The podcast and a couple other newsworthy items delayed me in getting some thoughts together on the big news this week of Victor Butler tearing his ACL which will require surgery and Devery Henderson leaving the Saints after signing a free agency contract with the Redskins. Both are significant pieces of news and I wanted to give them their just piece, though.
Starting with Devery…
he's a player I am really going to miss. Being an LSU star and playing his entire football career up to this point in Louisiana was a major bonus when rooting for him. Two of my best memories of Devery at LSU are when he had this ridiculous touchdown catch before halftime against Ole Miss, where he broke his forearm in the process but hung onto the football for a touchdown (start at the 2:13 mark):
Then, of course much more famous, was the Bluegrass miracle:
And then of course the biggest reception of his Saints career might be this past season which helped Brees break Johnny Unitas' consecutive games with a touchdown record:
I could post YouTubes all day of Henderson's big play with the Saints. Devery Henderson is 45th all time in NFL history with a 17.9 yards per catch average. His best season came in the Super Bowl winning season when he had a career high in receptions (51) and yards (804). His 245 receptions puts him 12th all time in team history, though Pierre Thomas will tie him with one catch this season and Jimmy Graham is about to pass him too. He's also 5th in team history in receiving yards with 4,377. Henderson was a Saint for 9 long seasons and he will be greatly missed. With him gone, only Will Smith and Lance Moore remain from the pre-Sean Payton era. Over his career he transformed his game from a one trick pony speedster with poor hands to a reliable blocker, decent possession guy and good hands all while maintaining his elite speed. He worked as hard as anybody and his attitude has always been exemplary. Give me a receiver like him every time, I'd take it. It didn't hurt that he was a local guy either. He'll always be one of my absolute favorites and I wish him nothing but the best this season.
So this blog post basically became a tribute to Devery Henderson, but quickly on Victor Butler: I can't believe I'm about to say this and I wouldn't have imagined in one million years these typed words coming from my fingers, but I think Jeff Duncan has talked me off the ledge. He's right, the injury is by no means ideal but it's not one that will cripple the team. Butler was a promising player but let's be real, he hasn't accomplished much. At this point he is potential and nothing more, just like Martez and Junior. I preferred him, as did the Saints I'm sure, because he is familiar with the coach, scheme and position. Wilson and Galette have none of those. I also viewed Butler as a guy with nice versatility that could do a little bit of everything and stay on the field every down. The Saints will have to figure things out without him but they do have some options and there was never any guarantees he'd be that awesome anyway. If he was awesome, he probably would've commanded more than 2 years $3 million.
Anyway, both pieces of news are pretty awful. I wish Devery good luck and Victor a very quick return to good health.