Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: 5 Black & Gold questions as Training Camp begins
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jul 26 2012 12:26PM
It’s ON, folks! Today, Hokie will be breaking down practice…While Bobby will be screaming at me and Hokie, and the veins in the Cannon’s neck will flare up with excitement as the first practice of Training Camp 2012 gets underway! And, we’ve got so much coverage lined up, we’ve added an hour – Me, Bobby, and Hokie will keep it going until 9:00 p.m each night!
Below are five questions I think are interesting, to say the least, as we embark on what should be one of the most anticipated seasons in Saints history! So break out your #2 pencils and Bullfrog sunscreen, and let’s get ready to hit the field. Here we go!
1. Who will be in charge while Vitt is out? Back on April 24th, Saints Coach Joe Vitt said that the Saints were once a coach-driven team. But since the Super Bowl, the Saints are now a player-driven team. That’s good to know, since no one really knows who will be in charge while Vitt is out for the first six games on suspension. Will it be Aaron Kromer? Could it be Pete Carmichale…or possibly DQ Steve Spagnuolo? Regardless, I think there will be a front man to address the media during the week and after the games, but I kind of expect to be a “by committee” situation while Vitt is out.
2. Biggest off-season addition? Atop of the list is Curtis Lofton. But what about David Hawthorne or Chris Chamberlian? Or, even Brodrick Bunkley could be that player. I think it will be the addition of all these defensive players that we will point out during camp as well as the season as best off season additions. However, if history repeats itself the last two times the Saints have added a new Defensive Coordinator great things have happened. In 2006 Gary Gibbs was the new guy as the Saints went to the NFC Title Game. In 2009 Greg Williams was the man in charge of the Black and Gold Defense and the Saints won it all. Steve Spagnuolo is now in charge!
3. Is Mark Ingram ready? Whenever you are a first-round pick and a Heisman Trophy winner you’re are expected to do well. Saints RB Mark Ingram showed us flashes of what type of player he could be when he was healthy. I’d like to think if Ingram stays healthy that the Saints have the most complete set of backs in the NFL. Two physical runners in Ingram and Ivory, and two guys that can smash and slash in Thomas and Sproles, make for a very complete unit. Ingram could help the Saints offense grind down foes in the late quarters of game and be a contributing part to this four-headed monster!
4. Carl Jr? The Saints were not able to retain Carl Nicks, who many feel is the best O-lineman in the game today. But the Saints were able to add a Pro Bowl caliber player in Ben Grubbs. Grubbs comes from a much more physical style offense in Baltimore so he should be able to help the big guys up front pound away at opposing defensive units. The big guys up front never get the ink they are worthy of, but you can best believe that everyone is grateful for their play!
5. How will it be with no SP? As every sports web site, TV channel, radio station, newspaper and magazine begins to give their preseason outlook on teams, the one thing that is always brought up: How will the Saints fare without Coach Sean Patyon? If you say that Payton won’t be missed, then you are nuts. But I think now we will see even more how soundly built that the Saints franchise is. Yes, we need Payton…he makes us better, and he made us champions. But I think that what Payton has done as far as building chemistry among the coaches as well as the players is as good as any team in the league. And yes, don’t forget C.J. is no longer with the Black and Gold, so asking how the WR core will do with a different guy for the first time in six years is also a valid question.