Kristian: Veteran Saints wide outs key to 2012 offense
by Kristian Garic, email@example.com,posted Apr 9 2012 9:38AM
Sure the Saints lost wide receiver Robert Meachem this offseason, but they were able to secure Marques Colston to a long-term contract. The big play-making wide-out spearheads the Saints' talented and deep wide-receiving corps. Quarterback Drew Brees has a ton of trust in Colston, and keeping the group pretty much intact for the 2012 season will be a key factor in the Saints offensive success.
Listen to Kristian break down the receiving squad:
Here's a look at the players the Saints have at wide receiver:
Marques Colston (7th season): He's made a number of big catches for the Saints. Colston gives Brees that big target over the middle. Keeping him in the mix with emerging tight end Jimmy Graham provides for some stiff challenges to opposing defenses. Since coming to the Saints in 2006, Colston has eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark five out of six seasons. In 2011 the big play-maker hauled in 80 catches for 1,143 yards and 8 touchdowns...despite missing two games with a broken collarbone. Colston deserved a long-term deal and he got it this offseason.
Lance Moore: (7th season): Moore was one of the Saints' top priorities to re-sign once the lockout ended last summer. He's arguably the best route runner on the team, and also has the most reliable hands on the team. "He catches everything. He can go up and make a play in traffic, and he makes the easy catches. I can't count how many times he's made a juggling reception with defenders all over him," Saints color analyst Hokie Gajan said. Moore is great story. He's gone from undrafted to a key component in the Saints aerial assault. "I love the guy, he's so scrappy and so dependable," Gajan added. A hamstring injury plagued Moore last year. That caused him to miss the Saints' postseason run. He's a tireless worker that takes his job seriously. Moore is one of the many good guys in the Black and Gold. He finished the 2011 campaign with 52 grabs for 627 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Devery Henderson (9th season): Henderson is the elder statesmen of the wide receiving corps. He's still electrifying on the deep ball, but at times he disappears for stretches. Still, he manages to come up with a big game or two here and there. Henderson could be on the bubble a bit coming into the 2012 season, but he gives the Saints the ability to stretch the defense. Henderson averaged over 15 yards per reception last season. In an offense that spreads the ball around as much as the Saints do, Henderson still managed over 500 yards receiving in 2011. He's also one of the best run-blockers the Saints have at wide receiver.
Adrian Arrington (3rd season): Arrington was drafted in 2008, but has been on and off the Saints' active roster several times since. He's only started 5 career games in the NFL. Arrington could be the guy the Saints count on to fill Robert Meachem's shoes this season. Arrington is that big physical receiver the Saints love. He's lit it up during the preseason a few times, but with so much depth, Arrington had a hard time cracking the line up. Now it appears he'll get his shot. He'll be pushed by last years preseason darling, Joseph Morgan.
Joseph Morgan (3rd season): Morgan signed with the Saints as a rookie free agent in 2011 and made some big plays for New Orleans in the preseason before suffering a season-ending knee injury in an exhibition game at Houston. Morgan probably would have made the practice squad last season if not for his injury. He's got tremendous speed, and he looks like he belongs in the NFL. He will compete for a spot in the receiver rotation in 2012. He will get a chance to shine in front of his hometown of Canton, Ohio when the Saints play the Cardinals in the preseason opener at the Hall of Fame Game.
Courtney Roby (7th season): Roby was the Saints special teams captain, and that's pretty much where his contributions ended for the Saints in 2011. Roby didn't tally one reception last season. He might be pushed with a healthy Joseph Morgan on the roster. Roby serves as the backup to kick returner Darren Sproles. He had a major gaff in the divisional play off loss to San Francisco with a fumble on a kickoff return, setting UP the 49ers with great field position deep inside the Saints' 15 yard line.
Andy Tanner (3rd season): After spending the end of the 2010 season and most of the 2011 campaign on the club's practice squad working with the Saints' scout team, as well as seeing action in the preseason, Tanner will compete for a roster spot in training camp. Tanner is a "try hard" guy that the coaches love.