My name is Andrew Doyle, and I am a die-hard Saints fan. I am unlike most other Saints fans that I know personally in the fact that I keep up with everything related to the Saints. I keep up with team needs, who should get drafted and or signed, and when I can, I keep up with stats and team rankings. A couple thoughts from this past season:
1. The defense. Enough said. I agreed with the firing of Steve Spagnuolo due in part that there were some players saying it was his way or no way at all. Once that kind of barrier is broken, there will always be some sort of bad blood in the building.
2. Sean Payton's absence definitely hurt us. I've always told people who think coaching is a bit overrated that it's an essential part, and the 2012 Saints proved me right.
3. Our offense. Somewhat inconsistent over the course of the season, but much to look forward to now that the season is over.
Regarding the Off-season:
– The Saints probably won't be able to make an extreme splash in free agency this year due to cap reasons, but I think we could free up some space by doing the following:
– Release or Restructure Jonathan Vilma's contract: He's due to make a ton of money this year, and it can't help us to keep his contract the way that it is. He's on the decline in his career, and he wasn't ever the same Jonathan Vilma as we've seen in the past, last year.
– Draft/Sign secondary: I think our secondary may be the worst in all of football, with close competition being the Philadelphia Eagles. I have not seen worse safety play in all my life..with the exception of Malcolm Jenkins' hawk-down of VJax.
– Another thought would be that would possibly help us is if we traded Vilma for an extra draft pick to a very LB needy team, such as Detroit, maybe. If we could jettison Vilma for an extra pick, we could potentially get a "diamond-in-the-rough" in the later rounds, as we have proven that we can do. In my honest opinion, Jonathan Vilma's name and intelligence of the game is enough to get him another shot somewhere else where they desperately need LBs.
– I've been playing with this idea, as far as the logistics and all that, and I think Roman Harper would be useful in some LB situations. Hear me out here. In 2011, Roman Harper (under Gregg William's frustratingly blitz-happy defense) racked up a whopping 7.5 sacks. That's insanely high for a DB, especially a Safety who's mostly pretty far away from the QB. He's a good hitter, and he loves to hit. I think that it would be better to use his hard-hitting skills to our advantage, and find some way to replace him at Safety, because..well…he's just not getting it done at that position. Von Miller is 6-3 and 235 lbs. Harper is 6-1 and 200 lbs. It is not completely unfeasible to think that he can't make the switch. It definitely wouldn't be an overnight change, not by any means. All i'm saying is get his feet wet, so-to-speak.