Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Moving on Up!!!

To the east side. To that deluxe website on the net.

Alright BNG faithful, this should serve as the final post on this site for a while.

"Why?" you ask. Because we've moved to SB Nation.

My new site is now CanalStreetChronicles.com!

The lovely people at SB Nation have been keeping their eye on me for a bit and have decided to take a chance on me. I know, "What the hell are they thinking?"

In all seriousness though, if you have really liked what you have seen here, just click on over. You can bookmark it or add it to your feed. You'll have to sign up to comment or participate, but I am telling you, its worth it. SB Nations gets way more traffic and is well respected in the online sports community. It will be way more fun, and members get to write their own mini-blogs, called Diaries. The site will be updating its format this summer, so the site will have a completely different feel (check out one of the baseball sites to see the new look). So if you have liked what you have read thus far, come fly with me. Thank you for your interest in the site, and I hope you keep up with me on the other side.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Comment on Top Draft Picks

I found this article yesterday, but with so much other news I decided to skip it. I had already cited like 3 other Times-Pic articles anyway.

But every time I read it my blood boils. This blurb from the article is what REALLY sticks in my craw...

"The top five guys will probably be the top five paid guys at their positions before they even play," said Dallas Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips, a decidedly old-school thinker who'd prefer to see the big money go to the core veterans of a team, five-, six-, seven-year pros who routinely are the backbone of an NFL club.

Tell me any other job, career, assignment, WHATEVER, where a person starts off on the highest financial echelon BEFORE he even gets to the office, job site, store, WHATEVER!

Do you start off as manager of McDonald's and work your way to fries? Do you work your butt off for 20 years as CEO, putting your career before you marriage and kids, in hopes of getting that big promotion to the mail room?

NO!! What upside-down, Seinfeld-esque, bizarro world is the NFL operating in? Feldman!

Take our team for example. Reggie, the second overall pick in 2006 was so hyped and highly-touted after his amazing (and I will give that to him. He was sick. Seriously.) college career. And so, as is the culture in the NFL today, we "made it rain" on Reggie (do I owe Pacman royalties for using his phrase). And of course, being the god-awful 3-13 team we were in 2005, we didn't bat an eye. We were the luckiest team alive. "What the hell was Houston thinking!?" we asked ourselves, and anyone who would listen. Never seen him play a down in the NFL? F&%@ you, pay him! He's holding out and missed thee practices? F&%@ YOU, PAY HIM! Fans would have hanged Benson in Jackson Square if he let Reggie go, no matter the cost. We are all guilty, myself included. What else should we have thought?

On the other side of the coin we have Deuce. Going on 8 years now with the Saints. Team loves him. Players love him. Coaches love him. Fans love him. City loves him. The dude is Mother f%&#@ing Theresa if Mother Theresa ran a 4.5 4o and it takes four 350 lb. linemen to take her down. Now, Deuce's contract isn't exactly small potato's. Dude is gonna be fine. But Deuce proved himself. He had already won the approval of his teammates, coaches and fans. We knew he was worth it. Ahem. Three seasons in a row over 1,000 yards. Cough. On top of the fact that he was a nice guy about the whole renegotiation process; "As part of the new contract, Deuce lowered his 2005 base salary by $1.7 million, freeing up cap room for the team."

Such is the discrepancy in our favorite sport. It's the proverbial tail wagging the dog. Young, unproven, possibly talented athletes earning more than dependable, selfless, franchise veterans. To be fair, Reggie has contributed to this team. But because of the amount of money we spent on him without flinching, our expectations are higher. If we are going to pay Reggie more than Deuce, then Reggie should produce more than Deuce.

And what happens if a player like Reggie doesn't work out? Other than the fact that a team spends a lot of time and money figuring out that they shouldn't have spent all that time and money, said team is saddled with a huge contract for a useless player, and burdened by said contract for the following few years, thus limiting their payroll, minimizing their cap room and putting other players in the position of having to make sacrifices such as the one Deuce made for the team in 2005 and may have to make again this year. Does that seem fair? Noble, yes. Fair, I think not. But I guess that is why Deuce is Deuce, and Reggie is, well...not Deuce.

Have a great 2008 season Reggie. Please. We know you have big shoes to fill.

I'll leave you with Bill Polian's words...

"...it needs to change because the draft was designed to positively affect the game on the field and create competitive balance, and now we find it's doing just the opposite."

That felt good. It's nice to have a soapbox, er, I mean blog. I'll take a break from the ranting for a couple of posts.

Glenn, and Rivers and Bush. Oh My!

Alright! Actually some news to talk about today...

First up, Saints sign CB Aaron Glenn. Here is the Times-Pic article. In my opinion, this isn't really such a big deal or anything to get excited about. He's as old as the hills, and he has not been very productive as of late. He only played 5 games last year. Glenn is a journeyman (now his fifth team in 14 years), which means he's got some experience. I don't think he is going to be the panacea this team needs to stop those long pass plays that haunted us all last year, but his maturity and experience could help our younger DB's like Harper, Young and whoever we draft (we will probably get at least one DB in the draft). Check out his stats and form your own opinion.

In other news...The Times-Pic FINALLY got in on the mock draft action and released their first round list. I've got that riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...........here. Their pick...(drum-roll)...USC LB Keith Rivers. They give their explanation in this article (man, they were busy down at the TP today, huh?).
After having seen DT Sedrick Ellis and Rivers at USC's pro day they think Ellis is too good to still be available and they think Rivers WILL be available and too good to pass up. What about DRC (CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, for those of you NOT in the know) you ask? He slips to the Cardinals at the 16th spot. Why? Because the writers at the Times-Pic know what I have been screamin' the last two weeks...

"...that's one thing we've always known about the Saints -- they love that best athlete available."

Rivers, I think everyone agrees, is the better player at his position and seems to be more of a sure thing than DRC.

The people at the Times-Pic also mentioned we could see a trade up to get DT's Ellis or Dorsey, or a trade down with possibly the Eagles for Lito Sheppard. Ahhhh...now THERE'S an idea (more on that in a bit).

But what light has all of this info from the Times-Pic shined on the draft situation?

Absolutely none. We still have no idea what the Saints are gonna do. There are still a lot of possibilities. And no one seems to know a damn thing (isn't this fun kids).

This bloggers opinion:

  • Ellis or Dorsey if either amazingly slipped down (not likely) or they trade up.
  • Then Rivers if he's still available. I know what your thinking..."But we just got Vilma and Morgan at LB, why get another one?" BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE! (why do you think we got Meachem the year after we had the best receiving corps in the league) We got help at CB too with Gay and now Glenn, so either way, the Saints would be doubling up on talent. And in a draft deep with DB talent, maybe we could take our chances in the second round.
  • If Rivers is gone, than I suggest THIS possibility...trade with the Eagles for Sheppard, and pick up, say, DT Kentwan Balmer with the 19th pick. That leaves us with an improved secondary, an improved LB corp and improvement on the inside of the line. We haven't made any improvements on the D-line this season, so this would give us all around improvement. Huh? What do you think?
You guys agree? Love to hear what you think!

One other article to throw at ya'. This one. And it comes aaaaaallllllll the way from Helena, Montana. Why the hell they are talking about Reggie Bush I have NO idea, but god bless them. They've obviously got good taste up there! Anyway, to sum it up, it basically says Reggie needs to be more like Brian Westbrook. Okay. Sounds good to me. We all know about his selfless kneel down on the goal line last season. I love that stuff!

Our "Other" First Round Pick

A brilliant, over the shoulder catch along the endzone sideline for a touchdown against Buffalo. That's really the only glimpse of WR Robert Meachem, the only 2007 first round draft pick to not play a single down, we saw last season. Saints fans have but a few pre-season performances to gauge his talent and skill. And even then its not truly accurate, as the level of play during those games are NOT on par with their regular season counterparts.

Last summer he dealt with a knee injury that kept him limited through mini-camp and training camp. He never had a chance to get to full NFL speed, impress coaches, and show off what he could do. By the time he was healthy enough, it was too late for the Saints to take a chance on playing him. This season he is expected to battle for the third WR position. The Times-Pic had an article about a week ago updating us on Meachem.

Since this season will be the first time we see what he can do (and we will see. oh yes...we will see. we payed him first rounder money), this is informally his rookie year. The Saints "other" rookie for 2008. Yet he remains an enigma. Maybe there are more great catches in his repertoire. Maybe he will team up with Marques Colston and become the Twin Towers of Terror (I can dream, can't I? they do have similar body types). Or maybe the naysayers are correct and he will go the way of Johnathan Sullivan in 2003...a big bust and a big drain on our payroll.

Whichever way you lean on this thriller, you definitely have an opinion, so let's here it! What should we expect from Mr. Meachem this season?

Here are his college stats and scouting report from last year. No point in posting his NFL stats.

And here is a quick video of Meachem seeing his rookie card for the first time.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Saints Draft Picks by Round Since 2002

Yet another Draft related post...

I put together these tables to show you what the Saints have done in the draft by round for the last 6 years. My conclusion...the sixth round has not been kind to us. My favorite part...Good ol' Mr. Colston aaaaalllllll the way down there at the bottom. Our little diamond in the rough. Feel free to make your own assumptions and speculations and comment on them. I would love to hear what you think. Enjoy!

First Round
2007 Robert Meachem
2006 Reggie Bush
2005 Jammal Brown
2004 Will Smith
2003 Johnathan Sulllivan
2002 Donte Stallworth
2002 Charles Grant

Second Round
2007 None
2006 Roman Harper
2005 Josh Bullocks
2004 Devery Henderson
2004 Courtney Watson
2003 Jonathan Stinchcomb
2002 LeCharles Bentley

Third Round
2007 Usama Young
2007 Andy Alleman
2006 None
2005 Alfred Fincher
2004 None
2003 Cie Grant
2002 James Allen

Fourth Round
2007 Antonio Pittman
2007 Jermon Bushrod
2006 Jahri Evans
2005 Chase Lyman
2004 None
2003 Montrae Holland
2002 Keyuo Craver

Fifth Round
2007 David Jones
2006 Rob Ninkovich
2005 Adrian McPherson
2004 Rodney Leisle
2004 Mike Karney
2003 Melvin Williams
2002 Mel Mitchell

Sixth Round2007 None
2006 Mike Hass
2006 Josh Lay
2005 Jason Jefferson
2004 None
2003 Kareem Kelly
2002 J.T. O'Sullivan
2002 John Gilmore

Seventh Round
2007 Marvin Mitchell
2006 Zach Strief
2006 Marques Colston
2005 Jimmy Verdon
2004 Colby Bockwoldt
2003 Talman Gardner
2002 Derrius Monroe

Saturday, April 5, 2008

SaberCats @ Voodoo Recap

The Voodoo continue to win, and in convincing fashion. This one was another blowout, Voodoo 72 Sabercats 43. The Graveyard crowd has yet to see their team lose. We were not expected to be this good this season, but we now own the third best record in the league. I've said it once and I'll say it again, these guys are good and the whole Voodoo experience is a blast.

Game Notes:
  • Another dominating performance. I thought this one would be closer, but it was over in the second quarter.
  • I said the secondary would be key in this game, and they were. 3 interceptions, 2 for touchdowns. Not to mention a couple more that just barely slipped out of the Voodoo hands. Could have easily been five. Calvin Spears and Norman LeJeune each brought one back for a score. Umar Muhammad had the third. Great job all around. Seriously, is Jason David watching game tape on this?
  • Saintil had 3 TD's but all were under 10 yds. He only had 74 total yds.
  • Jason Geathers picked up Cleannord Saintil's slack and had a good game with 188 yds and 2 TD's. Pretty much the only bright spot for San Jose tonight.
  • Play of the game: AFL defensive player of the month in March Calvin Spears' first quarter pick six. It put the Voodoo in the lead and they never looked back. The Graveyard erupted after the play. I have never heard it so loud in there.
  • The Voodoo defensive line applied great pressure, forcing bad passes and throw aways and helping the DB's make those interceptions.
  • No Voodoo receivers broke 100 yds, but James Jordan had a great game with 3 TD's. He has been on fire as of late and Winprine's go to guy. Runner up for play of the game was his REMARKABLE 4th down catch in the 2nd quarter with Omarr Smith ALL OVER him. I watched it again on TV and it really doesn't do it justice. Seriously, sick catch! I think he retired early, in the fourth quarter.
  • Wimprine spread the ball around, played a great game and had 5 TD's. He was announced as the player of the game. He also threw a 47 yard bomb to Javarus Dudley, the longest scoring pass in franchise history. Toward the end of the 4th quarter he called it a night and Steve Bellisari came in, not to be outdone, and threw a 45 yard TD pass himself.
  • Steve Bellisari, a QB mind you, also delivered a huge hit on a special teams kick return. That is the second time we have seen him rock someone and end their dream of reaching the end zone.
  • By the fourth quarter everyone was in high spirits and the cameramen were getting some funny stuff from the fans to put up on the big screen. You gotta love the unreserved innocence of kids dancing and attempting "the sprinkler."
  • Tom Benson and his wife were in attendance in their corner luxury box. He owns the team and doesn't have a mid-field seat?
  • As part of the AFL's "it's all about the fans" policy, it seems every stoppage in play there are Voodoo personnel walking onto the field to throw t-shirts, beads, Frisbee's etc. into the crowd.
  • Something you may not know if you haven't been to a game: those cameramen are out there ON THE FIELD during play to get close angles. Literally getting into the huddle and kneeling 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage DURING the play. If there is a quick turnover and change in direction, those camera guys better book it.
  • My favorite moment: One of the refs needed a ball to spot on the current yard line before the snap and got thrown 2 different balls at the same time. One flew over his head, which he kinda went to grab, while the other hit him right in the crotch. Classic!
The Voodoo are now 5-1, on a five game winning streak. They face a tough competitor next week in the undefeated Dallas Desperados. This will be their first real test and I'm a little worried about this one. But hey, is New Orleans a hot city for sports right now or what!?

Game Day Open Thread: Sabercats @ Voodoo

Sunday April 5, 2008
Location: The Graveyard New Orleans, LA
Game Coverage: TV: Cox Sports TV Radio: 95.7 FM
Kickoff: 6pm
AFL standings

New Orleans Voodoo
Record: 4-1
Roster.Stats.Depth Chart

San Jose Sabercats
Record: 3-2

Week 6 is upon us in the AFL and the Southern Division leading New Orleans Voodoo are taking on the Western Division leading and reigning AFL champion San Jose Sabercats tonight at The Graveyard. (cue thunder and lightning effects) The Voodoo are returning home after a brief trip to Colorado last week. San Jose is coming off a win in Kansas City. The Voodoo defeated the Sabercats in their only meeting last season, 67-54.

San Jose is led by veteran QB Mark Grieb and his favorite target and their most dangerous threat, WR Cleannord Saintil (pronounce that however you think) who is fourth in the league in receiving yards with 569. DB Omarr Smith, Defensive MVP of last years Arena Bowl, leads all Sabercat defensemen with 32.5 tackles, but trails Voodoo defensemen Lin-J Shell and Calvin Spears with 34 and 33 tackles respectively. San Jose has the best kicker in the league in A.J. Haglund who has a league leading 64 points.

I'm liking the Voodoo in this one. San Jose is last years champion but haven't been playing at that same caliber as of yet, and New Orleans is the hottest team in the league, coming off 4 straight wins. Shutting down WR Cleannord Saintil is the key to tonights game. He has put up big numbers this season and he is a great athlete with the ability to make big plays. Fortunately, the Voodoo secondary is more talented and I think they have the advantage here. Whoever wins this match-up will probably win the game as well, so keep your eye's on that. This has been a surprising season thus far, and we are outplaying our expectations, but great play has now become more of a standard and less of a surprise. See you at the game!

Voodoo Doll of the week: Sara

Before I leave, I just wanted to hook you up with this link to this SNL skit. The name of San Jose's team, the Sabercats, and their cheerleaders, the Saberkittens (it keeps getting cuter) reminded me of this skit and I thought you all might get a laugh out of it as well.

This is an open thread, so I welcome all comments! Even if it's just to tell me how badly you want a cat with a laser on it.