Now that the NFL has announced its official 2013 preseason schedule and has revealed we’ll get to spy on teams at halftime thanks to cameras installed in locker rooms, it’s time to reel all those headlines into one place.
Today’s dish of New Orleans Saints news, rumors and links for April 5 includes NFL power rankings, capology, draftology and even reveals that the Saints may have the NFL’s most under-rated player.
Let’s take a look.
The Saints come in at No. 5 in the NFC overall. Mike Triplett writes:
This is a coin flip for me between the Saints and New York Giants. I think both teams are in the same boat – capable of being as good as anyone in the NFL at times, but too inconsistent. I give the Saints the edge, though, because the Saints have done more to improve this offseason.
Take this prediction with a grain of salt, because I overrated the Saints last year, predicting an 11-5 record despite the bounty fallout. But I just can’t shake how outstanding their offense was in 2011. Arguably the best passing attack in NFL history. And most of those pieces are still in place, especially with a re-energized Payton back in charge (though I do wonder how they’ll hold up without Jermon Bushrod at left tackle).
Of course, the defense is a concern. And I don’t think it will be as good as it was in 2009. But I do think the Saints’ defense can get back to what it was in 2011 – and that was almost good enough to win another Super Bowl.
According to the NFLPA, the Saints only have $2 million in cap room:
The New Orleans Saints are about $2 million under the salary cap according to figures on all 32 teams released by the NFL Players Association Wednesday evening. The document also revealed that the Saints were able to carry over $2.7 million in cap space from the 2012 season.
But Saints fans should be encouraged if, and when, the team elects to draft Mingo due to his acumen for holding the point of attack and maintaining outside leverage on most running plays. That is one thing Ryan asks each of his outside linebackers to do, since they are essentially defensive ends.
We’ve observed from advanced metrics his explosiveness to get to the quarterback. His change of direction and range from sideline to sideline are second to none in this class. That will allow him to chase ball-carriers down from behind, another staple of Ryan’s defense.
The tape shows all of these attributes coming to the forefront. We’ve also seen a great ability for Mingo to drop into coverage and make plays in the open field.
He is a complete outside linebacker already, despite never actually playing the position at LSU. The Rob Ryan defense is the perfect transition to the position, as it allows him to play defensive end—only standing up instead of from a 3-point stance.
Moore’s name won’t come up often in discussions about the Saints’ offense. However, he was the key to last season’s top-ranked passing game.
No matter what role he is given, or where he is aligned, Moore consistently produces big plays. His slight frame houses a crafty football brain and accomplished playing technique that few receivers in the NFL can match.
Certainly no defense can risk underrating Moore’s considerable talents.
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