kid a wrote:Why should the offense improve? Well, the offensive line was banged up badly all last season and LeCharles Bentley (the pro-bowler) is returning healthy. They've used several recent draft picks on some of the best young linemen in the draft.
They added pro-bowl fullback Sam Gash too, known for his run-blocking.
Aside from the line, Aaron Brooks had to play hurt most of last season and he clearly wasn't himself. Donte Stallworth missed a lot of time and played hurt. Basically the offense spent the whole season on the injury report. Most likely, that won't happen again.
His TD total dropped from 16 to 8 despite accounting for 40% of his team's offensive production. That's simply a fluke and it almost can't happen 2 years in a row. The smart money says his TD total is closer to 16 than 8, and I would bet it will be around 20 or so. Just like Torry Holt would have so many yards and catches and so few TD's, that stuff is bound to even out like it did last year for him.
Throw in the easy schedule, the fact that the whole offense has gained 1 more year of experience in the system, and the fact that this team is so sold Deuce that they shipped out Ricky, and I'm seeing no reason he can't finish #1.
Can you say that about 20 other players?
Absolutely I can say that about a handful of other players.
The Saints had no more injuries than any other team out there. Stallworth played as many games as he did the year before, and if Brooks was hurt I didn't notice. Take Ricky Williams, Jamal Lewis, Ladainian Tomlinson, etc etc who were all hurt far more by the teams injuries around them (their quarterbacks actually missed games, not had some phantom injury through which they still put up good numbers), and there you have the exact same arguement. There's hardly a team out there that didn't have an injury to an O-linemen and a #2 WR.
The 1 more year of experience thing means nothing, everyone in the league has 1 more year of experience. The problem in New Orleans isn't people's performance in the system, it IS the system. Saying the system stayed the same is actually a detrement to your arguement. I would be much more easily persuaded if you had told me they were implementing an entirely new system.
The Torry Holt point is a joke:
Just like Torry Holt would have so many yards and catches and so few TD's, that stuff is bound to even out like it did last year for him.
It's too bad it took FIVE years to finally have a season where it evened out for Holt. Seems to me that given 5 season with the same number of catches, 4 of them with 6, 6, 7, and 4 TD's, and one with 12 TD's, it's easy to pick out the outlier as the one with 12 TD's, not the FOUR years with 7 or fewer.
I don't see how you can say last year's TD total was definitely a fluke and will "obviously" improve up to around 16-20. As a Deuce owner last year, and hence someone that was following his games closely, what I saw wasn't anything that led me to believe it was a fluke and normally he would score. He wasn't getting TD runs called back for penalties, he didn't fall one inch short a bunch of times, it was nothing like that, he got 8 TD's flat out, no fumbles on the goalline, nothing, just 8 TD's.
Saying that "I see no reason he won't finish #1" for someone that has never really been all that close to finishing #1 and who's team is nearly identical to those seasons is not a legitimate arguement. Saying "I see no reason he won't finish #1" about a guy like Priest who finished #1 the last two years might make some sense, you can't just pick a guy from the middle of the first round and say you don't see any reason why he won't finish better than the guys that scored 19 and 14 more touchdowns than him last year while his team comes back with almost the same personnel and same coaching/system as the year he trailed by 19 touchdowns, it's YOU who have to make that arguement, not them.
And so far, the only arguement that you've even come close to selling me on is that the Saints signed Sam Gash, which I didn't know. However, I highly doubt that Gash will account for 14-19 touchdowns. Because almost all the guys he's chasing had about the same amount of injuries on offense, and have 1 more year of experience in their system.