So first things first, it’s the offseason, there isn’t a ton to write about (although unfortunately the Saints have given us more than we would prefer), and that means we get to have a little fun. Today’s article is somewhat tongue in cheek, but the premise is essentially 3 players who are missing only one thing that seperates them from being a major asset for the Saints in 2017. I decided to go with the Wizard of Oz theme because I’m a dork, and also because like all the injuries the Saints have had…it got old a LONG time ago.
If any of you haven’t seen the movie the basic premise is that Dorothy got transported to a magical world by a tornado that hit her home in Kansas. She meets a series of party members each of whom have a wish they want granted that will make them complete, and the only one that can grant these wishes is the great ‘Wizard of Oz’.
Meet the Cast:
Dorothy (Drew Brees): Drew is the main character of the team and so he is Dorothy by default. Oz is presented as a ‘holy land’ filled with wonder and glory in the movie, and in this context that makes it the Super Bowl, the place Drew wants to go to complete his destiny and go home.
The Scarecrow (Stephone Anthony): The flaw that the scarecrow has is he doesn’t have a brain. His only goal in life is to have a brain and to be quick witted and wise. If there is one player on the Saints roster who is limited by, and ONLY by his mind, it is Stephone Anthony. Anthony’s issue isn’t that he lacks talent, he’s bursting at the seams with it, and it isn’t even that he isn’t intelligent. Just like the scarecrow in the movie Stephone Anthony’s biggest issue is that he simply hasn’t been able to best maximize his tools. At the end of the movie the Scarecrow has an epiphany and realizes he had a brain all along, if Anthony is able to make the same leap he could be an incredible asset for the Saints.
Anthony has all the tools to be a borderline elite linebacker in the NFL, but he would need to first fix his play diagnosis problems, and second become a near extension of the coach on the field. That is supposed to be the role of the middle linebacker on the field, and if Anthony can discover his brain he can move on from being the team bust to being their middle linebacker of the future….its all in his head.
The Lion (Brandon Coleman): The Lion’s issue was never his strength. He had the body of a lion, but heart of a mouse. Brandon Coleman isn’t quite that bad, but when you compare his production at the professional level to his physical tools he is FAR below the player he should be. What Brandon Coleman lacks isn’t the tools, it isn’t the brain, and it isn’t even chemistry with his teammates. What he lacks is courage, Coleman is a 6’6″ monster with good hands, great strength, and enough ability to be a major threat in the pros, but his problem is that he has never really played up to that tremendous physical ceiling he has. Coleman plays less physically than a player who is half a foot shorter than him in Willie Snead and if he can ever discover the dignity of a king to go along with his Lion’s body…he will be a tremendous force for the Saints.
The Tinman (Kenny Vacarro ): The Tinman is someone who claims he doesn’t have a heart, but throughout the course of the story shows himself to have the biggest heart of all. Now I am by no means claiming Vacarro doesn’t have a heart, quite the opposite in fact. Kenny Vacarro is the heartbeat, the very soul of the defense, and the Saints desperately need him to morph into an emotional leader that inspires the team and sets the tone. The team will follow the tone set by their leaders, and Vacarro must become one of those leaders. The Saints have lost one of their leaders on the defensive side of the ball when Nick Fairley was ruled out for the year, that means they will need every member of the defense to step up and try to make up the difference. The only way that happens if you have a team playing fast, hard, and inspired and that only happens if they have someone to ‘inspire the troops’ and be the heartbeat of the defense. Vacarro MUST be that player.