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Deke Bellavia

Join Deke and the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert for live, local talk about the Saints, LSU, Pelicans and much more on "Sports Talk!" 

Weekdays 4-8pm

Twitter: @dekebigchief
Email: bigchief@wwl.com

Deke: Seahawks, Patriots find their way back to the Super Bowl

It was the game that Las Vegas predicted, as NFC favorite Seattle and AFC favorite New England advanced to the Super Bowl. Both teams got to the big game in very different ways, but they got there and now the two week breakdown and guessing game begins.

Last Sunday afternoon Facebook and Twitter both exploded with those pre-mature so-called 'experts' in saying how Green Bay had it, the Seahawks are done, it's over! Well I wonder if those same folks went back and said "I was wrong, Seattle did what all great teams do and played until the game was over" or at the very least did those experts say "oops my bad?"

Bottom line is those of you that claim Seattle got outplayed for nearly four quarters and still won, well I tend to take a more calm, realistic, and I'd say the right approach.

So do those of you who think that Green Bay should have won think that Green Bay was really dominating the game early on? Well according to how the game is played and what coaches tell their players, Seattle actually won the game when they were so called getting dominated. Say what?

Let me explain. On Green Bay's first possession of the game Richard Sherman picked off an Aaron Rodgers pass in the End Zone ending a Green Bay threat. WIN for Seattle.

Green Bay would come right back and have a first and goal at the Seattle seven yard line. After three plays the Packers were forced to kick a field goal to go up 3-0. WIN for Seattle!

Again Green Bay would have a first and goal at the Seattle seven yard line, three plays and another Field Goal. WIN Seattle!

Green Bay had the ball first and 10 at the Seattle 33 yard line. The Packers gained 11 yards on six plays and kicked another Field Goal to go up 16-0. WIN Seattle.

Need I go on? People, of the Green Bay Packers' six scoring drives, five of them earned just three points to just one TD. In the NFL that would be five wins for the defense forcing Green Bay to kick a field goal.

And then when the Seahawks offense did kick into high gear, Seattle came storming back and won the game. So for me to look deep inside the numbers and say that Green Bay should have won is something that I will not do and sit well with.

The best team played four quarters and overtime and the best team is going to the Super Bowl. If Green Bay were the best team they would have gotten more sevens instead of threes. And if Green Bay were the best team they would have won the game.

Now to a much easier call, the New England Patriots just flat out dominated the Indianapolis Colts. Tom Brady and the Pats scored on on eight of their first nine drives of the ball game and New England blew the game open with a 21 points eruption in the third quarter of the game.

Now the hype is already in full swing as the countdown to the biggest potato-eating day nears with a thirty second TV ad running you a cool 3 million dollars a pop. Who will win this colossal match-up?

Which of these future Hall of Fame QBs (Russell Wilson in just his third year in the NFL) is one Super Bowl win away from already punching their ticket to Canton, Ohio? Who will lead their team to victory?

Will the good looking, envied, superstar QB Tom Brady get his fourth ring? Will the coach that people outside of Boston love to hate pop on his hoodie and walk off the field with yet another Lombardi in his hand?

The answer to those questions will be soon answered on Sunday February 1st. Let the trash talking and all of the what if's begin.

Oops my bad they already have!

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Deke: See the Cajun Cannon's NFL Championship picks

The NFL season is slowly winding down and this weekend right here on WWL Radio you can listen to the NFC title game followed by the AFC title game.

Each Thursday night we have a weekly segment titled "The View from Vegas," and this season our guest picker (V.R. - Vegas Runner) has been lights out. Entering the post season V.R. was 25 games over five hundred this season. And in eight post season NFL games V.R. is an amazing 7-1 ATS (against the spread) including a perfect 4-0 last week in the divisional round of the playoffs.

"I think fans should be excited about these games. Three of the four teams have a QB that has won a Super Bowl. When it comes to showcasing some of the best QB's in the game today, this weekend has it all," said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert. Only Andrew Luck is missing a Super Bowl ring, but the third year pro has been to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons in the National Football League.

The first game Sunday on WWL Radio is the NFC title game. The #2 seeded Green Bay Packers travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the defending Super Bowl Champs and #1 seed Seattle Seahawks. "I like the Seahawks to win this game. I do think that this is going to be a close game but I think the Seahawks are very hard to beat at home," Hebert said.

Seattle has lost just twice at home the last three seasons. Seattle is a 7 ½ point favorite over the Green Bay Packers. Vegas Runner's Pick is Green Bay with the points and he likes under 46 ½.

Now we move on to the AFC. The #1 seed New England Patriots are a 6 ½ point favorite over the #4 seeded Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis shocked the world last week dominating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Although Vegas Runner says take the Colts and the points (take under 53 ½ on the total), the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert is going with the veteran QB.

"I just think that Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to win. I would take the points in both of these games but I think that Tom Brady and the Patriots being at home will make a difference. Both should be very good game."

You can listen to all of the NFC and AFC title games right here on WWL Radio Sunday with the NFC game kicking off at 2PM with the AFC to follow.
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Deke: An early look at the NFC South in 2015

When the winner of your division is 7-8-1 then it's safe to say that there is no clear-cut favorite going into the following season. The Carolina Panthers made history this season becoming the first team in NFC South history (2002 was the first year of the division) to win back to back divisional titles.

Now as all four teams are into full blow off-season mode, the question now looming is which of these four sub-five hundred NFL teams is the best going into the 2015 NFL season?

Today, I would give my vote to the Carolina Panthers. Carolina has proven to be the most consistent defensive ready team in each of the past two seasons. And the Cats from Charlotte turned it on when they had to win the division and eventually win a playoff game.

When we look back, the Panthers winning the NFC South had a little more merit to it than meets the eye. A year ago Carolina was faced with an off-season without the services of star QB Cam Newton as Cam had off season surgery. And Carolina did not keep any of their top wide receivers as Steve Smith moved on to Baltimore, leaving the Panthers with no one that was proven to throw the ball to.

So credit has to be given to Coach Ron Rivera as he somehow pieced together just enough for Carolina to win the NFC South. Now a year later, Newton's play is better and the Panthers have established a pretty good pass catching group led by TE Greg Olson and rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin.

But the main reason why I go with Carolina right now is defense. Even without the services of one of the game's best pass rushers in Greg Hardy, when the 2014 season was on the line the Panthers defense came through, shutting down New Orleans 41-10 in the Superdome and then closing out the season in Atlanta blowing out the Dirty Birds 34-3. Carolina ended on a hot note as they won four straight regular season games to end the season and the Panthers made NFL post season history in their 27-17 win over Arizona in which Carolina held Arizona to just 77 yards of total offense.

Second, I'd say the New Orleans Saints. Why you ask? Well because of Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Yes both are coming off disappointing seasons, but Atlanta does not have a coach right now and the Saints are still one of the best offensive teams in the NFL.

So why did everyone miss on the 2014 Saints? I don't know. But I do know that the heat is on now in the Big Easy and another bad season could lead to more changes for the Black and Gold.

New Orleans was 32 in defense in 2012, 4th in 2013 and back towards the bottom ranking 31st in 2014. So what defensive unit will we see in 2015? We know that Rob Ryan will be back to try and revamp a defense that he had to well, revamp just two years ago.

What will the Saints do to free up some money to try and bring in some players to help aid this team? What will the Saints do with RB Mark Ingram? And do the Payton/Brees led Saints have one more Super Bowl run in them? To me it's simple - Brees and Payton had a bad year, real bad. But did Brees forget how to play? Did Payton all of the sudden lose his coaching skills? The answer I give to those questions is hell no! But another non-playoff type season will put me in the minority on that one!

Coming in third in 2014 was the team I also have in third going into 2015 and that is the Atlanta Falcons. How in the hell can you have the Falcons behind the Saints when Atlanta beat New Orleans twice this season? Fair question.

The decision to replace Coach Mike Smith leads me to believe that the Falcons were not that good internally. Smith had taken the Falcons to places where the franchise had not been, earning the #1 overall seed in the NFC in 2010 and again in 2012.

But Atlanta faces many big questions moving forward. The most obvious is picking the right head coach to come in and make the Falcons a playoff contender again quickly. There are no rebuilding years in the NFL and when you have a top flight QB and the games best young WR in Julio Jones then you are and should be expected to win now.

What will the Falcons do along their O-Line after being hit hard by injuries last season? Will Atlanta look to add another playmaker to go along with Jones, Roddy White and Devin Hester? And will Atlanta give veteran RB Stephen Jackson another look?

Atlanta could very well wind up as the best team in the NFC South next season and one of the top in the NFC again. But with a coaching change at the top, that feat is something I'll have to see before I bet on it!

And finally we round out the NFC South with the young Tampa Bay Bucs. The 2-14 Bucs lost ten games by eight points or less in 2014 including four losses by three points or less.

On the surface one would figure that Tampa Bay just needs to learn how to win those close games. But Tampa's problem lies the same as many NFL teams and that is at the QB position.

Tampa Bay is a team that is solidly built on offense, defense and special teams. And the need for a superstar QB is not as demanding with the surrounding talent being more than adequate. But Tampa can ill afford another season without knowing what the future is at the leagues most important position. Will Tampa Bay pick local star and former FSU QB Jamies Winston? Or will Coach Lovie Smith add another defensive weapon to go along with some of the best young talent in the league already in place on the Tampa Bay defense?

Tampa Bay has some of the best young talent in the league on offense and defense. And a good, not great QB might be the difference in Tampa Bay being a 2-14 team that losses a lot of close games versus a team that wins those close games and hits the 10 or more win total in 2015!

I thought that New Orleans would dominate the NFC South last season and I thought that Tampa Bay would come out and surprise some people. Neither happened that way.

So right now we know the Panthers have the best defense in the division, stats show that the Saints have the best offense, Atlanta has a lot of pieces in place but needs a head coach and the Bucs look like a team that is real close.

The next handful of months will be key for each team in the division as each tries to get better this off season. Tampa Bay owns the #1 pick in the draft meaning that the best player will be the Bucs this May. Atlanta owns the #8 overall pick in the draft meaning that the Dirty Birds should get better with just the call of a name.

Giving my forecast the team of now is the Panthers, the team of the future is the Bucs, Atlanta is in a state of transition and the team that was supposed to be the best now faces the most questions this off season - that being the New Orleans Saints.

So maybe a year from now one of these four southern teams will be among the final four in the post season. But right now none of them are. Just my thought on the NFC South right now!
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Deke: New coaches make a splash at LSU presser

Les Miles has made moves that seemingly come from someone that feels like he has to make something happen. Les Miles added two proven coaches to his staff today when he introduced defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and new defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.

"I think there's a lot more energy in the room. There is a lot to do, but we feel like we have put the right people in place. Both guys will go out and represent LSU. These two hires will be met with great enthusiasm," said Miles.

Coach Miles praised his two new defensive coaches and then talked about some of the strong points for Coach Ed Orgeron. "Ed is an expert when it comes to the defensive line," Miles said. "He will bring tremendous enthusiasm and energy to our program. His passion and love for the state of Louisiana makes him a great fit for us."

Miles then introduced Kevin Steele. "I'm very excited about the opportunity given to me by Coach Miles and LSU. I firmly believe without question that LSU defensive football says 'relentless pursuit' and 'attacking style defense.' We will absolutely keep that philosophy and we will keep that rolling," said Steele.

Steele later joked with his new D-Line Coach Ed Orgeron saying that if they (Steele and Orgeron) had a funeral not as many people would be there as there were today at LSU as both were introduced.

Steele's impressive resume includes being under coaching greats like Tom Osborne, Bobby Bowden and Dom Capers. Steele spent the last two seasons at the University of Alabama over the Tide linebackers in 2014.

Coach Steele talked about being able to work alongside of Coach Ed Orgeron."His resume speaks for itself. I'm looking forward to working with Coach Ed. People always talk highly about the relationships that Coach Orgeron has with his players and fellow coaches and I'm excited about that."

Steele answered many questions and talked about how he and Coach Ogeron would hit the recruiting trail as soon as the press conference was done. After the Tigers new defensive coordinator spoke to the media, Ed Orgeron was introduced and took over the mic.

"I want to thank Coach Miles for giving me and my family the opportunity to come to LSU. I'm looking forward to going around the great state of Louisiana and wearing that LSU logo on my chest. I can't wait to coach in Tiger Stadium. This is a place I've always wanted to coach at and now I get that chance. Tiger Stadium is a tremendous place to play."

Coach O said that he's always wanted to wind up at LSU and was very complimentary while he spoke to the media. "This is the school I wanted to be at. I was hoping this chance would happen. I packed up my clothes last night and they asked me to be here at 9AM today and I was here. I came here to represent LSU and be a part of a great staff and I want to be a part of a great team and give a great effort."

Miles concluded, "I think these two guys put us in position to have an excellent recruiting staff. These guys are great at getting to know the families and they are great for our staff."
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Deke: Once again, Les Miles making the right moves

Say what you want about his coaching style, call him what you like, but when it comes to making the right moves for his football program, LSU Coach Les Miles has rolled seven far more than crapping out!

Later today, Coach Miles will officially introduce Kevin Steele as his new defensive coordinator and Ed Orgeron as his d-line coach. Miles now has three assistant coaches that have been head coaches at major college football programs. And the biggest plus with these two hires is that both Steele and Orgeron have been - and still are - two of the best recruiters the college game has ever seen.

Go back and look at the end of the 2008 season. LSU was taking on Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl. The Tigers had a disappointing season, finishing outside of the Top 25 for the first time in the Les Miles era, and Coach was faced with making an important hire on defense.

Ed Orgeron was a top candidate at that time, but Coach Ed went to Tennessee to join then-Vols Head Coach Lane Kiffin. Meanwhile, Miles was able to land John Chavis and for the next six seasons the Tigers defense was in good hands.

Now Miles was again faced with an important hire after Chavis left to go to Texas A&M. Miles needed someone with a good resume and someone that could come in and hit the road hard on the recruiting trail. Well Les is once again standing at the front of the dice table and he's already two sevens!

Steele was the 2005 National College Recruiter of the Year at Florida State, and Ed Orgeron has a background that allows him to be one of the most respected and feared recruiters in the game. And what I mean by feared is that when other schools know that Coach Ed is on the trail, well, let's just say he won't get outworked or outhustled.

Both of these coaches have been in the SEC before and both inherit a Tigers defense that has a lot of top flight talent coming back. And now Coach O and Coach Steele can hit the defensive trail and begin to lock up some of the top players for 2016, 2017 and beyond.

Ultimately Les Miles will remain at LSU due to what he produces in the win column. But these two hires will help him in more ways that one. And right now the LSU fan base is feeling a certain level of excitement and optimism and I personally think that they very well should be feeling that way!
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Deke: LSU taps Kevin Steele for defensive coordinator

Since the first day of 2015, the LSU Tigers have been searching for a defensive coordinator. LSU has hired Alabama's Kevin Steele. "When you look at the coaches he has been under and the places he has been, you have to say Coach Steele has some great experience and he has some skins on the wall," said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert.

During his career the Tigers' new DC has coached under legendary names like Tom Osborne and Bobby Bowden. Steele was linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers under then-coach Dom Capers and he helped the Panthers make it to the NFC Title Game in 1996. Steele was linebackers coach and special assistant to Coach Nick Saban the last two seasons, and he now inherits an LSU defense that ranked among the nation's elite in 2014.

Some of the more notable accomplishments that Steele has to his credit include being a part of the Nebraska Cornhuskers' national title in 1994, helping the Clemson Tigers win their first ACC Title in 11 years back in 2011, and being the National Recruiter of the Year in 2005 at Florida State University.

Steele did not have much success as a head coach, as he posted a disappointing 9-36 overall record from 1999-2002. "I think Coach Steele can come in and have success. When you look at the talent that LSU has coming back and the knowledge that Steele has being in the same division as LSU the last two seasons, the familiarity... there is a plus in my opinion," Bobby continued.

Steele takes over for John Chavis who left LSU on January 1 to take the same position at Texas A&M.

Stay tuned and keep logging on to wwl.com for the latest on the Tigers and their new defensive coordinator Coach Kevin Steele.
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Deke: Urban Meyer the best in CFB this season

Looking back on the 2014 college footballseason, the best team and the best coach were both from the same school. The Ohio State University Buckeyes without question were the best team in the nation, and their Coach Urban Meyer is the best in the business today.

Losing not one, but two QB's in the season is an obstacle that very few teams have had to deal with in the past. But have any of those previous teams in those very same circumstances went on to win it all? I know Ohio State did.

Urban Meyer is as cool as the other side of the pillow. He has won everywhere he has been, and to my knowledge, is the only coach in CFB history to win a BCS Bowl and or National Title with three different schools.

But the season that was supposed to end this way for Ohio State took a much different road than anyone - and I mean anyone - had dreamed or expected. "After they (Ohio State) got beat by Virginia Tech I thought they would lose several games. Listen, you have to give Coach Meyer a ton of credit for the job he did!" said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert.

Bobby took the Ducks in last night's title game, while I used my common sense approach and went with Ohio State. I mean, I witnessed the Buckeyes thrash the heavily favored Alabama Crimson Tide live before my eyes.

So I say to you, how many of you actually did not think Ohio State would beat Oregon after they looked so impressive in their win over Alabama? In their last three games the Buckeyes scored 59 points in the Big Ten title game, 42 against the mighty Tide defense and 42 again in their national title win over Oregon.

Yes it's only one season but the Buckeyes have proven over the last three seasons that their program is second only to Alabama. And Ohio State gained a lot of ground this season.

I still think that Alabama has the best college football program. But Ohio State is right on their tails. Don't expect any drop off from this Buckeyes program anytime soon as Ohio State is once again set to have another outstanding recruiting class, and as long as Meyer is there, they are ok!

What fans saw this season was one of the greatest (if not the best ever) coaching jobs done. Urban Meyer is on top of his game and the once-proud Big Ten conference gained a lot of ground on the other so called power leagues.

Only the future will tell how long of a dominant run Ohio State will have., But the present clearly says to me that the Buckeyes were without question the best team in the nation and their coach is second to none!
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Deke: Saints GM Loomis addresses Galette, Greenbrier and more

After what everyone from coaches, players, fans, etc. classified as a disappointing season, Saints General Manager/Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis finally addressed the media today. Loomis hit on a variety of topics during his 31 minute press conference. Loomis did not have an opening statement and went right into fielding questions from the packed Saints media room.

Right off the top, the first question asked was about Saints defensive standout Junior Galette. "Look, we take this matter very seriously. We will let law enforcement and the legal process run their course. At some point if we deem it necessary for the club to take any action we will." Asked again about Galette, Loomis said, "I don't know if I can make too many comments about that until I get more facts about what's going on." Loomis said he has not directly talked to Junior Galette but the Saints security person has. "I'm not going to get into 'what if.' We are just one day after this incident so I'm not going to get into that stuff right now," he finished.

Another question that Loomis was peppered with on more than one occasion was the future and current status of Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Loomis would not comment either way if Ryan would be back with the team or not. "Look, we are in the very beginning of the evaluation process, and when and if we make any changes, we will announce that."

Loomis also talked about how everyone in the organization, including himself, all have to take a look at themselves. "Why were we 7-9? What can we do better? It's all got to start with us before we can address anything or anyone else."

The Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert then asked Loomis about training camp being at a country club this past summer when the Saints went to West Virginia. "Because of the rules now, it's hard to make training camp as hard as it used to be. Training camp is about learning and about getting better. That's not because of Greenbrier that we were 7-9. We had a good focus. It's a a good location and those folks did a great job up there."

Mickey then talked about his 10 year relationship with Saints head coach Sean Payton. "It's really good. I know I feel that way. I hope he feels that way. We don't always agree but we are not afraid to say what we feel to each other. Sometimes those conversations are not that comfortable but I feel like we have a good relationship."

Loomis on the confidence level the team and Loomis have in QB Drew Brees: "I can't speak for each member on the team but I know my confidence level in him is very high."

On what the Saints' goals are each offseason: "Our goal is to compete for a championship every year. We make the moves to accomplish that every year."

On the various resports that come out of the national media: "Ian Rapoport has about a 30% accuaracy rate on his reports."

"We don't want to be 8-8, we want to be the #1 seed," Loomis said in conclusion. "8-8 is not going to be the #1 seed in the NFC. We want to get the top seed and get to the Super Bowl."

Be sure and tune into Sports Talk today for much more on what Mickey Loomis said today in wrapping up the 2014 NFL season.

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Deke: So what's next for Junior Galette?

The New Orleans Saints disappointing 2014 season has now spilled over into the 2015 off season. As reported earlier this morning by WWL Radio, Saints passing rushing specialist Junior Galette was taken into custody for alleged domestic violence.

Now in the court of law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But since last August, when it comes to the National Football League, things are far more severe for the players. After Commissioner Roger Goddell took a lot of heat for what many felt was far too light a punishment for Ravens RB Ray Rice, the NFL then implemented a more strict policy against domestic violence. "I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will," Goddell said when announcing the league's new stance on domestic violence.

Moving forward, the league said that any player that violates the NFL's policy on domestic violence would receive a six-game ban without pay. A second offense would result in a lifetime ban. Players and or personal members of teams in the NFL would be able to appeal a lifetime ban after one year.

Some of the language in the new league policy included "Violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant."

So if you read into what the league has in place and what Junior Galette now faces, the New Orleans Saints could be without their top pass rusher for the first six games of the 2015 NFL season. And then you have to look at what the Saints paid for Galette last year as well.

The Saints inked their top sack getter to a four-year extension back in September of 2014. Galette's new deal called for #93 to make $41.5 million dollars over the life of the contract extension with $23 million in guarantees.

Now, each franchise does have player conduct clauses in contracts, meaning that the league as well as each individual team can protect themselves somewhat from poor personal conduct and violations of conduct policy. Gallette is coming off the 2014 season in which he had another double digit season with 10 sacks.

Gallette also had 45 tackles and three forced fumbles last season. Over the last two seasons, Gallete has totaled 22 sacks and 85 tackles.
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Deke: Best thing about Saints season is that it's over

My people, all the members of the Who Dat Nation, I think there are several phases to an offseason.  And right now this is the venting part. And to me the best part about this season is that the damn thing is over!

We’ve heard everything. “We’re not doing the things that we need to do in order to be a good team.”  “We have to take a look at ourselves and see how we are preparing for the games each week.”  “It’s my job as a pro to go out and play like a pro each time I’m on the field.”  Yeah, yeah, enough of all of that, now let’s get down to what the fans want to talk about, what the fans want to hear and know and that is what happened?  

Why were the Saints such a bad team in 2014?  A two game win streak was the best that the Saints had.  A team that was once the most feared while playing in their home stadium lost a club-tying record five straight home games in 2014.

The high powered offense that used to blow teams out in the Superdome became a team that was more known for blowing leads late in games and then getting blown out when the most important games were on the line!

After a 0-2 start blowing leads at Atlanta and Cleveland, the Saints came home and looked lackluster in a win over Minnesota.  And then the next week the Who Dat Nation was all frustration falling behind a national TV embarrassing 0-24 to Dallas.

Should we have known then that the Saints were not a good team?  Should we have known sooner than that?  Or did we hang on to hope? In previous seasons we saw the Saints rebound, respond and react in a positive way after poor outings.  But when you factor in all of the pre-season hype and predictions, 2014 will go down as the most disappointing in the history of the Saints franchise.

I’m baffled but if you look at things from a realistic standpoint it’s really not baffling at all.  If we were from another part of the country and breaking down and analyzing the Saints, it would be rather simple to see why New Orleans finished the season as one of the worst in the league.

If we go by past season evaluations in which the Saints did not make the post season, then we will soon hear of one if not several players that were hurt this season dealing with injuries. OK, well all 32 teams in the NFL deal with injuries.  And Coach Sean Payton as well as players themselves have said on more than one occasion that they don’t use injuries as an excuse.  

So let’s ask the common sense questions first.

First - did the Saints give it their all every game this season?  I mean I can live with a "no" as an answer, but if the players and coaches really did give it their all every week in preparing and practicing for every team the Saints played, then this team is in big trouble!

Second, do the Saints (coaches and GM included) feel like they have the right mix of players on this roster?  We hear so much about “culture” and how important the health of the locker room is for a team.  Leadership was a word that was brought up many, many times this season and one has to wonder and ask again do the Saints have the right mix of players?  Are the Saints a few leaders away from being a legit Super Sunday team?  Who are the current leaders on this team and where did they go wrong or not get their point across this season?

We are only days after the 2014 season became officially over for the Saints, but those are just a couple of things that fly off the top of my head right now.  The next few months Bobby and I will take time and go over each position, each player and really try to break down the '14 Saints.  

Coach Payton said many things that I found interesting but one that stood out to me was about how important the first team meeting of 2015 will be. I asked coach about the importance of having a good start to the off season work, OTA’s and when players report back.  “I would say that first meeting, on April 20th when we all meet, the first team meeting is going to be significant.  Certainly those meetings always carry a lot of importance but when you are coming off a season in which you did not play the way you would have liked to, the first meeting is very significant.”

So Who Dat Nation this is it, time to put 2014 to rest.  But in the process of putting it to rest will take a while.  Because fans want to know what went wrong, and what did the Saints not do this season that kept them from getting on track, on a roll, on a winning streak.

Let’s be honest here, this sucks!  The Saints are not a bottom of the barrel team.  The Saints are an NFL franchise that has proven over the course of the Sean Payton era that they are an elite team, a truly good program if you will.

But after a 7-9 season and posting a record of 13-14 in their last 27 regular season games, the Saints will have to go back to the start and now must re-prove that the Black and Gold are in that number of elite teams in the NFL.
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