster battles.
     
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  10. Quiet Speed

    Quiet Speed Mentor

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    In rotten luck, Jake Lampman was carted off the field yesterday. Sustained a knee injury on kick coverage. Haven't heard the final determination on the severity yet, it did not look good.
     
  11. Quiet Speed

    Quiet Speed Mentor

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    It's a joy to watch Max do his thing.

    Drew Brees: Max Unger as good as I ever could have imagined

    11:51 PM CT

    upload_2016-10-28_21-22-5.png

    METAIRIE, La. -- Jimmy Graham made last year’s stunning trade between theNew Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks a blockbuster.

    Max Unger made it a win-win.

    The Saints center -- who went to two Pro Bowls with Seattle and could be on his way to a third this season -- isn’t as glamorous as Graham. But a strong case could be made that he has been the most valuable player in the deal so far.

    “Max has been as good as I ever could have imagined,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. “Not only just his production, but his leadership ability and his toughness and the presence he brings to the locker room.

    “He’s tremendous. He was voted a captain this year, and that was an easy choice because he represents everything you’d want in a captain.”

    Richard Sherman to New Orleans’ Mark Ingram and Zach Strief gave the same answer:

    They both did.

    “For me, I’d like to have them both. But I think it’s worked out well for everyone,” said Strief, who described Unger as a “cornerstone for us for two years now.”

    “He’s awesome, one of our all-time favorite guys, as I’m sure he is for you guys too,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in a conference call with the New Orleans media. “He’s a great guy, great worker, really a brilliant football player and really one of our favorites.”

    Sherman said, “Everybody was surprised when the trade went down. … He’s an incredible leader and he’s an incredible ballplayer. He’s reliable and he’s a fantastic teammate. He’s one of the better teammates that you could ask for.”

    Unger was surprised too, as he admitted both last summer when the trade went down and again on Thursday.

    But he said personal feelings won’t get in the way of the job this week.

    “There is a lot of emotion obviously. I know a lot of the guys on the team,” said Unger, who said facing the same menacing Seattle defense that he battled for years in practice also adds intrigue to the game.

    “But at the same time, it’s another opponent and we have a game plan that we’re trying to execute,” Unger said. “I’m not the first player to ever play against their former team.”

    Unger shrugged off a question about whether the Seahawks’ line is struggling without him, saying, “Out of my control, obviously. I obviously wish them the best.”

    But he has found a new home in New Orleans and said “it means a lot” that he was elected captain and takes “a lot of pride in that.”

    “I’m really happy with where I’m at right now, and I think that we have this team going in the right direction,” Unger said. “And I couldn’t be happier.”
     
  12. TwentyTwo

    TwentyTwo Mentor

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    We knew Nate Stupar was more than just a Special Teams/ role player when he was signed by the Saints....he's proven (when given the opportunity) that with "Game Changing" plays for the 2nd Consecutive week... helping his team vault to the 500 mark for the 1st time this season

    The forced fumble & recovery vs. the 49ers at the 1 yard line
    http://www.neworleanssaints.com/new...ints-win/d1b841e0-1b31-4d1e-9c34-3705b972ee9a

    Stupar's diving INT vs Seahawks/Russell Wilson after being down 14-6 in 2nd qtr.
    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-...70/Stupar-comes-up-with-leaping-INT-of-Wilson
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  13. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Stupar's been great. I picked him up on several fantasy teams and start him even though he's still not listed as a starter by Our Lads. Starter or not, he's always productive.
     
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  14. Quiet Speed

    Quiet Speed Mentor

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    I believe technically LB Michael Mauti is a free agent. His situation hinges on his recovery from his illness and surgeries. Sure is an awful thing to have to go through, best of luck to him. BTW, he is/was a ferocious pass rusher when given the opportunity.

    Return specialist: Michael Mauti battles back from career-threatening condition

    http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2017/04/return_specialist_michael_maut.html
     

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